[-empyre-] genetics in the media

Judith Roof roof12 at comcast.net
Tue Oct 30 09:14:03 EST 2007


I can appreciate that--But I don;t think I ever define science in that  
book--and the Foucault, which is quite brief--is certainly not  
intended to be such a definition.  I was more concerned with sketching  
(as it could only be) the development of reductionism and analysis-- 
not science per se.  I don't think my argument requires or has the  
scope of offering a definition of science.  It is instead interested  
in showing how language detours certain questions and ways of looking  
at things, none of which may be science, per se, whatever that is.

The ethical turn doesn't really bother me--though I can see how my  
responses would come across that way.  What I am interested in in what  
the relation is between discussions of representation and the turn to  
ethics.  This has happened as well in the academy in the humanities.   
Something to think about as it happens fairly regularly.

I have enjoyed your observations.


On Oct 28, 2007, at 4:23 PM, sdv at krokodile.co.uk wrote:

> Judith,
> After some further thought and another rereading of the related  
> pages...
> The problem with this appears to be the definition of science which  
> is (p58-9, 65) so much vaguer than your related definition of psuedo- 
> science. Here on the list you have said that there are a number of   
> defintions of the scientific method, but actually I really don't  
> think that Foucault's is one of them.
> I think as we get the end of October it's this which bothers me the  
> most  . Whereas I think what bothers you the most may well be the  
> ethics/bioethics turn...
> regards
> steve
> Judith Roof wrote:
>> Thanks for the leads, Steve.  Of course pseudoscience may or may  
>> not  have been involved in the actual identification of genes or  
>> their  effects--and, well, pseudoscience has discovered a few  
>> things in the  past--like a continent or two.  But then there is  
>> pseudoscience as a  calculated shot n the dark and then there's  
>> pseudoscience like  "crystals" or like finding the gene for playing  
>> with trucks.
>> Cheers,
>> Judith
>> On Oct 26, 2007, at 8:49 AM, sdv at krokodile.co.uk wrote:
>>> Two interesting articles in the New Scientist issue of the 27th   
>>> October.
>>> The first is a piece by Robert Sternberg on the Watson case.  
>>> Which  is an exemplary critique of Watson's position which  
>>> occupies a  position which makes a social and political critique  
>>> based on  science, rather than as some of the responses have been  
>>> based on  respect for heterodoxy or greatness.
>>> The concluding paragraph is especially nice: "The problems with  
>>> out  understanding of intelligence and race show that the  
>>> criticism  being levelled at Watson is based ons cience rather  
>>> than political  correctness. Intelligence is clearly a more  
>>> complicated issue than  standard testing allws. And race is a  
>>> socially constructed   concept , mnot a biological one. It derives  
>>> from peoples desire to  classify. Whether people with genetic  
>>> predisposition toward fatness  will be classified as a seperate  
>>> race remains to be seen..."
>>> The second article which i think will be of especial interest to   
>>> Judith is the article 'Why the long wait for tailored drugs?'   
>>> written by Peter  Aldhous with a subtitle on personalised  
>>> medicine.  Which supplies some examples of genetic research which  
>>> have  identified specific genes CYP2C9 and VKORC1 which effect the  
>>> way  that current drugs are metabolised by the people who have  
>>> these  genes. What is especially interesting given the context is  
>>> that the  article explains the social and economic context of the  
>>> science.  But and it's quite an important but, it also raises  
>>> categories of  knowledge that are missing from the discussion. The  
>>> obvious one  being the lack of an argument against the concept of  
>>> psuedoscience,  for example the article precisely, if unknowingly  
>>> shows the way in  which what might be understood as psuedoscience  
>>> produces usable  technology.
>>> best
>>> steve
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> empyre forum
>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

More information about the empyre mailing list