The nature of science portrayed in ecological webspace
Jonathan Paul McGoey, The University of Western Ontario , Canada
The University of Western Ontario . Awarded
This is an interpretive content analysis of the nature of science (NOS) presented by ten ecologically-related websites on the Internet. Its impetus came from the belief that because we seem consistently embroiled in ecological collapses, something must be lacking among the confluence of science, economics, and politics. The study was grounded in post-positivist (constructivist) philosophy and naturalistic inquiry methodology. The interpretive framework was based on the philosophy of Imre Lakatos (1978), involving notions of core beliefs, peripheral theories, and heuristics. Parallels to Kuhnian philosophy were made.
Science, as normally presented, involved applying technology to monitor ecological objects or solve environmental problems to meet economic or political imperatives. Science is normally presented in a positivistic framework, and enshrouding a set of core beliefs or metaphysical principles that are ecologically unsustainable. Selecting ecologically sustainable principles is owned by economic and political agents, who need to promote this layer of objective science as a means to control which values society, science and technology pursues. A Lakatosian perspective proved fruitful in analyzing the interplay among science, economics, and politics.
McGoey, J.P. The nature of science portrayed in ecological webspace. Master's thesis, The University of Western Ontario.
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