Re: [OPE] Special TV report on Venezuela (epistemological and scientific questions)

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Tue Dec 09 2008 - 14:15:27 EST

on 2008-12-09 08:44 wrote:
> With regard to Venezuela. You seem to miss that it is not me who
> artificially (by exaggerating the situation) tries to radicalise
> things. It seems to me that it is the situation that is so radical
> there that it puts permanently the question of "defeat" or "victory"
> on the agenda. In fact it is not me who says there is no "middle
> ground" between government and opposition in Venezuela. If you read
> carefully the sentence you quoted below you will see that I am
> refering to the BBC report that says that the situation id so radical
> in Venezuela and again it is the report that puts the question of
> defeat or victory on the agenda (see the concluding remark of the
> report). What I am saying therefore is that we must recognise the
> reality and try to find ways to change it. This is in fact from my
> point of view the only scietific political position.
> As to epistemological background of my political position: I t hink
> you are too quick to call my position dogmatic (I guess you mean by
> this *not scientific*) whithout trying to understand epistemological
> and scientific background of that position. But I think my position
> is epistemologically well-founded and scietifically sanctioned.
> Philosophy and all sciences have to do with reality, though they may
> differ in what way they are related to the reality. In the history of
> philosophy and sciences there are mainly three postion about how to
> recognise and conserve or change the reality.

Let me first say that I too subscribe to the philosophy of scientific
realism. However, this seems like a misuse of the word 'scientific' and
its application to political analysis. Science is the construction of
parsimonious, internally consistent models that can reliably predict
observations. A scientifically informed political position must be based
on some reliable model of the social process in question, that is often
very hard although historical materialism provides a general framework
for developing such models.

//Dave Z
ope mailing list
Received on Tue Dec 9 14:18:48 2008

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