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Babette Babich is at the Department of Philosophy, Fordham University. Correspondence to: Department of Philosophy, Fordham University, 113 W. 60th Street, New York, NY 10023, USA. E-mail: babich@fordham.edu

“Calling Science Pseudoscience: Fleck’s Archaeologies, Latour’s Biography, and Demarcation or AIDS Denialism, Homeopathy, and Syphilis.” Vol. 29. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science. In press. Video ‘postprint’ in four parts on Vimeo. Part One here: https://vimeo.com/110618617

Disciplines

Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Continental Philosophy | Environmental Public Health | Epidemiology | History of Philosophy | International Public Health | Philosophy of Science

Abstract

Fleck’s Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact foregrounds claims traditionally excluded from reception, often regarded as opposed to fact, scientific claims that are increasingly seldom discussed in connection with philosophy of science save as examples of pseudo-science. I am especially concerned with scientists who question the epidemiological link between HIV and AIDS and who are thereby discounted—no matter their credentials, no matter the cogency of their arguments, no matter the sobriety of their statistics—but also with other classic examples of so-called pseudo-science including homeopathy and other sciences, such as cold fusion. The pseudo-science version of the demarcation problem turns out to include some of the details that Latour articulates multifariously under a variety of species or kinds in his essay/interactive research project/monograph, ‘Biography of an Investigation’. Given the economic constraints of the current day, especially in the academy, the growing trend in almost all disciplines is that of suppression by threat: say what everyone else says or you won’t be hired (tenured/published/cited). In this way, non-citation of outlier views generates what Kuhn called normal science. Finally, a review of Lewontin’s discussion of biology shows the continuing role of ideology by bringing in some of the complex issues associated with the resistant bacteria (tuberculosis, Lyme disease, syphilis) and AIDS.

 
 

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