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Re: [ontolog-forum] rant on pseudoscience

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Rob Freeman <lists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 23 Jan 2010 12:05:42 +1300
Message-id: <7616afbc1001221505v1f99ab44y31a0e076b31c7eba@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 3:57 AM, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> RF> Greg Chaitin might have issue with that statement.
> No.  He wouldn't object to that statement.    (01)

You can choose to speculate that way if you wish.    (02)

I suggest anyone interested read Chaitin in the original. He is a very
enjoyable read.    (03)

> ... the big question is why Europe
> took off so suddenly while the rest of the world stagnated.    (04)

That's a fair interpretation of Kuhn's statement.    (05)

> Crosby attributes the rapid development to the growth in
> methods and precision of measurement, and I'm sure that made
> an important contribution.  Crosby mentions the development
> of European universities, starting with Paris and Oxford in
> the late 12th century and rapidly expanding throughout major
> cities in Europe during the 13th.  But he doesn't go into
> any detail about the role of the universities or how they
> differed from the older centers of learning.
> The crucial feature of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum
> was the highly stimulating debates.  (Stylized hints of those
> debates can be found in Plato's dialogs.)  The Greeks continued
> the debating for a few centuries, but it gradually lost much
> of the excitement of the early years.  But when the European
> universities opened up, they renewed an active form of debate,
> which they called "disputation".
> Those debates could get very lively and even entertaining
> (in Latin, of course).  As late as the 16th or 17th century,
> the English Court would go to Oxford or Cambridge for the
> graduation exercises.  Queen Elizabeth I even served as the
> "magister" or moderator of the debate.  King James was very
> fond of his hunting dogs, so one of the debates was on the
> topic of whether dogs can think.  King James enjoyed it
> thoroughly and rooted for the dogs.
> The end of innovation comes when the powers that be feel
> threatened by the debate and start burning books and imposing
> censorship.  Hegel said that the best thing that ever happened
> to Europe was the Protestant Reformation.  He didn't think that
> the Protestant ideas were any better than the Catholic ones,
> but that the debate invigorated both sides and kept them
> from stagnating.    (06)

Like you, I don't think anyone knows the answer to this for sure. We
are lucky and things seem to keep moving, but there is no guarantee
that will continue.    (07)

-Rob    (08)

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