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Was philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn “evil”


The guy who coined the term “paradigm shift” is evil? So implies The Ashtray: (Or the Man Who Denied Reality), written by filmmaker Errol Morris, who was once Kuhn’s grad student (and Kuhn threw an ashtray at him and tossed him from the program).

The rap from Morris is, Kuhn empowered right-wing dictators but a reviewer sees the reality as a bit more complex:

Morris proposes that postmodernism is an attractive ideology for right-wing authoritarians. To support this claim, he notes the scorn for truth evinced by Hitler and the current U.S. President, for whom power trumps truth. Morris suggests that “belief in a real world, in truth and in reference, does seem to speak to the left; the denial of the real world, of truth and reference, to the right.”

That’s simply wrong. Postmodernism has often been coupled with progressive, anti-authoritarian critiques of imperialism, capitalism, racism and sexism. Postmodernists like Derrida, Foucault, Butler and Paul Feyerabend (my favorite philosopher) have challenged the political, moral and scientific paradigms that enable people in power to maintain the status quo .John Horgan, “Was Thomas Kuhn Evil?” at Scientific American

Postmodernism is to science what rabies is to dogs. That is, it will lead to post-science as surely as rabies leads to post-dogs. But no reason not to let them fight in the meantime.

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See also: What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter?


Is there life Post-Truth?


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