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45113RE: [existlist] Re: Primordial Polarities : > 1. Philosophy does not progress like science progresses.

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  • chris lofting
    Sep 1, 2008
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      Lets start with 1 on your list - this is required since your list is a vague
      list with assertions in need of validations:

      "The experiencing consciousness creates structure in the flow of its
      experience, and that structure is what conscious cognitive organisms
      experience as "reality." Since that reali-ty is created almost entirely
      without the experiencer's awareness of his or her creative activity, it
      comes to appear as given by an independently "existing" world. Once know-ing
      is no longer understood as the search for an iconic representation of
      ontological re-ality but, instead, as a search for fitting ways of behaving
      and thinking, the traditional problem of epistemology disappears. Knowledge
      can now be seen as something which the organism builds up in the attempt to
      order the as such amorphous flow of expe-rience by establishing repeatable
      experiences and relatively reliable relations between them. The
      possibilities of constructing such an order are determined and perpetually
      constrained by the preceding steps in the construction. That means that the
      "real" world manifests itself exclusively where our constructions break
      down. Moreover, we can de-scribe and explain these breakdowns only in the
      very concepts that we have used to build the failing structures."
      Introduction to Radical Constructivism (Ernst von Glasersfeld - 1981 :
      http://anti-matters.org/ojs/index.php/antimatters/article/view/88/81 )

      and ...

      "Radical constructivism maintains - not unlike Kant in his Critique - that
      the operations by means of which we assemble our experiential world can be
      explored, and that an awareness of this operating (which Ceccato in Italian
      so nicely called consapevolezza ope-rativa) [2] can help us do it
      differently and, perhaps, better." ibid

      From the 'net re philosphers 'vs' scientists

      "1. Scientists should look for testable theories and use measurable data
      whereas philosophers ask about questions that cannot really be subjected to
      testing.

      2. In theoretical science you may have more philosophy, such as string
      theory which has been going for many years but is still basically untested,
      thus, at the moment it is more philosophy. But then science has always
      operated this way. Consider Edison and Einstein. Edison invented the
      long-lasting light bulb by trial and error experiments in the physical
      world; what I would consider very pure science. Einstein "invented" theories
      almost entirely out of his own head which were untestable and used only
      logic and imagination, I would consider that philosophy. Once it became
      testable, proofs were made and it became science ... as is becoming / has
      become the case with string theory.

      3 As an on-going conversation differences between these groups in cultural
      terms are really determined by what current scientists and current
      philosophers say they are - - they define their own fields to some extent.
      Philosophy used to be the love of wisdom and attempted to keep a very
      practical footing, but now on the top of the mountain we have postmodern
      philosophers such as Derrida whose work may actually be anti-practical.
      Students tend to get rewarded for creating unusual and aggressive arguments
      to dismount the current king of the hill, not for their attempts to seek the
      truth. Further, scientists often use current observations and logically
      extrapolate previous or future states based on them and thus come up with
      global warming or evolution, which should more properly belong in the field
      of philosophy or meta-physics since they currently have no means of being
      tested and can only be observed. (Thus I said "meta-physics" for "beyond"
      physical testing.)

      In Science the need for research grants may consciously or unconsciously
      motivate a person to exaggerate the likelihood of positive findings because
      he or she likes being employed ... not really a truth-generating situation
      either.

      4. In the MOST useful sense I would say the main, non-academic, difference
      between the two are the personalities. They are very similar persons, one
      simply likes the world that can be touched and the other prefers the
      untouchable."

      From me:

      Science goes under the original name of "natural philosophy" and as such is
      a specialist form of philosophy. More so it is that part that focuses
      attention on concepts and the sense of the repeatable, predictable,
      reducible-to-essentials (i.e. a law/instinct/habit and so covers sameness).
      These are all properties of symmetry and as such science is about the search
      for and analysis of symmetry at a VERY rigid and so formal level with more
      of a focus on syntax as an exaggerated form of semantics in that the ONLY
      clear meaning is in one's position in some sequence/hierarchy.

      This focus on reductionism etc makes a focus on identification of the
      bedrock (law) upon which all rests and in this doing has led to the
      emergence of a post-modernist mindset that covers the pragmatism of
      evolution and so a position that lacks amplifications we use to assert an
      individual since at the level of the bedrock the individual is meaningless
      other than as a repetition of a basic form. This brings out our particular
      nature as members of a neuron-dependent species and as such promotes
      evolution drive of protection in numbers - the loss of an individual or more
      is 'meaningless' in that the numbers ensure overall survival of the species.
      Thus any 'purpose' identified at this position applies to groups not
      individuals.

      The problem from a philosophy perspective is that there is little/no
      recognition of the unique since such a state is considered asymmetric
      (random/miraculous/vague (beyond compare)) and the realm of the species is a
      focus on symmetry (development of instincts/habits and the social dynamics
      of the species)

      Science is conservative since it has a focus on precision/repeatability etc,
      whereas the realm of the singular allows for the assertion of a philosophy
      from a singular mind. Thus philosophy is dynamic in that for each new mind
      there is scope for asserting a philosophy without reference/dependence
      to/from any others - IOW there is the ability to derive a philosophy that is
      free of science requirements (repetition, prediction etc) - this gets into
      the notion of being 'born again' and so the development of fundamentalist
      perspectives.

      As such, philosophy can move faster than science but is also vague ('waving
      of hands') and so lets loose an aspect - 'natural philosophy' to refine the
      perspectives, validate the speculations, and in doing so perhaps introduce
      new data to elicit finer distinctions.

      An example of the issues with philosophy distancing itself from
      understanding the output of science is post-modernism where the science
      paradigm has risen to dominate collective perspectives without real
      questioning and in doing so reduced all 'meaning' to being nothing more than
      analogy/metaphor and so distancing itself from the other end of the
      dimension where the focus is on exaggerations, on transcendences and
      subjective experience.

      Delauze has pushed a philosophy of difference (and extended such into
      science and mathematics) with a focus on a mathematics of difference to
      re-adjust for the over-emphasis on sameness where mathematics is grounded in
      symmetry when the universe and the realm of singular mind is more asymmetric
      and so mereological.

      Chris.
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