Sillitoe - Chapter 01 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Sillitoe - Chapter 01

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Local Science vs. Global Science

an Overview

Relativity is a relative idea. There is the physical scientists' notion of relativity, which is of global relevance, and there is the social scientists' notion of relativity, which is of local relevance. Just as physicists argue that classical scientific laws are a special case that apply to planet Earth only — varying with mass, speed, time and such — so too anthropologists maintain that scientific theories are a special case rooted largely in contemporary Euro-American understanding of the world — varying with culture, history, place and so on. We assume that our scientific view is one way of explaining our experience of the world, albeit a technically powerful one, employing an astonishingly effective body of integrated theory. Few of us are arrogant or ignorant enough to think that humans can aspire to a true 'Godlike view' of the universe and our place in it. We can never definitively verify universal propositions, only unsuccessfully attempt to falsify them experimentally (Popper 1959).

Local Science vs. Global Sciencean OverviewPaul SillitoeRelativity is a relative idea. There is the physical scientists' notion of relativity, which is of global relevance, and there is the social scientists' notion of relativity, which is of local
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