Universals, Knowledge Claims, and Methods

Universals, Knowledge Claims, and Methods j oe oppe n h e i m e r Claims of universality in the empirical and normative questions of politics have been made over the millennia, but never without contention. So how can we establish their status and distinguish the wheat from the chaff? How does one establish or falsify a claim of universality? And what are the relationships between the methods of such inquiry, and both the survival and quality of the resultant claims? Lest one consider this an idle concern, this is being written when the fruits of science have cured diseases, wired every home, recorded all entertainment, and made remote control warfare a thing of joysticks forever. This is also a time when the idiocy of the American populace has revealed itself in wholesale attempts to reject evolution in order to embrace intelligent design. Such attacks make the task of reasserting and following justified methods to insure the quality of rendered judgments of universality a matter that is related to the actual survival of civilization as we know it.1 Let us start with the obvious: With but passing deference to Descartes, given the diversity of claims within the well reasoned philosophical traditions, we can http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Good Society Penn State University Press

Universals, Knowledge Claims, and Methods

The Good Society, Volume 20 (2) – Feb 16, 2011

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © The Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
1538-9731
Publisher site
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Abstract

j oe oppe n h e i m e r Claims of universality in the empirical and normative questions of politics have been made over the millennia, but never without contention. So how can we establish their status and distinguish the wheat from the chaff? How does one establish or falsify a claim of universality? And what are the relationships between the methods of such inquiry, and both the survival and quality of the resultant claims? Lest one consider this an idle concern, this is being written when the fruits of science have cured diseases, wired every home, recorded all entertainment, and made remote control warfare a thing of joysticks forever. This is also a time when the idiocy of the American populace has revealed itself in wholesale attempts to reject evolution in order to embrace intelligent design. Such attacks make the task of reasserting and following justified methods to insure the quality of rendered judgments of universality a matter that is related to the actual survival of civilization as we know it.1 Let us start with the obvious: With but passing deference to Descartes, given the diversity of claims within the well reasoned philosophical traditions, we can

Journal

The Good SocietyPenn State University Press

Published: Feb 16, 2011

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