Conceiving science in a cultural or national context seems a conceptual absurdity. This sense of absurdity derives from the positivists' ideal of scientific objectivity. Scientific objectivity has two components: intersubjectivity and epistemic reliability. Intersubjectivity means that scientists achieve consensus about the conclusions they reach. Epistemic reliability means that scientists get it right about the world. In sum, scientific objectivity means "that scientific knowledge should be justifiable independent of anybody's whim." This means that cultural coloration, political decision, and the element of the person of the scientist do not enter into scientific investigation. Science is presented as a paradigm of institutionalized rationality. There is no bias in science. This implicates the universalism of science. But T.S. Kuhn maintains that scientific theories are value-laden. Feyerabend's holds "anarchism" or "anything goes" in science. These constitute a denial of the positivists' objectivistic conception of science. Inspired by Kuhn and Feyerabend, we can discuss science in national contexts. We can talk of Japanese science or science in developing nations, for instance. This is the objective of this paper. For clarity and brevity, the tool applied for this discourse is the center-periphery intellectual construct. This construct reveals that the growth of science in developing nations is imperialistically tied to the development of science in developed nations. This does not need to be so, thus this paper concludes with the proposal that intercultural approach is a more authentic and rewarding approach to the development of science in national contexts.
Obi-Okogbuo Jerry Obiora, Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Nigeria
This paper is part of the ACP2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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