Gabriel Abend, "The Love of Neuroscience: A Sociological Account", in Sociological Theory, Vol 36, N°1, 2018, pp. 88-116
I make a contribution to the sociology of epistemologies by examining the neuroscience literature on love from 2000 to 2016. I find that researchers make consequential assumptions concerning the production or generation of love, its temporality, its individual character, and appropriate control conditions. Next, I consider how to account for these assumptions’ being common in the literature. More generally, I’m interested in the ways in which epistemic communities construe, conceive of, and publicly represent and work with their objects of inquiry—and what’s thereby assumed about them and about the world. I argue that these implicit or explicit assumptions are a distinct type of explanandum, whose distinctiveness sociology hasn’t adequately appreciated and taken advantage of. I think it should and I hope it will.