Knowledge as Social Order


E’ in uscita per l’editore Ashgate Knowledge as Social Order. Rethinking the Sociology of Barry Barnes, una raccolta di saggi curati da Massimo Mazzotti sul contributo del sociologo Barry Barnes agli studi di scienza e tecnologia e all’analisi del rapporto tra conoscenza e società.

Investigating a theme first pioneered by Barry Barnes in the early 1970s, this volume explores the relationship between social order and legitimate knowledge and is intended as a tribute to Barnes’ seminal role in the development of the discipline of science and technology studies (STS).
The contributors highlight the way in which Barnes’ work has shaped their way of conceptualizing the basic relation between knowledge and society. In doing this they explore the original sociological underpinnings of STS while pointing to the way in which Barnes’ interdisciplinary work has been developed to tackle current concerns in the field as well as in social theory. They also address the concerns of social scientists who are investigating the nature of power and agency and the problem of social order, emphasizing the essential role played by scientific knowledge and technological machinery in the construction of social life.

Contributors to the volume include Martin Kusch, Steven Loyal, Mark Haugaard, David Bloor, Trevor Pinch, John Dupre, Donald MacKenzie, Harry Collins, Steven Shapin and Karin Knorr Cetina.

Contents: Introduction, Massimo Mazzotti; Relativism at 30,000 feet, David Bloor; Relativism: is it worth the candle?, Trevor Pinch; Who is the industrial scientist? Commentary from academic sociology and from the shop-floor in the United States, ca.1900–ca.1970, Steven Shapin; The meaning of hoaxes, Harry Collins; Objectual practice, Karin Knorr Cetina; Producing accounts: finitism, technology and rule-following, Donald MacKenzie; Power and legitimacy, Mark Haugaard; Barnes on the freedom of the will, Martin Kusch; Agency, responsibility and structure: understanding the migration of asylum seekers to Ireland, Steven Loyal; Against maladaptationism: or what’s wrong with evolutionary psychology?, John Dupré; Index.

More information at the Ashgate website

Massimo Mazzotti, lecturer of History and Sociology of Science at the Exeter University (UK) is member of Observa’s Scientific Committee. Recently, he also published the monograph The World of Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Mathematician of God (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007)

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