Marxism as science -Reply

Mon Apr 17 10:56:13 MDT 1995

I enjoy your posts in general, and this is a great example.  It is
pleasant for me, and I feel less alone, because somebody out there
understands science the same way I do.  At least, in this post.


No more the same than calling Shakespeare's plays science, although
they evince such a keen understanding of human nature. I didn't say
that science was incontrovertible truth, although the people who get
excited about the so-called "overturning" of models should study the
matter more carefully.
First, there are two senses in which "science" can be used here,
common to most scientists: 1)The totality of methodologies,
attitudes, and programs which are generally referred to as science.
2)Those results produced by the aforementioned which, in some
integral area (such as low velocities and gravitational fields for
Newtonian mechanics) have been extremely well-tested and have held
up. Such results do not ever get "overturned," although they may
become a special case of a more-encompassing system with a wider area
of validity (such as relativity). And don't quote the example of
quantum mechanics to me -- that fits in perfectly well with what I'm
saying. According to this scheme, a commonsensical one which won't
build anyone a fancy rep, in a case like the advent of Darwin's
theory of evolution, the mass of ideas that it replaced was not
science -- it certainly contained large pieces that were science, but
his was the first coherent picture of how the diversity of life came
into being that was scientifically tested, and that has passed
reasonably well. Similarly, what
Kuhn might call the "flat-earth paradigm" was not well-tested
science, whereas the roundness of the earth is.
Rahul Mahajan

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