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The Science Wars: Episode 1.1
The Science Wars: Episode 1.1
The Science Wars: Episode 1.1
The Science Wars: Episode 1.1
The Science Wars: Episode 1.1
The Science Wars: Episode 1.1

The Science Wars: Episode 1.1

King Crocoduck - 2017-05-12

In this first volume of The Science Wars, we'll be looking at the epistemology of radical constructivists. We will be using feminist epistemology as our case study since it was the first to be developed comprehensively, and since its structure is the template for all other epistemologies subscribed to by this camp. In this first episode, we'll be introducing the philosophical 'thought' of Sandra Harding, noting its similarities to Lysenkoism and its disturbingly heavy influence on Progressive thought. NOTES Note 1: This is a reference to Zhdanovism, the artistic equivalent to Lysenkoism. I regard such things as the Bechdel Test and The Male Gaze, along with that ridiculous recent episode in Canada where a woman of the wrong ethnic origin had her art show shut down due to outrage over 'cultural appropriation,' to be contemporary manifestations of Zhdanovism. For more on this topic, watch this excellent video by Zarathustra's Serpent: youtube.com/watch?v=7k53NSKiv3M Note 2: Steven Weinberg argues that Kuhn's views of paradigm shifts are flawed overgeneralizations, extrapolated from a singular incident in the history of modern science (its birth) and shoehorned into every other major scientific event. He is particularly critical of Kuhn's suggestion that Newton's framework was abandoned after 1919, since it still holds as an excellent approximation at classical energies and is taught in every undergraduate physics course on the planet. I personally side with Weinberg on this one. For more, see his essay, 'The Non-Revolution of Thomas Kuhn.' Note 3: Under such a circumstance, what would have most likely happened would be that the other predictions of GR would eventually yield results that COULD be tested, like gravitational waves. But would scientists bother looking for them? If they were laboring under the Newtonian paradigm, then perhaps not. It's a tricky epistemological puzzle indeed. Quine was one of the good guys, a man with healthy respect for science and progress. As an individualist and a believer in the demarcation between scientific method and personal values, he would never have approved of Harding's bastardization of his work. Note 4: Paul Feyerabend was perhaps the worst of the radical constructivists, though he died before the Science Wars got into full swing. His book, 'Against Method,' bastardizes the work of Thomas Kuhn and sets the radical constructivist program in motion. Kuhn personally disavowed Feyerabend and his radical interpretation of 'Structures,' though Feyerabend's biggest fanboy, Steve Fuller, chalks this up to intellectual cowardice on Kuhn's part. Fuller will be briefly touched upon in future episodes, as he too played a significant role in the Science Wars. Note 5: For more on the master/slave dialectic, phenomenology, and standpoint theory as they all relate to feminist epistemology, consult the works of Jane Flax, Nancy Hartstock, Hilary Rose, and Dorothy Smith. Note 6: As an aside, postmodernists seem to think that the more scare quotes they add to their work, the more 'woke' and less philosophically na?ve they seem to think they look. In reality, they come off as pretentious and specious snobs. Note 7: Daphna Joel of Tel Aviv University claims that those who search for sex differences in the brain are doing it only to promote inequality. This is a theme that we will discuss more thoroughly in a future video. The consequences of such unwarranted demonization can only be tragic; see item #20 under 'Works Cited.' WORKS CITED- It was too long to fit in the description box, so I put it in the comments section below. It will appear at the top if you select 'Top Comments.' ERRATA- 1) I indicated that 50 million people starved to death under Lysenkoism. I should have added that starvation was largely the result of communist collectivization policies, though Lysenkoism did severely exacerbate the death tolls. For instance, the death rates during the Great Leap Forward jumped significantly and peaked in 1960-61, right after Chairman Mao introduced Lysenko's Eight Point Agricultural Plan into action. While an exact figure for the death toll attributable specifically to Lysenko is elusive, the shortages caused by Close Planting during the Great Leap Forward alone is no less than 11 million. The upper limit of 50 million assumes that all deaths from starvation in the regions that implemented Lysekoist policy were caused principally by that policy. Combining the lower limits of both China and the USSR, deaths attributable to Lysenko reach a lower limit of ~15 million; the average estimate comes out to over 30 million starvation-related deaths attributable principally to Lysenko. My Twitter: twitter.com/KingCrocoduck My Vlogging Account: youtube.com/channel/UCEsywmxARiHoWOIPVQjopKw My Patreon: patreon.com/KingCrocoduck