Is Science an Ideology?
Our last issue contained two articles on the philosophy of science: an analysis of the works of Khun and a review of Feyerbend’ Agains Mood. Mike Fuller continues their debate about science, philosophy, & truth.
To defenders of science, like Karl Popper, the claim that science itself might be prey to distortion, prejudice and ideology is anathema. To people who believe like Paul Feyerabend that science is “just another ideology”, the common belief that science is a neutral and objective body of knowledge is an indication of just how great an ideological grip it has on people’s minds.
Science and Pseudo-Science
Popper’s famous distinction between science and pseudo-science (or ideology) depends on his equally famous principle of falsification. Quite simply, he argues that if a theory is in principle open to being disproved or ‘falsified’ by the facts of the world, then it is scientific. If it is not open to being falsified by the facts of the world, then it is pseudo-science, ideology.