A new “essential tension” for rationality and culture. What happens if politics tries to encounter science again

Axiomathes 20 (1):129-143 (2010)
Abstract
My intention is not to get into specific, detailed historical observation about the ways that led the term ‘democracy’ to take on its current meaning, in science as much as in politics, but rather to establish a comparison between the models that political science proposes and interprets as important for the existence of democracy and those that science illustrates as indicators of scientific knowledge constructed in a democratic form. The debate about the contemporary meaning of democracy has generated an extraordinary diversification of models of democracy: from technocratic conceptions of government to conceptions of social life that include widespread political participation. And it is exactly for this reason that the assumption of a specific point of view on the question we are dealing with inevitably brings with it the choice of a model suitable to describe democratic form as a form of politics without further explanation, that is, as a political system with which science measures itself as a cultural category. In this sense, we can consider the passage from the concept of democracy to that of politics and generally of science to be a peaceful one, since politics has been appointed with that set of behaviours and democratic practices (including science) that political culture demands for the social benefit. This demand can be met only on condition that structural obstacles are removed and new cultural and epistemological mediators are introduced.
Keywords Knowledge society  Cultural models  Cultural mediators  Science policy  Democracy  Social policy  Social change
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