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Science, concepts, and the social environment

Halewood, M (2011) 'Science, concepts, and the social environment.' Teorie Vedy/ Theory of Science, 33 (1). 21 - 42. ISSN 1210-0250

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© 2011 Akademie Ved Ceske Republiky. All rights reserved. This paper will suggest that the work of Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) provides a fruitful resource for understanding the philosophical development and validity of scientific concepts through an analysis of their socio-historical location. The paper will address two key elements of Whitehead's thought. One element is "the bifurcation of nature" and the paper traces the influence that this conceptual compromise has had on philosophy and science through its reinforcement of the division between the natural and the social sciences. The second element is the status of abstraction in thought and existence. The article will outline Whitehead's argument that it is necessary to pay attention to the social environment which both enables and inhibits thought if historical epistemology is to develop novel yet analytically strong concepts.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2013 12:08
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2018 20:15

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