Kuhn and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge

20-21 March 2006

Venue: University of Cambridge, UK

The conference aims to consider Kuhn’s legacy by examining the relationship between his ideas and work done in the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (SSK). Some proponents of SSK have presented themselves as the true ‘heirs’ to the Kuhnian programme; others have been more critical of Kuhn’s influence. Kuhn himself made some highly critical remarks on SSK. The conflicting perspectives on the relationship between Kuhn and SSK are reflected also in recent new interpretations of Kuhn’s work. The conference aims to open up a dialogue between ‘Kuhnian philosophers’ and practitioners of SSK. The ultimate goal is to reflect on the state and the future prospects of science studies at the beginning of the 21st century and the role of Kuhn and SSK therein.

The conference is free of charge and open to all.

Conference organisers: Ipek Demir and Martin Kusch (History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, UK)

Monday 20 March

9-11am Mill Lane Lecture Room

Simon Schaffer, University of Cambridge ‘Making Discoveries in Kuhn’

Respondent: Paul Hoyningen-Huene, University of Hannover Chair: Martin Kusch

11-11.30am Coffee break at HPS

11.30-12.50 Mill Lane Lecture Room

Steve Sturdy, University of Edinburgh ‘Kuhn for Clinicians: Laboratory Knowledge and Clinical Cases in Edinburgh, 1897-1920’

Rachel Cooper, University of Lancaster ‘Problems with Understanding the Other: Psychiatry as a Test Case’

12.50-2.30pm Lunch break

2.30-4.30pm Mill Lane Lecture Room

Staffan Mueller-Wille, University of Exeter ‘Knowledge and History: Fleck and Kuhn on Scientific Change’

Vidar Enebakk, University of Oslo ‘More on Bloor: Understanding the Relation Between Kuhn and SSK by way of Imre Lakatos’

Vasso Kindi, University of Athens ‘Kuhn’s “Made up” Sociology and the Descriptive Turn in Science Studies’

4.30-5pm Tea break at HPS

5.00-6.20pm Seminar Room, HPS

Ipek Demir, University of Cambridge ‘Kuhn’s Incommensurabilities and Finitism’

Juan V. Mayoral, UNED, Madrid ‘Kuhn and the Sociology of Scientific Language’

Tuesday 21 March

10am-12noon Mill Lane Lecture Room

Alexander Bird, University of Bristol ‘The Strong Programme, Kuhn, and the Naturalistic Study of Science’

Respondent: Peter Lipton, University of Cambridge Chair: Ipek Demir

12-1pm Lunch

1-3pm Mill Lane Lecture Room

Aviezer Tucker, Queen’s University ‘Kuhn and the Sociology of Historical Knowledge’

Thomas Sturm, Max Plank Institute for the History of Science, Berlin ‘Is the Distinction Between Discovery and Justification Useless? Some Comparisons Between Kuhn and the SSK’

Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen, University of Edinburgh ‘Realism and Rationalism in Historical Explanations’

For accommodation information: We ask conference attendants to make their own arrangments for accommodation. Please see the Visit Cambridge website for a comprehensive list of accommodation available in Cambridge.

For information on how to get to Cambridge: See the University’s information for visitors, the map showing the location of HPS and the map showing the location of the Mill Lane Lecture Rooms.

During Lent Term, the STS Workshop meetings in HPS will focus on the theme of Kuhn and the SSK. All are welcome.