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December 1963

Philosophy, Science and the Sociology of Knowledge.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(6):991. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860060203031

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This curious but stimulating title relates to a book which was undertaken to show the conditions under which and the social positions in which knowledge serves human interests first and truth second, sometimes a poor second; and a parallel study of the social forces which ostensibly enable man to pursue the search for truth without being led astray by his own bias. These are pretty heady objectives. Despite a valiant effort I do not think Horowitz has achieved his goal. This is not just because such a vast undertaking in so small a compass must be synoptical. I feel that it is in large part a result of the necessary obscurities which prevail when shoptalk and jargon displace ordinary words. This has been a millstone about the neck of social scientists ever since they became identified as such. Some of the difficulty may be illustrated in the chapter, "Social Knowledge

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