Merton's `Norms' in Political and Intellectual Context
Communism, Merton, norms of science, Parsons
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Merton's two papers on the norms of science were written in a period of intense political activity in science, and responded to this context, using conceptual tools from classical sociology and Harvard thinking of the time. The basic reasoning was Weberian: science and politics each had a different ethos. One target was the Left view of science as a model for society. Another was the view of the American Left that complex societies required regulation, but that science should be free of control. Merton pictured science as already intensely policed, but threatened by the conflict between its special ethos and potential democratic demands, and requiring protection. This was a `liberal' argument, but Merton used the language of the Left to present it.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Journal of Classical Sociology, v. 7, issue 2, p. 161-178
Scholar Commons Citation
Turner, Stephen, "Merton's `Norms' in Political and Intellectual Context" (2007). Philosophy Faculty Publications. 267.