Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Neoliberalism at Crooked Timber again. Another nudge.

Farrell is moving away from the celebration of specialized expertise (including his own) and towards the notion of fostering an educated electorate. Less "research" more "teaching".

related: note taking. Last comment in a series, posted elsewhere.  [I removed it. I didn't like the way it was written. I'm leaving it up here.]
Your paper refers to a "science of science communication". Shorten that to a science of communication, and see where it takes us.

Civil rights movements, of women, ethnic, and sexual minorities were led by members of those groups, not by intellectuals and certainly not scientists. Members of the majority (or in the case of feminism, men) did not change their minds by way of reason; their minds were changed by the sometimes forcible presence of members of those subject groups in their own lives. Those who were spoken about, demanded to speak. This is the case now with the Palestinians.
Who observes the professional observers, and what status do they have? The student's paper quotes you as referring to "pathologies". That's a dangerous word.

From your own paper
We assume (again, unheroically) that a self-governing society is more likely to secure its members health, safety, and prosperity when it adopts policies informed by the best available scientific information. This state of affairs is most likely to occur when such a society’s citizens uniformly and rapidly converge in their recognition of the best available scientific evidence reveals about risk and risk abatement. Cognitive dynamics that systematically impede such convergence are, from the point of view of such a society, a form of irrationality.
That sounds like Stephen Walt writing about the politics of Israel.

The top right is a model of collective assumption; the top left is a model of actors and observers in reciprocal relation; the bottom is a model of normative language over time, of change without foundation.

These are questions dealt with in the sociology of science, but I would prefer an anthropology, since sociology is too "scientific" for my tastes. And this ties to my recent comments on the reception of Eric Posner's new book, critical only in the polite terms of the academy, when in deserves something stronger.

That authoritarianism has become normative may be a scientific fact, but that does not make authoritarianism itself a scientific truth.

A graph from the paper. The Tragedy of the Risk-Perception Commons: Culture Conflict, Rationality Conflict, and Climate Change"

The Cultural Cognition Project

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