Socialism - Science - Religion -Reply

Mon Jun 12 09:46:44 MDT 1995

Hi, Mike.
Your first line, about science looking for unifying principles, I
largely agree with.  More of science, I think, is using unifying
principles to understand diversity.

In my scientific background, the definition of science is practically
synonomous with the hypothetico-deductive model of inquiry.
But hypothesis-testing does not necessarily entail simple, parametric
or linear analyses.

BTW, "classification" never "explained" anything.  Luckily, zoology
and geology have a lot more going for them - they are very far from a
"look, describe and list" method of categorization, and very far from
categorization as an end or a means.  Zoology is about studying
animals, most generally, which includes a lot more than

I also don't care for and find no basis for the claim that humanism,
science, marxism, etc really is religion.

But, if [for instance] atheism is a religion, and if we could get
recognized by the government as a religion, we would receive many
special priveleges, including freedom from taxes and the right to
kill our children by withholding normal medical care.


>>> <m.lepore at>  6/10/95, 02:22am >>>

 I view science is the process of looking for the unifying principles
 which can account for repeated patterns found in the world, to
 explain for observations in terms of causes and effects, and in
terms of development and change.  That's WHAT it is; every other
 consideration is HOW.

 When I describe Marxism as a scientific activity, my critics often
 emphasize particular means of science rather than this fundamental
 end.  I hear two common objections:  (1) that Marxism cannot predict
 historical outcomes, and (2) Marxism cannot test hypotheses in an
 unambiguous way.

 As for prediction:  The critics demand of Marxism be something which
 no _social_ science can do at this point in time.  _Social_ science
 has more in common with the "classifying sciences" which explain the
 PAST, like zoology and geology, than it has in common with fields
 that occasionally predict the FUTURE such as chemistry and physics.
....  Marxism is not intended to be an investigation of simple
 parametric relationships.  It is an ambitious project to identify
the laws of history, the most general relationships among
technological tools, class structures, the family, politics and law,
religion and philosophy.  It is intended to be a Big Picture science.
 Mike Lepore   mlepore at

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