Science and Ideology Revision summary

A summary of key points to incorporate ideas to be used in an essay on science and ideology. Ideas are briefly explored.

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  • Created on: 06-06-14 14:58
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Science as a belief system- cured fatal diseases,
increased our standard of life, enhanced productivity, created problems
like global warming, weapons of mass destruction, pollution
(manufactured risks).it has cognitive powers so we can explain and
predict the world. Popper-open belief system, open to falisification
which means knowledge is cumulative, no theory is indefinitely true eg.
It used to be thought the sun revolved around the earth. Merton-
science can only thrive with support from other institutions. Eg. Science
began due to Protestant Reformation to improve life conditions.
Merton- 5 CUDOS norms, Communism, Universalism, Disinterestedness,
Organised scepticism. Religion a closed belief system, it claims to be the
absolute truth and word of God and those who challenge it commit
heresy. Witchcraft in the Azande- closed belief system, beliefs get
passed down so no one challenges it. Polyani- closed belief systems have
three devices to prevent contradictory evidence- circularity, subsidiary
explanations, denial of legitimacy.
However evidence for science being a closed belief system- Dr
Velikovsky, Polyani- all belief systems reject fundamental challenges,
Kuhn- science is based on a paradigm, those who follow it get noble
prizes, those who don't are likely to be ridiculed.
Interpretivists- all knowledge is socially constructed, Knorr-Cetina-
laboratories are constructed and different from the world they study,
eg. Water specially purified. Woolgar- scientists make sense of
something the same as everyone else, eg. `little green man' star.
Marx+Fem- science is driven by the need for certain types of
knowledge. Postmodernist Lyotard- science is a big metanarrative which
falsely claims the truth to dominate people.
Ideology- a belief system of ideas and values. Marxists- capitalist
class take advantage of WC for cheap labour to get profit, WC want to
overthrow capitalism with a revolution, for this to happen they need
class consciousness and need to control the production of ideas in
education, mass media and religion through ruling class ideology.

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Gramsci- WC can develop ideas that challenge ruling class hegemony as
they can get dual consciousness and overthrow capitalism with the help
of `organic intellectuals.' However Abercrombie et al- economic factors
like fear of unemployment keep workers from rebelling. Marks- ideas
from science had legitimised women not being doctors or they wouldn't
be able to nurture the next generation. Church ideologies define women
as inferior due to childbirth or menstruation.…read more


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