7. Ideology and science

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  • Ideology and science
    • Science as a belief system
      • Both the good and bad effects of science demonstrate it's cognitive power which or belief systems of knowledge-claims lack
      • The CUDOS norms
        • MERTON
          • Science can only thrive as a major social institution if it receives support from other institutions and values
          • This first occurred in England as a result of the values created by the Protestant Reformation, especially Puritanism (a form of Calvinism)
          • Science needs an 'ethos' or set of norms that make scientists act in a way that serve the goal of increasing scientific knwoeldge
          • He identifies 4 norms, known as the CUDOS norms:
            • Communism: scientific knowledge is not private property and it must be shared with the scientific community
            • Universalism: the truth of science is judged by universal, objective criteria
            • Disinterestedness: to be committed to discovering scientific knowledge for its own sake
            • Organised Scepticism: no knowledge-claim is regarded a sacred and every idea is open to falsification
      • Closed belief systems
        • Science appears to differ from traditional belief systems in that it is open to challenge
        • Religion unlike science claims to have a monopoly on the truth which cannot be challenged. Those who do may be punished
        • Religious knowledge is also fixed and does not grow like science
        • HORTON
          • Science is an open belief system
          • Religion is a closed belief system
          • When a closed belief system is threatened it has a number of 'get-out clauses' that reinforce the system and prevents disproval
        • EVANS-PRITCHARD & the Azande
          • If the benge kiled the chicken without adressing the potion first they blamed it on being bad benge
          • Witchcraft and magic
          • The believers are trapped in their own 'idiom of belief'
        • POLANYI
      • Open belief systems
        • POPPER
          • Science is an open belief system that is open to scrutiny, criticism and testing by others
          • Science is governed by falsification
          • Scientific knowledge is cumulative because falsifying knowledge-claims enables us to build on previous theories
          • Scientific knwoledge is not sacred or absolute truth
      • Science as a closed system
        • POLANYI
          • All belief systems reject fundamental challenges to their knowledge-claims
        • DR. VELIKOVSKY
          • In 1950, he put forward a new theory on the origins of the Earth
          • The scientific community rejected his theory without even trying to falsify it
          • Scientists shunned him and he was expelled from the scientific community
        • KUHN
          • Mature science (bio, chem, phys) is based on a set of shared assumptions called a paradigm
          • The paradigm acts as a boundary that guides what scientists may research and how to do so
          • Those who don't stay within the paradigm like Velikovsy are excommunicated from the scientific community and are often ignored and ridiculed
          • The only exeptions are during periods of scientific revolution when faith in the truth of the paradigm has already been undermined by an accumulation of anomolies
      • The sociology of scientific knwoeldge
        • Interpretivists have developed Kuhn work and argue that all scientific knowledge is socially constructed
        • Scientific 'facts' are the product of shred paradigms
        • KNORR-CETINA
          • The invention of new instruments permits scientists to make new observations and construct new facts
        • WOOLGAR
          • Scientist are engaged in the same process of 'making sense' of the world as the rest of society
          • They have to decide what their findings mean and then have to persuade others to accept their interpretations
          • In 1967 researcher at the Cambridge astronomy lab discovered pulsating neutron stars. They were intially named 'Little Green Men' or LGMs
          • The name of the pulsars had to be changed from LGMs so that the theory would be taken seriosuly
        • Other sociologists like Marxists and Feminists see scientific knowledge as far from the truth. Instead they see it as serving the interests of dominant groups
          • In this way, science can be seen as a form of ideology
        • POSTMODERNISTS
          • Criticise science as it claims to have 'the truth' yet in such a diverse and fragmented society, there is no one truth, only truths
    • Ideology
      • Marxism and ideology
        • Society is based on the unequal class-division of the bourgeoisie and proletariat
        • In order for a communist revolution to occur, the w/c must recognise their true position as 'wage slaves' thereby gaining true class consciousness
        • It is harder for the w/c to gain this class consciousness as the r/c control  not the means of production for material goods but also that of ideas
        • This ruling class ideology legitmates and justifies the unjust treatment of the bourgeoisie
        • R/c ideology includes beliefs such as; victim blaming ideas, racist ideas, nationalist ideas and ideas that suggest equality is against human nature
        • R/c ideology produces a false class consciousness among th labourers
        • MARX
          • Ultimately, the w/c will develop true class consciousness and will rise up to bring about a communist society based on equality
        • GRAMSCI
          • Hegemony is the way in which the r/c use ideas to maintain control and dominance over the poor
          • However, he argues that in capitalist society, workers have dual consciousness; a mixture of r/c ideology amongst ideas they develop from their own experience of exploitation
          • As a result of this dual consciousness, the w/c may develop class consciousness and overthrow capitalism
          • Revolution requires a group of 'organic intelectuals' who are workers with class consciousness
          • EVAL: ABERCROMBIE:i t is not the dominance of ideas that keeps the workers in line but instead the threat of unemployment
      • MANNHEIM: ideology and utopia
        • All belief systems are partial or one-sided worldviews
        • He distinguishes between 2 types of belief system;
          • Ideological thought which justifies keeping things as they are. It reflects the position and interests of privileged groups
          • Utopian thought which justifies social change. It reflects the position and interests of the underprivileged and offers a vision of a better society
        • These worldviews are creations of groups of intellectuals who attach themselves to particular social groups
        • However, because these intellectuals represent the views of certain groups, not society as a whole, they only produce partial views of reality
        • The solution to this conflict is to detach the intellectuals from the group and form a free-floating intelligensia
          • This is a source of conflict in society as different intellectuals produce opposed ideas
        • EVAL: would the introduction of a free-floating intelligentsia reintroduce hierarchy into a classless society
      • Feminism and ideology
        • Gender inequality is the fundamental division and
        • Patriarchal ideology legitimates the subordination of women
        • MARKS
          • Ideas from science have been used to justify  excluding women from education
        • There are patriarchal ideologies within religion aswell as scienc
        • Women are stigmatised and sometimes thought to be impure or unclean, paticularly because of menstruation or childbirth
        • However not all religious beliefs subordinate women
          • E.g. there is evidence that in the past before the emergence of monotheistic patriarchal religions, matriarchal religions with female deities were widespread
      • Ideology is a set of ideas which is often associated with distorted, conflicting and unjustified views

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