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Towards a Non-Western Perspective on Scientific Knowledge

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By mendax
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TOWARDS A NON-WESTERN PERSPECTIVE ON SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE I The available studies on the phenomenon and institution of science suffer from a curious limitation. It is as if all those who analyse the subject were overawed by the grandeur of modern science, and their studies were in the nature of tributes laid at the feet of this great saviour. All analysis starts from the assumption that modern science is a set of value-free theories that uniquely explain reality. After the scientists in the early 20th century started overhauling their theories in a big way, it was granted that the value-free theories of science that explain reality may do so only partially at a given time, but as science progresses, its theories explain more and more of reality and the process converges towards the ‘ultimate’, ‘unique’ law that explains everything. Committed to this idealist picture of a unique value free science, the philosophy of science is reduced to a set of attempts at finding the epistemological criterion, internal to science, that allows the scientist, unencumbered by any extraneous considerations, to choose the true theory out of a competing set; the sociology of science is reduced to writing down the set of social norms, self-imposed by the scientific community, which ensure that the technical criterion that guarantees the selection of the ‘true’ theory is strictly adhered to and the historiography of science is reduced to writing a catalogue of the achievements of modern science, discovering the contributions made by more ancient sciences to the modern science and , more...

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