May. 20th, 2007

What a mush. I just stayed up and watched "50 First Dates" because it was on TV. Again. And it made me teary eyed. Again.

I am so incredibly tired of the 'philosophy of science' wars that go on amidst the graduate student body in my department. I am particularly tired of the wars that go on the POLGRADS list serve. I don't need my inbox filled with the poor theorists' bullshit about how those silly methdologists in the department make them look at distributions and learn how to count.

Is it really necessary to bait specific individuals because you know they have strong feelings one way or the other on the issue?

It's not.

So, "Bring it on ___"

I'd really like some of the junior graduate students in my department to take their holier-than-thou attitudes and . . . well, shove it. In non-academic speak.

I also love that it is apparently okay for 'them' (see? just like everything else, these silly battles essentialize identities and it becomes an 'us/them', 'we/they' problem) to call 'us' quantoids. However, if I were to wander around the gradlab and refer to some of them as pomos, I can safely say they wouldn't take it very well.

Most of them don't take much very well.

Simply because I . . .

believe that as social scientists, it is our JOB to do more than simply tell stories, be descriptive, and so forth;
believe that in appropriate settings, with the appropriate amount of self-awareness and care, numbers can tell us meaningful things;
believe that believing that we can't really know anything because all that we experience and observe gets filtered through our individual/group interpretive lenses is . . . well, useless, gets us nowhere, and belongs in anthropology (who, in many cases, are more 'scientific' than that even);
believe that whether or not you can define the difference between ontology and epistemology matters less than whether or not you go into research aware of the sorts of assumptions your making based upon your approach, regardless of what it is;
believe that graduate school is about learning skills, whether or not you plan to use them in your research, whick means - yes - that theorists should take a statistics class or two;
and so on . . .
. . . does not mean I am a thoughtless number cruncher.

This is a political science department. While, on its' own merits, I believe in the importance of the philosophy of science, if you want to learn about the philosophy of science, go to the philosophy department.

/end rant



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