Examining One's Own : Reflexivity and Critique in STS
Bausch, Francis A.
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The principle of reflexivity, as laid out by David Bloor (in Knowledge and Social Imagery) poses serious challenges to STS - while STS analysts attempt to show the partiality of scientific claims, they simultaneously offer those analyses via authoritative pronouncements in scientific language, while claiming a scientific foundation. This thesis questions the understanding of science as a form of inquiry distinct from other forms of inquiry, especially focusing on the elusive distinction between science and technology. The thesis analyzes Andrew Pickering's problematic attempt (in The Mangle of Practice) to dissolve the science/technology distinction through his 'Theory of Everything'/Mangle concept. Building an approach from commentaries on Pickering's work combined with resources from the STS tradition, especially from Latour and Haraway, the author proposes a new observational stance; this stance insists on the perspectival nature of all observation, and thereby claims to be reflexively robust; furthermore it maintains an agnostic attitude with regard to the science/technology distinction.
- Masters Theses