Perspectives on Science and Culture

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Purdue University Press
Professional & Scholarly


Edited by Kris Rutten, Stefaan Blancke, and Ronald Soetaert, Perspectives on Science and Culture explores the intersection between scientific understanding and cultural representation from an interdisciplinary perspective. Contributors to the volume analyze representations of science and scientific discourse from the perspectives of rhetorical criticism, comparative cultural studies, narratology, educational studies, discourse analysis, naturalized epistemology, and the cognitive sciences. The main objective of the volume is to explore how particular cognitive predispositions and cultural representations both shape and distort the public debate about scientific controversies, the teaching and learning of science, and the development of science itself. The theoretical background of the articles in the volume integrates C. P. Snow's concept of the two cultures (science and the humanities) and Jerome Bruner's confrontation between narrative and logico-scientific modes of thinking (i.e., the cognitive and the evolutionary approaches to human cognition). The intellectual trajectory of the volume is located in comparative cultural studies, a framework with paradigms of the empirical and systems approaches whereby attention is paid to the interrelationships between science and culture.


Table of Contents

Introduction: Perspectives on Science and Culture | Kris Rutten, Stefaan Blancke, and Ronald Soetaert

Part 1: Narrative and Rhetorical Perspectives
Chapter 1: Experiencing Nature through Cable Television | David J. Tietge

Chapter 2: Steven Pinker and the Scientific Sublime: How a New Category of Experience Transformed Popular Science | Alan G. Gross

Chapter 3: Architectonic Discourses and Their Extremisms | Barry Brummett

Chapter 4: Science and the Idea of Culture | Richard van Oort

Chapter 5: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Two Cultures in Literary Fiction | Ronald Soetaert and Kris Rutten

Chapter 6: The Missing Link and Human Origins: Understanding an Evolutionary Icon | Peter C. Kjærgaard

Part 2: Cognitive Perspectives
Chapter 7: Suspicion toward Science and the Role of Automatic Intuitions about Origins | Elisa Järnefelt

Chapter 8: Bridging the Gap: From Intuitive to Scientific Reasoning — The Case of Evolution | E. Margaret Evans

Chapter 9: Missing Links: How Cladograms Reify Common Evolutionary Misconceptions | Andrew Shtulman

Chapter 10: Representations of the Origin of Species in Secular (France) and Religious (Morocco) Contexts | Dominique Guillo

Part 3: Epistemological Perspectives
Chapter 11: Updating Evolutionary Epistemology | Christophe Heintz

Chapter 12: Intuitions in Science Education and the Public Understanding of Science | Stefaan Blancke, Koen B. Tanghe, and Johan Braeckman

Chapter 13: Vindicating Science — By Bringing It Down | Maarten Boudry and Massimo Pigliucci

Part 4: Thematic Bibliography
Thematic Bibliography of Publications on Different Perspectives on Science and Culture | Kris Rutten, Stefaan Blancke, and Ronald Soetaert