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  1. #61
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    Feminism is non-scientific. It's theory. Controlled conditions, experiments, and the scientific method, are all irrelevant. The similarity is the collective definition.
    @greenfairy --
    Not following you. Theory can be scientific if it draws on experiment, cf. Feynman "If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's WRONG."
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

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  2. #62
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grey_beard View Post
    @greenfairy --
    Not following you. Theory can be scientific if it draws on experiment, cf. Feynman "If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's WRONG."
    Some things are non-scientific. Theory can be either, but it's based on deduction not induction. Both theory and science involve abduction or inference to the best explanation. A thing being non-scientific doesn't make it unscientific. Like art for example. Theory is a tool which can be used for many purposes.

    A collective definition means it is defined by its collective conceptions. Hinduism is one such collective definitional entity. There is no one Hinduism, it is a collection of spiritualities centered in the Indus valley by origin and primary area of practice. Hinduism means something like "religions of the Indus valley". Paganism is like that too. Science has many characteristics, but it is not a fixed set of necessary and sufficient conditions. A thing doesn't have to have all of them to count as a science. Feminism is defined in a similar fashion.

    Edit: let me check on that definition of science thing. I know there is a demarcation problem between science and pseudo-sceince, and I'm lumping that together with a definitional conception and the debate between scientific realism and anti-realism. In any case, even if it's not a neat comparison, I can use the comparison to Hinduism.

  3. #63
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    Some things are non-scientific. Theory can be either, but it's based on deduction not induction. Both theory and science involve abduction or inference to the best explanation. A thing being non-scientific doesn't make it unscientific. Like art for example. Theory is a tool which can be used for many purposes.

    A collective definition means it is defined by its collective conceptions. Hinduism is one such collective definitional entity. There is no one Hinduism, it is a collection of spiritualities centered in the Indus valley by origin and primary area of practice. Hinduism means something like "religions of the Indus valley". Paganism is like that too. Science has many characteristics, but it is not a fixed set of necessary and sufficient conditions. A thing doesn't have to have all of them to count as a science. Feminism is defined in a similar fashion.

    Edit: let me check on that definition of science thing. I know there is a demarcation problem between science and pseudo-sceince, and I'm lumping that together with a definitional conception and the debate between scientific realism and anti-realism. In any case, even if it's not a neat comparison, I can use the comparison to Hinduism.
    Word salad.
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

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  4. #64
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grey_beard View Post
    Word salad.
    Sorry you can't read. I have to remember to only debate with the literate.

  5. #65
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    Sorry you can't read. I have to remember to only debate with the literate.
    @greenfairy -- no, rather, I'm sorry you didn't *bother* to write. I know you have the intellect, but your writing is not showing it to full advantage.

    As Chesterton put it:

    Most of the machinery of modern language is labour-saving machinery; and it saves mental labour very much more than it ought. Scientific phrases are used like scientific wheels and piston-rods to make swifter and smoother yet the path of the comfortable. Long words go rattling by us like long railway trains. We know they are carrying thousands who are too tired or too indolent to walk and think for themselves. It is a good exercise to try for once in a way to express any opinion one holds in words of one syllable. If you say "The social utility of the indeterminate sentence is recognized by all criminologists as a part of our sociological evolution towards a more humane and scientific view of punishment," you can go on talking like that for hours with hardly a movement of the gray matter inside your skull. But if you begin "I wish Jones to go to gaol and Brown to say when Jones shall come out," you will discover, with a thrill of horror, that you are obliged to think. The long words are not the hard words, it is the short words that are hard. There is much more metaphysical subtlety in the word "damn" than in the word "degeneration."

    But these long comfortable words that save modern people the toil of reasoning have one particular aspect in which they are especially ruinous and confusing. This difficulty occurs when the same long word is used in different connections to mean quite different things. Thus, to take a well-known instance, the word "idealist" has one meaning as a piece of philosophy and quite another as a piece of moral rhetoric. In the same way the scientific materialists have had just reason to complain of people mixing up "materialist" as a term of cosmology with "materialist" as a moral taunt. So, to take a cheaper instance, the man who hates "progressives" in London always calls himself a "progressive" in South Africa.



    Recommended reading: Pooh Perplex by Frederick Crewes

    http://books.google.com/books/about/...d=MmsTjkrN3_wC
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

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  6. #66
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Without other people having an understanding of quantum physics (fortunately for you, this stuff works whether you believe in it or not), you would not be having this conversation over the internet. Transistors would not exist. Computer screens would not exist. Lasers would not exist. And those are just examples off the top of my head. I could make a list pages long of all the things you take for granted that would not exist if not for our understanding of "impractical" quantum physics if it was worth my time (it's not).
    Exactly. The highlighted is an important distinction between science and religion as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Feminism is not like a science, in any way. Feminism does not start with a hypothesis and test that hypothesis in an effort to prove it wrong. Feminism is like religion. It makes a bunch of claims that are not falsifiable and ideas propagate because they are popular, not because they have been shown to be true. Actually, feminism is not just like a religion, feminism is a religion.
    Not exactly. Feminism is a value system.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    I understand that, but it's not really about whether these qualities are or should be inherent in women or men; they have been associated with one or the other as a social construct and as such used incorrectly. When we advocate acceptance of these qualities we advocate both women and men valuing them more (or rather not devaluing them) in themselves and others, regardless of gender. At least more enlightened people take this point of view. Some have criticized ecofeminism for being gender essentialist, and rightly so for some people. I don't hold a gender essentialist view, I just use feminine and masculine as handy categorizations to correspond to y8in and yang because most people really don't know what those mean and wouldn't make the association.
    That is my complaint, that many of these authors and speakers are not enlightened about this. I agree that masculine and feminine are useful and comparable to yin and yang in an archetypal sense, but unfortunately the association with physical males and females is hard to break, so it is easy for people to read too much into the terms masc and fem.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    Feminism is non-scientific. It's theory. Controlled conditions, experiments, and the scientific method, are all irrelevant. The similarity is the collective definition.
    Quote Originally Posted by grey_beard View Post
    @greenfairy --
    Not following you. Theory can be scientific if it draws on experiment, cf. Feynman "If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's WRONG."
    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    Edit: let me check on that definition of science thing. I know there is a demarcation problem between science and pseudo-sceince, and I'm lumping that together with a definitional conception and the debate between scientific realism and anti-realism. In any case, even if it's not a neat comparison, I can use the comparison to Hinduism.
    Let's sort all this out.

    1. Feminism is neither science nor theory. Like many -isms, it is a value system. Inasmuch as this value system promotes a certain social order, it becomes an organizational system, much as socialism or fascism or libertarianism.

    2. Science does not require experimentation under controlled conditions. Valid scientific inquiry can be based strictly on observation, as with astronomy or studying animals in the wild.

    3. The distinction between science and pseudo-science has already been explained:
    Science is the study of the natural (physical) world through observation and experiment. Pseudo-science refers to attempts to gain knowledge through the improper application of scientific method to questions outside the physical world.
    To elaborate: science looks for repeatable cause-and-effect relationships (not simple correlations) among natural phenomena, that can then be used to predict future events. Scientific theories are falsifiable, and results are independent of the observer. (Yes, we've all read of those quantum mechanics experiments in which the result is affected by the observation process itself, but it doesn't matter whether you or I do the observing.)

    Though feminism is not itself a theory, it makes use of theories: some scientific, as with physiological differences between men and women; others from fields like anthropology, sociology, or economics. How one defines feminism will depend in part on which of these theories one accepts and chooses to incorporate.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  7. #67
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Exactly. The highlighted is an important distinction between science and religion as well.


    Not exactly. Feminism is a value system.


    That is my complaint, that many of these authors and speakers are not enlightened about this. I agree that masculine and feminine are useful and comparable to yin and yang in an archetypal sense, but unfortunately the association with physical males and females is hard to break, so it is easy for people to read too much into the terms masc and fem.





    Let's sort all this out.

    1. Feminism is neither science nor theory. Like many -isms, it is a value system. Inasmuch as this value system promotes a certain social order, it becomes an organizational system, much as socialism or fascism or libertarianism.

    2. Science does not require experimentation under controlled conditions. Valid scientific inquiry can be based strictly on observation, as with astronomy or studying animals in the wild.

    3. The distinction between science and pseudo-science has already been explained:

    To elaborate: science looks for repeatable cause-and-effect relationships (not simple correlations) among natural phenomena, that can then be used to predict future events. Scientific theories are falsifiable, and results are independent of the observer. (Yes, we've all read of those quantum mechanics experiments in which the result is affected by the observation process itself, but it doesn't matter whether you or I do the observing.)

    Though feminism is not itself a theory, it makes use of theories: some scientific, as with physiological differences between men and women; others from fields like anthropology, sociology, or economics. How one defines feminism will depend in part on which of these theories one accepts and chooses to incorporate.
    @Coriolis --

    Hmm, almost caught me napping; astronomy I regard as a special case, as the types/lifecycles of stars it tie in to quantum mechanics (nuclear fusion) and I suppose General Relativity, and are not merely classification or cladistics as biology can be; I regard animal behaviorism as not merely a grey area but somewhat wrinkled and mottled, too. Unless you had other subdisciplines in mind, plenty of room for those as well...

    Pretty good summation on the rest of the post.
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

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  8. #68
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    @Coriolis:

    On science and pseudo-science I would add that science accords with past, present, and future data while pseudo-science is not able to.

    I disagree that feminism is not theory, though I agree it involves a value system. It is often systems of thought which deconstruct values and other systems of thought in order to make arguments to support ethical beliefs. It would not be nearly as effective if it remained a sphere of political and social activism without critical examination of the theories behind the oppressive structures, by producing its own collections of theories. These do incorporate other areas such as anthropology but feminist thought is an area in itself.

    One of the main aspects of the paper I'm writing right now is trying to address masculine and feminine from a more genderless standpoint to be more compatible with queer theory and be trans friendly. I want to reject the gender binary. Reducing it to more neutral terms would help dispel gender essentialism and incorporate non-binary conceptions of gender. In the event that gender is essentialized in a culture or system of thought into these value-dualisms one can take two approaches: reject the value component or reject the dualism (or both), but neither really incorporates queer theory. I do think it is important for a theory to be able to take the former route, where in the event that gender is essentialized one can simply say differences can exist without one being better than the other. It's not as effective, but not as abstract so perhaps more easily understood for some people.

    The whole thing is hard to formulate and even harder to communicate clearly in ways that non-academics can understand, so while it is frustrating to me, I have to simply offer that it is a relatively new system of thought and the future will bring much more refinement and clarity.

  9. #69
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    One of the main aspects of the paper I'm writing right now is trying to address masculine and feminine from a more genderless standpoint to be more compatible with queer theory and be trans friendly. I want to reject the gender binary. Reducing it to more neutral terms would help dispel gender essentialism and incorporate non-binary conceptions of gender. In the event that gender is essentialized in a culture or system of thought into these value-dualisms one can take two approaches: reject the value component or reject the dualism (or both), but neither really incorporates queer theory. I do think it is important for a theory to be able to take the former route, where in the event that gender is essentialized one can simply say differences can exist without one being better than the other. It's not as effective, but not as abstract so perhaps more easily understood for some people.
    This seems to be making something simple needlessly complex. What is wrong with just recognizing masculine and feminine as archetypal ideals, separate from one's physiology or gender identification? In other words, whatever one's physiology, however one identifies oneself, one may draw freely from both archetypes in qualities, abilities, and interests. So, reject the valuation, and decouple the duality from other human distinctions. This isn't just a theory, it is observable reality.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  10. #70
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    This seems to be making something simple needlessly complex. What is wrong with just recognizing masculine and feminine as archetypal ideals, separate from one's physiology or gender identification? In other words, whatever one's physiology, however one identifies oneself, one may draw freely from both archetypes in qualities, abilities, and interests. So, reject the valuation, and decouple the duality from other human distinctions. This isn't just a theory, it is observable reality.
    Sure. That would work for part of it. I think that's been my approach up to now. Archetypal ideals I guess is what I'm getting at, but then simply having them as an archetype might confuse some people I think. You'd have to have gender non-binary archetypes also, otherwise it is normalizing being one of the two and defining trans people in terms of them, something they will never fully achieve. That's why I like the yin-yang dichotomy. And simply removing the essentialism doesn't get at the heart of the value difference. You'd have to offer a separate argument for why it is irrational or wrong to attribute greater value to the masculine archetype. At least, ecofeminists postulate that there is this implicit valuing in many sorts of dualisms (black-white, masculine-feminine, mind-body, reason-emotion), and that one side of these is typically valued together, producing the logic of domination i.e. men are more masculine and more rational and reason is better than emotion therefore women, being more emotional and less rational shouldn't make important decisions or be in positions of power. Simply saying that men aren't always more masculine doesn't get at the premise that reason is better than emotion or that more rational beings are justified in dominating less rational beings, that having reason is a criterion of moral considerability, etc. I find all those problematic.

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