We begin with the "classic"
sources in the sociology of knowledge, Marx and Manheim. The
"modern" development from Merton is presented and the
problematic relationship of epistemology to sociology of knowledge
becomes the point of departure for the remainder of the course: Does
sociology explain only false or distorted belief, or if there is a
sociological explanation for beliefs taken to be true, then what is
the status of epistemology, as that as traditionally been conceived.
After examining Berger and Luckman's
important treatise, The Social Construction of Reality (1966), we
consider the so-called "Strong Programme" (Barry Barnes,
David Bloor, and their critics). Two papers by Manicas and
Rosenberg, "Naturalism, Epistemological Individualism and 'The
Strong Programme' in the Sociology of Knowledge,' and 'The Sociology
of Scientific Knowledge" Can We Ever Get it Right?"
Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior (1985, 1988) consider
arguments from a wide variety of quarters, including the writings of
We turn to the so-called "Paris
School" (Latour and his critics.) The differences between
Latour and Strong Programme writers is considered along with the
influences of ethnomethodology.
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