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School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


David Bloor

David Bloor
Professor David Bloor
Emeritus Professor
Chisholm House High School Yards Edinburgh UK
+44 (0)131 650 4256


  • BSc (University of Cambridge)
  • PhD (University of Edinburgh)

Biographical statement

David Bloor, Director of the Science Studies Unit, trained in philosophy and mathematics. He carried out research at Cambridge in the philosophy of science before taking a degree there in psychology; he has an Edinburgh doctorate in psychology. He has written widely on the Kuhn/Popper debate, the cognitive functions of metaphor, and on the sociology of scientific knowledge and Wittgenstein's philosophy. He is author of Knowledge and Social Imagery (Routledge, 1976; 2nd edition Chicago University Press, 1991); Wittgenstein: A Social Theory of Knowledge (Macmillan and Columbia, 1983); and co-author (with Barry Barnes and John Henry) of Scientific Knowledge: A Sociological Analysis (Athlone and Chicago University Press, 1996). He has recently published a second book on the later philosophy of Wittgenstein, called Wittgenstein: Rules and Institutions (Routledge, 1997).

Recent Publications

“Epistemic Grace: Antirelativism as Theology in Disguise”, in Common Knowledge, vol.13, 2007, pp.250-280. 

"Sociology of Scientific Knowledge", in I. Niiniluoto, et al. (eds.) Handbook of Epistemology (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2004), pp. 919-962.

"Ludwig Wittgenstein and Edmund Burke", in T. Demeter (ed.), Essays on Wittgenstein and Austrian Philosophy, (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004), pp. 109-136.

(with Walter Vincenti) "Boundaries, Contingencies and Rigor: Thoughts on Mathematics Prompted by a Case Study in Transonic Aerodynamics", Social Studies of Science, 33 (2003), pp. 469-507.