Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Beliefs, prejudices, fads and fashions.

What have we seen in recent years? We’ve seen a constant attempt to distort, suppress, and fabricate research in the name of various dogmatically held and pre-established political aims. …
I’m not sure where I anywhere suggested that Marxism is a science, although I do understand that it has promoted itself in this way in the past. Nor, I think, will you commonly find people in the academy these days portraying Marxism as a science. The same cannot be said of neoliberalism. Contemporary neoliberal economic theory has endlessly deployed the rhetoric of science in defense of itself, portraying itself as the branch of the social sciences that most closely approaches the hard sciences.
Moreover, in the United States, at least, neoliberal economic theory is hegemonic in economics departments. These economic theories have contributed greatly to human suffering throughout the world through promoting the installation of brutal dictators (Pinochet anyone?), the dispossession of natural resources owned by the people of various nations, and the privatization of various industries leading to a transfer of wealth out of countries into the hands of a few. I believe we need new voices in economics departments that also treat collective and communal interests as values that need to be included in “economic calculations”.]

Thomas Kuhn has famously argued that scientists think in paradigms, and these paradigms determine which questions are seen as worth asking, pursuing, what constitutes legitimate research, etc. …
Our paradigms and problematics are defined, from science to philosophy to everyday life, by the community of those whose feedback we trust. Certain approaches to ‘research questions’, be these in science or philosophy, are simply dismissed as ‘out there’, and never pursued, not so much because they might not have something to them, but that even following up on them would require a massive reorganization of the schemas we use to structure our lives. In the world of the everyday, we’d say they were thrown aside because they violate ‘common sense.’
Is philosophy that within culture that works to constantly keep ‘common sense’ at bay, or rather, is it that which defends ‘common sense’? I’d love to hope it were the former, but I think there is a really slippery slope at work here. A fuzzy onion, so to speak. 9:39 AM]

[Myths of Austerity By PAUL KRUGMAN July 1, 2010
When I was young and naïve, I believed that important people took positions based on careful consideration of the options. Now I know better. Much of what Serious People believe rests on prejudices, not analysis. And these prejudices are subject to fads and fashions. 7:59 PM

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman gave an interview to Rediff.com in which he contested the findings of Asko Parpola, saying he did not agree with Parpola’s unproven ‘decipherment’ of the Indus script on the premise that old Tamil was the underlying language. He pointed out that Parpola’s was simply a belief system, not premised on evidence of the corpus of inscriptions and the underlying cultural foundations of the civilization of 4000 years ago. 9:41 AM]

[Indian Political Thought - Page 274 Urmila Sharma, S.K. Sharma - 2001 - 416 pages
Sri Aurobindo, as we have already shown, neglects the discussion of social, economic and industrial institutions. This makes his social philosophy less thorough and practical and more one-sided and inadequate from the academic point of ...
9:59 PM]

Sri Aurobindo avoids elaborating economic and industrial affairs but he is more into our commerce with the other worlds. It is thus desirable that the current academic practices learn how to accommodate his holistic approach. [TNM]

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