Down with epistemological rubrics!

I was struck by this passage in Erik Hmiel’s review of Joel Isaac’s new book, Working Knowledge: Making the Human Sciences from Parsons to Kuhn:

And in seeking to combat their marginalization, they sought crucial points of commonality among the human sciences, the most crucial for Isaac being an epistemology grounded in research practices, pedagogy, and communities of inaugurated and qualified inquirers. In reconstructing this moment in the history of the American social sciences, we see how the “practical, ‘everyday’ aspects of  the theory of knowledge…in the Harvard complex present a salutary contrast to the inflated role often granted to epistemological rubrics like ‘positivism and ‘interpretivism’ in the formation of the human sciences,” aspects that cast the “revolutions” of late-twentieth century thought, most notably Kuhn’s Structure, in a new light, and beg further questions about idea of the social sciences itself.

I had a healthy skepticism for “isms” imparted to me in grad school, so this sounds promising. (Also, full disclosure: I have trouble telling some of the isms apart!)

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