Scientific progress has been understood as synonymous with the growth of knowledge and the advancement of humanity. In this brief survey, this concept is problematized both in rhetorical terms and within the neoliberal framework. Despite the sustained marketing of the scientific community and its funding agencies, the dangers associated with progress are explained and highlighted.
In response to and as an elaboration on Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle’s Socrates Tenured, I wish to recognize the notion of practical philosophers as both public intellectuals and as those who may find refuge in the academy in order to shed the pretense of expertise, on the one hand, and the esoteric engagement with topics irrelevant to the affairs of contemporary culture, on the other.
This essay forges links between Popperians and feminists by considering the connections between Donna Haraway's “situated knowledge” and Karl R. Popper's “situational logic.” It is concerned with the political commitments behind methodological issues, with the degree to which there can be a Popperian contribution to the feminist vision of a successor science, and with ways of dealing with, while not resolving, the political differences between socialist feminists and libertarian Popperians.
The classical view of "rational man" as the unit of analysis for economic behavior and marketplace exchange has been changed by the late twentieth century with the help of behavioral economics that considers predictable irrationality as a normal mode of behavior. Instead of revising neoclassical economics to fit contemporary economic crises, it is recommended to follow Adam Smith's original concerns for the social setting of individual behavior and to treat economic crises with pragmatic flexibility rather than with dogmatic ideology.
Sassower (philosophy, U. of Colorado) attacks the privilege of scientific expertise, citing extensive case studies in which such judgement has proved disastrous, and demonstrates how scientific controversies are more often politically ...
"Ethical Choices in Contemporary Medicine" jettisons the standard medical ethics models of "rights" language and shows how the bioethical problems that receive attention from the media and the public are related to and are explicable in terms of the epistemological foundations of science and medicine. These epistemological concerns include how medical knowledge is established , how medical protocols are administered , how medical certainty is evaluated and medical responsibility is framed , and how medical knowledge is transmitted and how medical (...) care is allocated . The book examines the present predicaments of medicine within a broad cultural context and suggests that rational discourse and parochial ethical dialogue may be futile in the face of competing and incommensurable frameworks and agendas, attitudes and wishes. The authors show that, in the postmodern age, two interrelated issues surface when it comes to medicine. On the one hand, there is a strong critique of science and the privileges associated with the scientific discourse and, on the other, there is still a deep-seated quest for certainty in all medical matters. (shrink)
A unique relationship exists between physicians and philosophers — one that expands on the constructive potential of the liaison between physicians and, for example, theologians, on the one hand, or, social workers on the other. This liaison should focus in the scientific aspects of medicine, not just the ethical aspects. Philosophers can provide physicians with a perspective on both the philosophy and the history of medicine through the ages — a sense of how medicine has adapted to the social cultural (...) and ethical needs of each period. This perspective, while emphasizing medicine asscience, should not be limited to matters of methodology, or to criteria for distinguishing science from other intellectual pursuits, but should be concerned also with the history, sociology and politics of science. Both physicians and philosophers stand to gain from a strengthening of their active liaison now as never before; but most of all, the public will be the beneficiary. (shrink)
Joseph Agassi's themes in this piece relate to the importance of science and technology in the modern world, the interaction between science and technology, the interrelation between science and culture, the political dimension of science in a democracy, the improvement on the Popperian project in the methodology of science (shifting gears to pluralistic critical rationalism), and the philosophical elements that inform science as well as being informed by science. Key Words: science scientism methodology of science Popper (...) Agassi methodological pluralism critical rationality science and democracy. (shrink)
The ill?named debate between postmodernists and postlibertarians should be transcended; this requires the abandonment of both foundationalism and its converse, without abandoning common sense as well (which is no mean trick). Similarly, the debate over ?minimal statism? versus the planned economy is outdated. Instead of claiming to be in possession of foundations of our scientific?cum?political knowledge in broad terms, and instead of severely limiting our knowledge to given proofs, we offer the putative heuristics of critique in general and the critical (...) evaluations of contexts in particular. (shrink)
Auschwitz and Hiroshima stand out as two realities whose uniqueness must be reconciled with their inevitability as outcomes of highly rationalized processes of technoscientific progress. Contrary to Michael Walzer’s notion of “double effect”, whereby unintended consequences and the particular uses to which warfare may lead remain outside the moral purview of scientists, this paper endorses the commitment of the Society for Social Responsibility in Science to argue that members of the technoscientific community are always responsible for their work and the (...) eventual uses made of it. In what follows four related views are outlined pertaining to modern situations within which the technoscientific community operates, so as to highlight the urgency of infusing a sense of responsibility for the products of their activities into this community. A provisional “code” is suggested that may serve as a guide for increased personal responsibility of individual technoscientists (academic scientists and industrial engineers). (shrink)
Though postmodernists, like Barbara Herrnstein Smith, seem to hold onto some epistemological and perhaps even metaphysical divide between the rationalists and all others (sometimes referred to as irrationalists), there is much more to gain when considering the overlapping similarities and common origins of different traditions or outlooks. In this way, a critical dialogue is more probable and could lead to more fruitful results. Key Words: Fleck Popper Epistemology postmodernism.