The Parochialism of Instrumental Science Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/js956h902

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  • With the continual growth of scientific knowledge and ever-increasing arguments for science as the end-all “objective” system of knowledge, a severe criticism and analysis of science and its history is direly needed. Within this paper, I use the work of Max Horkheimer, the Frankfurt School, Martin Buber, and others to explore the limitations of science, its inability to solve ethical problems, and its instrumental nature. I argue that science not only fails to provide a solid foundation of ethics due to its instrumental nature, but risks highly destructive outcomes if applied as such due to its reductionist approach. Tracing the history of science from the beginnings of Modernity, combined with the Eurocentric worldviews and philosophies that shaped its creation, I argue that the concept of the objective scientist is ultimately false due to societal and personal biases, and that claims to objectivity risk portraying the subjective as objective truth. Finally, I address the reductionist and alienating nature of Western science and provide an alternative model of science that both places humanity within the context of nature and acknowledges the fallibility of science.
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