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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amalie Muller View Post
    Um, no. I'd sound like the article writer did haha! XD

    But it's pretty self-explanatory really. (But then, I'm a science/math/philosophy nerd so maybe I'm just more used to these kinds of ideas.) There isn't anything very "new" or "radical" in this, as far as I can see...
    To be honest, I am really surprised at this positive of a response to the article, and it makes me feel like bit of an asshole. I am hoping things don't end badly here.

    I was expecting everyone who looked at this to find it pretty ridiculous themselves. I have also not divulged the circumstances of it's publication because I wanted to see what points of minor merit people would find in it.

    So again, I feel like I have to apologize in advance, because I was expecting everyone to be on the same side, and critiquing a ridiculous argument.

    My intention was not to embarass anyone, or to pit one person against everyone else. I ask that we all remain respectful through this discussion.

    With that said, I think you can see that more than one person finds a lot of these claims ridiculous.

    I realize that this is a philosophy of science article and not a science article, but many of us, including myself, have spent a lot of time thinking about this. I found Popper's demarcation of science to have the highest fidelity.

    Edit:I guess, to make my objections themselves more clear. I know he is claiming many of the same things that Derrida and others did. But he is feigning to use an understanding of the actual science to do it. Also, there is no coherence in his argument, and even outright factual errors.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #12
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    So, basically, I agree with this:

    There are many natural scientists, and especially physicists, who continue to reject the notion that the disciplines concerned with social and cultural criticism can have anything to contribute, except perhaps peripherally, to their research. Still less are they receptive to the idea that the very foundations of their worldview must be revised or rebuilt in the light of such criticism.
    I agree because I think there is an excessive amount of positivism going on amongst a lot of scientists today, along with a general element of conflict between fields that always seems to exist.

    But everything else the author says I cannot agree with. The author is presenting a form of complete, subjective relativism, which I never agree with. I tend to be of the position that there must be something that can qualify as a reality, but human beings are equipped with terrible tools for ascertaining it, and thus we must be constantly vigilant against our own errors. However, I don't feel like going into the always exhausting arguments for why there is a reality right now.

    This segment:

    feminist and poststructuralist critiques have demystified the substantive content of mainstream Western scientific practice, revealing the ideology of domination concealed behind the façade of ``objectivity''.
    I might be inclined to agree with this if we were specifically talking about the field of biology in regards to humans, as I think to some extent there have been actions amongst biologists (mainly evolutionary psychologists) that attempt to basically preserve stereotypical understandings of gender in often dubious ways. But instead the author references physics. I wish there were an elaboration on this. I cannot fathom what role feminism has to play in the subject of theoretical physics, because I cannot think of a single way that theoretical physics advanced the domination of men over women. Again, I'd like an elaboration.


    This stuff about Einstein's work is odd for the reason you've already mentioned. What is the difficulty that mathematicians are facing? Why, after all this time, have these problems not destroyed or completely remade mathematics if they are so problematic?

    Overall, between these sorts of statements and the frequent lack of elaboration exactly where they are most needed, I don't think this person knows what they are talking about.

    Out of curiosity, how and why did you come upon this text, ygolo?

    EDIT: I searched the entire piece for "feminist" and"feminism" and while there is reference to their influence, there is no explanation of how, exactly, physics concerns them or they concern it. It is only asserted that they do.

    I think asking the author to define terms would be the easiest route to critiquing this piece.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  3. #13
    Senior Member Amalie Muller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    So, basically, I agree with this:



    I agree because I think there is an excessive amount of positivism going on amongst a lot of scientists today, along with a general element of conflict between fields that always seems to exist.

    But everything else the author says I cannot agree with. The author is presenting a form of complete, subjective relativism, which I never agree with. I tend to be of the position that there must be something that can qualify as a reality, but human beings are equipped with terrible tools for ascertaining it, and thus we must be constantly vigilant against our own errors. However, I don't feel like going into the always exhausting arguments for why there is a reality right now.

    This segment:



    I might be inclined to agree with this if we were specifically talking about the field of biology in regards to humans, as I think to some extent there have been actions amongst biologists (mainly evolutionary psychologists) that attempt to basically preserve stereotypical understandings of gender in often dubious ways. But instead the author references physics. I wish there were an elaboration on this. I cannot fathom what role feminism has to play in the subject of theoretical physics, because I cannot think of a single way that theoretical physics advanced the domination of men over women. Again, I'd like an elaboration.


    This stuff about Einstein's work is odd for the reason you've already mentioned. What is the difficulty that mathematicians are facing? Why, after all this time, have these problems not destroyed or completely remade mathematics if they are so problematic?

    Overall, between these sorts of statements and the frequent lack of elaboration exactly where they are most needed, I don't think this person knows what they are talking about.

    Out of curiosity, how and why did you come upon this text, ygolo?
    There aren't any good arguments for the existence of "reality". In fact, I don't think an argument for reality is possible. All attempts end up in the realm of Descartes.

    And the purpose of the text isn't relevant -- only it's content is.

    Feminism is important for everything, right?

  4. #14
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    If anyone is interested in a summary, allow me to attempt providing one.

    __________
    Objective reality does not exist, there is only perception. Thus, the aim of science should not be to be true, but to be strategically useful for the good of man. Scientists, traditionally, have adhered to a standard of truth, and thus have held back science from liberation and the service of its true use. Because nothing is objectively true and everything is perceived, so called objective truth is only established through social authority. As such, so long as science is entrusted to an elite class like scientists, it will continue to be confined to the fallacy of objective truth. As such, the only way to liberate science is to take it from scientists and allow it to become an entirely public thing, professed and judged by anyone and everyone, no longer held to one authority's fictitious idea of the truth.
    ______________________

    I find this idea both insane and dangerous.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    So, basically, I agree with this:



    I agree because I think there is an excessive amount of positivism going on amongst a lot of scientists today, along with a general element of conflict between fields that always seems to exist.

    But everything else the author says I cannot agree with. The author is presenting a form of complete, subjective relativism, which I never agree with. I tend to be of the position that there must be something that can qualify as a reality, but human beings are equipped with terrible tools for ascertaining it, and thus we must be constantly vigilant against our own errors. However, I don't feel like going into the always exhausting arguments for why there is a reality right now.
    Yeah, I was thinking there may still be some parts that have merit in the incoherent mess. I am so distracted by the ridiculousness that it is difficult to read.

    Can you expand on the notion of too much positivism in science?


    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I might be inclined to agree with this if we were specifically talking about the field of biology in regards to humans, as I think to some extent there have been actions amongst biologists (mainly evolutionary psychologists) that attempt to basically preserve stereotypical understandings of gender in often dubious ways. But instead the author references physics. I wish there were an elaboration on this. I cannot fathom what role feminism has to play in the subject of theoretical physics, because I cannot think of a single way that theoretical physics advanced the domination of men over women. Again, I'd like an elaboration.


    This stuff about Einstein's work is odd for the reason you've already mentioned. What is the difficulty that mathematicians are facing? Why, after all this time, have these problems not destroyed or completely remade mathematics if they are so problematic?

    Overall, between these sorts of statements and the frequent lack of elaboration exactly where they are most needed, I don't think this person knows what they are talking about.

    Out of curiosity, how and why did you come upon this text, ygolo?

    EDIT: I searched the entire piece for "feminist" and"feminism" and while there is reference to their influence, there is no explanation of how, exactly, physics concerns them or they concern it. It is only asserted that they do.

    I think asking the author to define terms would be the easiest route to critiquing this piece.
    Yeah. A lot of claims, a lot of them factually wrong, and little in the way of structuring the arguments based on evidence.

    I think there is a case to be made that the history of science has had many times shown gender bias among the people doing it. But this has mainly taken the form of women not getting credit for being as good at science or as big a contributor to science as they actually were. There is nothing inherently male about the process of science itself.

    Hypatia of Alexandria, Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, Annie Jump Cannon, Rosalind Franklin, and many others may have not gotten their due credit, but they nevertheless did good science in the way scientists do good science. The lack of credit attributed to them is a societal flaw, not one that blinds the scientific method from the truth.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  6. #16
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amalie Muller View Post
    Feminism is important for everything, right?
    No.

    Feminism is not important for math, for example, because I cannot imagine how math, as it is, in any reinforces a position of male dominance. What would be a feminist revision of mathematics? Just as with math, so it is the case with some of science.

    To be clear, the nearest I can understand how the author is connecting feminism to science, is that science is insufficiently feminist because there are parts of it that are not expressly useful for the purpose of furthering a feminist agenda, and the author believe that science should only be useful to agendas, not attempt to determine the truth.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  7. #17
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Can you expand on the notion of too much positivism in science?
    Well, actually, I don't think my problem is with actual positivism, but a certain error prone attitude that is often cloaked in positivism.

    Basically, the fact that something could theoretically be understood and even predicted in logical ways, does not yet mean we have sufficient information to do so, but I see a lot of scientists sort of jump the gun, leaping from the theoretically possibility of knowing something to assuming we can already act like we know it, and I believe I see this a lot because I deal with sociology. Sociology is an extremely high order field, and essentially has to be treated in a probabilistic way because the information is so incomplete, and I'd advise people to be very conservative in any sociological estimations one makes. But it appears to me that whenever someone from one of the so-called hard or natural sciences transitions into making commentary on sociologiecal matters, they have a habit of making deterministic and overly simplistic analyses. I don't which comes first, if working in the hard sciences facilitates this mindset or if this mindset attracts people to the hard sciences, it's a bit of a chicken and egg problem, but it's what I observe. Being a generalization about the attitudes of certain people, I can't really verify it a whole lot, admittedly.




    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I think there is a case to be made that the history of science has had many times shown gender bias among the people doing it. But this has mainly taken the form of women not getting credit for being as good at science or as big a contributor to science as they actually were. There is nothing inherently male about the process of science itself.

    Hypatia of Alexandria, Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, Annie Jump Cannon, Rosalind Franklin, and many others may have not gotten their due credit, but they nevertheless did good science in the way scientists do good science. The lack of credit attributed to them is a societal flaw, not one that blinds the scientific method from the truth.
    Right, I agree. Science even has be utilized in ways that furthered racism or sexism and so forth, but we can look back and see those were the errors of the scientists but not particularly good science. The scientific method itself is not disgraced by these parts of history.

    It gets even more ridiculous that the author seems to cast doubt on areas that are essentially deductive in nature.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  8. #18
    Senior Member Amalie Muller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    No.

    Feminism is not important for math, for example, because I cannot imagine how math, as it is, in any reinforces a position of male dominance. What would be a feminist revision of mathematics? Just as with math, so it is the case with some of science.

    To be clear, the nearest I can understand how the author is connecting feminism to science, is that science is insufficiently feminist because there are parts of it that are not expressly useful for the purpose of furthering a feminist agenda, and the author believe that science should only be useful to agendas, not attempt to determine the truth.
    Well a possible feminist revision of mathematics could take into account the male/female divide in MBTI typology on the Thinking/Feeling area.

    Men are more inclined towards use of logic, and so mathematics is quite a "masculine" discipline.

    We could take this into account, and make mathematics less reliant on logic. Perhaps we could build a new system of mathematics, that is based on emotional evaluations as well as logic.

    Why should 2+4=6 if we don't want it to? No reason at all, other than social dogma.

  9. #19
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amalie Muller View Post
    Well a possible feminist revision of mathematics could take into account the male/female divide in MBTI typology on the Thinking/Feeling area.

    Men are more inclined towards use of logic, and so mathematics is quite a "masculine" discipline.

    We could take this into account, and make mathematics less reliant on logic. Perhaps we could build a new system of mathematics, that is based on emotional evaluations as well as logic.
    1: How do we know that assertion about men and women is true?

    2: I don't believe that assertion about men and women is true myself, and find it somewhat insulting to suggest women can't do math as it currently is as well as men.

    3: I'd still really need to know how this more emotional math would work, and what purpose it could serve.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amalie Muller View Post
    Why should 2+4=6 if we don't want it to? No reason at all, other than social dogma.
    2 + 4 = 6 due to internal consistency. That's how math works altogether. Deduction.

    Math actually isn't quite the same as any field based on observations and inductive reasoning. Science, in general, will combine both induction as well as deduction (not just because it uses math, but because there is a form of deduction in hypothetical reasoning).

    Both, however, are very consistent and have well demonstrated their utility.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  10. #20
    Senior Member Amalie Muller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    1: How do we know that assertion about men and women is true?

    2: I don't believe that assertion about men and women is true myself, and find it somewhat insulting to suggest women can't do math as it currently is as well as men.

    3: I'd still really need to know how this more emotional math would work, and what purpose it could serve.



    2 + 4 = 6 due to internal consistency. That's how math works altogether. Deduction.

    Math actually isn't quite the same as any field based on observations and inductive reasoning. Science, in general, will combine both induction as well as deduction (not just because it uses math, but because there is a form of deduction in hypothetical reasoning).

    Both, however, are very consistent and have well demonstrated their utility.
    1. Because all the books say so.

    2. It means generally men will be more interested in math than women. Not that men are "better".

    3. Well, thats what we need to figure out.

    --

    So you defend 2+4=6 because of "internal consistency".

    But isn't the view you summarized above (that if there are no objective truths the job of science is to help mankind achieve our goals) internally consistent too? Why not defend that also? It definitely has a certain "utility", don't you think.

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