[Marxism] Fwd: How Things Hang Together | Articles | Inference: International Review of Science

Manuel Barrera mtomas3 at hotmail.com
Sat Apr 8 12:42:55 MDT 2017

"Thanks, Louis, this is an important discussion. I particularly liked the
part at the end contrasting reductionism to emergence"

Perhaps. However, I find the reductionism in determining the "convergence" patterns of science as based upon mostly Western and White males hardly explanatory. I am reminded--from right within the article (!)--of Somerville's contributions and the role of Srinivasa Iyengar Ramanujan in mathematics (not to mention Musa al-Kwahrizmi, the astronomers of the Mayan calendar, the Yoruba base-20 mathematics, or the Black women scientist mathematicians of the early NASA projects). We tend to think that "modern science" is advancing devoid of is history. For example, we tend to forget that science advanced quite well without Europeans for a very long time and the advent of capital is the only reason any science now advances; from those who "get" to write about it to those who get funded to do it. It should not be a surprise that American scientists have suddenly (relatively speaking) become more willing to engage in what amounts to anti-capitalist activism (March for Science, April 22nd), especially in the wake of Trump's attacks on intellectualism and science. Many of those more prominent scientists are finally seeing how reaction--and the capitalism that engenders it--may actually threaten their funding and ability to be respected in society to maintain their lucrative place in the "hierarchy".

It seems premature to believe anyone has a "handle" on "big history" or the "patterns of science" by the machinations of science primarily depicted in the efforts of Western Europeans (in the main). Indeed, in the era of capitalism all science, all politics, all intellectual practice is primarily governed either by "our" acquiescence to the systems of profit and their psychological and intellectual effects the efforts of too few "intellectuals" to challenge such systems, but based primarily in our education in the context of capital. Agency requires us to examine with at least some scepticism (yes, I am using the British "c" here to make the point) the nature of science as explained mostly by the "victors" of privilege.

I suggest we remain focused on removing the blight of capital that corrupts all our understandings of society, thought, language, or cosmology.

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