An introduction to competing conceptions of scientific knowledge and the role of sociocultural factors in shaping scientific methods, theories, and evidence. Can science provide objective knowledge of the external mind-independent world, or are the empirical aspirations of science limited by the social, cultural, economic, political, and religious contexts that shape “science” itself? Can scientific knowledge reach certainty? How do sociocultural factors affect the process of theory acceptance? This course considers “science” as an epistemological battleground from 17th century debates on inductive reasoning to contemporary arguments about “alternative” science.