Is posivitism necesarrily incongrous with marxism?

Firespawn
Firespawn

From wiki

Positivism is a philosophy of science based on the view that in the social as well as natural sciences, information derived from sensory experience, and logical and mathematical treatments of such data, are together the exclusive source of all authoritative knowledge.[10] Positivism assumes that there is valid knowledge (truth) only in scientific knowledge.[11] Obtaining and verifying data that can be received from the senses is known as empirical evidence.

How is this wrong?

All urls found in this thread:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNnIGh9g6fA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embodied_cognition
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conceptual_metaphor
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_Mathematics_Comes_From
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_%28physics%29
http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/transgress_v2/transgress_v2_singlefile.html
PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

@Firespawn
It's wrong because capitalism tries to present itself as scientific and that makes people on this board butthurt.

w8t4u
w8t4u

@cum2soon
I can't think of any instance of this in modern science. Can you show me an example?

Bidwell
Bidwell

@PurpleCharger
The philosophical underpinning of positivism seem to meet the rigor Marx wish to apply to the social world. Or am I not getting it?

massdebater
massdebater

@w8t4u
neoclassical economics

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

@Firespawn
How is this wrong?
Science and empiricism are not the only source of authoritative knowledge, despite what advocates of scientism want people to believe. Positivism is a cult-worship of science, it's pathetic. Most scientists are aware of this. We can say that science is a valuable form of knowledge, and it is. But you can't exclusively apply science to ethics, philosophy, sociology, and the arts without realizing that it's just a perspective like any other kind. Science can build an atom bomb: it takes other factors for people to do something with it.

There's also the fact that scientific knowledge was really never meant to be a set of eternal authoritative truths, just theories. Modern science and Enlightenment-era science are almost completely different beasts, things change and develop.

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

@massdebater
I didn't realize that neoclassicalism followed the scientific method and empirical evidence. I thought it was just bullshit rhetoric that was used to disenfranchise latin america and africa. If I'm wrong, my mistake.

@Poker_Star
information derived from sensory experience, and logical and mathematical treatments of such data, are together the exclusive source of all authoritative knowledge.

What other information is there outside of sensory experience? What do you propose to be valid outside of this? How else do we treat information if not mathematically and logically?

Methshot
Methshot

Read Comte.

"Positive knowledge" = opposition to the Enlightenment (which is negative for it causes chaos and disorder).
Progress and Order (ie. things should be changed through the status quo; a revolution can only achieve chaos, like the French Revolution "did")
Scientists should manage society, for they are the ones with more knowledge about anything"

Methnerd
Methnerd

@Deadlyinx
What other information is there outside of sensory experience?
How do you propose discussing the limitations of understanding if we restrict ourselves to analysing data?

How else do we treat information if not mathematically and logically?
FYI math and logics are closer to philosophy than to the sciences. If you think you have sensory experience of math like π, or i, you are beyond saving.

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

@Methshot
technocracy
/pol/

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

@Methnerd
pi makes my piipii hard

Burnblaze
Burnblaze

@PackManBrainlure
technocracy
@Methnerd
How do you propose discussing the limitations of understanding if we restrict ourselves to analysing data?

tfw the positivist ideal is a society of data processing bureaucrats without any language to discuss their condition, truth as such, or non-sensory concepts

Emberburn
Emberburn

@PackManBrainlure
I was describing Positivism. I'm not advocating it.

Jesus, user.

Anyway, if you want to understand Positivism, I suggest reading Auguste Comte.

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

@Methnerd
You didn't answer my questions. But I'll answer yours, and hopefully you'll respond with an answer instead of rhetoric.

How do you propose discussing the limitations of understanding if we restrict ourselves to analysing data?
I'm not completely sure what you are asking here. We can already discuss the limitations of understanding in a purely scientific realm. There are only certain wavelengths of light that my eye can visually recognize and process. Limits of understanding in more philosophical means can't accurately be measured, because they are arbitrary. Derrida beautiful elucidated on the absence of fixed meaning in language. This can be explained more concretely scientifically. Humans are heuristic computational machines, unlike silicon computers. This allows greater efficiency and the input of a constant, larger array of data. However, we are less accurate and precise in our analysis. Including the vast differences in biology among individuals, you are going to have vastly different interpretations of the same sensory input. When moving towards a more philosophical realm, like arguing the validity of a philosophy such as marxism vs neoliberalism, I think it is best to approach the reality in the way marx sought. Use material reality as a axiom from which to build social understanding (origins of the private property state etc), with a dialectical understanding of the arbitration and contradictions that exist in human realms of reality. In simplistic form, why do I agree with leftist ideology? I think it is the most logical and fair. I don't think any individual is fundamentally inferior or superior to anyone else. I think that we all operate on a relative interval of biological experience. We all want to be happy and live comfortably. We all deserve to have equal freedoms. Fundamentally, this is what socialism tries to achieve.

FYI math and logics are closer to philosophy than to the sciences. If you think you have sensory experience of math like π, or i, you are beyond saving.
Considering natural philosophy is the predecessor to modern science, I don't really see how the first part of your statement is relevant.

The quote I posted says information derived from sensory experience. It never says that the sensory experience is math like pi or i. It says it uses logic and math to understand the data.

A fundamental part of vision is the G-protein-coupled receptors Rhopsin. This was studied using x-ray crystallography to determine the structure, which uses math to calculate the diffraction pattern of an x-ray from a crystallized protein. We can also measure how the photon and the agonist retinol interact with Rhopsin an change its conformation which results in a signal cascade that eventually reaches the brain. We can then measure electrical activity in the brain to see how the signal is proliferated across the brain. This is using math and logic to measure sensory experience in the purest form. How the brain interacts in its dynamic environment is something that has yet to be accurately modeled, but when it is modeled completely it will use computer science and mathematics. The logic will be the underlying biology and chemistry that have been determined to be absolute. We already understand how some chemicals such as glucocorticoids can have explicit emotional and experiential effects on an individual. Some day we will reach the scientific sophistication to understand how the dynamic brain of many manifests into the complexity that exists in social science. Simply because social science lacks the adequate tools and understanding to investigate their given fields to fully realize their study in such detail and accuracy does not mean that the method (positivism) of investigation is wrong.

AwesomeTucker
AwesomeTucker

@BlogWobbles
Here's a trend I've noticed with STEM folk. When they notice they have been spanked by humanities fags (e.g. "Math is not sensory, you dumb dumb!" or "You remove the subjective dimension from the objective without any justification, ending up with a completely silly and mechanistic materialist model!") they grab onto needless specifics about a somewhat related topic and just diarrhea out terms to cover their tracks: "uuuhm, sugar-phosphate backbone! uuh, reverse transcriptase enzyme! uuh, Jack W. Szostak!"
A fundamental part of vision is the G-protein-coupled receptors Rhopsin. This was studied using x-ray crystallography to determine the structure, which uses math to calculate the diffraction pattern of an x-ray from a crystallized protein.
It's like watching a B-category sci-fi movie. Seriously, I've had the pleasure of witnessing this multiple times IRL.
That's the thing, you see. A good chunk of the sciences are just data and classifications and relations between objects. Most of you study them by swotting. And this is how you end up. A little fool that gets triggered by being told that math, or concepts, aren't part of your sensory experience, and thus your whole positivist edifice is doomed to fail since it already relies on philosophical underpinnings to justify itself. So what do you do? You show us what you learned to associate with intelligence: not an ability to comprehend, intuition, or creativity, but spitting out those classifications you so eagerly learned for your next test.

And btw, yeah, science is fucking awesome, but Einstein, Bohr and co. would fucking vomit at the sight of today's ideological scientific community. Scientists around the 20st century used to read and already laughed at positivism.

You didn't answer my questions. But I'll answer yours
Yeah, bull fucking shit I didn't. It's not my fault you block it out.

New_Cliche
New_Cliche

@BlogWobbles
philosophy can't measure things
It's not what it's intended to do.

Allow me to replace linguistics with vague allusions to computers
Brilliant.

I think it is best to approach the reality in the way marx sought. Use material reality as a axiom
You just don't know what you are talking about. You take the weakest part of Marx and put it in a light that it never deserved.

In simplistic form, why do I agree with leftist ideology?
Jesus, I don't care, you are visibly autistic!

We all deserve to have equal freedoms. Fundamentally, this is what socialism tries to achieve.
I for one honestly believe that freedom is a reactionary concept to begin with, and the communist focus is equality. BTW, I'm one of those who don't consider socialists comrades, especially ones who seem to have a vague mixture of p-bourg lib-socialism and weird positivist marx in their head.

[muh brain]
Call us again when you figured out how meaning enters the picture.

Some day we will reach sci-fi
a lot of brains = society
Just wow.

Simply because social science lacks the adequate tools and understanding to investigate their given fields
You just said that science is nowhere near understanding the brain. The hubris!

Ignoramus
Ignoramus

@AwesomeTucker

and hopefully you'll respond with an answer instead of rhetoric.

@AwesomeTucker

Yeah I saw that one coming.

@AwesomeTucker

You are the one triggered my friend.

would fucking vomit at the sight of today's ideological scientific community.

One example please. Just one.

Stupidasole
Stupidasole

@AwesomeTucker
You call my explanation of the science of how vision operates diarrhea and claim that somehow this irrelevant to a discussion about sensory input?
You said
If you think you have sensory experience of math like π, or i, you are beyond saving.

I showed you how pi and i are used to explain the sensory input, and distinguished between sensory input being the math and pi. (ie. the diffraction pattern of an xray being used to determine protein crystal structure)

A little fool that gets triggered by being told that math, or concepts, aren't part of your sensory experience

My first response:
The quote I posted says information derived from sensory experience. It never says that the sensory experience is math like pi or i. It says it uses logic and math to understand the data.

The second sentence of my second response literally contradicts what you are saying here. That reading comprehension.

You ignored my comparison between engels origin and marxist ideas of dialectics and axiom as material reality. You ignored my comment on Derrida's interpretation of language.

Then you say something about DNA and the rest of your comment is just ad hominen. Clearly, there isn't a discussion to be had. You're retarded.

Illusionz
Illusionz

@Stupidasole
@AwesomeTucker
math, or concepts, aren't part of your sensory experience, and thus your whole positivist edifice is doomed to fail since it already relies on philosophical underpinnings to justify itself

Supergrass
Supergrass

@Illusionz
What isn't tautological?

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

@New_Cliche
I never advocated vulgar materialism or reduction. Try reading it again.

Some day we will reach sci-fi
a lot of brains = society
See complexity sciences.

Allow me to replace linguistics with vague allusions to computers
Clearly you don't know what heuristics is.

Call us again when you figured out how meaning enters the picture.
If you have around 10 hours of free time, this is a great introduction into how meaning enters the picture.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNnIGh9g6fA

Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

@Fried_Sushi
Clearly you don't know what heuristics is.
I've been having these debates IRL before you even tipped your first fedora, son. Meaning can't pop up due to heuristics. It's misrecognition on our part, if anything.

Sapolsky
I've actually seen the Sapolsky series about 2-3 years ago and at no point does he talk about how human beings come to acquire meaning. He talks about genetic code and its connection to the brain, to the phenotype, but these are completely different things.

Also,
"casually" referring to the length of the series
– what I've been talking about.

King_Martha
King_Martha

@Lord_Tryzalot
So it looks like you have nothing meaningful to say so you've just resorted to insulting me. This is fun.

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

@Fried_Sushi
If you have around 10 hours of free time

viagrandad
viagrandad

@Supergrass
your mom

iluvmen
iluvmen

@Evil_kitten
I said this as rhetoric because of the dismissive attitude towards any reference towards science I've made. In your previous posts you've dismissed 80 years of research by hundreds of scientists saying it's nothing more than diarrhea spewed out as defensiveness. This is an introductory explanation and that alone is 10 hours of your time. To understand the mathematics of game theory alone could takes years. The entire attitude from you (and maybe others?) towards science has been disgusting and pretty insecure.

RavySnake
RavySnake

@iluvmen
This is a philosophy thread if you haven't noticed. Your diatribe about G-protein-coupled receptors don't mean shit when the topic is epistemology. I'm sorry. Let me try to explain it to you. It is very similar to when you try to date a girl and you are so autistic that you go on about x-ray crystallography instead of having an actual conversation with her. It will not get you the puss. Similarly, it won't get positivism justified. It's like bringing cooking recipes to a math test, musical scores to your mineralogy lecture: very, very autistic.

And it was stated that science is based. Positivism isn't science. Science isn't hated. You are.

Get better soon! Or don't! Maybe consider killing yourself instead!
(I honestly don't care.)

ZeroReborn
ZeroReborn

@New_Cliche
You take the weakest part of Marx and put it in a light that it never deserved.

TechHater
TechHater

What's with these nerds who keep seeing le scientism everywhere? There aren't any sam harris fans on this board and everyone else just wants to be pragmatic.

Empirical research is useful. Falsification is useful. The point is to make sure you are making undeniable progress when studying a field, so you can actually help people. Yes, to help people, not just to tip fedoras in a circle and brag about our math skills.

For instance, when you can empirically prove that human beings are not rational agents, but are in fact irrational and easily manipulated, you can use those test results to go tell the chicago school of economics to fuck off with their views. You can convince governments that people need to be nudged in the right direction, and that they need protection from exploitation. Empirical research becomes even more valuable at this point, because the results also show how easy it is for people to deceive themselves when they are left without statistical tools. Sounds like a good time to do MORE empirical research, not give it all up just because some asshole on /lit/ screamed "scientism" at you.

Use these tools to do good, before the megacorps fuck you first. And they WILL fuck you, because they'll use the same tools to more efficiently manipulate you at every turn.

AwesomeTucker
AwesomeTucker

@PurpleCharger

This is paranoia.

JunkTop
JunkTop

@RavySnake
Your diatribe about G-protein-coupled receptors don't mean shit when the topic is epistemology.
It means EVERYTHING when it shows that the methods used to investigate sensory inputs were positivists and showed results.

CodeBuns
CodeBuns

@JunkTop
Positivism isn't a method.

GoogleCat
GoogleCat

@CodeBuns
Holy shit, you call me autistic? I didn't say positivist is a method. Your semantic compulsion is bordering masturbatory.

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

@CodeBuns

Positivism was described in OP. Nobody ITT has been able to articulate their issue with it beyond some strawman about scientific capitalism which was nothing to do with what OP said.

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

@GoogleCat
the methods used to investigate sensory inputs were positivists
The scientific method isn't "positivist method." Positivism is an epistemological position.

Stupidasole
Stupidasole

@Fuzzy_Logic
Do you even fucking know what epistemology means?
the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.

HURRRR

whereismyname
whereismyname

@Fuzzy_Logic
"social scientists"

Nojokur
Nojokur

@whereismyname
whoops

Illusionz
Illusionz

Antipositivism is a cultural marxism

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

@Stupidasole
Allow me to present this very serious and complex problem in a retard-proof fashion. Pic related is a breakdown of the scientific method. Positivism is the belief that only pic related produces legitimate knowledge.

Again, we are at the point when I'm giving you definitions.

@Illusionz
You can always make a bigger fool out of yourself.

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

@Dreamworx
not everyone shitting on you is me friend

Need_TLC
Need_TLC

@Stark_Naked
I don't befriend know-nothing ideologues, son.

Raving_Cute
Raving_Cute

@Dreamworx
heres proof

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

@Dreamworx

You can always make a bigger fool out of yourself.

I try.

Harmless_Venom
Harmless_Venom

@Need_TLC
I don't befriend know-nothing ideologues, son.
says the guy who doesn't even know what epistemology is

MPmaster
MPmaster

@Firespawn
It assumes needless epistemological limitations and suffers from the assumption that empiricism and scientific knowledge are somehow "objective" and not free from ideological constraints, positivism being one of them among many. People create plenty of meaningful knowledge in a variety of ways and it's wrong to deny this subjectivity simply because it doesn't conform to this arbitrary Western/Modern notion of "valid knowledge." In fact, this method of epistemological control is yet another oppressive system borne out of capitalism as it attempts to twist cultural narratives to its benefit: that the only knowledge that can be "valid" is that constructed by and propagated by capitalist institutions. To think that huge epistemological frameworks such as psychoanalysis, postmodernism, Marxism, etc. are not valid by virtue of them not being "empirical" or "scientific," and simultaneously denying their cultural importance and impact as well as their efficacy in knowledge construction is absurd.

People forget, fundamentally, that science and "facts" do not tell us anything per se. We need to INTERPRET these in a narrative (theory) for it to have any kind of meaning. And between the facts and the scientist is ideology. The idea that science and empiricsm is "objective" is an over-simplistic fantasy. Positivism is bullshit.

hairygrape
hairygrape

@MPmaster

People forget, fundamentally, that science and "facts" do not tell us anything per se. We need to INTERPRET these in a narrative (theory) for it to have any kind of meaning. And between the facts and the scientist is ideology. The idea that science and empiricsm is "objective" is an over-simplistic fantasy. Positivism is bullshit.

This isn't true though. Gravity is gravity is gravity whether you accept it, reject it, are completely ignorant of it. Regardless of how you interpret the theory, it's physical effects are knowable and verifiable. This knowledge of the natural world is hard and fast. It cannot and will not change. Basically the entire natural world can be explained and understood in such terms.

Techpill
Techpill

@AwesomeTucker
math, or concepts, aren't part of your sensory experience
I agree with what you're getting at, but you should check this out:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embodied_cognition
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conceptual_metaphor
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_Mathematics_Comes_From

Embodied cognition posits that all knowledge comes from "embodied" (i.e., sensory/situated experiences) and that our thoughts and concepts are inherently structured by experience and context. Basically, nothing is purely "abstract" but that more abstract things are grounded by metaphorical conceptual relationships/mappings.

I don't think this undermines your point. Rather, I think it only supports the argument that positivism is pretty much impossible. Subjectivity is all. The methods that we use to verify sensory data are inextricably tied to sensory experience to the point where they shape our very cognitive structures, let alone any embedded ideological motivations we might have. Any information that we consciously work with has already gone through the ringer that is our brain. We would have to wonder how "valid" such information ends up being.

TreeEater
TreeEater

@Techpill
Subjectivity is all.
This is idealist bullshit. Not leftist, but on the order of Hegel and approaching solipsism.

RavySnake
RavySnake

@hairygrape
Gravity is gravity is gravity whether you accept it, reject it, are completely ignorant of it.
Don't confuse the observation/pattern for the model or theory that is used to explain it. Any meaning we impart from "gravity" is based on our theories used to explain it. They might be great explanations, but they are explanations nonetheless. This becomes much more clear in theoretical sciences and social sciences where competing models and theories are common.

I'm not saying that empiricism or rational skepticism, or science is a bad method. I think it's very powerful in generating knowledge. I'm saying that a positivist view does no favors by rejecting other forms of knowledge that do not apply to the more easily measurable physical world and by assuming that only certain arbitrary epistemological forms are "valid." It draws completely unnecessary distinctions between "right" and "wrong" knowledge and methods of understanding and disregards large spheres of experience where science doesn't really fit in. Furthermore, it allows tons of ideology to sneak in, yet operates as if it were free from it.

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

@TreeEater
This is idealist bullshit
Uh, no. It's strictly materialistic. Embodiment treats cognition and consciousness as a "reliable illusion" created from physical interaction with the world. Solipsistic, maybe, but they have theories that explain social and cultural behavior (again, through physical means). The idea actually arises in reaction to idealistic hypotheses in linguistics iirc.

ZeroReborn
ZeroReborn

@hairygrape
But what is the line between the natural and artificial world?

Comparing all scientific discipline to the theory of gravity is fallacious: classical mechanics being so rigidly true is not the rule, it is the exception. It is lucky because unlike many other disciplines, it has effectively zero overlap with the "softer" world of philosophy, which is why it was so easy to use mathematical rigor to determine things we only recently confirmed to be fact and required obscene amounts of money to make observable, like gravity waves.

When philosophy and science start to blend together, shit gets ugly. Political agendas in the academic world lead to bias not only in testing, but the very foundation of theories that outside of scientific hypotheses, we would probably scoff or gag at, like theories of dysgenics in modern society being used to justify a return to segregationism.

CodeBuns
CodeBuns

@ZeroReborn
But what is the line between the natural and artificial world?
There is no such thing as natural or artificial. It is a purely arbitrary pseudo-catagory based on the ego of humanity.

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

@RavySnake

it allows tons of ideology to sneak in, yet operates as if it were free from it.

A few posters ITT have alluded to this. Can you provide an example?

It also kinda strikes me that anti-positivists are fighting a boogieman. I mean has anybody claimed that the human mind for example can be known and understood completely and through empirical testing?

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

@MPmaster
Thank you for giving an eloquent response among a sea of shit. I was going to disagree with some of what you said

But here you explained my main contentions. @RavySnake

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

@hairygrape
Now do the same with quantum jumps!

New_Cliche
New_Cliche

@BunnyJinx
this tbh

cultural marxists

Ignoramus
Ignoramus

@CodeBuns
And how, exactly, does calling oneself a scientist grant immunity to these biases? The basis of postmodern bullshit psychobabble is that humans being biased makes all human knowledge subjective because it is impossible to know what is or is not objective truth. If we cannot separate science and philosophy, we cannot prove that something would be true even if there were no people to believe it.

Illusionz
Illusionz

@BunnyJinx
Can you provide an example?
Sure. Positivism itself is one, which synergises with capital-driven cultural assumptions that the only "worthwhile" sciences and fields are those that produce more profit. It would make sense that it would then reduce "valid" knowledge to that produced by these systems. Moreover, it upholds largely Western/Modern cultural norms that emerge in construct operationalization, wording, sampling, measurment biases, data falsification, etc. In the past, IQ testing was used to perpetuate normative notions of racial superiority/inferiority. When the general scientific consensus turned to environmental explanations of IQ in the 70s, all of a sudden the field turned on almost all gene explanations. The problem is we only see something is "wrong" in hindsight. When it was going on, it was assumed valid because of positivistic notions around science. The truth is, ideology shapes science at it's very core, starting with the assumption that science is a valid epistemological method. Note that I'm not saying empiricism isn't valid; I'm just saying that we shouldn't deny other epistemological frameworks.

Spazyfool
Spazyfool

@CouchChiller
I didn't say that what you linked was not material. I said saying "all is subjective" is idealist.

Supergrass
Supergrass

@ZeroReborn

The natural world is that which is physical, governed by and subject to the universal laws of nature, themselves derived from falsifiable basic principals. So that which can be empirically verified.

Comparing all scientific discipline to the theory of gravity is fallacious

When I think of science I mean just that. Science. Social sciences are not scientific in the same way that natural sciences are.

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

@Spazyfool
I said saying "all is subjective" is idealist
That was oversimplifying it a bit, I admit. It's not saying there's no "objective" world, just that we can only simulate it in our brains and what we experience and work with is actually this simulation. We're limited by our machinery, basically. I'm not exactly sure where this falls in between materialism/idealism as I don't know that much about those camps beyond the basics.

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

@Supergrass
The natural world is that which is physical, governed by and subject to the universal laws of nature
So…everything.

Social sciences are not scientific in the same way that natural sciences are.
Though the details may vary, they still adhere to the same scientific method.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

Scientific racism was bad science from the start though as it set out to confirm it's practitioners bias.

The problem is we only see something is "wrong" in hindsight.

Interesting point. It seems to me that most of the sketchy science today is 'soft' science though. I really struggle to see an issue with science today in terms of bias.

I'm just saying that we shouldn't deny other epistemological frameworks.

Fair enough. But can we ever truly KNOW anything from these other systems or are they best for speculating and explaining most likey outcomes from a given situation?

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

@BunnyJinx
@Illusionz
In the past, IQ testing was used to perpetuate normative notions of racial superiority/inferiority. When the general scientific consensus turned to environmental explanations of IQ in the 70s, all of a sudden the field turned on almost all gene explanations.

user, I think you are confusing positivism for people falsely claiming that their political biases can be made objective facts with scientific research.

In IQ, for example, it's been found that researchers like Murray and Lynn have used flawed methodology in their work and often ignored whatever evidence they dislike. Turns out that IQ differences between races are slowly shrinking in the US, for example; Murray debated this but was met with strong skepticism from people that we have no reason to believe are politically biased.

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

@Stark_Naked

Pretty much but some of it is too complex for us atm. We don't understand enough the brain so anything that flows from it can be considered artifical. I see how you can turn this round on empericism but the differences are tangible. Physics happens regardless of our observation (inb4 quantum weirdness). Psychology and sociology only work because we've agreed to agree on and accept certain things as truth even even when they aren't universal.

Soft_member
Soft_member

@Sir_Gallonhead
@Sir_Gallonhead

To clarify between social sciences and hard science, hard science gives us answers that will always be correct. Social sciences can at best offer theories that work for a given time, place and culture. This is because what they study are constructs of the human mind, itself an unknown factor.

askme
askme

@Garbage Can Lid
Scientific racism was bad science from the start though as it set out to confirm it's practitioners bias.
Yes, but it was allowed to persist and was even promoted by the state in some cases thanks to the cultural assumptions at the time. Another point where it pops up is in ethics, where the standards change over time in response to cultural changes.

It seems to me that most of the sketchy science today is 'soft' science though.
Because that stuff is harder to conceptualize and test, but you see it happen in stuff like astrophysics with the recent "black holes aren't real" stuff.

can we ever truly KNOW anything from these other systems or are they best for speculating and explaining most likey outcomes from a given situation?
The better question is can we ever truly know anything, period? It's the simple limitation of a subjective existence. I was baffled one time when someone said there was a competing theory of physics that suggested there were no such thing as electrons. But after a while, it's like, why not? Maybe what we think we know can be undermined in a flash. After all, that's the basis of the scientific method. I don't understand why the same skeptical line of reasoning can't be applied to the entire system itself–that it might have some holes and that it might not be the only framework of "valid" knowledge. When you say that certain frameworks that are so buried into our culture, like psychoanalysis or Marxism don't generate "real" or "valid" knowledge, I think that's just silly as they produce their own sets of knowledge that happen to be meaningful and important in a broader sense. Think about it, what board would we be on if it wasn't for Marxism? Would the knowledge and understandings generated from that framework not be "valid" just because it's not hard science?

@Crazy_Nice
I think you are confusing positivism for people falsely claiming that their political biases can be made objective facts with scientific research.
I would suggest you reconsider how positivism itself facilitates such misuses of science by holding itself above other frameworks. But it's more than just this. Ideology can come into what questions you ask and what avenues of science you seek to explore. It informs our behavior on an unconscious, implicit level. I doubt these guys were going out of their way to be super racist, they probably thought they were being good scientists. And my point is a little more complicated than that, because once the IQ explanation shifted in the 70s, it was still closed off, only this time in the other direction. Again, scientists thought they were "right," but now we know intelligence, like almost everything psychological (or everything in general), to be a combination of factors. I won't forget what my research methods professor kept repeating: "Science seeks to prove science." I think people run with the same theories and models so long that they forget that they're just ways of looking at things and not to be taken for granted. Scientific inquiry means being skeptical of even this most beloved of methods, and I find positivism to ultimately be incompatible with that.

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

@askme
@Sir_Gallonhead
Physics happens regardless of our observation (inb4 quantum weirdness)
Can't just ignore quantum mechanics, dude. You also can't just arbitrarily separate sciences in order to justify positivism, and indeed the "natural" and "artificial" or "hard" and "soft" dichotomy is a false one. It's all science at the end of the day. I mean, everything is always "just happening."

hard science gives us answers that will always be correct.
I have issue with thinking of it in terms of absolutes. All we know is that our observations are consistent and that our explanations for them have not yet been replaced with better ones.

Social sciences can at best offer theories that work for a given time, place and culture
Both rely on statistical methods of determining significance. Social sciences have actually identified some things that might be considered "universal" such as certain personality constructs and emotional expressions.

Again, a physical/non-physical distinction is fallacious. A lot of the things that affect us on a social/cultural, and individual level are not "real" in a physical sense. People get spooked, but it produces real, measurable effects. Psychoanalysis is bunk science and yet we can't get rid of it in our culture and day-to-day conversations it seems. It only goes to show that the things that "matter" are not really scientific facts. That no one cares if certain personality constructs are seen in almost all cultures tested, but they care a lot about their personality and what it says about them and others and so on and so on. It's how this stuff gets tied into our lives that matters as that serves as a base for our knowledge.

Anyway I'm rambling now so I'm off to bed.

Sharpcharm
Sharpcharm

@TechHater
underrated post

Evilember
Evilember

@Stark_Naked
@Need_TLC
@Harmless_Venom
I'm not your buddy, friend.
I'm not your friend, son.
I'm not your son, guy.

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

@Deadlyinx
A lot of the things that affect us on a social/cultural, and individual level are not "real" in a physical sense.

I am going to take that notion to task and say that whatever effects us must always be physical.

Nojokur
Nojokur

@Deadlyinx
Can't just ignore quantum mechanics, dude.

Observation in quantum mechanics means something completely different to what is being discussed in this thread. It has nothing to do with subjective observation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_%28physics%29

In science, the term observer effect refers to changes that the act of observation will make on a phenomenon being observed. This is often the result of instruments that, by necessity, alter the state of what they measure in some manner. A commonplace example is checking the pressure in an automobile tire; this is difficult to do without letting out some of the air, thus changing the pressure. This effect can be observed in many domains of physics and can often be reduced to insignificance by using better instruments or observation techniques.

In quantum mechanics, there is a common misconception (which has acquired a life of its own, giving rise to endless speculations) that it is the mind of a conscious observer that affects the observer effect in quantum processes. It is rooted in a basic misunderstanding of the meaning of the quantum wave function ψ and the quantum measurement process.

According to standard quantum mechanics, however, it is a matter of complete indifference whether the experimenters stay around to watch their experiment, or leave the room and delegate observing to an inanimate apparatus, instead, which amplifies the microscopic events to macroscopic measurements and records them by a time-irreversible process. The measured state is not interfering with the states excluded by the measurement.

Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

@Nojokur
Speaking to the subject of quantum physics, Alan Sokol wrote a particularly insightful piece that is pertinent to this discussion here:

http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/transgress_v2/transgress_v2_singlefile.html

I would encourage everyone in this thread who is interested in a different way of doing science to read it.

Soft_member
Soft_member

@MPmaster
this method of epistemological control is yet another oppressive system borne out of capitalism as it attempts to twist cultural narratives to its benefit
I wholeheartedly agree. (Cultural) narratives are of utmost importance to communists (and to the broader left). You can not think aesthetics, propaganda, or even economic analysis (just think about advertisement!) without it.

@askme
When you say that certain frameworks that are so buried into our culture, like psychoanalysis or Marxism don't generate "real" or "valid" knowledge, I think that's just silly as they produce their own sets of knowledge that happen to be meaningful and important in a broader sense.
Allow me to defend both. Psychoanalysis isn't a science because of only one (failed) condition: reproducibility. I can't contrast the EMPIRICAL experience of one of my analysands to another, yet it still remains empirical. I can't reproduce my session with Joe with my session with Martha. Now contrast this with the establishment standard: psychology & psychiatry. They both focus on statistics (as secondary representations of individuals; wiki: DSM) as opposed to the individual. If I'm a Lacanian analyst, my patient is always and by definition unique!
This is not to say that we disregard the broader socio-economic context – on the contrary! We are the ones who truly deal with harmed, the harmed by the broader social context!

Second, Marxism. "Valid knowledge" for us, as 21st century communists, stem not directly from the economy! Yet we don't deny the source! Think of Marx's theory of commodity fetishism: a subjective experience that is perfectly part of the universal.

Through the method of Zizek (&co.) we are able to detect an intrusive force, which is IDEOLOGY, that pinpoints us to an underlying and OBJECTIVE reality.

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