Substantial discussions often occur on social media. One of them relates to the tweet on December 1 by political scientist Patricio Navia regarding the inclusion of Marcelo Lagos to lead Gabriel Borek: “Scientific knowledge (sic) has no political colors. When scientists try to put political colors on knowledge and science, they leave science and go To the ditch. It’s your right as citizens, but don’t say you’re practicing science.” This tweet was answered by many people on the net, but one answer in particular caught my eye. “Science is politics,” Cristina Doraador, celebrity scientist and current District 3 constituent, answers by quoting Navia’s tweet.
I insist that discussion is sufficient and in my case I would like to offer a point of view. The starting point is based on two debatable biases, the first being that epistemology is often confused with the theory of science. The second is that the political question is confined to the partisan domain. In my view, the laconic expression of Cristina Dorador resolved these two Paraguayan biases and I would like to show how.
It is a mixture of epistemology and theory of science. Whereas, philosophically, epistemology is concerned with establishing the conditions that the mind has for the possibility of all knowledge (like Kant), empirical science theory is embedded in epistemology to the extent that some of these have been developed. Conditions, following a scientific method to achieve evidence-based knowledge.
At least two things can be inferred from what has been said: first, that empirical science is not ascribed to all possible knowledge, and secondly, that for this reason other conditions of epistemological possibility which can contribute knowledge to science. In this context, for example, following the Kantian path, Wilhelm Dilthey contributed the idea that among the inescapable conditions of the mind was its historical condition. As Gadamer puts it in his text The Problem of Historical Consciousness: “Dilthey asserts that we can know only from a historical perspective because we ourselves are always historical beings.” This strong philosophical appreciation leads us to understand, for example, why artificial intelligence was a scientific topic in the twenty-first century and it was not in the sixteenth. This also means that the scientific mind does not pass through its historical moment as it rises on its feet without touching solid ground. Each scientist will do science and transmit the science that inevitably traverses the historical consciousness to his mind.
Here is where my thinking opens about the second bias, political truth is not the same as a partisan question. The political relates to the historical development of coexistence within society. No human activity escapes politics, because no human activity can develop without feeling the other. There is science because there is a person and no one. Science in the city center makes its knowledge accessible to all. Knowledge of the world and the world unfolds through commitment to the humanity that constitutes them. It is absurd to think that scientific knowledge develops with its back to society, as if science were destined to be locked up in the indexed journal, in a chapter of a book, or developed for the enjoyment of the buffaloes.
So saying “science is politics” is a success. It is a fact that unfolds in the inevitable historical condition of all scientific knowledge which is at the service of the society into which it is entered.
Dr. Krician Almonacid Diaz, Director of the MA Ethics and Citizen Education at the Universidad Católica del Mole
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