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Objectivity and DiversityAnother Logic of Scientific Research$
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Sandra Harding

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226241227

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226241531.001.0001

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Do Micronesian Navigators Practice Science?

Do Micronesian Navigators Practice Science?

(p.80) 4 Do Micronesian Navigators Practice Science?
Objectivity and Diversity

Sandra Harding

University of Chicago Press

Many assumptions and practices of indigenous knowledge systems produce reliable empirical knowledge. Yet, these systems tend to be unjustifiably discounted by Northern scientists because the former are permeated by local cultural assumptions. It turns out that not only are these indigenous systems largely empirically reliable for interactions with the range of natural and social environments for which they were designed, but also that their sustainability makes important contributions to preserving global biodiversity. Moreover, they produce new facts about nature and social relations that can be valuable to everyone. And they lack the limitations created by modernity’s favored binaries, such as natural vs. social and cultural. From non-Western perspectives, modern Western sciences can seem to favor under-developed epistemologies. Thus starting off from the standpoint of indigenous knowledge systems can reveal otherwise difficult to detect problems with modern Western sciences. Modern Western sciences and their philosophies appear incompletely modernized.

Keywords:   biodiversity, culture, empirical reliability, indigenous knowledge, modernity, incomplete

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