Making Natural Knowledge: Constructivism
and the History of Science
with a new Preface
Making Natural Knowledge: Constructivism and the History of Science is available again in a new paperback edition from the University of Chicago Press, with a new Preface by the author.
Arguably the best available introduction to constructivism, a research paradigm that has dominated the history of science for the past forty years, Making Natural Knowledge reflects on the importance of this theory, tells the history of its rise to prominence, and traces its most important tensions.
Viewing scientific knowledge as a product of human culture, Jan Golinski challenges the traditional trajectory of the history of science as steady and autonomous progress. In exploring topics such as the social identity of the scientist, the significance of places where science is practiced, and the roles played by language, instruments, and images, Making Natural Knowledge sheds new light on the relations between science and other cultural domains.
“[In the] years since its first edition was published, [Making Natural Knowledge] has become a standard introduction to historically minded scholars interested in the constructivist programme. In fact, it has been called the ‘constructivist’s bible’ in many a conference corridor.”—Matthew Eddy, British Journal of the History of Science
ORDER FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS.
READ THE INTRODUCTION ONLINE
Comments on the first edition:
"What kinds of stories have historians been telling about the development of the sciences, and what should they tell? In this intelligent, critical and lucid book, Jan Golinski uses a wealth of new histories of the sciences produced in the past two decades to respond to these provocative questions. Instead of indulging in a sterile debate about whether it is possible in principle to understand scientific knowledge as the result of human activity, Golinski instead shows what historians seeking this understanding have done and then outlines many exciting prospects for future study. This is an important book for historians, scientists, and anyone interested in how the sciences have achieved their status in our society."
"Golinski's book establishes the history of science firmly on its new road. No longer will there be any excuse to be ignorant of the magic letters SSK, and their seminal importance for the most exciting recent work in the field. Making Natural Knowledge displays the strengths of constructivist approaches to understanding science and indicates their likely future directions -- depending on what people decide to do with them."
Table of Contents:
Introduction: Challenges to the Classical View of Science
1. An Outline of Constructivism
From Kuhn to the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge
What's Social About Constructivism?
2. Identity and Discipline
The Making of a Social Identity
The Disciplinary Mold
3. The Place of Production
The Workshop of Nature
Beyond the Laboratory Walls
4. Speaking for Nature
The Open Hand
Stepping into the Circle
5. Interventions and Representations
Instruments and Objects
The Work of Representation
6. Culture and Construction
The Meanings of Culture
Regimes of Construction
Coda: The Obligations of Narrative
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