Kritiki: Issue 6 (2007)

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

Helena Sheehan: The influence of Marxism on Science Studies: 1931 and now

How to appraise the reverberations set off by the impact of the soviet delegation at the 1931 international history of science congress? How farreaching, how profound have been the resonances of this interaction? How were such tragic fates connected to being so fired up by such ideas? How did later soviet delegations fare at international congresses? What did subsequent generations make of this connection of Marxism with science? How have different trends within Marxism related to science? How have different trends within science studies related to Marxism? How has Marxism influenced science studies? What remains? What was set in motion at the congress continued to reverberate. Some of those present were forever changed by it. Some prospered, but others met tragic fates tied to the force of their convictions. This presentation will trace the trajectory of the ideas put forward by the soviet delegation through the decades since. It will focus both on the impact of these ideas on several generations of Marxists who have engaged with science and also on trends in science studies showing a somewhat circuitous and complex relation to Marxism.
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Efthymios Bokaris: The Chemical revolution as test field of historiography strategies

The approach of Chemical Revolution through the historiographic strategies that have been constituted cannot bring out the multidimensional event, the complexity of the process and her temporality. Its uniqueness cannot be proved despite via the approach of history of sciences as history. The more suitable tool for the last one is the marxist analysis of social shaping according to Louis Althusser problematic.
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Dimitris Hasapis: The research objective of the teaching of Mathematics: characteristic choices of the main stream

This paper aims to provide an exploratory look at mathematics education research from a standpoint of spotting the aspects which are selected and emphasised as essential characteristics of the phenomena studied, building on relevant research reviews. It is claimed that contextual aspects as represented by social, political and cultural factors have not given considerable attention by mainstream mathematics education related research in contrast to factors related to either psychological or instrumental aspects of mathematics thinking, learning and teaching which also are considered from an individualistic viewpoint.
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Maria Rentetzi: Invisible technicians at the Nuclear Research Center Democritus: Gender and Physics in Post-War Greece

While anonymity is something that especially characterizes male laboratory technicians of the 17th and 18th century, in high energy physics laboratories of the 20th century young women known as scanning girls took up the role of anonymous assistants and technicians. Their job is internationally recognized as a female task that has nothing to do with science but it is simply routine work, a monotonous, unskilled and highly gendered assignment. This paper focuses on the Greek nuclear research center Democritus during the 1950s and 1960s. It emphasizes the role of scanning girls at the center’s group of high energy physics. I argue that the work of those women was crucial and constitutive part of the experiment, much different in comparison to the unappreciative work of scanning girls in the big laboratories of the United States of America.
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George N. Vlahakis: The timeliness of the past. Metrical images of the science during the verge of two centuries (19th-20th c.)

This paper discusses the image of science in the late 19th and early 20th century Greece. Our evidence are not based on the usual sources like scientific books and articles but on several poems published during that time. These poems, mainly written by the popular poet Georgios Souris, had a lot of references about the status of science and scientists in the society of that period. Souris, a progressive mind, criticized strongly the absence of an originality in the activities of the Greek scientists.
Some other poems, which we present, also here, discuss mainly the ideal of science from a more or less romantic perspective.
Finally we may conclude that the image of science, as science is undoubtedly a social coordinate, is spread in every cultural activity, poetry included. NikeLab ACG.07.KMTR

Maria Terdimou: Mathematics as theological argument in 20th c. Greece

At the beginning of the fifties, some circles of the Greek Orthodox Christian Church gave an arbitrary interpretation of the sacred texts and undertook the task to prove the incompatibility of the theological issues and the contemporary scientific theories by declaring themselves as the guardians of the Christian Orthodox doctrine. These people tried to give to their proposition a scientific luster and they used the magazine Aktines of the religious union "Zoi" (Life).
Their purpose was to point out by scientific means, as they claimed, that the world must have been created by an ultra-mundane Creator.
The theories of Probability as well as the theory of intuitionism were used. Their efforts were nevertheless insufficient to persuade Greek scientists or any rationalist. Nike Running

Anastasia Stamou and Stefanos Paraskevopoulos: The critical awareness of the language of environmental texts: selections from the interpersonal function of language

In this article we study the selections made from the interpersonal function of language when writing about environmental issues. The interpersonal function refers to the way we are involved in the utterance as text producers shaping social roles as well as to how we interact with the recipients of texts positioning them (in a relation of power, solidarity, and so on) in terms of the social world constructed. Drawing upon examples from environmental texts coming from the media, as well as from the formal and informal environmental education, we show how the scientific environmental information transmitted in the texts is rhetorically exploited through language (categorical assertive speech acts, evaluation), leading to the naturalization of scientific “truth”.
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Dimitrios Athanasakis: Philosophy as politics: Antonio Negri on Spinoza’s Democracy

First in The Savage Anomaly: The Power of Spinoza’s Metaphysics and Politics, and later in Subversive Spinoza: (Un) Contemporary Variations, A. Negri proposes an original interpretation of Spinoza’s philosophical and political thought, based on Spinoza’s naturalistic or anti-contractual conception of the right of the state or of the sovereign. This interpretation, which focuses on the ontological and political implications of the power of a multitude, is strongly related to the historical development of a “subversive democracy”, and therefore to Marxism itself. From Negri’s point of view, Spinoza’s Political Treatise is essential to revolutionary thought, in so far as it offers an adequate response to the crisis of Marxism.
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Christos Kefalis: Michio Kaku, a radical scientist

Michio Kaku, the well-known Japanese-American physicist, has greatly contributed to the development of superstring theory and the formation of modern scientific outlook. Moreover, he has produced a number of popular works dealing with the philosophical implications of modern physics, in which he makes radical, atheistic deductions, not infrequently referring to materialist dialectics and Marxism. A social activist, he is also distinguished for his deep concern about non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and ecological problems. In the present article, we attempt a Marxist estimation of his epistemological views, laying emphasis to the unity between the content of physical theories and their philosophical implications and aiming to show the fertility of the dialectical Marxist method in dealing with the problems of modern natural science.
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