Saturday, June 20, 2015

Philosophers have lame arguments for funding

There is a philosophy site called Scientia Salon that appears to be pro-science, but actually anti-science and anti-scientist.

A current article argues:
So let’s be honest: the reason to give money to basic science is the same that should be used to give money to the humanities and the arts: because we are a rich country that can afford to spend a fraction of its wealth on things that are not practical, on continuing the human quest for knowledge, understanding and beauty.
A couple of comments suggested that the case for basic science was stronger than for the humanities, but that was upsetting:
Unnecessary remarks by Jake Zielsdorf and francisrlb dismissive of the humanities, soured this thread for me. Really, if they aren’t willing to respect interests of mine, why should I support theirs?
The moderator admitted that he considered censoring the pro-science comments:
We actually discussed whether to let those comments through
My reply was:
Really? Did I stumble upon some sort of support group for emotionally fragile people?
The moderator blocked this for being too "uncivil".

It seems bizarre to me that a site would cater to philosophers having discussion, and yet be so unable to handle differing opinions.

Yes, of course basic science is more worthy of taxpayer funding than the humanities. A lot of science has no practical application or obvious taxpayer benefit, but at least it is pursuing facts and truth, and the scientists are held accountable for the validity of what they say.

Much of the humanities is worse than worthless.

A later comment in the same thread says:
The 1980s did bring forth a cultural revolution, the Reagan Revolution, which is properly so-called (although Reagan himself was mentally unbalanced and incompetent at anything other than delivering speeches). ... the re-interpretation of all values into the language of the marketplace: ...
Today's universities are filled with humanities professors who spout this sort of politically driven nonsense. It is worse than worthless because they are teaching the next generation a wrong version of history, as well as distorted idea of what science is all about.

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