Science and its Fabrication

Alan Chalmers

Open University Press 1990
A book review by Danny Yee © 1993
Science and its Fabrication is a sequel to the famous What is This Thing Called Science?, and is written with the same conciseness and clarity of expression. Chalmers is concerned to counter those who read his earlier book as supporting relativism, while continuing to argue that there are fatal problems with all attempts to present unique, ahistorical and objective standards for science. He argues that science does have its own internal rules and that it is these that are most appropriate for understanding the normal progress of science and its success in fulfilling its aims. He accepts that sociology has much to tell us about the history of science (the case studies he presents are probably the most interesting part of the book) and that the links between politics and science in the modern world are too important to be ignored, but he doesn't accept what some radical sociologists have argued — that science can be understood as the result of purely external forces. Chalmers' basic position on the nature of science is quite practical, and will be more acceptable to practising scientists than most philosophers'.

Anyone seeking an introduction to the philosophy of science will spend a long time looking before finding anything better than these two books.

February 1993

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%T Science and its Fabrication
%A Chalmers, Alan
%I Open University Press
%D 1990
%O paperback
%G ISBN 0335093175
%P 142pp