Philosophy Faculty Publications


Science and Ideology via Development

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The Journal of Value Inquiry


Economists, sociologists, and anthropologists, in line with scientific ideals, endeavor to grasp the phenomenon of development through the action of deterministic forces. But they also mention the role of ideology in the drive toward development. While in this way they follow the inspiration of Max Weber, yet by the prominent role they attach to institutional changes, and by the very method of their scientific intent, they are compelled to conceive subjective phenomena as effects of external causes. The specific role of ideology and its occurrence have remained as a blank statement. We are left with the impression that the place allotted to ideology is reserved for a not yet determined objective instance.

At any rate, such is the admitted purpose of those theories of development which obey the writs of Marxist epistemology. Indeed, in the Marxist tradition, the term "ideology" is fraught with so many suspicions and is accused of so many idealist deviations that the scientific approach must neutralize it. In addition to being a mere impediment to objective knowledge, ideology is believed to be utterly an anti-scientific state of mind, to the extent that its removal is equated with the triumph of science.

This essay explores this aversion between a driving force of development and the premises of scientific method. Without going so far as to suggest a solution, my study will be content with showing how attempts by the social sciences to eradicate ideology from their explanatory scheme result in "ts stubborn resurrection.

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Kluwer Academic Publishers





Peer Reviewed