ABSTRACT

The objectivity of epistemic knowledge is developed in the codes and struc- tures of the disciplines of the arts, humanities, and social and natural sci- ences, and guaranteed by the procedures and systems of the disciplines. It is found neither in the individual scientist nor in the determinism of class, race, sex, and religio-cultures. (The argument for a non-deterministic understanding of the reasoning individual is found in the concept of partial loyalty discussed in chapter 6.) For these reasons, the integrity of those dis- ciplinary institutions and procedures cannot be overstated. These are the procedures within which, as Diderot (1759, 1995) asked; ‘All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone’s feelings’ (p. 18). Yet in the past four decades, those institu- tional procedures for the production of objective knowledge in the natural and the social sciences, developed in the three centuries since Diderot’s call for the processes of objectivity have been weakened. This has occurred with the creation of a knowledge market in the globalised economy as the university becomes a factory in that market and by the conflation of social and scientific knowledge under the pulverising weight of relativism.