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PHIL 561A Topics in Science and Technology Studies - TOPICS IN STS

Advanced seminar on a theme or topic of interest to both STS and Philosophy.

This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.

Credits: 3

Status Section Activity Term Interval Days Start Time End Time Comments
PHIL 561A 001Seminar2 Mon14:0017:00

This section will be held in BUCH D324. Having demonstrated that science is an inescapably social enterprise, a growing number of science studies scholars have expressed alarm that the pendulum of constructionist critique has swung too far. The focal question for this seminar is: how do we move beyond the impasse created by STS analyses that seem to entail a paralyzing relativism? We start with classic essays by Latour, and Collins and Evans, among others who address this question in terms of challenges to claims of expertise. We then discuss contributions to a recent literature on the study of ignorance drawn from Proctors collection, Agnotology (2008), Tuanas Epistemology of Ignorance (Hypatia 2006), and the 2017 Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Injustice. We close with a discussion and ~

of interactional expertise, as characterized by contributors to Trading Zones and Interactional Expertise (Collins, Evans, Gorman, 2010), and with readings on standpoint theory and collaborative practice. These illustrate how the epistemic resources of diversely situated knowers can be mobilized in a constructive response to the worries about corrosive relativism that provoked the third wave STS debate with which we started. Students are encouraged to bring insights from these readings to bear on case studies and controversies in their fields of interest.