By John M. Ziman
Professor Ziman presents a coherent account of the several views on technology and expertise which are regularly studied below quite a few disciplinary heads resembling philosophy of technology, sociology of technological know-how, and technological know-how coverage. it's meant for college kids embarking on classes in those matters and assumes no precise wisdom of any technological know-how. it truly is written in a right away and straightforward kind, and technical language is seldom brought. it is going to attract scholars in a variety of clinical disciplines and enhances Professor Ziman's previous books.
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Extra resources for An Introduction to Science Studies: The Philosophical and Social Aspects of Science and Technology
6 Instrumentation 19 always alert to any apparent inconsistency between what occurs in the world about them and what might have been expected to occur in the circumstances. 1). 6 Instrumentation Scientists would not be human if they did not make use of instruments. The anatomist's scalpel and the geologist's hammer, the microscope and the telescope, early became indispensable tools of scientific investigation. Whole scientific disciplines such as microbiology and astronomy have only been made possible by the development of devices that extend human perception into otherwise inaccessible domains.
It may be a gross oversimplification to say that detonating the fuse of a nuclear warhead is the scientific cause of the ensuing fission reaction — and the eventual destruction of a city •- but this is an example of the deliberate contrivance of a causal chain directed towards the achievement of a particular 'effect'. Such chains are thus highly significant in the application of scientific knowledge, even when they are linked by invariant associations that are 'inexplicable' in a more general sense.
To what extent is it logically consistent with other supposedly well-founded theoretical schemes? In practice, hypotheses are seldom unique. At any given moment, several different theories may be competing as explanatory schemes for a particular body of facts. Which should be preferred? This choice need not depend solely on the degree to which they seem to fit these facts, and to be logically consistent with pre-existing theories. There is a definite advantage in choosing a 'working hypothesis' that is simple enough to be easily formulated, with a clearly articulated conceptual structure, whose theoretical and experimental implications can be unambiguously investigated — at least until it has been shown to be untenable.
An Introduction to Science Studies: The Philosophical and Social Aspects of Science and Technology by John M. Ziman