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Re: Avinash Jha

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  • ss
    Well, if quantum physics generates an explanation for why what we perceive is an illusion , then that explanation (assuming it bears out) would *correct* our
    Message 1 of 50 , Jun 1, 2006
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      Well, if quantum physics generates an explanation for why what we
      perceive is an 'illusion', then that explanation (assuming it bears
      out) would *correct* our experience, not *deny* it.

      That is a scientific explanation like the one you refer to would not
      be expected to simply negate whatever our sensory apparatus
      perceives. It would have to say why our sensory apparatus perceives
      what it perceives, as well as why that perception is an 'illusion'.

      I think I see now a bit better what Avinash-ji might be trying to
      say. He is perhaps trying to make the point that the Indologists'
      explanations of Indian culture distort/deny the experience of
      Indians of their own culture precisely because they are scientific.

      If this is indeed his point, I would challenge it. A scientific
      explanation (theory) of Indian culture could not merely say what
      Indian culture is - it would have to say why Indians experience it
      the way they do. It could not simply negate/deny/ignore some
      people's experience. As such, the current social "sciences" could
      not be said to be scientific - neither do they constitute knowledge,
      according to me. Because knowledge cannot be divorced (as far as I
      can see) from experience in that manner.

      BTW - if we were talking about alien encounters instead of Indian
      culture - the same would hold true. A scientific explanation of
      alien encounters would have to explain the experience of
      the 'kidnappees' too.


      --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "macgupta123"
      <macgupta123@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Satya asks:
      >
      > > The other thing I don't fully understand is the description of
      > > science. I guess we haven't really ever fully discussed just
      what
      > > constitutes science or what it does not constitute. How does
      it
      > > differ from the pursuit of knowledge in general?
      > >
      > > But I still don't quite see how science could be described as
      > > something that separates one from one's perception or experience
      > > really. After all we can't (scientifically or otherwise – what
      > > otherwise would be I don't know-) study that which we don't
      > > experience can we??
      >
      > Physics, at least, starting with the rotation of the earth, and
      currently
      > culminating in the relativity of time and space, and the
      spookiness of
      > quantum mechanics, informs us that the way the universe appears to
      > us in our perceptions is mostly an illusion.
      >
      > Here is a minor example - did you know that the Moon is brighter
      than the
      > Sun in one band of the electromagnetic spectrum - in gamma rays?
      > See:
      > http://cosmicvariance.com/2006/05/29/the-moons-an-arrant-thief-and-
      her-pale-
      > fire-she-snatches-from-the-sun/
      >
      > Similarly, evolution in biology substitutes chance and natural
      selection for
      > the intuition of design, purpose that most people have regarding
      the living
      > world.
      >
      > How does science differ from pursuit of knowledge in general?
      > Science is a very specific way of interrogating Nature.
      > e.g., Mathematics does not involve that.
      >
    • vnr1995
      What Avinash is criticizing is laws (his universal propositions ) that are used in explanations. These laws don t have any experiential content, whatever the
      Message 50 of 50 , Jun 11, 2006
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        What Avinash is criticizing is laws (his "universal propositions")
        that are used in explanations. These laws don't have any experiential
        content, whatever the latter is.

        If our experience is not veridical, our experience is different from
        the structure of the world. But laws are claims about the structure
        of the world.

        Hardly is it called criticism, still less a scathing one.

        Even in his critique of science, he appeals to some
        sociological 'laws', even though the latter are not defended,
        pertaining to how 'science' gains authority, etc. He is committing
        the same mistake which he is criticizing.

        The talk of the subjective and the objective makes sense only when
        there exists such a thing as objective experience. What is being
        experienced by some culture is experienced differently by another
        culture. Both are non-veridical experiences: at the best, we can make
        comparative claims like some experience is more (less) illusory than
        the other.
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