Laura Bullock

In thinking of landmarks within the Humanities that are controversial, one obvious revolutionary comes to mind, Karl Marx. Marx’s critique of one of the most powerful entities on earth, capitalism, was controversial in its conception and continues to be. In the U.S., a country that takes much pride in its “capitalist freedom”, the name Karl Marx often carries a negative connotation. The general population associate Marx with communist dictatorships such as North Korea. Many people even use the term “Marxist” as an insult. The value and validity of his critiques have been unfairly intertwined with the stigma around communism. In this way, Marx was and continues to be a very controversial revolutionary just as many revolutions in scientific fields were initially highly contended. The difference between the two and the reason scientific controversy often dwindles while controversy in humanities prevails is the ability to ground theory in objective fact. Most early astronomical discoveries were eventually proven true or false using new technologies that provided factual information as opposed to theory. This could never happen with Marx because their is no way to objectively prove what the best economic system is. Most of the world agrees that the sun is the center of the universe now. The term “Copernican” is rarely thrown around as an insult. Those in the humanities are not afforded the luxury of objective fact and may continue to be questioned and doubted for the rest of time.

Question: In what ways can the overlap between science and the humanities uncover objective truth?

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