Re: Mathematical Logic, Podnieks'page ...

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 15:19:12 +0200

At 09:02 29/06/04 -0700, CMR wrote:

>Here's one reasonably functional definition of science:
>sci·ence ( P ) Pronunciation Key (sns)
>1. The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation,
>and theoretical explanation of phenomena.
>2. Such activities restricted to a class of natural phenomena.
>3. Such activities applied to an object of inquiry or study.

OK. That is very large. You know there are borderline. Bohr
has dismiss the EPR paper as metaphysics, and he did that
by imposing its own metaphysics, etc.
And of course such a definition is a "user-description", it is not
an attempt to define it for a deeper epistemological study.
What *is* science, is also a object of inquiry.

>I find its not uncommon for those who may chafe at the "inconvenient"
>constraints of "science" as defined above to be somewhat dismissive of its
>special utility in generating knowledge about our world(s). The creationists
>often leverage this tactic, for instance. Just as often the label science is
>co-opted by occultists to lend credibility to otherwise incredible claims
>They'd all like to cast it as just another world view intrinsically no more
>valuable than any other. But it's not.. It's not because science as a
>methodology ignores that which is by necessity matters of faith, be it
>religion, mysticism, metaphysics (or Platonism?).

Absolutely. Science as a methodology ignores that which is by necessity
matters of faith. But how many scientist are aware that the existence of
a *physical* universe is a matter of faith?
Many scientist quickly consider (like Bohr) question which they cannot solve
or formulate in the language of their field as metaphysical, but in general
the frontier between science and metaphysics are either methodological or
metaphysical, or historical.
Also, why do you put platonism along with faith. The level of clarity and
of a text like the "Thaetetus" is rarely met these days. And Plato has less
ontological commitment than Aristotle, and many scientists today keep
some Aristotelian act of faith without ever mentionning it, apparently they are
not aware of their act of faith. *This* is unscientific attitude, no?

>Is science sometimes (often?) malpracticed by agenda driven egos? Certainly,
>but that doesn't diminish the utility or validity of science well executed.

Surely John and me were a little ambiguous in our discussion on science.
I thought we were discussing what science *is*, not the shape of actual human
science. That's why I say science is merely the product of inquiry,
humility, and
curisosity. In front of unsolved hard problem, it is also the ability to
our prejudice, and to keep an open mind.

>Any and all philosophers, mystics and mathemiticians can and are welcome
>to minimize, reject and even appropriate science as they will. And so it
>should be in a free society. But if and when they claim their faith-based
>musings are scientific or as good as same, then they are charlatans in deed
>as well as name, IMHO.

I agree 100% (if you add physicists, biologists, ... in your list).
The pity, today, is that most scientist are specialized, and their keep their
scientific attitude only in their discipline, and lack it completely
once they talk about anything outside (except perhaps on soccer).
In particular a lot of naturalist (materialist, physicalist), like
Changeux, are
just totally UNscientific when they pretend that all honest scientist should
be naturalist, or materialist, ...
The same for the platonist. Platonism is unscientifical only when it is
presented as
being the only way science should be.
But naturalism or platonism per se are quite respectable views or departure
point. Now the UDA shows that the first is logically incompatible with the
computationalist hyp., the other is not. Have you see this?

Also, you said that your are not platonist. Could you tell me how you
the proposition that the number seventeen is prime. (I want just be sure I
your own philosophical hypothesis).

Received on Wed Jun 30 2004 - 09:15:38 PDT

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