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The chimera of ideology in the twentieth century

Journal: The Digital Scholar: Philosopher’s Lab (Vol.1, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 134-150

Keywords : ideology; ideologization of science; scientific community; state scientific policy; political philosophy of science;

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The political philosophy of science is just beginning to form its subject field, which already encompasses the study of the interaction between power and knowledge, as well as the comprehension of the place of science in the political system. A possible direction of expanding the perspectives of the political philosophy of science involves studies on the manifestations of ideology in science. The article describes the forms of the fusion of political ideology and science in the twentieth century. It is noted that a consistent state scientific policy in Europe began to take shape no earlier than in the 1930s. At the same time, an increase in state funding for science was accompanied by the political elite's increasing control of the scientists' mindset and their scientific activities. From the beginning of its existence, the Soviet state solved the problem of a consistent and systematic development of science. The ideologization of scientific life in the USSR in the 1930–40s was manifested in an intense pressure of political ideology on some disciplinary communities (historians, biologists, physicists). The authorities chose the directive method of ideological coercion of scientists, and it resulted in an external dialectical-materialistic unanimity having a superficial character. A different strategy of ideological control through economic and legislative tools was developed in the United States. Among the factors ideologizing scientific research there is religious fundamentalism. Ideologically correct research is encouraged through public and private foundations. The ideas and scientific theories condemned by the ruling elite are discriminated legislatively and financially. The effect of such a method of ideologization proves to be more lasting and profound than from an explicit bureaucratic influence. The article concludes that in the twentieth century the ideologization of scientific life became a reality in all countries with developed scientific institutions. State policy requires scientists to demonstrate loyalty to political elites.

Last modified: 2020-03-01 19:39:50