Conflating two ideas I many comments and several of the items on the list:
- Who is getting listened to and who is getting credit for developments and discoveries in science. (Anyone should agree that no matter how universal and objective “science” is, it is still POSSIBLE that certain nationalities and races are not acknowledged and that credit finally resides with the first publisher who says it right and is in the “in” crowd, which could correlate strongly weakly or not with race and/or nationality. No I would not be surprised if a good economic theorist in Iran had a harder time getting listened to and ultimately getting credit for a new idea or model than one in Cambridge Mass. Just an opinion, but I would guess that the race issue, whatever it’s magnitude, is not so much about race per se, but about how many people of various races really have a shot at getting to a place where their ideas are heard and deeply considered. (I.e. A black or white or Pakistani Harvard Economist probably has plenty of people reading and considering his work, unhindered by his race or nationality.) Next question in this first section is then more about access to great schools or other platforms by the billion people of African descent compared to billion white people compared to billion-plus Oriental (well over a billion Chinese alone), etc etc. Certainly being raised in certain cultures makes one more likely to be able to do good, internally consistent science (but I’ve now creeped into the season idea).
- Whether the epistemological and even ontological philosophies operating (usually implicitly) are (or can or should be) a-cultural and nonracial. Now, here I have some stronger and more certain views. I think race and culture might make people approach problems differently and come up with models that employ different primitives. (In other words, asking “What will be my unit of analysis and what is assumed to change or be fixed etc.?”) One way to see progress in scientific understanding in a field or the creation of a new field is to see models with different things being analyzed. Like the social psych theory that used the relationship as the existent and fundamental component rather than the person. Or traffic flow theories that stop using a car as the basic unit of analysis and started to use a modification of behavior from one vehicle to the next as the unit. As long as no modification happened, nothing was occurring (even though cars were speeding along), and when one did occur, the MODIFICATION in behavior from car in front was analyzed by looking at said modification’s cause and propagation. A new field. Here I think diversity is good in allowing new theories and primitives etc. I do NOT think there is a plethora of cultural-specific ways of tracing out or calculating out the implications. This is where diversity can fail. Running back to “anything is true” and “all views are valid” especially if profound and spoken with dignity in indigenous garb. I agree with the original comment per about Sallie that there are non-identity-based standards of logic once a model is well defined. And regarding empirical analysis or testing of models, it’s even more true. There are rights and wrongs specific to science. They shut-out a lot of thinking and perceiving that can bring us to truths of a different sort, truths that are not the purview of science. And here it is non-scientists wanting validation and recognition and saying “I DO have some truth to report.” Yes but that’s not science. You’re misled by all the nerd-fools who told you only scientifically uncovered truths can be true; therefore you are defending your truths by insisting they must be some kind of hard science.