Re: Nelson & Yee

Michael John Evans (g8726246@MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA)
Sat, 18 Dec 1993 00:12:59 -0500

On Fri, 17 Dec 1993, Read, Dwight ANTHRO wrote:

> Graber writes:
> >That some positivists actually offer such impoverished conceptions of science
> >is in fact the one concession I am willing to offer...
> Graber rightly points out that the conception of science held by positivists
> is not isomorphic to what scientists do--one of the critics of the "received
> view" commented quite succinctly that the "received view" of science was
> faulty if only for the fact that it used an image of how science proceeds
> that does not match what scientists actually do. Unfortunately, many of
> those who argue against a scientific anthropology fall into the trap of
> equating what science is with the logical postivists view of science and in
> fact critique the errors of the latter believing they are highlighting the
> limitations of the former.
With the greatest respect, Is this not the point? How can you separate
the practice of science with its theory. As science proceeds it
make errors of selection; ie the selection of thingies (thanks Dan I love
that noun) to be investigated, and that the selection process is itself
problematic because it is paradigmatic (I use the p word loosely here).
This seems true of hard science, and is certainly true of anthropology.
The early feminist anthropologists quite rightly hoisted more than a few
petards with EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE, which had been precluded by earlier
perspectives because of what qualified as evidence within the
earlier paradigms.
To think that at this point that these sorts of problems have been solved
within anthropology seems rather foolish, especially in light of the
remarkable position taken by the likes of Bob G. in recent postings.