The science wars


Humanists deal with literature, philosophy, law, etc., fields of knowledge that spring from the human mind. Natural scientists deal with gravitation, metabolism, earthquakes, microbes, etc., i.e. natural objects of which we have reason to think that they exist independent of the human mind, indeed independent of the existence of Homo sapiens. Needless to say, natural scientists have only their senses and brains to assess the objects of nature, so what results from their efforts are representations of natural objects formed in the human mind. However, unlike subjects of interest in the humanities, the natural objects under scrutiny of natural scientists are not, from scratch, products of the human mind. While until the previous century most philosophers of science had been trained as natural scientists, many contemporary science critics are humanists. They thus like to focus on products of the human mind and therefore concentrate, in their analyses of natural science, on the aspect of representation, often ignoring the independence of natural objects of the human mind. Natural scientists, in contrast, concentrate on natural objects, often forgetful of the transformations necessary in forming their representations. For natural science it would thus indeed be useful to learn more about the representational mechanisms in order to more precisely define and perhaps minimize their influence in understanding nature. For science scholars, conversely, it could be helpful to come to terms with their ignored and unsolved challenge that facts uncovered by natural sciences have indeed enabled mankind to reshape the real world, for better or worse but in an undisputable way.


Natural Science Quantum Gravity Human Mind Planck Scale Natural Object 
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  3. Parsons K (ed) (2003) The Science Wars: Debating Scientific Knowledge and Technology. Prometheus Books, AmherstGoogle Scholar
  4. Baringer PS (2001) Introduction: ‘the science wars’. In: Ashman KM, Baringer PS (eds): After the Science Wars. Routlege, New YorkGoogle Scholar

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