having a hard time understanding the “symmetry principle.” For the most part I understand it on a sentence to sentence level, but can’t seem to put it together. In Godfrey Smith he states that explanations should be uniform, and we shouldn’t give different explanations for different beliefs that we think are true and beliefs we think are false. Is he simply stating we should just report the facts, with no indication of personal beliefs and opinions? Godfrey Smith goes on to explain scientific communities and the social norms within that community. He states that scientists tend to look down on beliefs found in other communities, which is part of the norm. Is he talking about communities like pseudoscience and religion? If these are the communities he is talking about, it seems to me that scientists would in a sense need to look down on them in order make a distinction between science and everything else.
The symmetry principle seems a means rather than a principle; and a means by which the sociological or anthropological imagination can work with the scientific community as an object of study. That is not to judge its truth-claims or accord them special prestige; but to note that they make truth-claims and that they do have prestige as a community.