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Level 7

Topic 7 (Ideology and science)

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Theological stage
Comte's stages of human development: in this stage sacred textxts and religious leaders are followed, superstitious/religious beliefs are dominant and not open to debate
Comte's stages of human development: In this stage philosophical beliefs aare dominant in a more democratic society, people use rationality
Comte's stages of human development: in this stage science is dominant, ideas can be tested objectively
Comte: Induction, laws of human behaviour and objectivity
Comte: gather/examine evidence and decide upon a theory/fact
Laws of human behaviour
Comte: establish/examine correlations and establish social facts
Comte: social facts not influiences by opinions of researcher (value-free research)
A true fact can be proven wrong, facts aren't always permanently true
Popper: observe the world and make predicionts to test ideas to see if they can be falsified
Sience operates through paradigms, for science to advance a paradigm shift must occur
Set of beliefs help by a group of scientists, minor evidence that contradicts beliefs is ignored as careers are dedicated to the paradigm
Paradigm shift
Large amounts of evidence contradict the paradigm and a new one must be created
Epistemological anarchism: no rules are used 100% consistently by all scientists, all methods should be used so production of knowledge is not limited
Metenarritives ('big story' about the world)
Scientific beliefs
Lyotard: this belief system is seen as objective truth in modern society and one of many possible truths in post-modern society
Ideological beliefs
Lyotard: ths belief system is made up of a set of ideologies that have a big influence on politics in modern society. Single-issue politics is dominant in post-modernity
Religious beliefs
Lyotard: this belief system dominates premodern society and is still dominant in modern society but in postmodernity people take ideas from many different religious sources
Manufactured risks
science can be causing some of the problems in the world such as pollution and global warming
Science is an open belief system that is governed by the principle of falsification which helps the world to move forward, science can be questioned
science can only thrive if it recieves support from other insititutions/values
science as an institution needs an 'ethos' or a set of norms that make scientists act in a certain way: CUDODS (communism, universalism, disinteresdness and organised scepticism)
Merton's CUDOS: scientific knowledge is to be shared with scientific community inorder to grow
Merton's CUDOS: knowledge is judged universally using objective criteria and not by the particular race/sex of the scientist who produces it
Merton's CUDOS: committment to discovering knowledge for its own sake
Organised Scepticism
no knowledge it regarded as 'sacred', every idea is open to criticism
Study of Azande people of Sudan and found that they believed bad things were caused by withcraft, they used a poisoned chicken to decide whether witchcraft had been practiced,people were trapped in the 'idom of belief' with their ideology enforcing itself, they are not able to challenge their own belief system
Belief systems such as religion and magic are closed as they make claims that can't be challenged with a number of 'get out clauses' to reinforce the system and prevent it from being disproved
The case of Dr Velikovsky
This case involves a man publishing a book called 'worlds of collision' which challenged general assumptions of science, the response was far from open as scientists rushed to reject it before reading it, people were victimised and boycotted = very closed
The invention of new instruments such as microscopes permist scientists to make new observations or to 'fabricate' new facts.
What scientists study is highly constructed and far removed from the natural world
scientists are engaged in the same process of 'making sense' of the world as everyone else, scientists have to persuade the scientific community to accept their interpretations e.g 'Little Green Men'- words used to describe findings of pulsars, couldn't be published because was unnacceptable
All belief sytems are a partial or one-sided worldview resulting from being the viewpoint of one particular group
Ideological thought
Mannheim:justifies keeping things as they are reflectin position and interests of priviledged groups such as ruling class. Maintaining the status quo so belief systems maintain conservative and with hieracrhy
Utopian thought
Mannheim: justifies social change reflecting position and interests of the underpriviledged offering vision of how society could be different e.g working classes disadvantaged by status quo and favour classless societies e.g. Marxism
Mannhiem's solution
To detatch intellectuals from the social group, creating free-flowing intelligentsia that can produce a total worldview that represents the interests of society as a whole