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Masterclass: Myths of Attraction by Mairi Macleod, PhD

Ever been intrigued about what makes us attractive to others, or why we are drawn towards the people we fancy ?  Dr Mairi Macleod has been researching this and casting light on the science of attraction for many years.  Now based in Edinburgh, she writes for publications such as New Scientist Magazine and various national newspapers, and gives public lectures at the University of Edinburgh and elsewhere.  This article for the Ragged University is a taster of her in-depth work.

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Action Science: Epistemology, Knowledge and It's Contested Communities

Action science is an inquiry into how we design and implement action in relation to one another. It is a science of practice, whether the professional practice of administrators, educators, and psychotherapists or the everyday practice of people as member of families and organizations.

Action science calls for basic research and theory building that are intimately related to social intervention. Clients are participants in a process of public reflection that attempts both to comprehend the concrete details of particular cases and to discover and test propositions of a general theory. Read more

Rationality and Science: A Social and Environmental Philosophy by Kenneth Wilson

This chapter concerns itself with rationality in its scientific guise. Typically science is often taken to be the paradigm instance of rationality in the modern period. In addition to science being a key representative of reason, it has also become separated from religion, the historical locus of thought about values and ethics.

My concern in this chapter lies in two areas. The first of these lies in the distinction between fact and value, science and ethics, and the second, with the notion that science is ethically neutral. In the discussion of these issues I aim to show that there are confusions and inconsistencies involved which force one to reconsider the status of science and the sense in which it is rational. Indeed I am at pains to counter a tendency which sees scientific facts as somehow determining what our values ought to be, when in actuality scientific facts provide no such solutions. Read more