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Michael Polanyi and his generation [electronic resource] : origins of the social construction of science / Mary Jo Nye.

Author/Creator:
Nye, Mary Jo.
Publication:
Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, 2011.
Format/Description:
Book
1 online resource (429 p.)
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Subjects:
Jewish scientists -- Hungary -- Intellectual life.
Jewish scientists -- Germany -- Intellectual life.
Science -- Philosophy -- History -- 20th century.
Science -- Social aspects.
Polanyi, Michael, 1891-1976 -- Influence.
Polanyi, Michael, 1891-1976 -- Friends and associates.
Form/Genre:
Electronic books.
Language:
English
Summary:
In Michael Polanyi and His Generation, Mary Jo Nye investigates the role that Michael Polanyi and several of his contemporaries played in the emergence of the social turn in the philosophy of science. This turn involved seeing science as a socially based enterprise that does not rely on empiricism and reason alone but on social communities, behavioral norms, and personal commitments. Nye argues that the roots of the social turn are to be found in the scientific culture and political events of Europe in the 1930's, when scientific intellectuals struggled to defend the universal status of scientific knowledge and to justify public support for science in an era of economic catastrophe, Stalinism and Fascism, and increased demands for applications of science to industry and social welfare. At the center of this struggle was Polanyi, who Nye contends was one of the first advocates of this new conception of science. Nye reconstructs Polanyi's scientific and political milieus in Budapest, Berlin, and Manchester from the 1910's to the 1950's and explains how he and other natural scientists and social scientists of his generation-including J. D. Bernal, Ludwik Fleck, Karl Mannheim, and Robert K. Merton-and the next, such as Thomas Kuhn, forged a politically charged philosophy of science, one that newly emphasized the social construction of science.
Contents:
Scientific culture in Europe and the refugee generation
Germany and Weimar Berlin as the City of Science
Origins of a social perspective: doing physical chemistry in Weimar Berlin
Chemical dynamics and social dynamics in Berlin and Manchester
Liberalism and the economic foundations of the "Republic of Science"
Scientific freedom and the social functions of science
Political foundations of the philosophies of science of Popper, Kuhn, and Polanyi
Personal knowledge: argument, audiences, and sociological engagement
Epilogue: SSK, scientific constructivism, and the paradoxical legacy of Polanyi and the 1930s generation.
Notes:
Description based upon print version of record.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN:
1-283-26803-5
9786613268037
0-226-61065-9
OCLC:
753480170
Publisher Number:
10.7208/9780226610658 doi