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Working paper

The choice of interpretation as a problem of social epistemology

Social epistemology is a set of attempts to assign a philosophical meaning to sociological studies of cognitive processes within their social context. These attempts are being made through competition of philosophical interpretations. The choice of interpretation is governed by the desire to bring value orientations of science in line with the challenges from a changing cultural-historical environment. Robert Merton’s “normative ethos of scientists” is reviewed here as an illustration to this thesis.