Greg Yudin 1, 2
  • 1 Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, Gazetnyy Pereulok, 3-5, Moscow, Russian Federation 125009
  • 2 Princeton University, 304 Laura Wooten Hall Princeton, NJ 08544

Illusion of Scientific Community

2010, vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 57–84 [issue contents]
Nowadays science ordinarily uses term “scientific community” in its self-accounts. It has become common knowledge that science is a collective enterprise. Meanwhile, the concept of scientific community appeared relatively recently, in mid-twentieth century, and was used mainly for describing and advocating mechanisms of self-government among scientists. This outlook is sociologically meager and leaves no room for proper understanding of the connection between being-scientist-in-the-community and scientific cognition. This paper explores scientific community as a community. Historical and theoretical reconstruction reveals the conception of community behind the idea of Respublica literaria, which preceded scientific community in the process of institutionalization of the European science. The main argument of this paper is that cognitive activity of an individual scientist makes sense only insofar as it is oriented towards scientific community as a super-individual reality. This fact was brought to light by Charles Saunders Peirce in his phenomenological analyses named afterwards “logical socialism.” The paper argues, however, that feeling of being part of an infinite scientific community can efficiently preclude scientists from critically rejecting and overcoming their false beliefs. A reconceptualization of community is necessary, which leads to exposing the illusion of scientific community and substituting logical socialism with literary communism.
Citation: Yudin Greg Borisovich (2010) Illyuziya nauchnogo soobshchestva [Illusion of Scientific Community] The Russian Sociological Review, 3, pp. 57-84 (in Russian)
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