• flannel jesus
    1.6k
    oh I see. Yeah, that's common in philosophy forums it seems!
  • Joshs
    5.3k

    Banned @PL Olcott for a lot of threads with aggressive cranking in them….Being very rude about the pseudoscience you're peddlingfdrake

    Makes me think of Feyerabend’s definition of a crank.

    It is here, by the way, that the distinction between 'respectable' people and cranks must be drawn. The distinction does not lie in the fact that the former suggest what is plausible and promises success, whereas the latter suggest what is implausible, absurd, and bound to fail. It cannot lie in this because we never know in advance which theory will be successful and which theory will fail. It takes a long time to decide this question, and every single step leading to such a decision is again open to revision. Nor can the absurdity of a point of view count as a general argument against it. It is a reasonable consideration for the choice of one's own theories to demand that they seem plausible to oneself. This is one's private affair, so to speak. But to declare that only plausible theories should be considered is going too far. No, the distinction between the crank and the respectable thinker lies in the research that is done once a certain point of view is adopted.

    The crank usually is content with defending the point of view in its original, unde-veloped, metaphysical form, and he is not at all prepared to test its usefulness in all those cases which seem to favour the opponent, or even to admit that there exists a problem. It is this further investigation, the details of it, the knowledge of the difficulties, of the general state of knowledge, the recognition of objections, which distinguishes the 'respectable thinker' from the crank. The original content of his theory does not. If he thinks that Aristotle should be given a further chance, let him do it and wait for the results. If he rests content with his assertion and does not start elaborating a new dynamics, if he is unfamiliar with the initial difficulties of his position, then the matter is of no further interest.

    However, if he does not rest content with Aristotelianism in the form in which it exists today but tries to adapt it to the present situation in astronomy, physics, and micro-physics, making new suggestions, looking at old problems from a new point of view, then be grateful that there is at last somebody who has unusual ideas and do not try to stop him in advance with irrelevant and misguided arguments.

    I think it is clear now that there is no harm in proceeding as Copernicus did, and as Böhm does, in introducing unfounded conjectures which are inconsistent with facts and accepted theories and which, moreover, give the impression of absurdity - provided the suggestion of such conjectures is followed up by detailed research of the kind outlined in the preceding section. (Realism, rationalism and scientific method)
  • ssu
    8.2k
    The crank usually is content with defending the point of view in its original, unde-veloped, metaphysical form, and he is not at all prepared to test its usefulness in all those cases which seem to favour the opponent, or even to admit that there exists a problem.
    By this cranks would make great politicians. Yet a politician considers and adapts the message to whom he or she is talking, a crank doesn't.
  • Barkon
    147
    It might be a case of 'they're all cranks saying crank'.
  • fdrake
    6k


    I'm not making modding decisions based on exegesis of Feyerabend. But discussing it would make a good thread elsewhere. Make it? I'm locking this again now.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.