chapter  5
Validity and Invalidity Benefits
Pages 8

We will watch the lady being sawn in half because we know that she isn’t. Why is the event such a crowd puller even today, when technology produces so many more complex, mind-bending miracles? Isn’t it because we love experiencing, first hand, the sensation of our eyes deceiving us? The conflict between rationality and primary data. The palpability of it. It signifies what we know; namely that appearances are deceptive and that each day, to a greater or lesser extent, we are fooled by the look of something. Certainties, we learn, at the level of daily experience, are usually more alloy than cast iron. However, the influence of positivistic science in the nineteenth and early twentieth century upon language and thought is such, that daily we override the ambiguities and doubts of sensory experiences with a rationalistic mind-set which affirms concepts such as truth, validity and objectivity. It is an ironic confirmation of Schutz’s (1967) separation of science from the every day, referred to in the first chapter. For there is little debate about which value system holds sway in the politicking of social life. The key terms of positivism became, and still are, the coinage of superior values in our meritocratic class system.