Science and Ideology


The Impact of Science

- science has had a huge impact in society in the past few centuries

- revolutionised economic productivity and raised our standards

- faith in science is diluiting - causing problems as well as solving them

- science gives us cognitive powers - explain, predict and control the world

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Open Belief System

  • Popper - science is an open belief system
  • every scientist is under constant scrutiny
  • falsification is the basis of science

Mertons - CUDOS norms

- Communism - scientific knowledge is not private property, we must share it

- Universalism - all knowledge is judged by the same characteristics

- Disinteresedness - commited to finding knowledge for its own sake

- Organised Scepticism -no knowledge is regarded as sacred

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Closed Belief System

-science differs fundamentally from religion

- religion claims absolute truth, science does not


- science is a close system

- paradigmatic shifts

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Witchcraft among the Azande

  • natural events have natural causes
  • do not believe in coincidence or chance
  • witches are blamed for bad fortune
  • oracles are used to determine if people are witches
  • a benge - a chicken - is fed poison, if the person is a witch, the chicken dies
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