General Outline of "Clashes of Knowledge"
- What is knowledge and where are its borders? Evolution of knowledge. Knowledge in different cultural contexts.
- Knowledge in the scientific context. Are there limits to scientific knowledge or knowledge in general? Which are the criteria of scientific knowledge?
- What are the specific relationships between "science” and "religion”? Are ethical questions scientific questions? How did religious-based knowledge systems lose their socially dominant position and how were they displaced in their hegemonic role by "scientific” knowledge? The "three pillars” of European cultural history: rational-scientific, Christian-religious and ancient Gnosis.
- Cognitive Dissonance. Why do people often ignore information that contradicts their personal "knowledge”? Change of personal beliefs in context with the socio-spatial surrounding. Processes of persuasion. What role do social norms and the situational and cultural pressures to conform, play?
- Conflicts between worlds of knowledge. Conflicts between orthodox and heterodox knowledge in the areas of religion and science. Religious minorities, fundamentalism. Under which circumstances are unconventional theories and findings excluded from the academic world on account of being allegedly "impossible”, "unscientific” or "not serious”? What happens if scientific paradigms shift?