David Bloor


David Bloor

David Bloor is a professor in, and a former director of, the 'Science Studies Unit' at the University of Edinburgh (see Edinburgh School).

He started his academic career in philosophy and psychology. In the 1970s he and Barry Barnes were the major figures of the strong programme, which put forward queries against philosophical a priorism in the understanding of scientific knowledge. This is an approach, popular in the philosophy of science, that simply precluded inquiries about science by treating successful scientific knowledge as simply true or rational without empirically investigating how such knowledge has come to be accepted as true or rational. Bloor's book Knowledge and Social Imagery (Routledge, 1976) is one of the key texts of the strong programme.

Bloor wrote extensively on the Kuhn/Popper debate, and is a representative figure of the sociology of scientific knowledge. In the 1980s when French scholars like Bruno Latour developed the actor-network theory (partially based on the strong programme), David Bloor strongly disagreed with the ANT camp when they argued that human and non-humans should be treated in an equivalent manner, going so far as to write an article entitled "Anti-Latour".

Noteworthy publications

  • Knowledge and Social Imagery (Routledge, 1976; 2nd edition Chicago University Press, 1991)
  • Wittgenstein: A Social Theory of Knowledge (Macmillan and Columbia, 1983)
  • Wittgenstein, Rules and Institutions (Routledge, 1997).
  • "Sociology of Scientific Knowledge", in I. Niiniluoto, et al. (eds.) Handbook of Epistemology (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2004), pp. 919-962.

External links


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