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The Evolution of Scientific Knowledge

Edited by Hans Siggaard Jensen, Aalborg University, Denmark, Lykke Margot Ricard, Special Adviser in Science and Technology, Technical University of Denmark and Morten Thanning Vendelø, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
The Evolution of Scientific Knowledge aims to reach a unique understanding of science with the help of economic and sociological theories. They use institutional and evolutionary theories and the sociological theories draw from the type of work on social studies of science that have, in recent decades, transformed our picture of science and technology.
Extent: 240 pp
Hardback Price: $128.00 Web: $115.20
Publication Date: 2003
ISBN: 978 1 84376 235 5
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The Evolution of Scientific Knowledge aims to reach a unique understanding of science with the help of economic and sociological theories. The economic theories used are institutionalist and evolutionary. The sociological theories draw from the type of work on social studies of science that have, in recent decades, transformed our picture of science and technology.

Science – and more broadly research – is a field where economics and sociology meet in an attempt to understand how complex organizations emerge and work. While the authors argue that science is neither an institution nor an order that emerged as the result of conscious and willful design, nor is it like a ‘normal’ market, they also acknowledge that science has aspects of market orders and aspects of orders created by design. Furthermore, science develops in specific ways that are to some extent like the development of economic systems, and at the same time are very different.

This fascinating book will be of great interest to economists, philosophers, historians and sociologists by focussing on a multidisciplinary understanding of science.
‘The papers make very interesting and in some cases quite provocative reading. . . anyone interested in different views – any discipline jumper – will profit from the richness of concepts and language in the collection.’
– Gerard de Zeeuw, Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Contributors: W.N. Butos, F. Collin, M. Forstater, H.S. Jensen, J. Kaisla, M. Klaes, C. Knudsen, T. Knudsen, R. Koppl, L.S. Moss, L.M. Richter, M.T. Vendelø
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. The Essential Tension in the Social Sciences: Between the ‘Unification’ and ‘Fragmentation’ Traps 3. Residual Categories and the Evolution of Economic Knowledge 4. Evolutionary, Constructivist and Reflexive Models of Science 5. A Neo-Darwinian Model of Science 6. Science and Spontaneously Formed Institutions: An Austrian School Approach 7. An Evolutionary Approach to the Constitutional Theory of the Firm 8. Science as a Spontaneous Order: An Essay in the Economics of Science 9. Must Spontaneous Order be Unintended? Exploring the Possibilities for Consciously Enhancing Creative Discovery and Imaginative Problem-Solving 10. The Laboratory and the Market – On the Production and Interpretation of Knowledge Index