Science and the academic left (letter)by P.D. BurkeNews Weekly
, July 21, 2007
Further to Mr Chris Hilder's letter, "Undermining scientific truth" (News Weekly
, June 23, 2007), let me quote distinguished US scientists, Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt (self-described as of the political left), who note in their book, Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and its Quarrels with Science
(John Hopkins University Press, 1997): "To the analyst of cultural constructivist bent, matters of scientific truth are 'always and everywhere matters of social authority'." (p.47).
But they go on to observe that the philosopher Paul Feyerabend, "one of the thinkers directly responsible for initiating the chain of ideas [leading to this view] now expresses deep reservations about the outcome of this line of thought". (p.49).
In a paper, "Atoms of Consciousness" (Common Knowledge
, Vol.1, No.1, 1992), Feyerabend asks: "How can an enterprise [science] depend on culture in so many ways, and yet produce such solid results? Most answers to this question are either incomplete or incoherent."P.D. Burke,