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Old 02-06-2011, 04:59 PM
testostyrannical testostyrannical is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 83
Default Re: Science Saturday: Anthropological Perspective

Originally Posted by sapeye View Post
In my first intro psych course as an undergrad, the prof stood up on his hind legs the first day of class and said that the only valid approach to learning about the human mind is empirical psychology. I raised my hand and asked if he didn't think that perhaps Plato, Aristotle, and the long line of Eastern and Western traditions of inward looking might have something to offer. Nope. They were, as you so nicely put it: "just old dudes, stroking their beards, feigning more knowledge than they can really have." This attitude is extremely narrow and hubristic. In a word, horseshit.
It is not narrow and it's not hubristic. Science fiction is a genre, but science is not, and this dichotomy you imagine existing between it and "inward looking" disciplines doesn't exist and never did. Aristotle did science, including some impressive zoology. He is also famous for claiming women had fewer teeth than men, and has been criticized for not bothering to count his wife's teeth to verify the claim. Methodical science really just boils down to variations of that admonition, and while professional scientists often wear lab coats, neither the outfit nor the profession is a prerequisite.
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