Controversy between organicism and vitalism : study of sociology of scientific knowledge
The study of the dispute that broke out between the medical schools of Paris and Montpellier (1817-1852) shows that professional interests, but also philosophical and political factors drew the fitgets of Montpellier’s school about its doctrine. But these factors are inable to explain the scientific contents. Further, the closure of the controversy did not result from a social negotiation of truth. It simply favoured the scholars who had major scientific productivity. This dispute so contradicts the principles of the relativistic program in the field of the sociology of scientific knowledge, and shows that some studies could have misunderstood the sense of a social determination of scientific contents.