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The Social Construction of Knowledge

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Since the 14th Century, what has been considered as "legitimate" knowledge has been largely shaped by the needs of the capitalist economy. Conceptions of what properly constitutes knowledge have been saturated with positivist rationality - that is, scientific views of reality. But science itself is a socially constructed conceptual category which falsely maintains a position of ideological neutrality. This ideological neutrality is an illusion which masks sciences own internal contradictions in the service of capitalist production. Science serves the ends of alienation. A critical conception of science would start from quite different (humanist) premises. Allied to the positivistic role of science is its use of a technical rationality which fails to address or account for the morally reprehensible uses to which science itself has been put.

 

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