[Marxism] Science and Society [was: Challenge...]

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Thu Aug 31 14:02:33 MDT 2006

In the present eroded condition of meaning in social thought--eroded by
post-modernism, etc.--I think it's important to re-emphasize the differences
between science and "social science" of any sort.  All of the points about
the former being a human project, the diverse ways in which the scientific
methods have been used in the former, etc., etc., etc. are all
legitimate...but let's me clear that none of this makes the study of society
a jot more scientific.

In fact, if we concede all sorts of socio-political considerations that
enter into the study of environmental biology, for example, how much more
are those considerations going to shape what is funded and promoted in
political science, sociology, etc.

There simply is no such animal as a "science of history."  I've spent part
of this past summer reading some of these 19th century efforts.  They're
interesting efforts, made with every scientific intention and attempting
objectivity at every point.  But it's about as scientific as a séance with
Archimedes or trying to do a nutritional analysis of bigfoot's TV dinner....

I think there are also deeply rooted and entirely legitimate humanist
concerns that fields of study are legitimate in their own right...without
having to make claims as a "science."


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