• Pseudonym
    879
    Well it's mostly quite clearly a heap of horseshit that doesn't even do justice to the science itself, but even more obviously no one likes to have their views dismissed on a priori bases.StreetlightX

    Except of course if one's view is that scientific investigation is the only meaningful way to form public theories about reality, in which case it seems quite de rigueur do dismiss them out of hand.
  • Wayfarer
    6k
    At issue is not the formation of theories about objects of perception, but

    treating science as a source of values rather than as a method for ascertaining facts.Wayfarer
  • Wayfarer
    6k
    it's mostly quite clearly a heap of horseshit....StreetlightX

    Never hard to dog whistle an atheist on this forum. ;-)
  • StreetlightX
    2.4k
    Except of course if one's view is that scientific investigation is the only meaningful way to form public theories about reality, in which case it seems quite de rigueur do dismiss them out of hand.Pseudonym

    Well sure, if one indefatigably thinks one point of view is correct, one will also think that one's point of view is indefatigably correct. I will grant you this tautology, because I grant it.
  • Pseudonym
    879
    then you’ve essentially declared in advance that anything other than your preferred approach won’t be considered.Wayfarer

    No, you're putting a future tense into a sentence which did not contain one. The claim is that no other method thus far can ascertain an answer to the questions tackled by philosophy, not that no method ever will.

    At issue is not the formation of theories about objects of perception, but

    treating science as a source of values rather than as a method for ascertaining facts. — Wayfarer
    Wayfarer

    Yes, I agree entirely, that is what is at issue. The idea that values might be facts and if they are scientific investigation could then ascertain them.
  • Wayfarer
    6k
    The statement I quoted was this one:

    science does not have any comment on matters of quality, other than to say that no other approach can say anything meaningful on the matter either. — Pseudonym

    Which is plainly an instance of ‘scientism’. At issue is the fact that scientific analysis deals exclusively in what is quantifiable, what is measurable, what is objective. Questions of quality are of a different order to that.

    SO your response must be: how can you scientifically prove that they’re of a different order? What is the scientific evidence that questions of meaning and quality are of a different order to the quantitative?

    And that response so thoroughly misunderstands the issue that it is impossible to argue with. Not impossible to argue with, because it’s a good argument, but because it’s mistaken in a way that must surely resist any kind of reasoned refutation.
  • StreetlightX
    2.4k
    Never hard to dog whistle an atheist on this forum.Wayfarer

    Hey I'm on your side here!
  • Wayfarer
    6k
    Sorry, I might have reacted rashly, or misunderstood. :worry:
  • Pseudonym
    879
    Questions of quality are of a different order to that.Wayfarer

    How are you proving or supporting this statement? More particularly, how are you doing so in so absolutely a conclusive way that the alternative viewpoint need not even be considered?

    SO your response must be: how can you scientifically prove that they’re of a different order? What is the scientific evidence that questions of meaning and quality are of a different order to the quantitative?Wayfarer

    It's not necessary to support the claim that they are of a different order. The claim is that if they are of a different order, then we have no method for answering the questions posed in those areas.

    Again, rather than actually lay out any argument you've just resorted to your default "you're so wrong I'm not going to even explain why".
  • Wayfarer
    6k
    More particularly, how are you doing so in so absolutely a conclusive way that the alternative viewpoint need not even be considered?Pseudonym

    Can’t. But what you’re proposing is simply verificationism. Again you’re basically arguing that all knowledge is empirical and then demanding empirical evidence as to why it isn’t.

    In any case, the difference between quantitative and qualitative judgements and statements ought to be self-evident.

    I do present arguments, but it can’t be helped if they’re not understood.

    It's not necessary to support the claim that they are of a different order. The claim is that if they are of a different order, then we have no method for answering the questions posed in those areas.Pseudonym

    Surely you must see that the second sentence contradicts the first one? In the first sentence, you say that ‘it’s not necessary to support the claim’, then in the second, you say ‘we have no method for supporting the claim’.

    In any case, yes, there many discussions of the problem of facts vs values. But as you’ve already declared that only science can ever hope to address such questions then, not a lot to discuss. You need to look at your spectacles instead of just through them.
  • Pseudonym
    879
    Again you’re basically arguing that all knowledge is empirical and then demanding empirical evidence as to why it isn’t.Wayfarer

    No, I'm arguing that the idea that all knowledge might be empirical is the best theory for making practical progress in answering the questions we which collectively want to answer about our existence. That's quite some distance from you insulting caricature. And no, I'm not demanding empirical evidence as to why it isn't, any evidence at all will do.

    The claim I'm making in defending Scientism is that there is not any conclusive evidence of any sort, that methods other than the use of empirical knowledge make useful progress in answering the questions we have about existence, nor that using empirical knowledge alone makes no progress at all. Therefore is is not reasonable to dismiss the theory that empirical knowledge is the only means of making progress on such questions.

    You might disagree with that conclusion, you might well present non-conclusive evidence in favour of your position, I have no problem with that, I'm not claiming it's a fait accompli, I just resent the idea that it's so wrong it can be dismissed out of hand.
  • Erik
    464
    I wonder if the methods of science are the only ones that count as empirical?

    I'm thinking for instance of Heidegger's phenomenological investigation (his "existential analytic") into the basic structures of human existence (Dasein) - and Being more generally - as being highly empirical if not scientific in the traditional sense.

    But I'm admittedly out of my element here and will just throw that out there as a possibility for others to consider.
  • Pseudonym
    879
    Someone posted it here before, but it is a perfect illustration of Scientism:Kitty

    Really? That's your idea of a "perfect" illustration of someone's philosophical position, some facetious attempt to childishly ridicule your opponents by mixing up their comments rather than responding to them seriously?

    Second thought, actually that is a perfect illustration of the use of the term Scientism. The use of pejorative, often facetious rhetoric to avoid having to actually argue a point.
  • Wayfarer
    6k
    That's quite some distance from you insulting caricaturePseudonym

    No, it’s no distance at all - you’re arguing exactly what I say you are arguing, and if you take it as an insult then it’s your problem.

    I'm not demanding empirical evidence as to why it isn't, any evidence at all will do.Pseudonym

    OK - you’re stipulating any scientific evidence:

    science does not have any comment on matters of quality, other than to say that no other approach can say anything meaningful on the matter either — Pseudonym


    I just resent the idea that it's so wrong it can be dismissed out of hand.Pseudonym

    I’m dismissing it because you yourself are stipulating, in advance, the only kinds of arguments that you are prepared to consider.

    Scientism is the view that ‘all that can be known, can be known by means of science’ (which is a quote from Coppleson, History of Philosophy, chapter on Positivism.) So that’s the view that you’re here to promote, and then being ‘insulted’ when it’s argued against. And yet, I’m the party who is continually being accused of ‘dismissing your position without argument’. See if you can extend your intellectual repertoire to ‘irony’ ;-)
  • Pseudonym
    879


    I wonder if the methods of science are the only ones that count as empirical?

    I'm thinking for instance of Heidegger's phenomenological investigation (his "existential analytic") into the basic structures of human existence (Dasein) - and Being more generally - as being highly empirical if not scientific in the traditional sense.
    Erik

    I think that Heideggar's existential analytic is scientific. He talks specifically about a hermeneutic approach (implying that there is only an 'approaching' to the truth, not a finding of it) and he talks about it being ceaselessly open to revision.

    If there is a priori knowledge, then such an investigation as Heideggar advocates would be one way to find it scientifically. Of course, other ways would be neuroscience, psychology, evolution etc.
  • Pseudonym
    879
    OK - you’re stipulating any scientific evidence:Wayfarer

    No, any evidence.

    I haven't heard any evidence at all yet that proves conclusively that non-empirical methods of knowledge acquisition actually produce useful results, nor that empirical methods alone must inevitably fail to do so. Therefore, the theory that empirical methods will produce the most useful results is a valid theory and remains so until you can provide conclusive evidence to the contrary.

    I’m dismissing it because you yourself are stipulating, in advance, the only kinds of arguments that you are prepared to consider.Wayfarer

    The statement you quote specifies 'questions of quality', not all questions. If you're saying that how useful a theory is or whether it can obtain all that can be known, is a matter of quality, ie a subjective judgement, then why are you dismissing others who think that positivism is useful and obtains all that can be known? Surely that's just their personal feeling and you've no more reason to argue with them about it than you would argue about someone's favourite colour.

    If, on the other hand, you're saying that how useful a theory is is an objective judgement, that you could in some way demonstrate to me how useful a theory is (in the way you could not possibly demonstrate to me how good your favourite colour is), then I expect you to be able to carry out that demonstration.

    This is a constant theme of these philosophical arguments. When it comes to who is allowed to speak on the matter, philosophy is all manner of objective "Sam Harris doesn't know what he's talking about", "Laurence Krauss is a bad philosopher", but when asked to actually defend it's claims, philosophy becomes subjective, evidence is not required, it's all about feeling and persuasion. But a minute ago there was something to actually know (something Sam Harris evidently didn't), and something to be right about or good at (something Laurence Krauss evidently wasn't).

    Either Philosophical statements can be objectively judged, in which case science has a proven record of making excellent predictions about objective judgements, or it is subjective, in which case there is no justification for making statements about who is 'good' at philosophy, nor who 'knows' what they're talking about. There is nothing to be 'good' at, nor anything to actually 'know'.
  • Erik
    464

    I like the way you pitched that and it makes sense to me. Something like hermeneutic phenomenology complementing investigations of other "regional" sciences rather than being set up as an either/or scenario. I definitely find that approach congenial.

    I'm not so sure, however, if the "existentials" he lays out - being-in-the-world, being-with, etc. - would be accepted as properly scientific since they represent ways of being (so to speak) rather than physical properties.
  • Wayfarer
    6k
    I haven't heard any evidence....Pseudonym

    You won’t consider any arguments.

    Lazy Google on Heidegger and Scientism:

    Heidegger is not opposed to science per se insofar as he does not reject the human project of understanding nature. The most well-known basis for dismissing him as simply “anti-science” is the claim he makes repeatedly in Was Heisst Denken? that “science does not think” (WD, 4/8, et passim). But he also says often in this text that “most thought-provoking of all is that we are still not thinking” (WD, 2/4, et passim). His objection is not so much to science as to scientism, that is, the preclusion of other ways of thinking by the representational thinking of the sciences, and the marginalization, displacement, and devaluation of other methodologies and bodies of knowledge by the scientific standard of objectivity that has become epistemologically dominant in modernity.

    ...For Heidegger....this kind of scientism is the root of nihilism: a blind faith in science (like blind faith in God) means that people can all sink into the tiny worldviews of their immediate perceptual lives in the belief that someone or something else will take care of questions of value (moral meaning) at the same time as whatever-it-is satisfies material, teleological ends 1.
  • Pseudonym
    879
    I'm not so sure, however, if the "existentials" he lays out - being-in-the-world, being-with, etc. - would be accepted as properly scientific since they represent ways of being (so to speak) rather than physical properties.Erik

    I think the 'scientific' element comes from the fact that Heideggar expected some refinement or revision. That (to me) entails that there must be a 'wrong' interpretation, in order for that interpretation, to be rejected by Dasein in favour of it's later revision. Presumably then, this 'wrongness' is measurable.

    Now it might be that the 'wrongness' is entirely subjective, what 'feels' wrong, but then if that's the case, then Heideggar has said nothing more than "whatever feels right, is right" which I think is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

    If, however, the 'wrongness' can be judged partly by observations of others, then we have something vaguely scientific. Refine those observations to make them more accurate, make models which fit your observations, test those models experimentally and you have social psychology.
  • Pseudonym
    879
    You won’t consider any arguments/Wayfarer

    What arguments?

    Lazy Google on Heidegger and Scientism:

    Heidegger is not opposed to science per se insofar as he does not reject the human project of understanding nature. The most well-known basis for dismissing him as simply “anti-science” is the claim he makes repeatedly in Was Heisst Denken? that “science does not think” (WD, 4/8, et passim). But he also says often in this text that “most thought-provoking of all is that we are still not thinking” (WD, 2/4, et passim). His objection is not so much to science as to scientism, that is, the preclusion of other ways of thinking by the representational thinking of the sciences, and the marginalization, displacement, and devaluation of other methodologies and bodies of knowledge by the scientific standard of objectivity that has become epistemologically dominant in modernity.

    ...For Heidegger....this kind of scientism is the root of nihilism: a blind faith in science (like blind faith in God) means that people can all sink into the tiny worldviews of their immediate perceptual lives in the belief that someone or something else will take care of questions of value (moral meaning) at the same time as whatever-it-is satisfies material, teleological ends 1.
    Wayfarer

    Yes, I can't stand Heideggar myself, but I'm a deconstructionist (in the literary sense) about philosophical texts. It's more important to me to look at what can be usefully taken from them than it is to understand what the author actually intended to say.
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