By Simon French
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Additional info for Decision Theory: An Introduction to the Mathematics of Rationality
Indeed, in the Marxist version of monism, theory must always be, in the strictest sense, a reflection of practice, and any other view is taken to be not merely false, but ideological mystification. Monism, then, is the doctrine that knowledge consists of a vast structure of interlocking facts, varying in their degree of generality and in the extent of their precision, but all describing the same world in exactly the same way. Statements about tables and statements about moving electrons are ultimately translatable one into the other, since both are descriptions of the world in which we live, and any statement about H2O is not fundamentally different from a statement about water.
Newman's Idea of a University argues against this kind of practical attitude which flourished in the nineteenth century under the banner of Utility. ' In the century since Newman wrote in this vein, the universities have been pushed steadily in the direction of providing professional and vocational training; or, to continue the metaphor of siege, Society has successfully subdued large areas of the university. , ch. 30. 53 Institutional The Problem of Identification century been crossed with the clamour of the class war, and brought forth a new and active type of critic who seeks to subdue the universities because he can see in them nothing else but citadels of privilege.
It is often entirely legitimate that this should be so, for the development of a subject means advancing to new questions and abandoning old ones. But the technicalities without which a subject could not develop are also available to conceal real questions and difficulties, and to provide materials whose shuffling may give a delusory appearance of intellectual fife where none exists. This was the charge brought against late Scholasticism, and it is a condition commonly found in the social sciences, but few fields of intellectual activity do not succumb to it at times.
Decision Theory: An Introduction to the Mathematics of Rationality by Simon French