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[Xmca-l] Re: in the eye of the beholder

Hi Chuck,

I certainly empathise with your take on this issue. But that's not the spirit one finds in many contemporary behavioural science journals or, even, in many psychology departments across the globe. Quite the contrary, we are in a time where western psychology is very optimistic about the universal nature of its findings, however many of them have been collected in WEIRD populations. The use of the evolutionary framework has certainly helped to advance this notion of universality, which is not that new actually. G.S. Hall and all the early recapitulationists (ontogeny recapitulates philogeny) really thought they were unveiling human nature.


On Sep 22, 2014, at 12:50 AM, Charles Bazerman <bazerman@EDUCATION.UCSB.EDU> wrote:

> Michael,
> I am with you, and not only because of climate change deniers.  The sociocultural critique has been important to show that humans make knowledge, and they do it from their own interests and perspectives.  Yet, various disciplines and sciences, have come to know more about the world in ways that are less entangled with the limits of individual or small group perceptions and interests. 
> Disciplines do represent the world outside of themselves, gathering data--of course selectively through their own devices, their means of collection, forms of inscription and display, etc...  Historically, the methodological standards in different fields have evolved to include more awareness of the contingency, fragility, and specificity of samples, data and analysis--along with increasing cleverness of our tools.   This is what methodology is all about.  I tend to view objectivity not as an absolute, but an awareness of ways in which we are entangled with the phenomena we are trying to study, and to find ways to disentangle ourselves less. 
> So from this perspective, incorporating the sociocultural critique creates challenges to maintain the persuasiveness of our data, representation, and analysis. Over the last few decades, we have been struggling in different disciplines to incorporate this critique but yet maintain the disciplinary projects of advancing contingent, but useful and reliable knowledge.  I like your term warranted assertability. I myself have relied on the idea of accountability--in terms of being able to give a good account of your research actions when queried from various directions. But it is important to the advance of knowledge that we find ways to gather and understand information about the world (in which we are both living parts and the constructors of knowledge about that world including ourselves) that recognizes the contingency of our knowledge but does not evaporate our confidence in that knowledge into a vapor of contingency only.
> I have struggled with this issue for many years in my work on the rhetoric of science and have discussed it in various ways, drawing on the work of many others (Ludwik Fleck still seems important to me over many years), but more work needs to be done to crystallize an understanding that leaves science and social science standing despite it being created by poor, frail, interested, humans of limited and skewed vision.
> best,
> Chuck
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Glassman, Michael" <glassman.13@osu.edu>
> Date: Monday, September 22, 2014 11:21 am
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: in the eye of the beholder
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>> It seems to me that articles like this can be a double edged sword.  
>> They use examples where culture has an influence on how we see things 
>> but then offer the generalization that science is perspective.  This 
>> is the same line you hear by climate deniers who claim that the 
>> climatologists have a liberal bias.   Science is based on individual 
>> perspective until it doesn't.   I'm their book is a much more nuanced 
>> discussion.   This is a really complex issue which at this particular 
>> moment has extraordinary import.  Maybe we need to find other ways to 
>> discuss this - like warranted assertability.  Perhaps I have been 
>> spending too much time reading about the politics of climate change 
>> lately and it has spooked me.
>> Michael
>> ________________________________________
>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu 
>> [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] on behalf of David Preiss [daviddpreiss@gmail.com]
>> Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2014 9:41 PM
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: in the eye of the beholder
>> And they make claims for all humankind.
>> Enviado desde mi iPhone
>>> El 21-09-2014, a las 22:16, Martin John Packer 
>> <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co> escribió:
>>> So there are two distinct problems here: First, the researchers are 
>> not diverse. Second, the people they (we?) study are not diverse.
>>> Martin
>>>> On Sep 21, 2014, at 8:11 PM, David Preiss <daviddpreiss@gmail.com> 
>> wrote:
>>>> Loved the WEIRD acronym. One of the best ironies I've seen in 
>> recent scientific writing.
>>>> Enviado desde mi iPhone
>>>>> El 21-09-2014, a las 18:57, Rod Parker-Rees 
>> <R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk> escribió:
>>>>> Great article, David - highlights the importance (at every level) 
>> of being aware of what others might find odd about us (secondary socialisation?).
>>>>> Rod
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu 
>> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of David Preiss
>>>>> Sent: 21 September 2014 18:31
>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: in the eye of the beholder
>>>>> This article is revelant for this topic: http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~henrich/pdfs/WeirdPeople.pdf
>>>>> Enviado desde mi iPhone
>>>>>> El 21-09-2014, a las 13:42, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> escribió:
>>>>>> The book by Medin and Bang, "Who's asking" published by MIT is GREAT
>>>>>> reading. Seeing this in Scientific American is super.
>>>>>> mike
>>>>>> On Sun, Sep 21, 2014 at 8:18 AM, David Preiss <daviddpreiss@gmail.com>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>> What a fantastic piece Peter! Loved the references to primatology.
>>>>>>> David
>>>>>>> Enviado desde mi iPhone
>>>>>>>> El 21-09-2014, a las 7:31, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu> escribió:
>>>>>>> http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/point-of-view-affects-how-s
>>>>>>> cience-is-done/
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> Development and Evolution are both ... "processes of construction 
>> and
>>>>>> re- construction in which heterogeneous resources are 
>> contingently but
>>>>>> more or less reliably reassembled for each life cycle." [Oyama,
>>>>>> Griffiths, and Gray, 2001]
>>>>> ________________________________
>>>>> [
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