Descarte 1596-1650 If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.
The Cartesian Split Consiousness: I can’t doubt that I doubt “cogito ergo sum” (“I think therefore I am”). The inner reality. Perfection I can conceive of the “perfect entity”, therefore there must be one (God) A just God There must an “outer reality”, which is stable, measurable and has mathematical properties. God wouldn’t play tricks on us Dualism Therefore there is an inner and an outer reality operating under different rules
Auguste Comte (1798- 1857) – Sociology & Positivism
Positivism Metaphysical (nature of reality) assumptions Nature is orderly and regular (measurable); We can know nature. (Some theorists suggest that there exists a limit to such knowledge. Up to now, such a limit has not been defined.) All natural phenomena have natural causes (Determinism). Nothing is self-evident (e.g. the assertion that “2/3” or “√2” is not a rational number – a number that can be written - has to be proved.)
The square root of 2= 1.4142135623731 ….. Firstly, assume sqrt(2) is rational, i.e can be represented as the irreducible fraction m/n where m and n are integers. We have sqrt(2)=m/n. Squaring, and multiplying both sides by n 2, we get m 2 = 2*n 2. This tells us that m 2 is even. Now the only way to get an even square is to have its root also even, because even*even=even and odd*odd=odd. So m must also be even. This means that we can write m = 2*k where k is another integer. So now we can rewrite m 2 = 2*n 2 as (2*k) 2 = 2*n 2 = 4 * k 2. Halving both sides of this, we get n 2 = 2 * k 2. This tells us that n 2 is even. So n must also be even by the same reasoning as given above. So we can write n = 2 * j. So if m is even and n is even, then m/n is not an irreducible fraction. And this argumentation can go on for ever. So the assumption that sqrt(2) is rational must be wrong, thus sqrt(2) is irrational. Q.E.D.
Positivism Epistemic (nature of knowledge) assumptions Knowledge should only be derived from experience. (Empiricism) The meaning of a proposition consists in how it is verified by experience. (verifiability). The application of logical analysis will reach the goal of unified science. (Logicism). Sciences should all be unified syntactically and semantically.
Deduction If I am your father then you are my daughter I am your father You are my daughter All primates are social creatures All humans are social creatures All humans are primates If I have appendicitis, I am very sick I am very sick I have appendicitis Criminals are people Criminals are dishonest Criminals are dishonest people
Actual and Estimated production of oil and gas – Peak Oil
Induction I take 20 marbles from a bag They are all black All the marbles in the bag are black UFOs leave giant craters where they land There are giant crater imprints in Oregon UFOs have landed in Oregon Lithium causes vomiting in monkeys Monkeys and humans are primates Lithium will cause vomiting in humans Socrates was a great man Socrates had a mother All great men have mothers
Karl Popper’s “falsification” principle. Theories cannot be proven by doing endless confirmations of their predictions - the inductive argument One falsification of a theory is sufficient to disprove it - Newton and Einstein Science can never be more that a hypothesis waiting for falsification If an hypothesis is not falsifiable (testable) it is not scientific
Modernism Positivism, empiricism - a stable singular observable reality Strong faith in science and that behaviour is reducible to physics and chemistry technological solutions to problems, industrialisation, victory over nature destruction of religious/cultural/class dogma /power Humanistic moral force research as defined, structured, quantifiable process
Some NZ Humanist principles Live a worthwhile life Contribute to the well- being of our fellow humans, since we depend on each other. Care for the health of the environment that nurtures us. Hurt not others with that which pains yourself. Do as you would be done by Children should be brought up to be honest, kind and fair.
Naïve John Good Old Modernism Takes a Ciggy Break 1992 Home New Work Early Work Drawings Product News Links Contact
Postmodernism (in complete defiance of the rules of science) flies away from exhausted Modernism
Postmodernism Metaphysical and Epistemological assumptions multiple and individual realities the idea of “other” an absence of universals (metanarratives) rejection of structural and hierarchical models – surface (lateral) not depth (vertical) relationships methodology of deconstruction research as a creative interactive qualitative process
We are the only beings conscious of our own existence. We cannot have an “innate” nature. We have to create our own nature Jean-Paul Sartre & Simone de Beauvior - Existentialism
Post-structuralism An extension/rejection of structuralism – the meaning of words is dependent on their relationship to other things Objects exist independently of thought All things only have meaning within social space (relationships, discourse [thought and language]) – social construction Meaning is constructed and can be deconstructed by discourse (anchors themes) Meaning is always in flux and where it is ambiguous is a pointer to shifting conditions of power
There is no one theory or perspective that defines everything
Michel Foucault – power and ethics: “From being an art of unbearable sensations, punishment has become an economy of suspended rights”
Foucault Rejection of idea that there is position from which you can observe all history – having a transcendent consciousness Understanding the location and movement of power is the key function of discourse analysis Everything is capable of multiple meaning – there are no experts The “confession” and the “examination” as mechanisms of oppression in social services Maintaining a stance through ethics based on autonomy of the participant, reflexivity, and critique
Deconstruction - text analysis 1.Find tensions and instabilities in the text 2.Question assumptions which are set as self evident, natural or original 3.Look for the binaries (man-woman), developed-underdeveloped) – is there a power hierarchy? How stable is the binary? What does it exclude? 4.Look for paradox – where an author subverts his/her own intentions Derrida - defining deconstruction.wmv
Post-positivism critical realism. there is a reality independent of our thinking about it all observation is fallible and has error and that all theory is revisable the goal of science is to hold steadfastly to the goal of getting it right about reality, even though we can never achieve that goal objectivity is a group perspective, requiring multiple measures and methods knowledge evolves through a process of variation, selection and retention
Contrasts between positivism and post- positivism   PositivismPost-Positivism Emphasis on parts and decontextualization Emphasis on whole and contextualization Emphasis on separationEmphasis on integration Emphasis on the general Emphasis on the specific Consideration only of objective and the quantifiable Consideration also of subjective and the non- quantifiable
Contrasts between positivism and post-positivism   PositivismPost-Positivism Reliance on experts and outsider knowledge-- researcher as external Consideration also of the "average" participant and insider knowledge- researcher as internal Focus on predictionFocus on understanding Top-downBottom-up Attempt to standardizeAppreciation of diversity Focus on the product Focus on the process as well
Transformative/Emancipatory paradigm Has a focus on social justice, the experience of oppression, the differentials of power, and the cultural, political, economic and historical perceptions of “reality”. It builds on Foucauldian ideas of ethics and asks for a constant effort to move taken-for-granted knowledge to conscious examination while accepting the post-positivist agenda