Rethinking Objectivity

Front Cover
Allan Megill
Duke University Press, 1994 - Philosophy - 342 pages
Although "objectivity" is a term used widely in many areas of public discourse, from discussions concerning the media and politics to debates over political correctness and cultural literacy, the question "What is objectivity?" is often ignored, as if the answer were obvious. In this volume, Allan Megill has gathered essays from fourteen leading scholars in a variety of fields--history, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, history of science, sociology of science, feminist studies, literary studies, and accounting--to gain critical understanding of the idea of objectivity as it functions in today's world.
In diverse essays the authors provide fascinating studies of objectivity in such areas as anthropological research, corporate and governmental bureaucracies, legal discourse, photography, and the study and practice of the natural sciences. Taken together, Megill argues, this volume calls for developing a notion of "objectivities." The absolute sense of objectivity--that is, objectivity as a "God's eye view"--must be supplemented, and in part supplanted, by disciplinary, procedural, and dialectical senses of objectivity. This book will be of great interest to a broad range of scholars as it presents current thinking on a topic of fundamental concern across the disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

Contributors. Barry Barnes, Dagmar Barnouw, Lorraine Code, Lorraine Daston, Johannes Fabian, Kenneth J. Gergen, Mary E. Hawkesworth, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Evelyn Fox Keller, George Levine, Allan Megill, Peter Miller, Andy Pickering, Theodore M. Porter

From inside the book


How Not To Do the Sociology of Knowledge
Baconian Facts Academic Civility and the Prehistory
The Importance of Differences
From Rigor to Vigor
Objectivity and the Mangle of Practice ANDY PICKERING
Siegfried Kracauer on Historiography
Feminist Objections
Who Cares? The Poverty of Objectivism for a Moral Epistemology
The Rhetoric of Impersonality
The Invention of Calculating Selves
The Mechanical Self and the Rhetoric of Objectivity
Activism without Objectivism in Law
The Paradox of Scientific Subjectivity EVELYN FOX KELLER

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