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repeating the truth - Nolan's post edited

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  • louise
    Descartes limited intellectual perception only to the cognitive logical faculties. [Richard] Tarnas finds this the catalyst to the existential movement in
    Message 1 of 57 , Feb 28, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Descartes limited intellectual perception only to the cognitive
      logical faculties. [Richard] Tarnas finds this the catalyst to the
      existential movement in philosphy because existentialist aspire to
      reconile meaning by reuninting cogntion to the personal realm.
      Tarnas also discusses the contributions of Freud, Jung, and Grov to
      not only pschology but also to philosophy, in that they showed us
      that the biological is somehow related to the collective
      conciousness of archetypes in a culture.
      Empricism, really an anti-existential philosophy (that thought from
      Tarnas) does not demonstrate much if anything. Nihilism is more
      it's child. This is interesting because Dudley Young in Origins of
      the Sacred says that modern science works from the intesne desire to
      be completley objective. Science reveals everything about the how's
      of the material universe, but it is insufficient in answering the
      Western question of what to do? Scienc has not adequatley explained
      the truth of fictive experience. Dudley does beter than I.....

      (From The Origins of the Sacred...Perceiving the World: Science vs.
      Myhtology) <This in itself pertains to many posts in the last week.>

      Let us return to quieter ground. Some idea of the important and
      puzzling ambiguities surrounding the "interest" science takes in
      NAture may be gathered by considering its relation to the hand.
      Science's "good hand," as it were, is the one that led us out of the
      medieval monastery, where hands were folded in prayer, and did not
      dare (or did not deign) to touch the body of this witchy wench.
      This good hand, by retruning us to the earth that bears us,
      delivered us from the paranoia that inevitably bestes the alienated
      and the disdainful. Our reward for daring and deigning to touch
      again the body that nurtures us, was, as mytho-logic would suggest,
      powers undreamed of in scholastic theology. This literally so: the
      extraordinary powerfulness of modern science arises from the fact
      that its thinking about Nature, unlike that of theology, is not only
      unconstrained by taboo, but is conjoined with and shaped by an
      experimental method that touches, orders, and manipulates the body
      in question.
      And yet this experimental touching and manipulating in
      deconsecrated space and time is also what calls forth the bad hand,
      the predatory claw that grabs and violates. Just as carnal
      knowledge explores the borderline between the nurturing hand that
      cradles and protects and the predatory hand that violates, so too
      does scientific knowledge. This ambiguity of the hand, so central
      to human experience, is a source both of endless adventure and
      endless confusion in human affairs. Its confusing aspect reappears
      in another version of the scientific story, in which we are asked to
      see the scientist EITHER as the unarmed pilgrim who walks out into
      Nature's plenitudes to see what he can gather from the world to
      which he essentially belongs, OR as the alienated intellectual who,
      in Yeat's reconstruction, chooses to do his thinking in bed so as
      not to be distacted by the senses. "Which one is it?" we are
      tempted to ask, in some exasperation: and the reply is "Both: you
      must live with the ambiguity." Heaven knows its not easy, as we
      shall see presntly when we come to consider the most imporatnt and
      ambigous scientist of the nineteenth century, Charles Darwin. But
      the important point here, and it is crucial, is that those medieval
      hands folded in prayer knew something that science first ignored and
      then forgot: any hand that is not sometimes folded in prayer will in
      the end turn into the predatory claw.
      The hand also helps to illuminate the simplest criticism of
      science, which almost everyone has heard of, that it is
      somehow "reductive," that "we murder to dissect." What is it that
      science reduces? Mankind, in a word, and with it the kindness of
      Nature, the song of kinship that sings throughout creation and binds
      us all, one to another. The hearing and singing of this song have
      traditionally been the poet's and the shaman's responsibility; and
      the scientist, for his purposes, ignores it. This would be tolerable
      if only the scientist did not exceed his brief and suggest ( either
      implicity or explicity) that such singing is beside the point - or,
      even worse, that it muddies the waters of truth. To put it crudely,
      science finds its power in abstraction, in ignoring certain aspects
      of what we percieve in order to concentrate on certain others; and
      the overall effect of this is to make life seem smaller, cheaper,
      and nastier than we know it to be.
      The matter is, needless to say, by no means simple as I am
      suggsting, but this is not a book about the philosophy of science,
      and so I will continue to simplify. The damaging of abstractions of
      science arose in the Renaissance, when it became experimental and
      mathematcial, when its reductive hand entered into its meditations.
      The science of ancient Greece is comparatively nonreductive because
      it speculates, classifies, and on the whole keeps its hands to
      itself. The best account I have read of this and the " fall" into
      modern science is Jack Lindsay's Blast Power and Ballistics ( 1974),
      particularly his description of the difference between the "pious"
      mathematcis of Kepler and the " balsphemous" mathematics of Galileo,
      an account that emphasizes the reductiveness of Galileo's
      abstractions. The comparsion of Kepler and Galieo ( contemporaries
      working in the same field ) illustrates the difficulty of
      generalizing about reductiveness in science, and yet for present
      purposes we must. When speaking againest science in this chapter, I
      have in mind chiefly the impure aspects of applied sciences such as
      physics and chemistry, where the experimental hand is most active.
      The historical sciences, such as geology, concerned with taxonomy
      not power, are indeed aspects of " natural philosophy" as hte pre-
      Socratics would have understood it, relatively benign if not
      downright virtuous.
    • louise
      Descartes limited intellectual perception only to the cognitive logical faculties. [Richard] Tarnas finds this the catalyst to the existential movement in
      Message 57 of 57 , Feb 28, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        Descartes limited intellectual perception only to the cognitive
        logical faculties. [Richard] Tarnas finds this the catalyst to the
        existential movement in philosphy because existentialist aspire to
        reconile meaning by reuninting cogntion to the personal realm.
        Tarnas also discusses the contributions of Freud, Jung, and Grov to
        not only pschology but also to philosophy, in that they showed us
        that the biological is somehow related to the collective
        conciousness of archetypes in a culture.
        Empricism, really an anti-existential philosophy (that thought from
        Tarnas) does not demonstrate much if anything. Nihilism is more
        it's child. This is interesting because Dudley Young in Origins of
        the Sacred says that modern science works from the intesne desire to
        be completley objective. Science reveals everything about the how's
        of the material universe, but it is insufficient in answering the
        Western question of what to do? Scienc has not adequatley explained
        the truth of fictive experience. Dudley does beter than I.....

        (From The Origins of the Sacred...Perceiving the World: Science vs.
        Myhtology) <This in itself pertains to many posts in the last week.>

        Let us return to quieter ground. Some idea of the important and
        puzzling ambiguities surrounding the "interest" science takes in
        NAture may be gathered by considering its relation to the hand.
        Science's "good hand," as it were, is the one that led us out of the
        medieval monastery, where hands were folded in prayer, and did not
        dare (or did not deign) to touch the body of this witchy wench.
        This good hand, by retruning us to the earth that bears us,
        delivered us from the paranoia that inevitably bestes the alienated
        and the disdainful. Our reward for daring and deigning to touch
        again the body that nurtures us, was, as mytho-logic would suggest,
        powers undreamed of in scholastic theology. This literally so: the
        extraordinary powerfulness of modern science arises from the fact
        that its thinking about Nature, unlike that of theology, is not only
        unconstrained by taboo, but is conjoined with and shaped by an
        experimental method that touches, orders, and manipulates the body
        in question.
        And yet this experimental touching and manipulating in
        deconsecrated space and time is also what calls forth the bad hand,
        the predatory claw that grabs and violates. Just as carnal
        knowledge explores the borderline between the nurturing hand that
        cradles and protects and the predatory hand that violates, so too
        does scientific knowledge. This ambiguity of the hand, so central
        to human experience, is a source both of endless adventure and
        endless confusion in human affairs. Its confusing aspect reappears
        in another version of the scientific story, in which we are asked to
        see the scientist EITHER as the unarmed pilgrim who walks out into
        Nature's plenitudes to see what he can gather from the world to
        which he essentially belongs, OR as the alienated intellectual who,
        in Yeat's reconstruction, chooses to do his thinking in bed so as
        not to be distacted by the senses. "Which one is it?" we are
        tempted to ask, in some exasperation: and the reply is "Both: you
        must live with the ambiguity." Heaven knows its not easy, as we
        shall see presntly when we come to consider the most imporatnt and
        ambigous scientist of the nineteenth century, Charles Darwin. But
        the important point here, and it is crucial, is that those medieval
        hands folded in prayer knew something that science first ignored and
        then forgot: any hand that is not sometimes folded in prayer will in
        the end turn into the predatory claw.
        The hand also helps to illuminate the simplest criticism of
        science, which almost everyone has heard of, that it is
        somehow "reductive," that "we murder to dissect." What is it that
        science reduces? Mankind, in a word, and with it the kindness of
        Nature, the song of kinship that sings throughout creation and binds
        us all, one to another. The hearing and singing of this song have
        traditionally been the poet's and the shaman's responsibility; and
        the scientist, for his purposes, ignores it. This would be tolerable
        if only the scientist did not exceed his brief and suggest ( either
        implicity or explicity) that such singing is beside the point - or,
        even worse, that it muddies the waters of truth. To put it crudely,
        science finds its power in abstraction, in ignoring certain aspects
        of what we percieve in order to concentrate on certain others; and
        the overall effect of this is to make life seem smaller, cheaper,
        and nastier than we know it to be.
        The matter is, needless to say, by no means simple as I am
        suggsting, but this is not a book about the philosophy of science,
        and so I will continue to simplify. The damaging of abstractions of
        science arose in the Renaissance, when it became experimental and
        mathematcial, when its reductive hand entered into its meditations.
        The science of ancient Greece is comparatively nonreductive because
        it speculates, classifies, and on the whole keeps its hands to
        itself. The best account I have read of this and the " fall" into
        modern science is Jack Lindsay's Blast Power and Ballistics ( 1974),
        particularly his description of the difference between the "pious"
        mathematcis of Kepler and the " balsphemous" mathematics of Galileo,
        an account that emphasizes the reductiveness of Galileo's
        abstractions. The comparsion of Kepler and Galieo ( contemporaries
        working in the same field ) illustrates the difficulty of
        generalizing about reductiveness in science, and yet for present
        purposes we must. When speaking againest science in this chapter, I
        have in mind chiefly the impure aspects of applied sciences such as
        physics and chemistry, where the experimental hand is most active.
        The historical sciences, such as geology, concerned with taxonomy
        not power, are indeed aspects of " natural philosophy" as hte pre-
        Socratics would have understood it, relatively benign if not
        downright virtuous.
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