“Even though few philosophers of science have engaged these new developments in science studies that move beyond the constitutive assumptions of SSK, some of the most important and exciting developments in the philosophy of science and in philosophy more generally constructively complement the interdisciplinary work in other science studies fields. … Yet most scholars in science studies outside philosophy are similarly unaware of these philosophical developments and how they might speak constructively to their own concerns. In noting this mutual lack of awareness of complementary work, my aim is not to criticize scholars on either side for inattention, but instead to expand our horizons and encourage mutual conversation.” (13)
“When philosophers or sociologists focus on the justification and acceptance of scientific knowledge, they tend to overlook the complex challenges of articulating the world materially and conceptually. By contrast, the work I am linking together is more concerned with how the sciences articulate our understanding of the world, in models, experimental systems, and discursive practices, than with questions about the justification or acceptance of knowledge claims.” (17)
“The effort to think more comprehensively about scientific significance is the principal meeting point between recent philosophical work on causes, models, experimental systems, and conceptual articulation and the work in anthropology, cultural history, and feminist science studies that I have long tried to bring to philosophical attention.” (21)
“Moreover, such work also undercuts the epistemological debates of the 1980s and 1990s, in which philosophers and sociologists sharply opposed one another over questions about rationality and realism. … Recent work in philosophy of science and science studies has made these epistemological topics increasingly irrelevant to how scholars think about the practices and achievements of the sciences.” (23-24)
“Among the scholars whose work exemplified these new directions are feminists such as Donna Haraway (1989, 1991, 1997), Karen Barad (2007), or Evelyn Fox Keller in her later work (1995, 2000, 2002); anthropologists such as Sharon Traweek (1988, 1992, 2000), Emily Martin (1994, 2007), Paul Rabinow (1996a, 1996b, 1999), Sarah Franklin (1997, 2003, 2007), or Stefan Helmreich (1998, 2009); such historiographically reflective historians as James Bono (1990), Hans-Jo¨rg Rheinberger (1997), Paul Edwards (1996), Peter Galison (1997), Timothy Lenoir (1997), or V. Betty Smocovitis (1996); symbolic interactionist sociologists like Joan Fujimura (1996), Adele Clarke (1998; see also Clarke and Fujimura 1992); Leigh Star (1989), or Charis Thompson (2005); and even the occasional philosopher, such as Annemarie Mol (2002), Arnold Davidson (2001), Alison Wylie (2002), or myself.” (13)
Rouse argues that recent work in the philosophy of science shows a post “science wars” convergence between philosophies and social studies of science. This suggested convergence consists of four constructive thematic overlaps between the philosophers, anthropologists, and cultural historians of science: 1) a greater appreciation for the complexity of causation and a shift from explaining causation nomologically to theorizing “causal relations as an unavoidable target of scientific understanding” (14); 2) work on theoretical modeling, discursive practices, and experimental systems that shifts analytical energy from de/constructing the grounds of scientific truth claims to “how the sciences articulate our understanding of the world” (7); 3) a more nuanced, case-study style of approach to researching the localized and contingent nature of concept production in science; 4) works investigating the relationship between epistemic/conceptual understanding and perception/action. Rouse does not suggest that these convergences signify an ensuing utopic relationship between these historically oppositional fields. Rather he suggests that reading outside one’s discipline is necessary to produce constructive collaborations that shed light on the limits of any single disciplinary approach when pursued in isolation.