The relationship between religion and science is a problem significant for a psychology based on the notion that individuals construct their own worlds. The issue is equally pertinent to any of the constructivist perspectives but is most clearly seen in one particular…
Through a reconstruction of religion, we see a way out of the impasse.
AN OLD DEBATE IN THE HISTORY OF IDEAS concerns the question of the relation between religion and science. The common wisdom once was that science and religion were incompatible, with consequences such as arguments made that religion has no place in schools or the creationism versus evolution theory debated in science classes. It was often claimed that there could be no legitimate concept of a Catholic -- or for that matter a Marxist -- university: A university was concerned with critical inquiry, which is incompatible with closing off any area or domain to critical inquiry or with the specification of an appropriate methodology or test of truth that was prejudiced toward a particular view of the world. Thus, the idea that there was a peculiarly Catholic form of inquiry -- or a Marxist one -or that there was a domain of knowledge appropriate for scrutiny and a domain that was beyond question was rejected.
Since the days when this common wisdom was being distilled, science itself has undergone something of a revolution in terms of our understanding of what it is. Philosophers of science and social philosophers have serious questions about it being as value free and objective as was being claimed. There has also devel- oped a related question of whether there can be such a thing as social science, and whether something other than the aims of physical science -- explanation, prediction, and control -- are more appropriate. In the latter case, there has developed, for example, verstehen analysis, and hermeneutics, which consider meanings imputed to social situations by the actors involved in them; social science is thus seen as an exercise in teasing out these meanings so that we may understand, rather than explain things.
Again, teleological explanation appears more relevant to social science than does the causal explanation appropriate in the physical sciences. The ...
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