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Re: Western domination in Knowledge
by Romain Kroes
20 June 2002 14:49 UTC
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In support of the thesis of the author of "Western domination in knowledge",
there is a feature of Newton's works which is much enlightening, although
little known. It is related to the determinist method applied by Newton not
only to the prediction of the position of a mobile in time and space, but,
too, to the prophecies of Daniel's Book (Isaac Newton : Observations upon
the prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St John, London, Roberts,
1733). In one case, it is of a physicist, reputed to be approaching the
objective reality, and in the other case, it is of a delirious Puritan. But
they are of the same man. The Sri Lankan author is right: Lorentz and
Einstein do not merely correct a too much approximative approach to the
objective reality. They refute a determinism which is directly related to
Newton's Puritan belief in the predestination.

However, it seems very difficult to deny that the "western domination in
knowledge" has allowed us to understand some objective realities and to act
on them. But on another hand, the same humanist movement that gave birth to
sciences has generated, too, the scientism of the 18th century which is
still in force and even worst nowadays. In our scientific ideology, only the
"objective reality" has the answer to the researcher's asking. The
researcher is supposed to be neutral as long as he respects the scientific
method of investigation. Now, who does formulate the questioning?  And who
does the laboratory preparation of the sample which will answer? Two
questions that refer to the psychology and the ideology of the researcher
and of his world. Is there a western domination in the knowledge, or in the
world?

Romain KroŽs


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