[OPE] science and scientology

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Sat May 30 2009 - 19:54:32 EDT


In every field of scientific endeavour, there have been men and women who
"defined" the problematics of a subject area by means of some "definitive
research". We continue to refer to them, because the clarity and depth with
which they stated what it is all about, remains unsurpassed - they remain a
reference point, and a source of orientation. Hence also the scholarly idea
of a "scientific authority" or a "scientific pioneer".

In my own Phd research I am also finding this - there are, quite simply,
some authors whose conceptualizations have been enormously influential, and
even although we would not say anymore that "things are really like" what
they claimed, nevertheless we continue to refer to them.

However, you should not confuse this ordinary scientific practice, with the
bureaucratic authorities presiding over a scientistic ideology, their aura
of spiritual reverence, and their biblical epigones. That's more a
quasi-religion, where you testify to your faith in an intellectual pantheon,
with a liturgy, a catechism, a sermon, a cosmology and sacred texts.

Personally I am convinced that, whatever their flaws and foibles, Marx and
Engels stated very important discoveries for social science, and contributed
numerous conceptual and theoretical innovations which are of longlasting
significance. I realized that in 1979-80 and I still think so, I still find
myself leafing in a few of their important writings, and I know labour
historians, philosophers, anthropologists, ethnologists, economists,
political scientists, geographers and sociologists who think the same way. I
don't see anything particularly wrong with that, provided you can
appropriately relativize matters, understand the context, and not overextend
their ideas to apply to all kinds areas for which they were never intended.


E-mail message checked by Spyware Doctor (
Database version: 5.10260
ope mailing list
Received on Sat May 30 20:00:03 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun May 31 2009 - 00:00:03 EDT