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DannyBhoy
2001-Dec-16, 07:30 AM
Postmodern Deconstruction Of Newtonian Science (http://theoryandscience.icaap.org/content/vol002.001/05zaman.html)

Abstract

A postmodern 'deconstruction' of basic physical theory is made possible through a physico-social transposition of the Newtonian-based 'event causation' of physical bodies (passive objects), whose inertia, accelerative force, and action-reaction become the 'agent causation' of social beings (active subjects). This deconstruction is a counterfactual that perhaps can validate Steven Lukes' 'three faces of power' in the natural sciences. It shows that the modernist context of mechanism within which scientific discourse is always conducted, in classical physics specifically and the natural sciences generally, is a manifestation of social power in natural science. The psychological basis of this power is an underlying objectivist worldview that metaphysically informs modernity's understanding of physical cause and effect. The physico-social causality thereby established for reinterpreting the natural world reconfigures in a fundamental way the meanings of the words 'social' and 'science.' For it shows how it can be that, in the words of Bruno Latour, 'The social is not a [separate] domain, but only one voice in the assemblies that make up things in this new (very old) political forum: the progressive [from the physical up through the biological and social] composition of the common world.'

Kaptain K
2001-Dec-16, 10:14 AM
And your point is????

David Simmons
2001-Dec-16, 08:42 PM
On 2001-12-16 05:14, Kaptain K wrote:
And your point is????


The only point seems to be that if you use enough 8 cylinder words, it must mean something.

lpetrich
2001-Dec-16, 11:18 PM
Which reminds me of Alan Sokal's hoax article in Social Text, "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity" (http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/transgress_v2/transgress_v2_singlefile.html)

Here is Alan Sokal's Master List (http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/) of articles on that hoax; as he explains, his purpose was to expose a certain sort of intellectual shoddiness.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: lpetrich on 2001-12-16 18:19 ]</font>

GrapesOfWrath
2001-Dec-16, 11:49 PM
Didn't Sokal admit (http://mentock.home.mindspring.com/afca/afca-his.htm) last year that he actually believed the stuff when he wrote it, but realized his mistakes and tried to cover them up?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: The Bad Astronomer on 2001-12-16 19:03 ]</font>

2001-Dec-17, 10:37 AM
On 2001-12-16 18:49, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
Didn't Sokal admit (http://mentock.home.mindspring.com/afca/afca-his.htm) las

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: The Bad Astronomer on 2001-12-16 19:03 ]</font>

you are so funny, I must use another space,
for my RETORT, and leave Your Grab0 .inTAC.
1st Edit 4:16 A.M.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: HUb' on 2001-12-17 05:42 ]</font>

2001-Dec-17, 10:41 AM
| Durring the solar max {23}
2: i watched and studied Solar event sequences {?see}
3. And last night watching TV, I tuned in Short wave
4? So I could both See & hear, the electrical energy
5? associated with a rather heavy rainstorm occuring
6 Sounds ( TV frame over rides} where of sheat size
7 not like lightning BOLTS! Long Period {seconds}
8: discharges {bombardments} that I did guess where
9_ associated with the Solar Flux :: 4:13 A.M. 1st Post
1st Edit : 4:17 A.M.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: HUb' on 2001-12-17 05:44 ]</font>

ToSeek
2001-Dec-17, 01:03 PM
I like the bit toward the end where he likens the "materialistic, objectivist" scientific culture to the Empire and the "pluralistic, subjectivist" post-modernists to the rebels in Star Wars. This is a reasoned argument for a scientific paper?

_________________
"... to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." - Tennyson, Ulysses

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ToSeek on 2001-12-17 08:04 ]</font>

The Bad Astronomer
2001-Dec-17, 04:46 PM
Strike 1: this is not an astronomy post.

Potential Strike 2: the poster has not returned yet to reply to the comments.

Consequences: this makes me suspect this is a troll. Having me think that is a very bad thing. Defend the OP (original post), explain it, or I will lock the thread.

Wiley
2001-Dec-17, 07:44 PM
On 2001-12-16 18:49, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
Didn't Sokal admit (http://mentock.home.mindspring.com/afca/afca-his.htm) last year that he actually believed the stuff when he wrote it, but realized his mistakes and tried to cover them up?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: The Bad Astronomer on 2001-12-16 19:03 ]</font>


Arrgh! You got me. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Silas
2001-Dec-17, 09:31 PM
I thought it was intended as a joke: I mean, it's funny, right?

One *could*, in all seriousness, write a really nifty paper on how physics, over the centuries, was influenced by culture.

(Hey, Astronomy got its start from Assyrian Astrology, eh?)

I though that the OP was just a juicy parody of that kind of paper.

Ees a choke, mon! (Yes, no?)

Silas

Wiley
2001-Dec-17, 10:19 PM
On 2001-12-17 16:31, Silas wrote:
I thought it was intended as a joke: I mean, it's funny, right?


It's funny alright, but I don't think it was intended as a joke. Hopefully the editors of postmodernist pulp would have learned something from Sokal and the Social Text affair. The math and physics in Sokal's article was so absurd it was funny; the physics, although not going past Newton's Laws, is at least correct.



One *could*, in all seriousness, write a really nifty paper on how physics, over the centuries, was influenced by culture.


It's important to make the distinction between the actual "physics" and the "physics research". The areas of "physics research" may be subject to culture vicissitudes but the truth of the underlying "physics" is still sound. During the cold war, nuclear reactions for hydrogen bombs was an area of intense study. Now that the cold war is over and we are reducing our nuclear armament, the physics uncovered is still valid.



I though that the OP was just a juicy parody of that kind of paper.

Ees a choke, mon! (Yes, no?)


Silas



I hope you're right, Silas, but judging by the other articles ...

DannyBhoy
2001-Dec-18, 09:34 AM
On 2001-12-17 11:46, The Bad Astronomer wrote:
Strike 1: this is not an astronomy post.


This is a postmodernist critique of newtonian science, and is relevant as physics goes. This is an attempt to stimulate debate on the fundamental assumptions of science. And last time I checked, Newtonian physics is still relevant to astronomy, unless you'd want everyone to use Einsteinian physics.



Potential Strike 2: the poster has not returned yet to reply to the comments.


I am busy with the other forums that I frequent.



Consequences: this makes me suspect this is a troll. Having me think that is a very bad thing. Defend the OP (original post), explain it, or I will lock the thread.


I'm not a troll. I want to see and understand the reactions of mainstream scientific people. I cannot defend the article as I do not agree with it. Lock it if you want.

Valiant Dancer
2001-Dec-18, 02:21 PM
On 2001-12-18 04:34, DannyBhoy wrote:


On 2001-12-17 11:46, The Bad Astronomer wrote:
Strike 1: this is not an astronomy post.


This is a postmodernist critique of newtonian science, and is relevant as physics goes. This is an attempt to stimulate debate on the fundamental assumptions of science. And last time I checked, Newtonian physics is still relevant to astronomy, unless you'd want everyone to use Einsteinian physics.



Potential Strike 2: the poster has not returned yet to reply to the comments.


I am busy with the other forums that I frequent.



Consequences: this makes me suspect this is a troll. Having me think that is a very bad thing. Defend the OP (original post), explain it, or I will lock the thread.


I'm not a troll. I want to see and understand the reactions of mainstream scientific people. I cannot defend the article as I do not agree with it. Lock it if you want.


I have to agree with the BA here. If you put forth a theory and don't qualify it, then you infer that you support this theory. Your later post says that you don't support the theory. This is still troll-like activity. A troll is a netizen who posts the most outlandish stuff just to see the eruption of discussion/abuse it elicts. I would encourage you to post a theory or idea in the realm of astronomy which you wish to defend. If we agree, we can provide valid arguements for the position. If we don't, we can provide arguements against.

The Bad Astronomer
2001-Dec-18, 06:35 PM
The topic of the post was IMO at best only marginally relevant to astronomy, but I'll let that go for the moment.

If you want to discuss the relative merits of a theory, great. But to drop something like that into a forum with no real comments is very troll-like, making it suspicious. Also, the language is nearly impenetrable, which again makes this troll-like. Also, this was your first post to the board; again, a troll-like scenario.

I have a heightened sense of suspicion for this board, which I have earned over time from dealing with some extraordinarily obnoxious people. In the future, please do not drop quoted content into your OP with nothing else; qualify your post with some salient comments.

Mr. X
2001-Dec-18, 07:45 PM
On 2001-12-18 13:35, The Bad Astronomer wrote:
I have a heightened sense of suspicion for this board, which I have earned over time from dealing with some extraordinarily obnoxious people.

/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif Proud /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

And that link GrapesOfWrath posted...
Damn you! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

NottyImp
2001-Dec-19, 09:03 AM
One *could*, in all seriousness, write a really nifty paper on how physics, over the centuries, was influenced by culture.

You could, and it's surely a valid area of social-science research. But I don't think that the original post was doing anything remotely comprehensible in that arena.

Having done a science degree myself in the UK, I think modules on the history and philosophy of science should be compulsory at under-graduate level on all science-based courses. Context matters, and I did my degree in an effectice vacuum with respect to these areas of study.

It was only afterwards, as I started reading more popular science and astronomy books, that my appreciation for these topics was piqued.

GrapesOfWrath
2001-Dec-20, 02:28 PM
On 2001-12-18 14:45, Mr. X wrote:
And that link GrapesOfWrath posted...
Damn you! :D

Well, I thought it was apropos. Now you're going to get this thread locked for sure.

Wiley
2001-Dec-27, 11:12 PM
Hmmm, I hesitate to post this but ...

The articles gives the socially correct form of Newton's 1st law (inertia) as



An ?actant? (active, animate body) maintains its present state of rest or ?uniform motion? (conserves its momentum) unless directed from within to change that state ...

It seem to me that this means objects move of their own volition. I think I agree with this. It explains all my typos: I did not strike the errant keys, they moved by themselves. Delibrately and wantonly tripping me up. Bad keys!

Argos
2002-Jan-06, 09:32 PM
The term "deconstruction" impressed a handful of "dandies" of the social sciences over the 90's. It looked cool in the yuppie era. Everything was "deconstructed" those days. It originates in the structuralism and is specially indicated for use in linguistics. I don't see where it fits in natural sciences.

Anyway, I don't think the complicated philosophical jargon you employ will help in clarifying things in physics. Sorry.

ljbrs
2002-Jan-09, 01:36 AM
Ipetrich:



Which reminds me of Alan Sokal's hoax article in Social Text, "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity"

Here is Alan Sokal's Master List of articles on that hoax; as he explains, his purpose was to expose a certain sort of intellectual shoddiness.


Alan Sokol's book and article upon which his book is based was a great joke! We need more Alan Sokols in this world. It must have taken an inordinate amount of time to write his beautiful farce.

I strongly recommend that people buy it. However, if anybody can understand what the pseudo doodos in the Social Studies departments are intending in their silly prose, I would like to know. Sort of. It would be quite boring to discuss, actually.

Wonderful book! Great humor! Everybody should buy it. Thanks for the extra articles.

ljbrs /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

David Simmons
2002-Jan-09, 01:56 AM
On 2002-01-08 20:36, ljbrs wrote:
if anybody can understand what the pseudo doodos in the Social Studies departments are intending in their silly prose, I would like to know


What the postmodernist deconstructionists are saying is that it makes no difference what you write, the reader will interpret it to suit himself. Of course they say this at great length and in written form.

In my terminology this is called sawing off the limb on which you are sitting.