CONSENSUS (OMNIUM) IN SCIENCE. IS THE CONCEPT OF CONSENSUS NECESSARY IN CONTEMPORARY STUDIES OF SCIENCE? (Zgoda (powszechna) w nauce. Czy we wspólczesnych rozwazaniach nad nauka potrzebne jest nam pojecie konsensu)
In the post-empiricist philosophy of science the traditional ideal of objective rationality, elaborated in the early modern philosophy, has been replaced by the concept of 'consensus omnium'. Philosophers believe that it allows them to explain the fact that scientific knowledge is communally accepted and accumulated, that results achieved in one place (e.g., in a particular laboratory) are adopted in other places, or that scientific disputes can be settled. The explanatory usefulness of this concept is, however, doubtful. The post-empiricist philosophy cannot mobilize the concept of consensus without presupposing rationality of subjects reaching an agreement. Social constructivists explain consensus by reference to phenomena such as scientific symbolic interactions, in particular negotiations, the circulation of scientific results, their transformation and recontextualisation. Finally, from a hermeneutic perspective an agreement is a condition and a token of understanding each other on the topic of a dialogue but agreement is never permanent and there are ontological structures more crucial for scientific dialogue than consensus.
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