MEM: Could you point to something radical-empiricist that is not-Dewey and then show me how it is analogously like-Dewey?Well, there was a bit of ironic humor there. I was serious in asking. But I phrased it to underscore empiricism: I did not understand the rationalist sorites that strings words together; I need to have experiential knowledge to understand your meaning. And, actually, Merlin provided that.
ET: Now how come I feel short-changed?
Merlin, thanks for the link to William James. I did not know that. I agree that Ed confused anti-rationalism with empiricism.
In sociology (and criminology), empiricism and rationalism (what we could call small-o objectivism) are called "positivism" after Comte and it is this that post-modernists oppose. In the words of post-modernists Christopher Williams and Bruce Arrigo (Philosophy, Crime, and Criminology; University of Illinois Press, 2006), positivism promotes
But, they say, " ... positivism (and empiricism) has been challenged by alternative epistemologies and methodologies, many of which have made their way into criminology."
- Progress -- the discovery of laws of nature allow us to impose control on nature and society.
- Certainty -- science has privileged access to truth.
- Facts -- Objective discovery as opposed to subjective experience
- Quantification -- size, shape, number, etc., can be objectively measured and known; knowing is measurement.
(ibid, pp 26-27)
I suffered through two books of this stuff in a graduate class in criminology theory. We even got into Lacan's "torus." Besting that, Dragan Milovanovic suggested that crime is a point attractor becoming a destabilized periodic torus and beyond this, a strange attractor. Which, you know, might be interesting to look at, if he actually produced a graphic simulation, but I think he drew the words out of a hat.
Compared to that, Marxism is the voice of reason, which is why physicist Alan Sokal (a Marxist) finally launched his famous hoax.
(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 8/14, 7:05am)