If you were a scientist working in the 1950’s, you would claim that your work, the theory that you subscribed to, and the results of your academic endeavours were all neutral and objective. In the heydays of modernism, the mere suggestion that there were any external, non-scientific influences on your work would have implied a threat to the integrity of that work.
Fast forward 60 years, and you would now find it difficult to acknowledge that your scientific analyses are indeed purely scientific, uninfluenced by any prejudice, and untainted by subjective issues. If you at all considered at some stage using the term ‘objective’ to describe your analyses, you would, like I have just done, make sure that you put it in quotes.
What has happened, of course, is that the modernism of the mid-20th century has yielded paradigmatic ground to postmodernist ways.
Have we gained anything with this shift of paradigm? Continue reading