Science and Ideology: A Comparative History


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Learn more. If you have previously obtained access with your personal account, Please log in. If you previously purchased this article, Log in to Readcube. Log out of Readcube. Click on an option below to access. Log out of ReadCube. On the basis of this examination a number of these elements are found to be essential to the concept, and are built into a definition which allows consideration of, among other things, the expressive and justificatory dimension of beliefs often ignored in other definitions.

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Malcolm B. Hamilton University of Reading Search for more papers by this author. Tools Export citation Add to favorites Track citation.

Science And Ideology / Edition 1

From this point on, the concept of ideology is taken and developed by the Frankfurt school as a source for Positivism Sociology criticism and by the structural Marxism of Louis Althusser. By reading the book Ideology and Utopia by Mannheim, Ricoeur discusses science and ideology and examines some other radical functions for ideology besides the one that contemplates the reality's distortion and dissimulation.

Then the use of the analysis on authority by Max Weber is a way to demonstrate the function of integration in the society is recursive in Ricoeur. According to him, this guarantees the identity of the social groups. It is possible to state, according to Ricoeur, that the modern thought became an issue of interpretation where an essential discussion concerns illusion. Ricoeur's philosophy is a way of thinking which purpose is to disentangle the illusions of the subject. This opens a discussion that posits doubt on the immediate certainty of the Cartesian meditation and also shows how false is the initial proposition on certainty.

Then, Ricoeur states it is the duty of a modern philosopher to interpret signs and ideology through a hermeneutic point of view. This is also the purpose of contemporaneous philosophy which starts from human perspective and criticizes the illusion of the subject.

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A common point is established between Ethics and Politics which implies on setting up the basic rights in a society, mainly those related to wealth distribution and social justice. The ideological phenomenon appears in a post-industrial society in what concerns the reality dissimulation.

Major conflicts in the society which try to provide answers to national debates is a result of this condition on illusion. In Brazil, a less developed country, we have been witnessing conflicts provoked by ideologies that save the issue of keeping a post-industrial society status. Others, however go for in industrial society and others yet point out of problems of an already industrialized one. In a very brief way we are going to follow the way Ricoeur does in his book Ideology and Utopia to go over the concept of ideology once-one taking the concept of ideology in Marx, Althusser, Mannheim, Weber, Habermas and Geertz as granted.

Ricoeur starts with an apparent sense to deduce the fundamental sense of ideology. He emphasizes the function of ideology: first, the reality dissimulation; second, the authorities legitimacy and third, the social integration.


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The analysis in Ricoeur starts from Marx, i. It goes also through Althusser and his structural approach about Marxism which states another apposition, between science and ideology. As a turning point on this track, Ricoeur takes the Mannhein's approach into account with respect to the ideological phenomenon to show there is no such a scientific neutral place to discuss the concept of ideology. Therefore we are not able to separate science from ideology and the main knowledge on reality is clearly affected by ideology. From Weber, Ricoeur tries to find a new way to treat the ideological phenomenon, pointing to a second concept of ideology: the authority's legitimacy.

There is an difference between the intentions of those who are in power and the authority's legitimacy and, according to Ricoeur, this is called political "plus-valor". Ideology is always hiding this difference. Following Ricoeur analysis up it is necessary to criticize the concepts of ideology by the reason they are always linked to power. He also takes some concepts from Habermas doing an approximation between the criticism on ideologies and psychoanalysis.

After submitting ideology to a variety of criticisms, Ricoeur, based from Geertz, finally points to the third characteristic of ideology: the society integration. Beyond dissimulation and legitimacy, ideology has a function of maintaining the identity and group integration in the society. According to Ricoeur there is a dialectical relation between social sciences and ideology, so any trial to separate it is wasteful.

There is also, a link between ideology and contemporaneous society conflicts which reinforce the necessity of new approaches to mediate them in a post-industrial society.

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Once the problem of philosophical fundamentals is posit, it has been raised an objection to Ricoeur's approach concerning the ideological phenomenon. On this perspective, the ideology affects the entire knowledge about reality, which means there is a no-ideological position to talk about ideology. It is used to state that philosophy and science, mainly the social sciences, are plenty of ideologies, so they are mostly seen, in a broader sense, as synonyms of hiding and dissimulation of reality.

Therefore, science and Philosophy also hide and dissimulate the reality and the scientific and philosophical theories are not so rigorous. Moreover, they are not compromised to the truth. This objection sets a question on scientific neutrality and the necessity of a distinction between Philosophy and ideology.

Ricoeur's philosophical thinking is able to give am answer to this point of view.


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Ricoeur's fundamental concerning is to avoid an entire reality reflection and a monolitical speech that ends up in a absolute truth. That is because he declares himself against the scientific neutrality proposed by the Positivism and Funcionalist approaches.

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According to him, science is objective knowledge that is a matter of control and observation with no subject intermission. On an another perspective, according to Ricoeur, assuming an opposite position can leave us with a Relativist approach in scientific research. It turns out the results obtained are not universally valid and plenty of Historicism.

There exists a more confortable and objective point of view to make science and Philosophy which is feasible only after a critical procedure that involves the illusion of subject though a hermeneutic of the signs, a way to mediate the reality's understanding. According to Ricoeur, the main role of Philosophy is to unveil the sense of real by passing the ideological and utopic distortion.

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It is only at the end of process of scientific inquire that we will obtain it. In order to reach this matter, the French philosopher proposes a hermeneutic historical comprehension, a longer way to state the problem. As a matter of fact, this way establishes a critical instance between pre-comprehension of reality and the pre-conception due to the distance widening of the attribute and the criticism of ideology and subject illusions.

It is possible to state the intensive knowledge is based upon interests, so it is a matter of manipulation, domination and communication distortion.


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  4. History and Theory 4 2 Ambiguities in the concept of ideology may be clarified by a history of the word and the phenomenon. It was coined in early nineteenth-century France for a "science of ideas," knowledge of which would assure harmonious social life. For Hegel, ideology is the false consciousness necessarily arising from the partial and transitory nature of thought in its dialectical development.

    Marx, as a materialist, went further, holding all speculative thought to be ideological defense of the status quo; Nietzsche cynically reduced all thought to ideology. Weber, Lukfics, and Mannheim made a more creative critique. For Lukdcs, the solution of the problem of ideology lay in the consciousness of the proletariate, the "identical subject-object" of history; for Mannheim, in that of the intellectuals. Philosophy of History in Philosophy of Social Science.

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    muverksigtio.gq Revision history. From the Publisher via CrossRef no proxy jstor. Configure custom resolver. Comparative History of Science. Lewis Pyenson - - History of Science 40 1 Ideology, Rhetoric and Argument.

    Science and Ideology: A Comparative History
    Science and Ideology: A Comparative History
    Science and Ideology: A Comparative History
    Science and Ideology: A Comparative History
    Science and Ideology: A Comparative History
    Science and Ideology: A Comparative History
    Science and Ideology: A Comparative History
    Science and Ideology: A Comparative History

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