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Scientific Values and Civic Virtues$
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Noretta Koertge

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172256

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195172256.001.0001

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Are Postmodernist Universities and Scholarship Undermining Modern Democracy?

Are Postmodernist Universities and Scholarship Undermining Modern Democracy?

(p.172) 11 Are Postmodernist Universities and Scholarship Undermining Modern Democracy?
Scientific Values and Civic Virtues

Philip A. Sullivan

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the encroachment of advocacy in certain disciplines has undermined their credibility, and that this trend is largely due to uncritical acceptance of relativist epistemologies such as social constructivism. Examples are cited from anthropology, educational theory, law, the sociology of science, and women’s studies. It is suggested that practices in the natural and historical sciences, as contrasted to the attributes of pseudoscience, provide guidelines for both university scholarship and the public debate essential to democracy.

Keywords:   advocacy, scholarship, social constructivism, pseudoscience, public debate, democracy

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