Saturday, June 10, 2006

Quote (Part 2)

"After figuring that out, it was the death of rationalism, as far as I was concerned. The problem with rationalism is that it isn’t rational. It fails to give sufficient importance to the development of the choice of the right premises; it tries to justify them by circular reasoning. Once I was alert to that distinction, I was able to critique the things that previously I felt I had to take for granted. "


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We know from the rest of Johnson's writings that his "right premises" include explicit theism (and implicit monotheism).

This is a problem for the scientific community as science needs to be intersubjective, which it cannot be if it contains premises specific to certain theological viewpoints.

Johnson and the scientific community seem to exist in a state of mutual contempt. I have read nothing that indicates that Johnson has any especial grasp of Evolution, Science generally, or the Philosophy of Science.

12:41 pm  
Blogger Ed Darrell said...

Interesting. Johnson now ignores reality because he incorrectly thinks rationalism is just circular argument? How easily are some led astray!

1:27 pm  
Blogger Lifewish said...

The scientific goal is to be able to accurately predict how the universe will behave in given circumstances. To achieve this we look for approaches that demonstrably manage to achieve this goal. We discover that the scientific method is pretty much optimal, and that (for example) crystal ball gazing is not.

Since the scientific method partially incorporates the behaviour used to evaluate it in comparison to other approaches, this could technically be considered to be circular. I prefer to think of it as bootstrapping the entire system up from our own basic investigative tendencies.

Johnson appears to be saying that the act of looking for approaches that demonstrably manage to generate a predictive worldview constitutes an unacceptable leap of faith. He's entitled to his opinion, but he has yet to show that any other premise could achieve the scientific goal nearly as well. In fact, the very act of doing so would be self-contradictory.

Isn't this all a bit post-modernist?

1:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnson explicitly employs post-modernist tactics, while equally explicitly rejects post-modernism's philosophical basis.

7:07 am  

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