Saturday, August 15, 2009
Read this. Mary Midgley is a good thing, a great, persistent and wise critic of scientistic pretension.
'The mythology of how markets work, of how money can do things on its own, is as remote from solid physical reality as these other things. And of course whatever the mythology of the time is, those inside it don't recognise it as such; they think they're just noticing facts.'
This mythology to facts manouevre became the excuse for the absurd 'strong programme' in sociology, an attempt to turn science into just another social discourse. Midgley is not going that far, indeed she is not saying anything about science qua science. She is simply saying that prevailing mythologies can produce phantasms that are taken for facts - factasms? - by believers. The mythology thus takes on the authority of science, often, as Midgley well knows, with the collusion of scientists.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:49 am