> >The knowledge base (science) represented by what we call homeopathy has
> >validity in contexts just as other knowledges have in their own contexts when
> >that knowledge is verifiable.
> What is verifiable and how it was verified is the discussion. For some,
> having people find relief for over one hundred years is verification that a
> system such as homeopathy works. Or people finding relief for over two
> thousand years is verification that a system such as acupuncture works.
> This way of measuring is different than the *science* currently practiced
> in the U.S. but is no less valid for many of us. Some who say it is not
> *science* but anecdotal use that shield to make the facts fit the theory.
> I say the theory, that the scientific method is the only means of
> validation, is flawed.
I am surprised that someone has not brought in teh philosopher of science
Paul Feyerabend by now. He is somewhat of a cult figure especially for
non-specialists who who do not want to call in scientific expertise for
what they believe in. Essentially he would agree with what Cecille is
saying. To put it very simply (or even simplistically) his philosophy of
"against method" is that "whatever works" goes, is valid. Validity should
me measured by results, not method.
Equally importantly are his emphatic arguments that common people, not
experts should sit in judgement over what scientists do. An action cannot
be right merely because scientists say so. The benefits/adverse effects
have to be judged in a more democratic manner. Read Feyeraband's Science
in a Free Society.
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
Indian Institute of Technology, Powai
Mumbai, 400076, India
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