Some reflections on ideology and scientific research
After defining the characteristics of ideological knowledge and knowledge based on research, the experimental work on illusory correlations, serial effects, difficulties in and prejudiced pseudo-knowledge is reported. This proves how ideology can develop from the very functioning of the cognitive processes (perception, thought) when it is not kept under critical scrutiny. The difference between ideological and scientific thought reflects the different social conditions behind the production of the two types of knowledge. The production of scientific knowledge is regulated by specific rules such as the logic of the experimental method and empirical references, and is animated by a depressive attitude ( ) while the propositions of ideology are antiempirical, shy away from counterexamples, are confusional, and are underpinned by an attitude that is potentially maniacal and omnipotent. The ideological factors that can have an effect on professional research are listed and it is shown how the results of this, once controlled, lose all ties to the ideology they may have been inspired by, to the extent that they constitute another sphere that is completely autonomous and independent.
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