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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Ron Eglash

The paper aims to describe the inadequate nature of both “mono‐objectivist” approaches, which deny any role of social influence in science, and relativist social…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to describe the inadequate nature of both “mono‐objectivist” approaches, which deny any role of social influence in science, and relativist social constructions, which fail to distinguish between science and pseudoscience. It outlines an alternative conceptual framework that allows for the possibility of social construction of science, while preventing epistemological relativism.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilizes the cybernetic concept of recursion to show how science can bend back on itself, investigating its own foundations, without undermining its ability to improve our empirical understanding of the world. The paper makes use of several case studies to define specific mechanisms that show how the process of knowledge production in science can steer a course between reduction to a single “right answer,” and fragmentation into subjective interpretations.

Findings

The paper concludes by showing how the cybernetic recursion of multiple objectivity can also be applied to cybernetics itself. In particular, it suggests that such recursive investigations allow us to reconsider the Law of Requisite Variety, and envision an alternative form that can better account for the complexity that arises in self‐generating systems.

Research limitations/implications

The research is unlikely to be of use to scientists looking for epistemological proof of singular right answers, or social constructivists looking for proof of epistemological relativism.

Practical implications

The paper suggests that researchers in constructivism need not limit their work for fear that it will lead to relativist conclusions.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need to offer an alternative to current developments in the field of science and technology studies.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 40 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Faleh Alshameri and Abdul Karim Bangura

After almost three centuries of employing western educational approaches, many African societies are still characterized by low western literacy rates, civil conflicts…

Abstract

Purpose

After almost three centuries of employing western educational approaches, many African societies are still characterized by low western literacy rates, civil conflicts, and underdevelopment. It is obvious that these western educational paradigms, which are not indigenous to Africans, have done relatively little good for Africans. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to argue that the salvation for Africans hinges upon employing indigenous African educational paradigms which can be subsumed under the rubric of ubuntugogy, which the authors define as the art and science of teaching and learning undergirded by humanity toward others.

Design/methodology/approach

Therefore, ubuntugogy transcends pedagogy (the art and science of teaching), andragogy (the art and science of helping adults learn), ergonagy (the art and science of helping people learn to work), and heutagogy (the study of self-determined learning). That many great African minds, realizing the debilitating effects of the western educational systems that have been forced upon Africans, have called for different approaches.

Findings

One of the biggest challenges for studying and teaching about Africa in Africa at the higher education level, however, is the paucity of published material. Automated generation of metadata is one way of mining massive data sets to compensate for this shortcoming.

Originality/value

Thus, the authors address the following major research question in this paper: What is automated generation of metadata and how can the technique be employed from an African-centered perspective? After addressing this question, conclusions and recommendations are offered.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Abstract

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 40 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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