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Contemporary sociology of science usually takes it for granted that science is, all down the line, social in character, and that fatal consequences follow from this in regard to traditional philosophical views of the nature of scientific knowledge and practice. There are a number of different accounts of science being social. All such accounts appear to be more or less unclear as to what the social character of science precisely amounts to. In what follows, some features of a few recent accounts will be surveyed, and some of their critical implications will be pointed out in regard to other conceptions of science, Popperian methodology in particular. Preliminary attempts will also be made to point out some of the ways that science is being viewed as social or socially conditioned (or socially constructed, socially shaped, socially constituted), as implied in those accounts. Towards the end of the chapter, the intriguing issue of relativism will be briefly addressed. The major part of the current sociology of science focuses on the natural sciences; the social sciences have received much less attention. In the course of the following survey, economics and economic methodology will be kept in mind.

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... Nessa lógica, chamada a atenção para a importância que deve ter esse momento de descoberta na reflexão sobre ciência econômica, torna-se necessário estabelecer as condições de possibilidade de um estudo racional desse mesmo objeto. MÄKI (1992) Os estudos da sociologia da ciência, tais como os desenvolvidos por BLOOR (1976), KNORR-CETINA(1981), WHITLEY(1984) e LOASBY(1986, entre outros, têm revelado a possibilidade de se estabelecer uma relação entre a realidade do objeto de estudo, externo à pura lógica interna de uma ciência, e as descobertas e proposições de novas idéias. Uma das conclusões de MÄKI (1992, p. 90) ao procurar conseqüências desses estudos de sociologia da ciência é: ...
... MÄKI (1992) faz uma interessante síntese dessas e outras idéias da sociologia da ciência. ...
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... Their use is therefore timeless and interdisciplinary. Sociological sciences based on analogy of economic sciences (Mäki, 1992) can be used as an example as well as the theory of teaching uses the interpretation of methods of economic science. According to the authors dealing with economics and cognitive psychology (Jurečka, 2003;Sternberg & Williams, 2010), when speaking about these methods the authors have in mind in particular (a) abstraction, which makes it possible to distinguish between substantial and insignificant and enables the object of investigation to make the analysis available; (b) an analysis that allows the complex to be divided into manageable parts; (c) the synthesis which is used to put phenomena, processes from the divided parts into a more integral unity; (d) inductive reasoning " is the process of drawing reasonable general conclusions from specific facts or observations. ...
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