عنوان مقاله [English]
As an independent, serious, and powerful field of human knowledge, till the 1970's, sociology of science was not so paid attention to in philosophers' debates. Early in 1970's however, many philosophers approached to this field of human knowledge in various ways. Since then, great advances and important developments have been made in this field. That is why the present article focuses on the sociology of science and tries to represent its main components, building blocks, representatives, and main works done in this field during recent centuries. Sociology of science is a field which has begun to make important exchanges with philosophy. Some issues introduced in the sociology of science have been at stake in the history of science as well. Sociology of science or, to put it more accurately, sociology of human knowledge, however, claims to be a substitute discipline for philosophy of science.
The main claim posed in the present article is that what causes scientific events to occur- what causes people to believe some theory instead of some other theory- is actions and reactions of social forces. Science is a social action, and in no era it is relied on individual achievements of scientists. It is not isolated scientists who cause emergence of new eras in science; but rather, scientists are themselves products of debates, resolution of differences, hierarchies, inequalities in power, and other social factors. It goes without saying that emphasis attached to social aspects of science and ignoring the impact of the real structure of the world will be followed by many extremist consequences. In the present article, only main issues in sociology of science will be described; critique of this discipline, however, needs to be made in another article.