Post modernism -- more misc. comments

Richard L. Warms (RW04@SWT.EDU)
Thu, 5 Oct 1995 09:04:44 -0500

Linda is of course correct when she says that issues of voice and power were
raised by feminists, actually more like 25 years ago. One of their major
sources of inspiration was the civil rights movement which raised the issue in
very dramatic ways in the 60s. None of this is particularly to the point. For
whatever reason, the rather sloppy bundle of ideas that we're talking about
goes by post-modernism today. Debating its virtues is different than
discussing its history. We can talk history if you'd like.

On Gallileo and it still moves. I don't think the point of post-modernism is
to deny the motion... though of course an extreme post-modernist could. Rather
it is to ask why was anyone interested in this issue at all? Why did Gallileo
look up instead of down? Who gained and who lost by what he found and why? If
he wanted to support the "other side" what sort of questions could he have
asked? The point would be that even though it does move, this is not and was
not a value-free bit of scientific data. The questions that produced it and
the finding itself were conceived, collected, and used as part of politics,
history, economics and power struggles. Gallileo could have chosen to ask
questions and collect data that supported the position of the church. He could
have been just as "scientific" in this pursuit. So, what does this tell you
about science?


Rich Warms