There are two books which I consider to be indispensable to an understanding of contemporary western culture’s post-truth/alternative facts (scientific and cultural post modernism/structuralism/positivism) ethos/bathos.

A book that provides a relatively concise history of how traditional philosophy and scientific positivism [d]evolved into post positivistic postmodern critical theory (and which movements may have been warranted and which not) is John Zammito’s A Nice Derangement of Epistemes: Post-Positivism in the Study of Science from Quine to Latour. (https://www.amazon.com/Nice-Derangement-Epistemes-Post-positivism-Science/dp/0226978621) (Main drawback is that he gives pragmatism and Wittgenstein a short shrift.)

To understand the movement from postmodern relativism to today’s postmodern “post-positivistic realism”, and a primer on the purported superior epistemological “objectivity “ of multiculturalism and lived experiences, etc., one must read Satya Mohanty’s Literary Theory and the Claims of History: Postmodernism, Objectivity, Multicultural Politics. (https://www.amazon.com/Literary-Theory-Claims-History-Postmodernism/dp/080148135X/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1543108646&sr=1-9&keywords=mohanty)

However, while these books do a pretty good job describing the decline of positivism and traditional realism, the displacement of the philosophy of science (or knowledge; ie the blurring of the border between epistemology and ontology) by the sociology of science (the radical constructivists), and the influence of the 20th Centuries culture and science wars on contemporary culture and science, I cannot help but wonder whether there is some other text out there which I have overlooked in my endeavor to understand how we got here: That is, in a world where term like "post truth" and "alternative facts" are bandied about by the philosophical laity (even by pop culture), and where many scientists are anti-realists instrumentalists, whereas the term post positivistic realism is purported to have sense. Please advise.

emphasized text


You must log in to answer this question.