You Do an Empirical Experiment and You Get an Empirical Result. What Can Any Anthropologist Tell Me That Could Change That?

Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (10-11):7-41 (2008)
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Abstract
Do you think the quotation in my title is reasonable or unreasonable? I find it unreasonable, but I know that many will not. Two people can react to the same idea, opinion, or data in opposite ways, and the reasons for this are often ideological. Ideology always has a political origin — in this case perhaps reflecting turf wars, career promotion, self-legitimation, the privileged status of science in post-industrial societies, and the need to say the right things in order to get research funding. The very concept of ‘hard science’ is ideological, implying that one part of our experience is ‘objective’ (meaning that it confers authority on scientists) and the other part is ‘subjective’(meaning that the opinions of non-scientists are of little worth).What we call ‘objective’ is of course a mental model built on the basis of experiences which we call ‘subjective’. There are many possible ways of carving up experience, but none that leads to a useful or non-political distinction between ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’
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