Archives For neoliberalism

Author Information: Justin Cruickshank, University of Birmingham, UK, j.cruickshank@bham.ac.uk

Cruickshank, Justin. “Neoliberalism, the ‘Scientific Enterprise’ and the ‘Business of People’: Comments on the Sociology and Politics of Knowledge Production.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4, no. 8 (2015): 53-65.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-2f0

Editors Note:

    Given the rich and extensive history of this exchange related articles, replies and responses are provided below the references section.[1]

glasgow_cloisters

Image credit: Michael D Beckwith, via flickr

In his latest reply (2015a), and in his recent ‘Compromising the Ideals of Science’ (2015b), Raphael Sassower draws together concerns with the natural sciences and political economy. For Sassower (2015a, 2015b) the conception of the natural sciences has changed over time as cultural assumptions, influenced in part by the sociological ‘demystification’ of science, have changed alongside developments in the political economy of science, with much research now being funded by non-scientific bodies (the state and corporations), who seek to regulate or manipulate the outcomes of research.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Adam Riggio, McMaster University, adamriggio@gmail.com; Steve Fuller, University of Warwick, S.W.Fuller@warwick.ac.uk

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-22H

Editor’s Note:

Adam Riggio

One element I want to focus on in my questions for you about the last full chapter of Knowledge is the political aspects of public knowledge and scientific institutions and inquiries. Speaking as a Canadian, one of the disheartening developments of my country’s politics was seeing our Conservative government’s assaults on state scientific institutions.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Adam Riggio, McMaster University, adamriggio@gmail.com; Steve Fuller, University of Warwick, S.W.Fuller@warwick.ac.uk

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-22s

Editor’s Note:

Adam Riggio

Before I start my critical points regarding Chapter Five in Knowledge: The Philosophical Quest in History, I want to say how much I appreciate the opportunity for this dialogue. The institutional structure of research universities tends to prevent prestigious research chairs from engaging in one-on-one debate with unaffiliated scholar/writers like me. Especially since I can become highly and fundamentally critical of some of your perspectives and priorities.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Justin Cruickshank, University of Birmingham, j.cruickshank@bham.ac.uk, Ioana Cerasella Chis, University of Birmingham, icc108@student.bham.ac.uk

Cruickshank, Justin and Ioana Cerasella Chis. “Exit, Voice and Loyalty in the Public Sphere: On the Hollowing Out of Universities and the ‘Trojan Horse’ Attack on the Muslim Community in the UK.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 9 (2014): 57-71.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1BN

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In his ‘Beyond Lamentations’ Raphael Sassower picked up on the use of the term ‘neo-liberal’ and he offered a nuanced consideration of its definitions. He then moved on to consider the ethical imperative for academics / intellectuals to be publically engaged, despite the risks. Sassower is certainly correct to say that the term neo-liberal needs to be clearly defined. In the discussion below we will offer our definition of neo-liberalism as an elite project that hollows out education and communities; relating this to the questions of why academics are not usually public intellectuals and how the UK Coalition Government demonised a dialogic education offered by some schools in Birmingham with a majority of Muslim pupils.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Raphael Sassower, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, rsassowe@uccs.edu

Sassower, Raphael. “Beyond Lamentations: Comments on Justin Cruickshank’s Public Intellectuals, Education and the Need for Dissatisfaction.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 7 (2014): 50-54.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1xI

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Justin Cruickshank’s reply to my last response takes us from the strict examination of the overlapping and distinguishing characteristics of Popper’s and Rorty’s thoughts and writings to a range of topics from public intellectuals, higher education, and democracy. He provides wise accounts of the British experience, including governmental “reforms” and the rise of the extreme nationalist Right. The mention of neoliberal ideology deserves a moment’s notice because of its impact on government policies in the so-called free world.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Joshua Penrod, Virginia Tech, jmpenrod@vt.edu

Penrod, Joshua. 2013. “Has the Time Come for New Starting Points? Reply to David Hess’ ‘Neoliberalism and the history of STS Theory: Toward a Reflexive Sociology'” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (12): 1-6.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-16T

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A certain man once made a virulent attack on another man for falsely assuming the title of philosopher more in order to satisfy his overweening pride than to practice virtue, and added that he would accept that the title was justified if the man could suffer attacks upon him with patience and composure. For a time he did assume patience and after accepting the insults asked with a sneer whether the other now agreed that he was a philosopher. ‘I would,’ came the reply, ‘if you had not spoken’ (Boethius 2003, 43).

Introduction

In Neoliberalism and the History of STS Theory: Toward a Reflexive Sociology, David Hess (2013) paints a picture of Science and Technology Studies (STS) as a path toward critical understanding of the linkages between “neoliberalism” and science and technology. Indeed, for this approach, STS would be uniquely situated in offering up interdisciplinary insight relating to these linkages and could, therefore, provide better answers than other approaches. Hess’ summary of the history of the development of social thought within STS is an excellent one, and educates readers with a better understanding of how STS came of age as a field of inquiry and the current possibilities present within it for better understanding many of the critical issues the world currently faces. Some difficulties still exist within this approach, as I will attempt to bring forward. The largest difficulty, as I see it, is the usage of “neoliberalism” as a starting point. Continue Reading…

Author Information: Philip R. Egert, Virginia Tech, pregert@vt.edu

Egert, Philip R. 2013. “A Conversation with David Hess about ‘Neoliberalism and the History of STS Theory’.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (11): 7-12.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-12g

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Introduction

I begin this conversation with a rather extended caveat as it has some bearing on my reactions to David Hess’ “Neoliberalism and the History of STS Theory: Toward a Reflexive Sociology.”  I am a Ph.D. student in Virginia Tech’s Science and Technology in Society (STS) program in the Washington DC metro area, or as we like to say, the National Capital Region.  I purposefully chose STS as my personal foundation for a new knowledge and understanding about the world based not on the “S&T” component of STS, but for the “and Society” component.  As such, I am also what is known as a non-traditional student: a working professional who had not seen the inside of a classroom in more decades than I care to admit.

When I did find my way back to the classroom though I brought with me over 30 years of experience imposing science and technology on society both as that entrepreneur Hess writes about as well as a senior executive in a Fortune 50 corporation.   In these roles, I was both the victim and beneficiary of the social liberal and neoliberal constructions that are at the heart of Hess’ article.  Therefore, I have a unique perspective in having been an actor in both the subordinate and dominant networks, and have been both invisible and visible to the “implicit assumptions” Hess refers to.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: David J. Hess, Vanderbilt University, david.j.hess@vanderbilt.edu

Hess, David. 2013. “Reply to Libby Schweber’s Comments on ‘Neoliberalism and the History of STS Theory’, David J. Hess.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (10): 32-37.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-10b

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I want to thank Schweber for developing a generous and thoughtful reply to what is, after all, only the beginning of a reflexive cultural analysis and field sociology of STS (science and technology studies). On rereading the essay, I can see that I might not have been as clear as I should have been, especially in interdisciplinary venue, about methods and disciplines, so I will begin with a few comments on these issues, perhaps less in direct reply to Schweber, who probably understands well these issues, and more for other readers of this exchange.

In an interdisciplinary field such as STS, there is always the possibility of “evidences invisibles” — or, as the English translation of a book of that title has it, “cultural misunderstandings” — that can occur across the disciplines. Perhaps one of the least visible and most misunderstood differences is that between anthropology and sociology, two fields that shared common points of reference in social theory and sometimes also live together in the same academic department. Having spent much of my career betwixt and between those disciplines, I am especially attuned to what each has to offer the other, and the tension in Bourdieu’s work between his anthropological and sociological voices is one of the great attractions that his work holds for me. Continue Reading…

Author Information: Libby Schweber, University of Reading, l.schweber@reading.ac.uk

Schweber, Libby. 2013. “Critical Reply to David Hess’ ‘Neoliberalism and the History of STS Theory: Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (10): 7-11.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-Z2

Please refer to: Hess, David J. 2013. “Neoliberalism and the history of STS theory: Toward a reflexive sociology.” Social Epistemology 27 (2): 177-193.

Introduction

Hess’ article “Neoliberalism and the History of STS Theory: Toward a Reflexive Sociology” makes a strong bid “for a more integrated approach to the structure-agency-meaning triangle in STS via the use of field sociology.”  The paper uses the conceptual development of STS as a case study to exemplify this approach. As such, its aim is twofold, first to exemplify the application of field sociology and secondly to address a historical problem, namely, how did more structural and institutional approaches to the sociology of science come to be so marginal within STS. Continue Reading…