Stanley Fish vs Alan Sokal

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Tue May 21 16:21:11 MDT 1996


At 3:04 PM 5/21/96, Rahul Mahajan wrote:

>Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention. I think the "transformation of scientific
>work in a more liberatory direction" is largely a red herring. I think this
>really is one of those cases where the best thing to say is "come the
>revolution ..." The primary thing that needs to be changed is who buys
>scientific work and for what end, the capitalists or the people.
>Secondarily, one needs to change the capitalistic structure of the whole
>system of professional prestige and entitlement (which is, by the way, not
>nearly as bad as it is in other fields). The intrinsic nature of the work
>needs very little alteration; the major change is that many shoddy
>scientists and much shoddy scientific work can be eliminated by making the
>aforementioned changes. Surely you're not talking about feminist algebra or
>African-American quantum mechanics?

Hell no. I'm talking about, say, using food technology in a way kinder to
the earth and to agricultural workers, and even making stuff taste better,
rather than using food technology to fatten profits. Changing the twisted
priorities of capitalist pharmaceutical and medical research. Reorienting
of technology away from deskilling and towards reskilling. Having workers,
well-educated in science and organization, rethink and reorganize the
mechanics of production. Ending corporate control of information. Stuff
like that.

Doug

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