Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with by Professor Paul R. Gross, Professor Norman Levitt

By Professor Paul R. Gross, Professor Norman Levitt

With the emergence of "cultural experiences" and the blurring of once-clear educational obstacles, students are turning to topics a ways outdoors their conventional disciplines and components of craftsmanship. In Higher Superstition scientists Paul Gross and Norman Levitt elevate critical questions on the starting to be feedback of technological know-how through humanists and social scientists at the "academic left." This paperback variation of Higher Superstition features a new afterword via the authors.

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Sample text

These critiques are probably the best known and most widely read of all, owing to the ubiquity of women’s studies programs on American campuses and the reality of women’s exclusion from science in the past. As well, the environmental movement has generated its own challenges to science, concentrating on the degree to which the orthodox practice of science maintains our alienation from nature while sustaining technologies that are shattering the fragile equilibria of planet Earth. There are no firm and fast divisions among these approaches; they merge into one another; in most cases we find ourselves dealing with hybrids.

Their enemies, on the other hand, may find here a certain amount of ammunition, if they wish. It would be idle of us to lay claim to a prim neutrality. Nonetheless, we are not happy to be classed as reflex partisans of the right on any issue. There has been plenty of bad faith, dissimulation, sanctimony, and hypocrisy from all quarters. The academic right is all too eager to use the grotesqueries of the academic left as an excuse for walking away from deep and intractable problems. For its part, the left is ready, at the slightest hint of challenge, to play the martyr and to find fascism, racism, or “denial” in it, no matter how judicious and well reasoned the challenge may be.

A public response was clearly needed. Even the silliest criticisms of science, dressed up as social analysis, hermeneutics, or emancipatory politics, were going largely unanswered. ) to rebut the kinds of antiscientific nonsense and flawed scholarship we were encountering in the academy. We didn’t know what sort of response the book we considered writing would evoke. In fact, we rather feared, since the argument would necessarily alternate between broad-brushing and technical detail and between polemic and analysis, that it would slip unremarked from new release to backlist to remainder without stirring much interest one way or the other.

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