DiscussionPaper1

DiscussionPaper1 - Rationalists see that each of us has...

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Erica Grimaldi 0508 211 03 76 1210 Authority and Science Science has acquired authority by accident. The public has given science authority, and science has accepted it. Unknowingly, with authority comes some danger. Potential over use of authority can be serious. What does Milgram think of Authority? He quotes the words of the social philosopher Harold J. Laski, “Our business, if we desire to live a life, not utterly devoid of meaning and significance is to accept nothing which contradicts our basic experience merely because it comes to us from tradition or convention or authority”. The rest of the scientific world generally perceives that science should be supported by individual acts of justification. Science is then based upon reason and experience alone, and in turn, authority becomes meaningless. Science is a form of knowledge to which people can be enlightened. The Scientific world believes that science is knowledge which can never be pressed upon a person to gain acceptance. These views of Science are similar to the Rationalist way of science. The
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Unformatted text preview: Rationalists see that each of us has access to knowledge by virtue of our own awareness of nature and our own reasoning powers. Each of us independently can act rationally and responsibly on the basis of what we know. This is an ideal vision of science and scientific knowledge which fits closely with the ideal of a democratic individualistic society. Although this is ideal for most scientists, and is how most people think science should be, there are some slight problems with this view of science. Mainly that it is very difficult to relate this ideal of science to what actually exists. This is primarily because we have a very high level of intellectual division of labor within science. Also, the way science interacts with the general public portrays a sense of authority. The natural way of science never had a thing to do with authority, and scientist strive to return....
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