Science as a belief system 2

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  • Science as a belief system 2
    • Dr Velikovsky
      • Challenged most fundamental assumptions of geology, astronomy and evolutionary biology about the orgins of the earth.
      • However, the response from other scientists was not in a correct manner as they didn't test the new theory - the rushed to reject the theory without reading the book.
    • Polanyi
      • Belief systems have three devices to sustain themselves against contradictory evidnce:
        • Circularity - each idea is explained in terms of another idea within the system.
        • Subsidiary explanations - if reaons fail, it could be due to other factors.
        • Denial of legitimacy to rivals - rejects other views by refusing to grant any legitimacy to their basic assumptions.
    • Kuhn
      • Science is based on a set of shared assumptions called paradigms.
      • Paradigm tells a scientist whaat reality is like, what problems to study, what methods/ equipment to use etc.
      • A scientist who challenges the fundamental assumptions of the paradigm could be ridiculed out of a job - Dr Velikovsky.
      • Interpretivists have developed Kuhn's ideas - they see scientific knowledge as socially constructed.
      • What scientists believe to be true is a product of shared theories/ paradigms that tell them what to expect to occur.
      • Knorr-Centina - the invention of new instruments it permits scientists to make new observations.
        • What is studied in labs is highly constructed and far from the natural world.
    • Marxism, Feminism and postmodernists
      • Se scientific knowledge as far from the pure truth; instead, they regard it as serving the interests of dominant groups.
      • Reject scientific knowledge - Lyotard - science is a number of meta-narratives which falsely claim to possess the truth.
        • Sees science as a technoscience serving the capitalist interests by producing commodities for profit.


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