Science and politics in Ulrich Beck (in Spanish)

Por último, Beck se ocupa del lugar que la ciencia y la política ocupan en la sociedad del riesgo. En ambos casos Beck observa transformaciones institucionales y cognitivas. Bien puede decirse que con el advenimiento de la modernidad, la ciencia suplantó a la religión como la instancia generadora de certidumbres. Sin embargo, y como se mencionó en la primera tesis, hoy en día la ciencia ha dejado de ser esa fuente de certezas. En la actualidad, más ciencia no significa necesariamente más seguridad. Así, el riesgo característico de nuestra época invade el ámbito mismo de la ciencia. Esto hace que el individuo moderno desconfíe de la ciencia y se vea en la necesidad de movilizarse para poder tomar parte de las decisiones riesgosas que tradicionalmente han estado en manos de los expertos (políticos y científicos). La emergencia de esta “subpolítica” hace que los ámbitos extraparlamentarios adquieran una gran relevancia.

In

Galindo, J. (2015). El concepto de riesgo en las teorías de Ulrich Beck y Niklas Luhmann. Acta Sociológica, 67, 141-164.

Estética

El término estética (del griego αἰσθητική [aisthetikê], ‘sensación’, ‘percepción’, y este de αἴσθησις [aísthesis], ‘sensación’, ‘sensibilidad’, e -ικά [-icá], ‘relativo a’) tiene diferentes acepciones. En el lenguaje coloquial denota en general lo bello, y en la filosofía tiene diversas definiciones: por un lado es la rama que tiene por objeto el estudio de la esencia y la percepción de la belleza, por otro lado puede referirse al campo de la teoría del arte, y finalmente puede significar el estudio de la percepción en general, sea sensorial o entendida de manera más amplia. Estos campos de investigación pueden coincidir, pero no es necesario.

En cuanto a la primera acepción, la estética estudia las razones y las emociones estéticas, así como las diferentes formas del arte. La Estética, así definida, es el campo de la filosofía que estudia el arte y sus cualidades, tales como la belleza, lo eminente, lo feo o ladisonancia, desde que en 1750 (en su primera edición) y 1758 (segunda edición publicada) Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten usara la palabra «estética» como ‘ciencia de lo bello, misma a la que se agrega un estudio de la esencia del arte, de las relaciones de ésta con la belleza y los demás valores’. Algunos autores han pretendido sustituirla por otra denominación: calología, que atendiendo a su etimología significa ciencia de lo bello (kalos, ‘bello’).

La estética es la rama filosófica que estudia e investiga el origen del sentimiento puro y su manifestación, que es el arte, según asientaImmanuel Kant en su Crítica del juicio. Se puede decir que es la ciencia cuyo objeto primordial es la reflexión sobre los problemas del arte.

El método científico

El invento más grande de la humanidad, después del lenguaje, es elmétodo científico. No hay nada que nos haya permitido avanzar tanto como el simple esquema de observar, proponer hipótesis, testarlas y refinarlas hasta poder construir una teoría. Es una receta simple que ya usaban egipcios, griegos y árabes con más o menos acierto, pero que no llegó a estallar del todo hasta laRevolución Científica, que culminó con las grandes obras deGalileo y Newton.

Blogging as analytical aid for team-based research projects

Research notes have traditionally played an important role in the analysis of data in social science. Apart from transcribing audio-recording, the contextual information serves as a rich source of complementary data. Indeed, various researchers have suggested additional ways of recording supplementary information (Miles and Huberman 1994). These include “interim summaries”, “self-memos”, “and researcher´s diary”. Yet, most of them are usually presented as offline analytical aids and frequently for individual based analysis process. Social media, however, has redimensioned these tools and make them useful for team-based research projects, particularly for multisite and cross-national projects. The fact of publishing your research notes and summaries contribute may encourage both theoretical and methodological discussions during the research process:

  1. Online interim summaries: as the analysis progress, different team members may wish to write an “interim summary” of the progress to date (Saunders, 2011). What you have found so far; what level of confidence you have in your findings and conclusions to date; what you need to do in order to improve the quality of your data and/or to seek to substantive your apparent conclusions, or to seek alternative explanations; how you will seek to achieve the needs identified by the above interim analysis.
  2. Online self-memos. Self memos allow to record ideas that occur to you about any aspect of your research, as you think of them. Where you omit to record any idea as it occurs to you it may well be forgotten. Self memos may vary in length from a few words to one or more pages. They can be written as simple notes and they do not need to be set out formally. The occasions when you are likely to want to write a memo include (Saunders, 2011):
    1. when you are writing up interview or observation notes, or producing a transcript of this event;
    2. when you are constructing a narrative;
    3. when you are categorizing these data;
    4. as you continue to categorize and analyze these data;
    5. when you engage in writing your research project.

Furthermore, the openness of the methodology beyond team members may encourage a more dynamic relationship between research and the general public, which is consistent with the idea of science suggested by Nowotny et al. in the book “Re-thinking science”. In it, the authors argue that changes in society now make such communications both more likely and more numerous, and that this is transforming science not only in its research practices and the institutions that support it but also deep in its epistemological core.

 

Reference

Glaser, B. G. (1978). Theoretical sensitivity: Advances in the methodology of grounded theory. Sociology Pr.

Huberman, M., & A AND M MILES, B. (1994). Data management and analysis methods. Handbook of Qualitative Research. N. Denzin and Y. Lincoln London.

Nowotny, H., Scott, P., & Gibbons, M. (2001). Re-thinking science: Knowledge and the public in an age of uncertainty (p. 12). Cambridge: Polity.

Saunders, M. N. (2011). Research methods for business students, 5/e. Pearson Education India.

Gravitational waves detected or how theory building requires not only empirical evidences but also imagination

Ligo has detected gravitational waves 100 years after Einstein predicted their existence. In other words, Einstein build up the theory of gravity without having proved the existence of gravitational waves. This fact has reminded me one of his most famous quotations: “Imagination is more important than knowledge”.

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Imagination understood not as the action of making up new ideas with no empirical base but just the flexible articulation of thoughts derived from the first but not definite results of one research. In the same way, the results derive from case study based research or qualitative approach often do not allow to extrapolate the results to the whole universe under study (usually for lacking representativeness). Yet, the data obtained may give rise to new theories or hypothesis to be tested later under a positivist approach and be (or not) scientifically validated. This is not a banal issue, since qualitative data is usually excluded (usually by natural scientist and/or scientism) as part of scientific knowledge for not having been obtained by the application of the experimental method. But they are an essential part of the research process.

30 years since challenger accident. Not only social science predictions, but also physical science ones may fail, dramatically

The validity of sociological knowledge

To include epistemological questions concerning the validity of sociological knowledge in the sociology of knowledge is somewhat like trying to push a bus in which one is riding. To be sure, the sociology of knowledge, like all empirical disciplines that accumulate evidence concerning the relativity and determination of human thought, leads towards epistemological questions concerning sociology itself as well as any other scientific body of knowledge. As we have remarked before, in this the sociology of knowledge plays a part similar to history, psychology and biology, to mention only the three most important empirical disciplines that have caused trouble for epistemology. The logical structure of this trouble is basically the same in all cases: how can I be sure, say, of my sociological analysis of American middle-class mores in view of the fact that the categories I use for this analysis are conditioned by historically relative forms of thought, that I myself and everything I think is determined by my genes and by my ingrown hostility to my fellowmen, and that, to cap it all, I am myself a member of American middle class?

Reference