Dai fatti ai «fatticci»: conoscenza scientifica e senso comune oggi
| STUDI DI SOCIOLOGIA - 2008 - 2
The article deals with important changes taking place in the sociology of knowledge. Classic
sociology had a scientific dream, to mirror «facts». From Schuts on, social sciences focus rather
on common sense than on scientific knowledge, because everyday life is considered as the starting
point for every knowledge process. Anyway, it is agreed that facts are always modified by
our interpretation, that is by different points of view. NSSK stresses the importance of social
context in every scientific operation, both in hard and social sciences. The latter, however,
through reflexivity can show how facts are constructed even in laboratories. More radically,
Latour suggests the neologism «factiches» (between facts and fetiches) to indicate all human
products, both material and non material, in science and everyday life, in western or other cultures.
«Factiches» are constrictions, but partly transcend us and can modify us. Following
Knorr Cetina, this reflexive awareness must have consequences on methodology; if researchers cannot claim to mirror the world or to give a true vision of it, they can involve their communicative
context, giving voice to social actors. Objects can be promoted as subjects and interlocutors,
with whom a definition of reality can be negotiated and then shared.