Monday, August 23, 2021

Linear Pre-Kuhnian View of Scientific Progress

One of the byproducts of George Floyd dying of a fentanyl overdose is that professors can show off their anti-racism by citing Black researchers. Only a Jewish woman in a Chicana Studies department would disagree.

The College Fix reports:

Called, it was started in the wake of the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd at the hands of police.

“Help us spread the word and the WORK of Black, academic professionals,” Faas wrote.

But one member of the department, Professor Elizabeth Weiss, offered a contrary viewpoint.

“Although the intent of Cite Black Authors may be well-meaning,” Weiss, who is tenured, wrote back to her colleagues, “as a scholar in search of objective knowledge, I encourage researchers to look for the best source material and realize that an author’s ethnicity, race, or color of their skin has no actual bearing on the validity of their contribution.”

Months later, Weiss’ department chair, Roberto Gonzalez, would publicly criticize her, saying she responded to the Cite Black Authors email in an “extremely insensitive way.”

So it is insensitive to ignore race, and search for objective knowledge.

This opinion was so offensive that her past work is being scrutinized, and teed up for cancelation.

“After having carefully read the book, I disagree with both the substance and style of Repatriation and Erasing the Past, including its dismissal of Native American epistemologies and [indigenous] scholarship, its Victorian-era approach to anthropological inquiry, and its linear, pre-Kuhnian view of scientific progress,” Gonzalez wrote.
I try to stick to Physics on this blog, because other academic subjects have degenerated into total foolishness.

But Kuhn's view of scientific progress was only about Physics. Actually he believed that revolutions like the Copernican model of the Earth's revolution about the Sun were not really scientific progress, but rather irrational (or arational, he would say) physicists shifting from one paradigm to another.

Before that, scholars had a linear view of progress, where science gets better over time.

I post this to show what professors now argue about.

“Can you imagine the reaction of graduate students reading this kind of thing from a fully-tenured professor?” Gonzalez said. “It was devastating.”
No, I am unable to imagine a grad student being devastated by any of this.

1 comment:

  1. It's painful to be lectured by academics who believe racism is whatever they wish it to be, and is only coincidentally applied only to those they don't like at any given moment depending on their mood du jour. The word RACISM is not a variable you can plug any definition you want into. It actually has a clear meaning, and that meaning specifically does not include any mention of any racial group immune from being racist, or that pointing this out is somehow 'insensitive'.

    The world is leavened with all kinds of intolerance and bigotry, it always has been. Anyone who has actually traveled the world and seen its many peoples knows that racism is actually equal opportunity and colorblind, it is indigenous to all cultures, as anyone can play the same stupid card out of the deck if they choose to.