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Science, Pseudo-Science and Society

Edited by Marsha Hanen, Margaret Osler, and Robert Weyant
Subjects Philosophy, Technology & Engineering, Social Science
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Paperback : 9780889201002, 314 pages, August 1980



This volume collects the papers presented at a conference on “Science, Pseudo–science and Society,” sponsored by the Calgary Institute for the Humanities and held at the University of Calgary, May 10–12, 1979. More than many such collections, this one preserves some trace of the intellectual excitement which surrounded this gathering of scholars.

A primary inspiration for the symposium on “Science, Pseudoscience, and Society” was a growing awareness of the crucial role the study of pseudo–science plays in the areas of contemporary scholarship which are concerned with the nature of science and its relationship to broader social issues.

This volume is organized around three major questions concerning the relationships among science, pseudo–science, and society. The papers in the first section address the question of whether it is possible to draw a sharp demarcation between science and pseudo–science and what the criteria of that demarcation might be. The papers in the second section, recognizing the historical importance of various of the pseudo–sciences, consider their impact—positive or negative—on the development of the sciences themselves. The papers in the third section deal with the question of the relationship between the sciences and pseudo–sciences, on the one hand, and social factors on the other.