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The Scientific Eunuch - California State University_ Fullerton

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									The Scientific Eunuch:
 The Philosophical Foundation of His
      Ideological Legitimation

       Roger Dittmann, Ph.D.
      Professor of Physics Emeritus
   California State University, Fullerton
Eunuch \’yu-nek\ n [ME eunuk, fr. Gk
eunouchos fr. euné bed + echein to have
charge of]
A powerful emasculation with
uncritical loyalty to a master.
                               Themes

                                                        --Rabelais




The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   3
                                Themes

"Huren, Tänzerinnen
und Professoren kann
  ich für mein Geld
   überall kaufen."
                                 --Prince of Hannover [Boos (1979) 20]


 The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists      4
                               Themes

"My view, based on long and
   painful observation, is that
professors are somewhat worse
   than other people, and that
 scientists are somewhat worse
     than other professors."
                           --Robert F. Hutchins [(1963)1]
The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   5
                                 Theses

            sans
         “Science
conscience n'est que
  ruine de l'âme.”
1. Logical Positivism is
   the foundation of an
   Ideology of Science
[including “Professionalism”].
 The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   6
                                Theses

2. This ideology
 promotes a scientific
 ethic of docility and
 pliant compliance
 [“Instrumental
 Rationality“].
  The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   7
             Instrumental Rationality

The efficient [“rational”]
 accomplishment of
 unquestioned, often
 irrational,
 counterproductive,
 unintended, egregious, or
 inhumane ends.
  The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   8
                           An Alternative

3. A critical, contextual theory and
  model of science, “adequate to
  the fullness of the phenomena",
  humanistically taking cognizance
  of values and consequences in
  scientific endeavor.
                                                           (Palmer 1969:100)

   The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists          9
                               Deviance

Methodological: “Hashing” the data,
 misrepresenting the results.
Normative: Service to inhumane,
 profit-taking, exploitative,
 imperial, and military ends in
 efficiently dispatching death and
 destruction..
    The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   10
     “Liberation and the Aims of Science”

The buoyant optimism of the Age of Reason
 that viewed Science as Liberator:
A noble pursuit of “truth" and
 “knowledge“ to overcome the
 intellectual tyranny of
 ignorance, superstition, and
 religion, and the ravages of
 nature and poverty
     The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   11
                                 Strategy

4. Grass roots organization of
 scientists as workers
 [“proletarians”] in solidarity
 with other workers and
 moral leaders both locally
 and globally.
   The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   12
     Images of The Dark Side of Science

A toast to mathematics:
“Here’s to pure mathematics,
 may it never be useful for
 anything!"
                                                              --G. H. Hardy



    The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   13
      Images of The Dark Side of Science

Science as Oppressor:
"A science is said to be useful if its
 development tends to accentuate
 the existing inequalities in the
 distribution of wealth, or more
 directly promotes the destruction
 of human life."
                                           --G. H. Hardy 1940: 121]

     The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   14
          Images of The Dark Side of Science
“To the typical American scientist who still believed
  that science has helped liberate men from ancient
  tyrannies, it was disconcerting to be told by a
  conservative president that he had become a
  member of a new priesthood allied with military
  power...the intellectual problems involved in this
  new status are likely to trouble scientists almost as
  much as the fears of apocalyptic uses to which their
  discoveries may be put by the politicians.“
                                                              --Don K. Price (1962) (p. 235)




         The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists                15
       Images of The Dark Side of Science

“The physical sciences, above all
 physics itself, are at once the most
 arcane and the most deeply
 implicated in the capitalist system
 of domination.”
                                                   --Hilary Rose, [Solomon 1995




      The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists      16
        Images of The Dark Side of Science

                     Changing Times
The Great War to End All War:
 “Thanks for the offer (from ACS), but
 we already have a chemist.”
                                               —The War Department
WWII:
The nucleus as the route to military and
            economic power
                                    —The Department of “Defense”
                                    [ushering in the Age of Euphemisms—]
       The Scientific Eunuch   Southern California Federation of Scientists    17
                                        [”The best defense is a good offense.”]
       Images of The Dark Side of Science

“Enemy of intellect”
             Jacques Barzun, The House of Intellect
“Learned ignoramuses and barbarians”
      José Ortega y Gassett, The Revolt of Masses
“Anti-cultural if not downright anti-
 intellectual”
                    Gerald Horton, Science and Culture

      The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   18
                 Tenets of Logical Positivism

Scientific knowledge is
   a) neutral,




     The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   19
                 Tenets of Logical Positivism

Scientific knowledge is
   a) neutral,
   b) objective,




     The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   20
                 Tenets of Logical Positivism

Scientific knowledge is
   a) neutral,
   b) objective, and
   c) value-free;




     The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   21
                 Tenets of Logical Positivism

1. Scientific knowledge is
    a) neutral,
    b) objective, and
    c) value-free;
2. There is a unitary approach to knowledge
    (“The Scientific Method", with physics as
    the exemplar).


     The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   22
        “Contemporary Schools of Metascience”

Radnitzsky: [Chicago, IL: H. Regnery (1973) ]
  Anglo-Saxon [U.S. – British], Logical
    Empiricism
  [Logical Positivism]

   Continental, Hemeneutics-Dialectics



      The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   23
                Mertonian Norms of Science

Disinterestedness
Universalism
Communality
Organized skepticism.




    The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   24
                    Popperian Norms of Science

"He who teaches that not reason but love
 should rule opens the way to those who
 rule by hate." ---(Popper 1966:236)]

[Popper's fear of love recalls St. Augustine's fear of,
  and preoccupation with glandular tumescence,
  which is not obedient to human will, or even
  necessarily rational.] (Dunham 1964).



       The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   25
                Science as Value Free and Neutral

"The basis of advanced technology is
 innovation, and nothing is more
 stifling to creativity than seeing
 one's product not used or ruled out
 of consideration on flimsy premises
 involving public world opinion“
 -----Harold Agnew, Director of the University of California Los Alamos
                        (Nuclear) Weapons Division, [Chomsky (1971) 25]


        The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   26
                Science as Value Free and Neutral


"I think SRI people were upset with
  the notion...that students and
  faculty should exercise moral
  control over the work at SRI. This
  was very upsetting to our
  professional people”.
 --Charles Anderson, President of Stanford Research Institute
                                      [Anderson (1969) 24].

        The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   27
                 Science as Value Free and Neutral

Failing to reduce values to science, an attempt was made to
  exclude them from science, leading to the "fundamental
  false consciousness of our epoch":
  "Insofar as the practice of the scientific
  establishment is held to be neutral, while
  actually justifying the extension of
  repressive control systems, we can assert
  that the contemporary self-image of science
  functions as a technocratic ideology”.
                                                                         --[Schroyer (1971) 297]


         The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists                    28
                 Science as a Faustian Bargain



“While you’re up,
 get me a grant!”
  --Dr. Grant Swinger, Operator par excellence,
    Center for the Absorption of Federal Funds
[Nom de plume of Dan Greenberg, Editor and Publisher,
  The Science and Government Report]



     The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   29
                    Science as a Faustian Bargain

Scientists can gain [limited scientific] knowledge at
  the expense of their souls [Caring, making
  judgments, supporting principles and values].
                                                                                 30
“...it became all too clear that the beauty of
  their calculations had hidden from them
  the terms of the Faustian contract they had
  somehow scratched their name to."
                                                       -- E. L. Doctorow [(1995) 170]
                                                        See also Spencer Klaw (1971)

        The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists              30
                Professionalism as Ideology



"It is the hallmark of the expert professional
       that he doesn't care where he is going,
       as long as he proceeds competently."
  --Herman “Thinking about the Unthinkable” Kahn (quoted in Lens
                                                                         1976)




    The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists       31
                    Professionalism as Ideology



 Guidelines to Professional Employment for
           Engineers and Scientists
 "The professional employee must be loyal to
     the employer's objectives and contribute
            his/her creativity to those goals.“
--Adopted by more than twenty U.S. “professional” societies,
   but not the APS,--it smacked too much of trade unionism!


        The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists   32
                  A Critical Theory of Science

"...it has come about that a generation so
   amazingly proficient in the practice of
   science can be so amazingly impotent in
   the understanding of it...the state of
   unselfconscious automation in which
   science finds itself today is due to the lack
   throughout its history of a critical school
   working within the scientific movement
   itself...“

                                                                          --Herbert Dingle
                                                              (quoted in Frank 1957:XIV)

      The Scientific Eunuch Southern California Federation of Scientists                 33
                 A Critical Theory of Science

"In order to understand not only science
  itself, but also the place of science in our
  civilization, we need a coherent science of
  concepts and laws within which the natural
  sciences, as well as philosophy and the
  humanities have their place."
                                                                -- (Phillip Frank 1957)




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