A Postmodern Reader by Joseph P. Natoli

By Joseph P. Natoli

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The choice, ultimately, is a political matter . . < previous page page_20 If you like this book, buy it! html6/19/2010 2:53:37 PM next page > page_21 < previous page page_21 next page > Page 21 And so there are two doubts. The first kind of doubt does not undermine the authority of science. On the contrary, transforming the ideal of truth into the "imaginary target" of knowledge-producing pursuits, into the horizon of the territory now being travelled through (a horizon always receding and forever elusive, and hence always beyond the reach of practical test)this doubt effectively protects the authority of science from discreditation.

From the start it was firmly entrenched in the inner recesses of modernity; fear of the "unfoundedness" of certainty was, arguably, the most formidable among modernity's many inner demons. Many times over it put the modern project on the defensive. Even when, for a time, forced into the limbo of the subconscious, it went on poisoning the joy of victorious offensives. Unlike the first kind of doubt, found resonant and useful and therefore rapturously displayed in public, the second kind was treated with unqualified and unremitting hostility: it was marked for total and irrevocable destruction.

On the contrary, transforming the ideal of truth into the "imaginary target" of knowledge-producing pursuits, into the horizon of the territory now being travelled through (a horizon always receding and forever elusive, and hence always beyond the reach of practical test)this doubt effectively protects the authority of science from discreditation. In fact, it renders knowledge as such (at the cost of virtually each and any of its specimens) immune to questioning. It sees to it that no hostages are ever given to fate, and that in the game of knowledge the worthiness of the game is never at stake.

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