This paper is an examination of the development of standpoint epistemologies and their impact on the objective status of scientific knowledge. I explore both the origins of these epistemologies and their ironical maintenance of a textual or social realism while dispensing with the natural realism of science. I argue that bath scientific realism and standpoint epistemologies are in need of a new, reconfigured understanding of realism. Borrowing from the work of Steve Shapin, Niklas Luhmann and Stephan Fuchs, I contend that realism can best be viewed as an associational code which links people together into a scientific community and differentiates science from other forms of life. Without these codes, science becomes something entirely different.
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