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Can sociologists understand other forms of life?

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2004
<mark>Journal</mark>Perspectives on Science
Issue number1
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)29-54
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Sociologists of Scientific Knowledge sometimes claim to study scientists belonging to other forms of life. This claim causes difficulties, as traditionally Wittgensteinians have taken it to be the case that other forms of life are incomprehensible to us. This paper examines whether, and how, sociologists might gain understanding of another form of life, and whether, and how, this understanding might be passed on to readers. I argue that most techniques proposed for gaining and passing on understanding are inadequate, but I end by describing a method that might work.