Postcards:

Tell us a little about yourself.

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Post Reply
d63
Posts: 678
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:55 pm

Postcards:

Post by d63 »

I tend to think of what I do on these boards as as kind of postcard or travelogue from a process (which is like a journey. And I'm straddling several boards in order to facilitate that process. The only point is to offer up what I have experienced in the hope that it will have philosophical relevance, even if it is not directly related to the discourses I might find myself in here. The only point is to open up opportunities for discourse.
d63
Posts: 678
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:55 pm

Re: Postcards:

Post by d63 »

“If we could come to see such appeals as gimmicks, we might become able to dispense with words like “intrinsic,” “authentic,” “unconditional,” “legitimate,” “basic,” and “objective.” We could get along with such banal expressions of praise or blame as “fits the data,” “sounds plausible,” “would do more harm than good,” “offends our instincts,” “might be worth a try,” and “is too ridiculous to take seriously.” Pragmatists who find this sort of banality sufficient think that no inspired poet or prophet should argue for the utility of his ideas from their putative source in some other to reason. Nor should any defender of the status quo argue from the fact of intersubjective agreement to the universality and necessity of the belief about which consensus has been reached. But one can still value intersubjective agreement after one has given up both the jigsaw-puzzle view of things and the idea that we possess a faculty called “reason” that is somehow attuned to the intrinsic nature of reality. One can still value novelty and imaginative power even after one has given up the romantic idea that the imagination is so attuned.” -Rorty, Richard. Philosophy as Cultural Politics: Volume 4: Philosophical Papers (Page 87). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

“Questions such as “Does truth exist?” or “Do you believe in truth?” seem fatuous and pointless. Everybody knows that the difference between true and false beliefs is as important as that between nourishing and poisonous foods.” -ibid

I think one of the most problematic aspects of the neo-classical/scientistic aversion to postmodern/pragmatic position (since pragmatism is basically postmodernism light with the anglo-American style of exposition (is that they tend to jump to a lot of unwarranted conclusions about what the looser approach to philosophy is about. They, for instance, assume that since we don’t take a reverent position towards the “Truth”, we are taking an anything goes position. We, as much as the neo-classical/scientistic, want to back our position with data and hard facts. The only difference is that we recognize that our emotional responses to what is in the world is as much a hard fact and part of the data as anything science might have the tools to describe.

Furthermore, they tend to argue that we are anti-science because we question the privilege of science much as Foucault did. But all Foucault did was question the political imperatives behind a lot of what science claimed to be the “Truth”. What they fail to recognize is how authoritarian science can actually become when it assumes itself to be the only means by which understanding can be achieved, that which claims the right (the authority (to shut down any discourse that does not play by its rules. Note, for instance, Hawkins’s claim that science would render philosophy pointless, that it would answer all the questions that philosophy presents. And note, also, that it was an argument based on what Hawkins thought science should be able to do rather than what it actually achieved.

Finally, it fails to recognize the role that philosophy plays in the general scheme of things. To cop off of and revise Russell: philosophy lies in that no-man’s land between science and the arts. The hard approach to philosophy tends to make the mistake of taking what the pragmatic and continental (the soft approach (do too literally. They think we’re trying to compete with science when all we’re really doing is offering metaphors: conceptual models that might give us a deeper understanding of the environment we are adapting to. We are not trying mirror the world. We are simply forming rhizomes with it in the hope of creating something better.
Post Reply