[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] rant on pseudoscience

To: paoladimaio10@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Rob Freeman <lists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 12:26:39 +1300
Message-id: <7616afbc1001211526t52bb1425x4dde99176592e7a1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Hi Paola,    (01)

You really need to read Thomas Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific
Revolutions" (Online,
http://svn.assembla.com/svn/awt/literature/kuhn1970.pdf) Kuhn
addresses just the issues of partiality in science, and the
distinction between science and "pseudoscience", you are talking
about:    (02)

p.g. 167
'The very existence of science depends upon vesting the power to
choose between paradigms in the members of a special kind of
community.    (03)

p.g. 4
"We shall note ... that the early developmental stages of most
sciences have been characterized by continual competition between a
number of distinct views of nature ... . What differentiated these
various schools was not one or another failure of method -- they were
all "scientific" -- but what we shall come to call their
incommensurable ways of seeing the world ... . Observation and
experience can and must drastically restrict the range of admissible
scientific belief, else there would be no science."    (04)

p.g. 15-16
"In the absence of a paradigm or some candidate for paradigm, all of
the facts that could possibly pertain to the development of a given
science are likely to seem equally relevant. As a result, early
fact-gathering is a far more nearly random activity than the one that
subsequent scientific development makes familiar. Furthermore, in the
absence of a reason for seeking some particular form of more recondite
information, early fact-gathering is usually restricted to the wealth
of data that lie ready to hand. ... though this sort of
fact-collecting has been essential to the origin of many significant
sciences, anyone who examines, for example, Pliny's encyclopedic
writings or the Baconian natural histories of the seventeenth century
will discover that it produces a morass."    (05)

p.g. 103
"...the reception of a new paradigm often necessitates a redefinition
of the corresponding science. Some old problems may be relegated to
another science or declared entirely "unscientific." Others that were
previously non-existent or trivial may, with a new paradigm, become
the very archetypes of significant scientific achievement. And as the
problems change, so, often, does the standard that distinguishes a
real scientific solution from a mere metaphysical speculation,
wordgame, or mathematical play. The normal-scientific tradition that
emerges from a scientific revolution is not only incompatible but
often actually incommensurable with that which has gone before."    (06)

Note Kuhn relates these conclusions about science to a theory of
knowledge very similar to the unsummarizable computational processes I
was talking about (or Wittgenstein's Games), i.e. easily described,
but incapable of being summarized:    (07)

p.g. 192 (Postscript)
"When I speak of knowledge embedded in shared exemplars, I am not
referring to a mode of knowing that is less systematic or less
analyzable than knowledge embedded in rules, laws, or criteria of
identification. Instead I have in mind a manner of knowing which is
misconstrued if reconstructed in terms of rules that are first
abstracted from exemplars and thereafter function in their stead."    (08)

It is important to note there is nothing mystical about any of it
(although it might explain some mysticism.) The only tricky new thing
is that it says knowledge cannot be summarized.    (09)

-Rob    (010)

On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 7:19 AM, Paola Di Maio <paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> One of the reasons why I have been (trying to) hammer on the chinese logic
> issues
> is because it looks to me that the distinction between the boundary between
> science and pseudoscience, is  not always legitimate, often it is arbirtary
> and based on the belief system
> of the beholder
> Too many scientists and researchers today are still refusing to take ito
> account interdisciplinary
> perspectives and look at the universe as a whole,, and continue to do
> research with world view of  amoebas
> (which i am sure its valuable too in its own way)
> if we want to advance scientific knowledge 'as a whole', we need to stop
> dismissing outright what cannot be translated to
> FOL as quackery,
>  at least stop hiring and putting in charge of multibillion research
> programmes people who have
> very narrow views of the world
> For example, the paper below comes across as possibly 'a bit off the wall'
> in scientific terms  (even to me actually)
> http://avantgardescience.com/images/beginning.pdf
> but from the parts which I managed to read its actually just the result of
> mixing scientific paradigms (which are the result of logical inferences)
> with
> logically nonsensical beliefs and contexts
> i just want to say, that the universe cannot be translated to FOL, but maybe
> parts of it can, and thats no longer enough
> to support the advancing of science,
> It must have been a similar transition from the middle ages to the
> enlightenment
> P    (011)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (012)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>