Topic 7 Ideology + science.


Topic 7 Ideology + science. (science as a belief s

Science as a belief system. 
Secularisation theorists believe science has undermined religion by changing the way we think + see the world.

The Impact of science.
Medicine has eliminated many diseases. 
Science has boosted economic activity raising our standard of living.
Science has also manufactured risks eg pollution, global warming, nuclear weapons.
Science has cognitive power - we can explain, predict and control the world in ways non scientific belief systems cant do.  

Open belief systems.
Popper -
says science is open belief system as it is open to criticisms.
Science is goverened by Falsificationism. ( other scientists try and falsify existing theories.
Science knowlegde is cumulative.  

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Closed belief systems.

Functionalist Merton says science can only thrive if other institutions and values support it. 

Closed belief systems. 
Where scientific knowledge doesnt suffice, it is considered sacred or religiously explained.
Religious knowledge is fixed and considered absolute truth.
Horton says religion as closed belief systems, when critisiced, they prevent it from being disproved. eg witchcraft.  

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Science as a closed system.

Some sociologists argue that science is a closed system or belief. 
Polanyi says all belief systems reject changes to what their knowledge claims.

Khun -  

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Marxism,feminism and postmodernism

they all see science as serving the interest of dominant groups. 

Marxist - science has been driven by the need of capitalism. eg biological explanations as to why males dominate society. 

Postmodernists reject science for having the truth. 

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Definition of ideology is- worldview or set of ideas and values. (Belief system) 

Marxism +ideology. 
society is divided into two opposed classes.
Prolateriat need class consciousness to overthrow capitalists, but capitalists run ideology + socialisation.

Hegemony + Revolution
Ruling class ideology= hegemony.
Abercrombie says economic factors eg fear of unemployment stops w/c from rebelling.
Organic interlectuals.  

Karl Mannheim: Ideology and utopia
His work was done between two wolrd wars therefore era dependant!
- sees all belief systems as a one sided worldview.
Two types of belief systems.
Ideological thought. - justifies keeping things as they are. Reflects interests of ruling privileged class.
Utopian thought- justifies social change. it reflects interests of underprivileged. similar to counter hegemony.  

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feminism and ideology.

Feminists see gender inequality as fundamental division and patriarchal ideology + legitimising it. 

Pauline Marks describes how scientific ideas have been used to justify excluding women from education. it would discourage women from their gender domains of nurturing next generation. 

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A great source of flashcard which are comprehensive looking at the link between ideologies and science. These cards clearly identify the key theorists involved in the debate as well as provide concise but comprehensive information.

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