Center for Contemporary Studies in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore, is pleased to announce a course titled:
"Production of Knowledge in the Natural and Social Sciences"
I am happy to inform you that the Center for Contemporary Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, will offer a course entitled:
“Production of Knowledge in the Natural and Social Sciences”
Some of you will recall that this course was offered during August-December 2006. As mentioned at that time we will offer the course every other year. The second edition of the course to be offered in 2008 will have a similar overall theme but of course it will differ in the details. It may therefore be of interest even to those who attended all or part of the previous course. This time the course will be taught by Prof. Rajan Gurukkal, Sundararajan Visiting Professor at CCS, IISc. along with a number of invited faculty.
The course will consist of 16 modules and will be held every Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Centre for Contemporary Studies seminar hall on the campus of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The course will be conducted in an interactive, seminar format. While we welcome individuals to sign up for the whole course, we would also welcome individuals who might wish to attend any particular modules of their interest. The full program of the course will be made available soon and the program for each week will also be announced separately. The first meeting of the course will be held on Saturday, 9th August, 2008 at 2.00 p.m. Individuals desiring to sign up for the whole course are encouraged to e-mail Prof. Raghavendra Gadagkar (ragh[at]ces.iisc.ernet.in) with cc to Dr. Asha Achuthan (asha.achuthan[at]gmail.com) and Prof. Rajan Gurukkal (rgurukkal[at]gmail.com).
Brief Description of the Course:
The Course seeks to provide an overview of the socio-historical and intellectual background of knowledge production in natural and material sciences as well as social sciences. In the two major domains the course aims at exploring, through a series of lectures, select themes such as what does knowledge mean, how does it work, what is its nature, what is its science, what are its means, modes and relations of production and what are its social processes and structures of control, its strategies of legitimisation and authentication, its methods of circulation, its techniques of bringing truth effect and its built-in ways and means of gaining acceptance. There is nothing like absolute knowledge with permanent truth effect. It is neither science nor the logic of it that sustains knowledge, but it is the socio-economic and politico-cultural forces that make and unmake it. Knowledge is both time and space, for its textures are different from period to period and place to place. In sciences as well as social sciences knowledge is rendered plausible through the working of social power relations. Therefore, lectures will start with the preliminaries of social theory that helps us understand the constitution of knowledge not only in time and space but also in different domains such as sciences, humanities and social sciences.
The science of knowledge, technically called epistemology that examines the cognitive structure, composition and logic of knowledge also forms a part of the preliminaries. The lectures then go on into various schools of thought explaining production of knowledge and the interesting debates among their proponents who matter in the field. They will cover the major frameworks and perspectives such as the Marxist, Modernist, Constructivist, Critical Realist and Postmodernist/Feminist strands that explain the procedures of knowledge production. The core component of the course shall be a critical appraisal of the divergence and convergence of meanings, measures, parameters and rules that scientists and social scientists follow in their respective disciplines in knowledge production.
Prof. Raghavendra Gadagkar