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Scandalous Knowledge: Science, Truth, and the Human (Science and Cultural Theory) Hardcover – February 28, 2006

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Product Details

  • Series: Science and Cultural Theory
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (February 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822338106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822338109
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Elegantly written and constructed, amusing and energetic, Scandalous Knowledge continues Barbara Herrnstein Smith’s edgy and distinctly partial commentary on the science wars between realists and constructivists. Constructivists will be intrigued by the novel, and sometimes critical, avenues the book explores. Realists will be, well, scandalized.”—Andrew Pickering, author of The Mangle of Practice: Time, Agency, and Science

“Scandalously unimpressed by the charges, countercharges, and prudent middle paths found in current disputes over science and truth, Barbara Herrnstein Smith deploys her ferocious intelligence, wicked wit, and broad understanding to provide us with a tonic mixture of empathy and resources for taking positions that are both informed and responsible. She does not flinch before the barrage of outrages; neither, this book in hand, need we.”—Susan Oyama, author of Evolution’s Eye: A Systems View of the Biology-Culture Divide

About the Author

Barbara Herrnstein Smith is Braxton Craven Professor of Comparative Literature and English at Duke University and Director of its Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Science and Cultural Theory, and Distinguished Professor of English at Brown University. Among her books are Belief and Resistance: Dynamics of Contemporary Intellectual Controversy and Contingencies of Value: Alternative Perspectives for Critical Theory. Smith is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 20 people found the following review helpful By RS on August 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This set of essays provides a useful perspective on the ongoing (and frequently confused and confusing) debate between constructivist epistemology and the older rationalist/positivist view of knowledge. These topics are abstract and somewhat elusive, but are also both important and interesting.

Smith wields concepts with craft and precision. Her writing is relatively dense for those not familiar with this territory, but she is clear and ultimately rewarding. Well worth the effort.
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