Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lines in the Sand

For Friday, continue to consider Michael Gordin's discussion of Karl Popper and attempts at demarcation.  As Gordin suggests in the fourth paragraph and elsewhere, we have an emotional need for scientific accuracy, and often evaluate the extent to which disciplines are scientific based on common sense or gut instinct.  Mightn't we call this an emotional way of knowing if something is scientific?

As we began to do this evening, identify two arenas in which you operate where demarcation of this sort is valued.  To what extent is it arbitrary?  How and for what reasons do (or might) the demarcations change and shift?  What does this say about the arena and the ways its knowledge is created?