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The use and abuse of scientific doubt

89 posts in this topic

Posted

They get taxpayer funding and dole it out to pseudo-sciences. That matters.

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Posted

That the humanities and social sciences are "pseudo-sciences" is a byproduct of the Ideology of Nature (instituted by the 17th century natural scientists) and perpetuated by normal science today.

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Posted

Can you point to somewhere where I can do some research about your assertion?

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Posted

TomH, instead of doing research, you can check out this thread where I lay out a case that draws from the groundbreaking insights in linguistics, anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, ideology, economics, and semiotics that presents a preliminary philosophy of human sciences in which Culture and Society, as language categories, are the ultimate reality, above Nature and the Self. :twisted:

I will finish one more post on semiotics and then tie up the entire philosophy shortly.

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Posted

They get taxpayer funding and dole it out to pseudo-sciences. That matters.

I would only have suggested that even if they are pseudosciences (which I think would be a good terms for them if the word didn't have negative connotation and lumps them in with magnet therapy and bigfoot hunters), then it is not neccessarily a bad thing to fund them because they do good work. Furthermore even if they werent in the sciences but in a seperateset of university faculties and organisation, theres nothing to say they wouldn't still get funding. So, I still dont see that this issue matters so much that the entire practice and definition and public perception of science needs to be drastically overhauled.

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Posted

I kind of like the distinction that is sometimes made between hard sciences and soft sciences. This leaves the term pseudo-science free to be applied to those fields that lack the support of any significant experimental or empirical evidence. This doesn't solve the problem of demarcation (compounds it really, by introducing yet another need for distinction), but I am not convinced that demarcation is really all that important.

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Posted

Demarcation is only important to the extent that epistemic warrant and ontological categories are important. If it is only to be used for rhetoric, it would be unimportant.

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Posted

I would just call them "humanities."

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Posted

Demarcation is only important to the extent that epistemic warrant and ontological categories are important.

Epistemic warrant is important, but given the heterogeny of practices within science, demarcation of science does not give us a better way to analyse it. Better by far to evaluate warrant on an individual case by case basis.

Similarly I'm not sure why ontological categories cant be based on an organic, case-by-case evaluation. I'm just not convinced that demarcation helps anyone, do anything.

If it is only to be used for rhetoric, it would be unimportant.

I think it is only used for rhetoric. I think this is all it has ever been used for and in fact the only conceivable function it could have.

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Posted

Of course demarcation can be applied at the level of propositions or methodology.

Does de-conflation generally help to reduce confusion?

Is is appropriate to use demarcation to defeat rhetoric?

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Posted

Does de-conflation generally help to reduce confusion?

Is is appropriate to use demarcation to defeat rhetoric?

Maybe, if possible. It may not be possible. It may be more damaging to rhetoric and less confusing to abandon demarcation. Personally, I suspect that all attempts to make a strict demarcation criterion have an ideological axe to grind. I dont think anyone in general would benefit from demarcation of science, only those who want to see a specific area included or excluded have something to gain.

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Posted

Again, my main concern is ontological and epistemological. There may be a benefit to my metaphysics, but that is irrelevant to the main question. We can make the demarcation sieve as fine as we like.

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Posted

We can make the demarcation sieve as fine as we like.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by this.

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Posted

We can apply the sieve to specific propositions.

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