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Washington 30x09 B

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Mia presentazione al Meeting 2009 della Society for the Social Studies of Sciences, Washington DC, 28-31 Ottobre 2009

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Washington 30x09 B

  1. 1. The Lost Ontology of the Pierre Bourdieu’s scientific field <ul><li>ALESSANDRO MONGILI </li></ul><ul><li>University of Cagliari, Italy </li></ul><ul><li>Washington, October 30, 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>The 4S 2009 Annual Meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Session 126. Theory and Methods for STS </li></ul>
  2. 2. Scientific field: a rock in the pond <ul><li>PB 1975: The Specificity of Scientific Field and the Social Conditions of the Progress of Reason (in french: 1976). </li></ul><ul><li>In the traditional sociology of science: science is analyzable only on the organizational, functional, self-regulating level. A particular scientific ethos (Merton) legitimates and rationalizes it. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The climate around SSK <ul><li>Scientific knowledge becames a focus for sociology </li></ul><ul><li>Interest for radical epistemology (Wittgenstein, Feyerabend): Ontology titted into crisis. </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthening of the sociology of scientific knowledge in many countries. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The natural world in no way constrains what is believed to be (H. Collins) <ul><li>The Strong Program in SSK (Bloor 1976) </li></ul><ul><li>Causal : conditions of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Impartial : truth/falseness, success/failure, rationality/irrationality. </li></ul><ul><li>Symmetrical : in explanations </li></ul><ul><li>Reflexive : applicable to SSK itself </li></ul>
  5. 5. “ La communauté scientifique n’existe pas” <ul><li>Warren Hagstrom (1965), The Scientific Community </li></ul><ul><li>Free circulation of papers (gift); fame and scientific recognition (Matthew Effect). </li></ul><ul><li>A group of whose members are united by common aims and culture. </li></ul><ul><li>PB: It is an official fiction. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Pierre Bourdieu’s scientific field <ul><li>Scientific Capital (position) </li></ul><ul><li>Habitus (dispositions) </li></ul><ul><li>Domination and plans of action of the agents (actors) </li></ul><ul><li>A Social Fact of restrained forces, a battlefield for domination. </li></ul><ul><li>PB consideres scientific knowledge as a secondary place in play according to real field dynamics </li></ul>
  7. 7. Field and habitus <ul><li>Field provides a framework for habitus, which includes routines and generates strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptance or reject of the newcomers: importance of the primary socialization. </li></ul><ul><li>Refusal of the going concern dimension (legitimated peripherical membership). </li></ul><ul><li>“ Structured” habitus </li></ul>
  8. 8. The symbolic capital of recognition <ul><li>Structuring the field: the distribution of the scientific capital recognisible by whom participates in the same habitus </li></ul><ul><li>Forms: power capital and prestige capital (fame) </li></ul><ul><li>An objective quality providing positions in the field. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Enjeu (state of play): Domination <ul><li>The naming monopoly, and corresponding scientific authority. </li></ul><ul><li>Dominant people vs newcomers </li></ul><ul><li>“ discourse we call scientific” complies with that of the dominant people. </li></ul><ul><li>Habitus has the capability of naturalizing this kind of game. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The game: modus operandi <ul><li>Agency is produced among determined variability principles ( agents and not actors) </li></ul><ul><li>The ontological weaving between position (capital) and durable dispositions (habitus) generates modus operandi . </li></ul><ul><li>It clashes with fonctionalism opus operatus , which excludes habitus </li></ul><ul><li>But both opera exclude (a) interpretive dimension and (b) existance of actors and interactions with multiple outcomes. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Sacrifice bourdievin <ul><li>That which isn’t domination (e.g. cooperative activitiesand scientific facts themselves) is excluded from analysis. </li></ul><ul><li>Technoscience isn’t considered </li></ul><ul><li>Hybridations between different fields and intersections aren’t taken into account. </li></ul><ul><li>Technology is contrainte constante (constant constraint), not an integrating part of scientific processes. </li></ul>

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