The Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective (SERRC) announces “Future Fundamentals of Social Epistemology” a conference to be held from 25 July to 1 August 2014 at Virginia Tech (http://www.collier.sts.vt.edu/ffse/).

We will raise, examine, and set forth a vital intellectual agenda for conducting a comprehensive social epistemology.

Steve Fuller, the Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology at the University of Warwick, will give the keynote presentation, “Social Epistemology: The Future of an Unfulfilled Promise”, on Tuesday, July 29.

Neil Harbission, co-founder of the Cyborg Foundation, will give a special presentation “Life in the Age of New Body Parts and Extra Senses” on Friday, August 1.

Live tweeting can be found at, or through, @ReplyCollective.

Conference sessions will be streamed at the following addresses (http://www.collier.sts.vt.edu/ffse/program.htm).

Pre-Conference (25 July):
Event page: https://plus.google.com/events/cu6hc3cogpp8v1aq4is1r8ep6g8
Youtube page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iI2p8PmcG4

Day 1 (28 July):
Event Page: https://plus.google.com/events/cgk7kmaoj3lbpj7jofau3puv87s
YouTube Page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15t09rFDuj8

Day 2 (29 July):
Event Page: https://plus.google.com/events/cfo8c4b4d5jgevt6k9hrm038va0
YouTube Page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGbXVnCnhS8

Day 3 (30 July):
Event Page: https://plus.google.com/events/c9viv17dladg5meae04a6f79d6c
YouTube Page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdBZoc090oc

Day 4 (31 July):
Event Page: https://plus.google.com/events/c78rl2t8t85vl0fg8g6uc02onto
YouTube Page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StlExM75Q1Y

Day 5 (1 Aug):
Event Page: https://plus.google.com/events/c44dohpg9gn4du3tiedprhhi8js
YouTube Page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_aXRFS1r28

Please direct questions to Jim Collier (jim.collier@vt.edu).

Author Information: Jaime McCauley, Northern Kentucky University, mccauleyj1@nku.edu

McCauley, Jaime. “Using Institutional Ethnography to Examine the Social Organization of Absence.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 8 (2014): 22-27.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1zk

Please refer to:

Introduction

The study of absences of knowledge is inherently bound up with questions of power and justice. Asking “What is known, and to whom?” implies that some of us have some power to conceal or reveal what is known to others. Indeed, power and justice are a recurring theme in the Social Epistemology special issue on “absence”: Scott Frickel describes absence as “bound up in the moral economies of societies” (86), Jennifer Croissant recognizes absence as “overdetermined by power relations” (11), and justice is central in Dimitri Papadopoulos’ “politics of matter” (77). In this critical reply, I take up these assertions about the relationship between power and justice and of knowing and not knowing. I seek to complement the arguments made in these papers by illustrating the potential contribution of institutional ethnography as a sociological approach to examining both the contours of absence, and the power relations behind that which is known and unknown. In this illustration, I apply institutional ethnography to my research on volunteer water quality monitoring.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Leonie van Drooge, Rathenau Institute, The Netherlands, l.vandrooge@rathenau.nl

Van Drooge, Leonie. “Reviewers and Their Roles as Users/Producers.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 8 (2014): 19-21.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1z3

Please refer to:

Introduction

Let’s open my response by stating that I read scholarly literature for two different yet interconnected reasons. First, to keep informed of state-of-the-art research and academic insights. Second, to increase my understanding of “real world” science and research policy issues—an understanding that I use for actual and urgent policy dossiers.

I am a senior researcher working in a mission oriented public research institute, dedicated to science, technology and innovation policy. Stakeholder demands or needs, whether articulated clearly or implicitly, are important inputs for us. They serve as starting point, or focus, of our research. The need for state-of-the-art research is another requirement.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Gwen Ottinger, Drexel University, ottinger@drexel.edu

Ottinger, Gwen. “Absence and Expectation.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 8 (2014): 10-12.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1yw

Please refer to:

Expectation as the Source of Absence

In his provocative article, “Absences: Methodological Note on Nothing, in Particular” (2014), Scott Frickel outlines the limitations of STS research on absences. His critique, as I understand it, is three-fold: First, researchers have overwhelmingly focused on relative absences—“‘things that are not here’ but were once, or have become hidden, or are somewhere else”—to the neglect of absolute absences, “things that are not there or anywhere else and probably never were” (87-88). Second, studies that approach absolute absences, in particular studies of “undone science,” study not the absences themselves but the activities of the actors that bring them to light. Third, researchers’ approach to absences, especially those that are absolute, have been insufficiently empirical, and, as such, have not brought us any closer to a generalizable understanding of what causes absences, where we can expect them to occur, or what their systemic consequences are.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Taner Edis, Truman State University, edis@truman.edu

Edis, Taner. “An Invitation to Science?” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 8 (2014): 3-4.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1yk

Please refer to:

On Oversimplification

I do not understand Stefano Bigliardi’s (2014) breast beating about oversimplification. Any of us interested in in the landscape of Muslim ideas about science and religion have to do our best to find some representative figures. Usually, these are people who have found an audience.

Harun Yahya is at least somewhat representative of popular creationism. In other contexts, the Yahya brand is more of an outlier. Adnan Oktar is a controversial public figure in Turkey. Some of Yahya’s theological positions, such as matter being an illusion, are not exactly mainstream. So anyone writing about ideas put forth under “Harun Yahya” has to be attentive to the context.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Gerrit Koop, Utrecht University, g.koop@uu.nl

Koop, Gerrit. “Is Quantification the Key? A Reply to Nederbragt.”Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 8 (2014): 1-2.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1y8

Please refer to:

In “Cells that Count: Networks of a Diagnostic Test for Bovine Mastitis”, Nederbragt (2014) writes about somatic cell count (SCC), a diagnostic test for mastitis in dairy animals and argues that this diagnostic test should be seen as an epistemological network that functions within a larger actor-network. In his publication, he clearly shows that the context of the test should determine the interpretation of its outcomes, by ‘weighing evidence against context’ as Nederbragt puts it.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Emilie Whitaker, University of Birmingham, e.m.whitaker@bham.ac.uk

Whitaker, Emilie. “Social Media—Narrating and Othering Our Selves.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 7 (2014): 55-61.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1xT

Introducing Cavarero and Narratable Selves

Adriana Cavarero’s work, Relating Narratives: Storytelling and Selfhood (2000) explores how our conceptions of the self are fostered through and borrowed from narratives provided by others. Cavarero’s insight is that we are narratable selves, we are exposed to tales of ourselves and others from birth and we rely on mutual exhibition of narratives of the self for personhood. In short, recognition and identity stem from relational storytelling premised upon a view of humanity that is interactive, interdependent and reliant on forms of togetherness.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Raphael Sassower, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, rsassowe@uccs.edu

Sassower, Raphael. “Beyond Lamentations: Comments on Justin Cruickshank’s Public Intellectuals, Education and the Need for Dissatisfaction.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 7 (2014): 50-54.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1xI

Please refer to:

Justin Cruickshank’s reply to my last response takes us from the strict examination of the overlapping and distinguishing characteristics of Popper’s and Rorty’s thoughts and writings to a range of topics from public intellectuals, higher education, and democracy. He provides wise accounts of the British experience, including governmental “reforms” and the rise of the extreme nationalist Right. The mention of neoliberal ideology deserves a moment’s notice because of its impact on government policies in the so-called free world.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Carl Martin Allwood, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, cma@psy.gu.se

Allwood, Carl Martin. “What Type of Culture Concept Will Help the Indigenous Psychologies and Why? An Answer to Hwang.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 7 (2014): 44-49.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1xs

Please refer to:

Abstract

In this response I conclude that the Indigenous Psychologies (IPs) would be best served by a culture concept that supports attention to the full-fledged understanding of the members of the IP researcher’s society. In contrast, Prof. Hwang’s culture concept emphasizes the importance of the language used by the society’s members and also of the older traditional parts of the members’ understanding. I argue that this type of culture concept is not very well fitted to be useful for the IPs and, moreover, that it may not be very helpful for producing results that will help achieve the goal of a more universal, or at least a more comprehensive psychology. However, Prof. Hwang’s culture concept may have other uses and be helpful for other purposes.  Continue Reading…