Sunday, June 29, 2008

Podcast: How To Think About Science

There was a day when the church was the epistemic authority--the institution that told intellectuals how to think and the limits of what could be known as well as instructing the masses in what was true and false. But the Enlightenment shattered the foundations of theological authority as the Reformers exposed the church's abuses of authority and philosophers generated new methods of knowing that called the church's truth claims into question. And it's those modern methods of knowing and the institution that supports them that we now call "science".

How To Think About Science is a CBC Podcast that explores the institutions and methods of science. Science is the epistemic authority of our day, yet reformers are questioning the ways its authority is used and philosophers are questioning the basic assumptions that support its method. How To Think About Science is the only medium I know of (Someone, correct me if I'm wrong.) that collects the disparate voices challenging the authority of science and places them together in the context of an epistemological revolution.

This revolution coincides with the cultural and philosophical movement known as postmodernism and could be identified with it. Like postmodernism, it's not exactly clear what it will become and what the next epistemic authority will be. But if you'll indulge me going out on a limb and playing prophet, I'd say that the next epistemic authority will resemble a Wiki and its method will be something one could label "collective phenomenology".

But please, don't quote me on that in twenty years (unless I'm right).

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