Kritiki: Issue 8 (2008)

Contents of the issue and links to the abstracts (full texts available in Greek - see corresponding page):

Aris Stylianou: Obscure light: Rousseau’s critic of the Enlightenment

The purpose of this paper is to present Rousseau’s argumentation against the basic idea of the Enlightenment, i.e. the concept of continuous progress. Focusing in his earliest text Discourse on the Sciences and Arts, the paper tries to show for what reason Rousseau argued that progress in science and in civilization was actually corrupting humanity. After dealing with the different elements of Rousseau’s political theory, the paper concludes that his critical view of the Enlightenment can be understood as a notion of ‘obscure light’.

Alex Koutsouris: Critical realism and the problem of interdisciplinaritywith reference to agriculture and agronomic higher education

The current unsustainable worldwide situation (and the search for a sustainable future) challenges, among others, our understandings of agricultural development. Therefore, new paradigms concerning development and science emerge with emphasis on systemic approaches. Especially in science and education various forms of cross-disciplinarity are debated with most of them claiming that inter- or trans-disciplinarity involve the tight co-ordination among disciplinary parts allowing, in turn, for the discovery of overarching conceptual framework. Such a thesis is examined through the lenses of critical realism. The latter through its differentiated and stratified ontology, implying methodological pluralism, considers the claim for the development of an overarching synthesis unifying theories, concepts and methods to be problematic. Instead, it maintains that the integrative part of the research process consists of integration of knowledge about a complex phenomenon. In parallel, it forcefully criticises the dominant paradigm of (agricultural) science and education; its adoption implies the transformation of both fields.Dr. of History of Science
Critique to the scientific enterprise is identified usually with the Catholic Church. Science has come out of this conflict as a free enterprise. Bacon’s New Atlantis gave the image of the ideal state which guaranteed the production of citizens appropriate for this great undertaking. No other critique reached the level of a conflict.
Towards the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th, right after the great Newtonian success, the Italian philosopher Giambatista Vico dares to express his disagreement with the New Philosophy and the ethos it demanded from its participants. With the hope that one can learn from a critique to our present Republic of letters, I try to reconstruct the characteristics of the Republic Vico envisaged for the learned. For this I make use of his two major works, The Autobiography of Giambattista Vico and On the Study Methods of Our Time.
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Gianna Katsiampoura and Ioannis Parkosidis: Gender and Technology: a continuing discussion

The conclusions of scientific studies that point up the deficit of women’s representation in the fields of science and technology accent the necessity of the critical study of the basic theoretical feminist analyses so as to detect how this phenomenon has been shaped. The present study, based on the assessment of the inquiring, quantitative and qualitative, data and the analysis of the discussions from different theoretical perspectives that have been raised since a70s, attempts to: (a) investigate why the technological structures, institutional and not institutional, marginalize what is called “woman’s cognitive capital” contrary to the men’s model which is presented as the sovereign one and (b) examine under which conditions the existing technological culture would be reconstructed for the gender and other differentiations as well to be removed from its processes.
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Vangelis Koutalis: Disputing the jurisdiction of the victor: the criticism of Priestley to Lavoisier

Is it legitimate to give again, today, a voice to the defeated in a scientific controversy? Does it deserve the effort to devote time in the contestation not only of the outcomes and the principles of a theory, that have been ratified as “paradigmatic”, but also to the legality of its claims? If this contestation aims at a rational negotiation of objecting rationalities of (contexts of thought, research programs, “paradigms” and so on), then it can possibly show us that during the invention and development of the sciences of modernity, we did not acquire only a breadth of unusual possibilities but also certain opportunities were lost, and certain paths of fertile criticism were closed. In this paper we reexamine the criticism of Priestley to Lavoisier in an attempt to open certain paths for the reevaluation of the beginnings of the science of Chemistry.
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Philipos Tentolouris: Intertextuality, discourse genres and social relations: the texts for the Flexible Zone

In this article I try to show how on the basis of the Institutional Ethnography written discourse and specifically the texts of the Flexible Zone can be related to the so-called macro-context. The methodology of this research was based on the document-based investigation of specific texts which were considered as key texts for the Flexible Zone and the frame of analysis on relating the intertextuality and the discourse genres of these texts to the social relations in which they are located. The intertextual analysis indicated various descriptions of the methodology of the Flexible Zone within different discourse genres which was interpreted as the outcome of the various social relations in which these texts were constructed. Finally, it is argued that the Flexible Zone can be better described as “Flexible Zones” as different ideological constructions and practices which can be effectively indicated by the epistemological frame of the Institutional Ethnography.
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Dimitrios Schizas and George Stamou: Baroque and Romantic Perception of Wholeness within the science of Ecology.

Chunglin Kwa and John Law considered scientific romanticism and scientific baroque as long-standing metaphors, tropes or metaphysical positions within the natural sciences. Scientific Romanticism involves the assumption that to understand nature we need to adopt a holistic approach in which we look up to explore emergent complexities. By contrast, the baroque alternative looks down and discovers limitless complexity within. In the present paper we will attempt to apply this classification scheme to the understanding of the history of ecological science showing how it is exemplified in the various ecological paradigms. We will also attempt to elaborate this scheme further seeking for how it is associated with environmental management and ideology.
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