We are very enamored by intelligence and knowledge, but what about ignorance? If we compare knowledge to matter than why are we only fixated on the smallest fraction of reality? Were you aware that ordinary matter comprises only about 5% of the universe while dark matter & energy make up 95%.
Firestein has written a great book about this subject. I invite you read the introductory chapter of this book (Firestein (2012) IGNORANCE-How-It-Drives-Science. Introduction). Additionally, you could LISTEN TO or READ: NPR blurb on Firestein (2012) IGNORANCE: How it Drive Science as well as READ: Review of IGNORANCE: How it drives science, and WATCH: TED Talk by Firestein.
I am interested in how this issue informs the The Qualitative/Quantitative Debate (Trochim). Anthropology is typically relegated to the social sciences, which is further relegated to the insulting epithet “qualitative methods”.
We Must Guard against the Hegemo-Deductive Complex
A second comparison I am making is between Eisenhower’s Military Industrial Complex and what I am calling the Hegemo-Deductive Complex.
Military Industrial Complex: A concept used to refer to policy and monetary relationships between legislators, armed forces, and the industrial sector that supports them. (Wikipedia)
Hegemo-Deductive Complex: A concept used to refer to policy and methodological relationships between scientists, journal editors, and the public sector that supports them. (Jimipedia)
The Yin and Yang of Methodology
Qualitative and quantitative techniques have their origins in inductive and deductive epistemologies. Aside from their differences, what is most essential and often forgotten is that BOTH components are needed.
How do these issues apply to our research in anthropology?
How can ethnography be considered a truly inductive research endeavor?