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Delegitimizing Science: Risk or Opportunity?

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Abstract:

This response argues that the delegitimization of scientific authority provides a much‐needed opportunity to examine the ethics, pragmatics and metaphysics of science's relationship to other forms of knowledge. While sharing Nanda's concerns about an unreflexive valorizaion of indigenous knowledge particularly as it applies to Hindu‐nationalist justifications of its own reactionary project, I suggest that the political implications of science critique can only be evaluated fairly through an understanding of what is at stake in specific contexts. Rather than rejecting STS approaches and visions of ‘alternative modernities' tout court, I argue that they can assist in furthering the Enlightenment project of critical reason. Using empirical examples form research on health and the environment, the paper suggests ways in which the blurring of nature, technology, society and the human could be politically productive.

Keywords: Alternative modernities; Epistemic charity; Posthumanism; Science critique

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02691720500084283

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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