George Herbert Mead is an exemplary figure in sociology, and is central to sociological conceptions of the self and social action. However, other important aspects of Mead's thought have been largely neglected, including his remarkably sophisticated and sociological theory of scientific knowledge. Traditional accounts of the sociology of science identify Thomas Kuhn, and his predecessor, Ludwig Fleck, as pioneers in the social analysis of scientific knowledge, allowing the modern constructionist school of science studies to emerge. This article challenges this history by showing Mead's awareness of the sociological aspects of scientific knowledge in papers that predate both Kuhn and Fleck. Finally, Mead's position attempts to avoid sociological relativism, and offers instead a pragmatist foundation to approach the study of science.
Puddephatt, A. (2008), "George Herbert Mead: an early sociologist of scientific knowledge", Denzin, N.K., Salvo, J. and Washington, M. (Ed.) Studies in Symbolic Interaction (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 31), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 31-60. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0163-2396(08)31003-5Download as .RIS
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