The Philosophical Foundation of His Ideological Legitimation3



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The Nobel Peace" Prize was also awarded to Henry Kissinger, who played a major role in directing the Viet Nam War, and to Menachem Begin, a Zionist terrorist who later directed the invasion of Lebanon, although these activities were apparently ignored in recognition of more approbated behavior. On the other hand, it was also awarded to the late Honorary Chair of the US Federation of Scholars and Scientists, Linus Pauling, former Vice-President of the World Federation of Scientific Workers.

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Commonly referred to as sexist", but there is a distinction between sex" and gender". People don’t expect partners to have gender" with them.
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The Imanishi-Kari and Baltimore cases have received considerable attention recently. Sloppy data record keeping, or invention or falsification of data in fulfillment of theoretical expectations, regardless of whether they were later confirmed or refuted, have been a longstanding problem in some areas, especially when large batches of experimental animals were lost. However, these are cases of individual, methodological misconduct, not institutional, normative misconduct [Stone, R. (14 July 95) 157].

Even if fault cannot be discovered with a data point, as is commonly the case with detective work in general, it is considered that the data point must be invalid if it lies outside 3 1/2 standard deviations from the average of the set of repeated independent measurements.

This title is taken from the book of the same title [Kilbourne (1981)].


1 Eunuch \’yu-nеk\

A powerful emasculation with uncritical loyalty to a master.



2 This is an expanded and updated version of a Chapter entitled, “Normative Deviance in Science”, that was published by the AAAS, Pacific Division in a book edited by Brock and Marie Kilbourne entitled, The Dark Side of Science[1981].

3 I was prompted to embark upon this effort by an invitation from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Pacific Division, to participate in a study of “deviance” in science that culminated in the book, The Dark Side of Science. Science, in my experience, had never been deviant in a methodological sense of “hashing the data”, although there had been some major scandals in medical research that had motivated the project. However, upon reflection, I considered science to be quite “deviant” in a normative, humanistic, institutional sense that is explored here.

4 Preliminary reviews have revealed a need to identify the reference: A muledriver was mercilessly beating a stubborn mule. A passerby intervened, saying, “There is no need to abuse the poor creature, just reason with him”. The muledriver responded to the challenge, “Let’s see you try to reason with him!”. The passerby picked up a two-by-four and wacked the mule across the nose. “I thought you were going to reason with him!” “I am, but first I have to gain his attention!”

5 This is meant literally--the right to work!, the right to have access to the tools, to the means of production, the right to make a meaningful, socially-constructive contribution to society, with a decent wage and under dignified working conditions--not the right to seek an employer who can profit from your labor, not the right not to pay union dues (or taxes).

6 Those who are enticed into making a living by accepting destructive, anti-social employment which results in toxification and pollution of the habitat, exhaustion of non-renewable resources, or in oppression, destruction, manipulation, and repression, deserve especially sharp criticism. Those who succumb to coercion without organizing to resist also merit disapproval.

7 This definition is contrary to conventional terminology in which science is considered to be “pure’ if the practitioner is focused on gaining understanding of the behavior of nature without any concern for potential applications. I abandoned an earlier term “cultural science”, because it inevitably conjures the image of “culturology”—the study of culture, like cultural anthropology. Science that is motivated by potential applications by the funder, but not the practitioner, I define as “semi-pure”.

8 There are variations on this theme. Daniel Singer criticizes the ideology that argues that this is the best that can be done—TINA, “There Is No Alternative”. This argument has a long history: Alexander Pope’s famous poem concluded declarative finality, “Whatever is; Is right!” An optimist is someone who agrees with Leibniz who declared this to be “The Best of All Possible Worlds’. A pessimist is someone who agrees with the optimist (TINA). In Candide, Voltaire savagely satirized Leibniz, as did the book and film adaptation of “Candy”.

9 Immanuel Wallerstein suggested such a scenario at the World Systems Analysis Conference at the University of California, Irvine. The scenario: Confidence in government has plummeted since the days of the Kennedy administration. One of the functions of government upon which people depend is the provision of security. Lack of confidence in the ability of government to provide security is manifest in the rapid growth in private security agencies and guards. That is fine for the corporations and wealthy individuals who can afford it, but how can the average citizen provide for security if the government fails to do so? The increase in the purchase and possession of personal arms is an attempt to compensate for the perceived loss of security. However, one cannot forever remain on guard alone. The need for collective security becomes apparent. How can the average resident find collective security? The natural response is to form collective security groups (“gangs" or “militia") among people who share a common identity and which have contact, common interest, and rapport. Language will be a common unifying factor. So will ethnicity and religion. The rest of the story is all too familiar and tragic if the collapse of Yugoslavia into warring religious groups is considered.

10 “The Duty of Intellectuals” is the title of a compelling essay by Noam Chomsky published during the invasion of Viet Nam.

11 Historians of science have exposed some high visibility examples, e.g., the case of Millikan at California Institute of Technology, but even in these cases, while deviations from proper methodology might be justly criticized, the overall consequences seem quite salutary and matters of modest concern.

12 Justification for this “cheap shot" pun, which satirizes its actual motto, “All the news that’s fit to print", is provided by the analyses of Noam Chomsky, Ed Herman, and FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting).

13 Do not asser the validity of anything for which there is no positive evidence.

14 The version of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution most applicable to Southern California boldly proclaims, “We declare these truths to be self-evident. All men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among these, life, liberty, and an automobile (with a catalytic converter) to pursue happiness.”

15 “Scientism" is defined as the unwarranted application or extrapolation of scientific results to areas where they are not valid. My favorite example of this is the French Catholic Existentialist philosopher Jacques Maritain, who railed against the “deadly disease" of science because of his scientistic expectation that it would be claimed that morality and ethics are relative because of the Theory of Relativity. Relativistic “situational" ethics gain no support from the Theory of Relativity even if the absolutist “perennialist" view lacks foundation.

16 Jacques Ellul (1964) suggests that there exists a compulsion of technique" (where technique" is taken in its broadest sense). Similarly, Barry Commoner (1976) warns against the tendency to “leap before we look", to introduce profit-taking technologies without assessing the desirability of attendant consequences. Abuses have become so common that an ideology which views most human intervention as species chauvinism" and destructive of nature, wilderness, and wildlife has emerged. “Deep ecology" has such tendencies [See, for example, Radical Ecology by Carolyn Merchant (1994)]. On the other hand, one is reminded of the minister who commented to a sweat-drenched parishioner, My, with the help of God you have done wonders with this land!", which prompted the reply, “Ja, you should have seen it when God had it all to herself!"

17 A proletarian sells her labor to achieve economic viability. Whether it is intellectual or physical labor makes little difference. Both are valuable, both necessary, and both exploitable for profit by the owners of the means of production (the tools). A balanced life consisting of both intellectual and physical labor has much to commend it.

18 Many terms with an implication of the absolute are carelessly and imprecisely used in reference to science. Science is not mathematics. It is relative, not absolute. Despite the high degree of consensus, reproducibility, pragmatism, and predictive power that science has achieved, higher than in any other human endeavor excepting the tautological exercise of mathematics, science is not absolute. It has no absolutely precise numbers, not even fundamental constants of nature. The term “truth" should be reserved for “truth tables" in logic, and replaced by “validity", which is relative. “Knowledge" should be replaced by “understanding". “Fact" should be replaced by (fallible) “observation". “Proof" should be replaced by “observation"[Although, in the process of “geometrizing” theory, many deductive logical processes are involved, but science remains empirical, i.e., inductive (in a broad, generic sense). It is in this process of reducing theory to a minimum of postulates that the elegance appears. In lower division courses an empirical, inductive approach is used. E.g., in E&M, the Biot-Savart, Ampere, and Faraday lead to Maxwell’s Equations. In upper division, these empirical laws are derived from Maxwell’s Equations.] . “Laws", a relic of the ideology of previous centuries should be replaced by “theory". Note that the scientists who have worked in this century constitute the overwhelming majority of the sum total of all the scientists who have ever lived. Among the scientists of this century are some of the greatest scientists of all time, including Einstein, Pauling, Fermi, Planck, Mach, Schroedinger, Heisenberg, Dirac, Pauli, etc. Yet no “laws" ordained to govern the conduct of nature have been “discovered" in this century. All of the “laws" date from previous centuries. How can this be explained? Scientists have not been unproductive. However, instead of interpreting their activity as discovering preordained “laws", scientists, generally unconsciously, consider themselves to be discoverers of phenomenological regularity and creators of theory. [Sometimes “phenomenological regularity" is informally called the “laws of nature". This is not to be confused with the concept of “natural law", a term which is used by some in an attempt to disguise and portray their moral exhortation as something objective and natural, very much like appeals to the authority of the gods.] Much data has been taken, much regularity discovered, and much theory invented. Theories are never proven like theorems. Rather, they compete for acceptance in a scientific community that uses criteria which are not strictly empirical [and even the relevance and significant of data is subjectively evaluated], but aesthetic as well, in the aspiration for elegance a la Occam’s razor.

As Lewis Carroll illustrated, contradiction is fun. The statement, “all absolute statements are false (including this one)”, is logically contradictory. This is the “fallacy of levels”. A statement about cows would not likely be confused with, or considered to be, itself, a cow. A statement [“metastatement”] about statements in no more included in the category of the statements about which the statement is made than is a statement a cow, or included in the same category with cows. This confusion is attributable to ambiguity in language. A statement about statements should be called a “metastatement”.



19 Kahn was the author of “On Thermonuclear War” that produced the ringing phrase, “Thinking about the unthinkable”.

20 I am happy to report the emergence of a “Cardinal Theory of Economics”, developed by a former student of mine, Craig McLaren. In an ordinal theory, priorities are merely listed in order In Craig’s mathematically sophisticated theory, a quantitative weight is factored in. Now that these values can be somewhat quantified, the aspiration is to reduce their neglect.



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