May 15th, 2013
I am approaching the world as a realist. (For a background of my epistemology please see: My Evidentialist Epistemology). What I mean by this is that the external reality is how it appears to be to an observer making an epistemic inquiry, the measurements from science accurately depicts reality. This is in contrast to instrumentalism, which suggests that our inquiry of the world, scientifically, do not accurately depict reality but as useful fictions. An instrumentalist is more concerned about data fitting theories and predictions than with an accurate depiction of reality.
For the realist-evidentialist, the ontology of the world determines one’s epistemology. They congruently correspond. It is important to note the order of entailment. Antecedently, reality determines our epistemology. It would be illicit to reverse the term order and as Roy Bhaskar notes, it would be the epistemic fallacy. I am not advocating a naïve realism where reality acts on the human mind without personal inquiry nor am I advocating postmodern anti-realism where one can construct whatever type of reality is desired. I am advocating a form of critical realism.
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August 17th, 2012
The pursuit of science as a pursuit of the sacred may not be too far-gone since many philosophers and scientists find their meaning, value, and purpose in nature. Friedrich Nietzsche based his teleology and understanding of truth in biology. If this universe [or multiverse] is all that exists it seems that this scientific driven teleology may not be sufficient.
Nobel prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg provided a self-comforting dialogue in The First Three Minutes suggesting that his own research in the field of physics has provided himself with meaning, value, and purpose. Paradoxically, he believes that the more he learns about the universe, the lesser of an ultimate meaning it has.
Physicist Victor Stenger seems to agree with Weinberg’s understanding of the purpose as it relates to reality. In his book, God the Failed Hypothesis, he displays a rather existential reflection when he ponders the universe and reality. He believes that if God created matter with humanity in mind, then it was not done so for a purpose.
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July 10th, 2012
The Enlightenment restricted knowledge to experience and the phenomenal. Post-Enlightenment thought sought to progress in knowledge while considering the advances the Enlightenment had made. The Christian faith attempted to develop a new relationship between transcendence and immanence. Transcendence has to do with God’s being self-sufficient and beyond or above the universe. Immanence corresponds with God being present and active in creation, intimately involved in human history. Newtonian physics did not permit God to be immanent in the universe. This was brought into light by the unmistakable success of science.
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June 13th, 2012
Word of the Week: Kinetic Thinking
Definition: That step forward in which one allows his reason to move along with the movement of the Truth in order to acquire the mode of rationality for apprehending the Truth that moves and lives and acts upon us in history.
More about the term: The Reformation opened up the historical perspective of understanding and initiated a historical mode of thinking, due as much as anything else to the Old Testament studies. However, the Reformation did not have the philosophical or intellectual tools with which to consolidate that insight and elaborate the change in method, and so Protestant theology soon fell back upon the old Aristotelian tools of thought. Consequently the development of historical thinking was severely retarded. When it did finally break out, however, it developed in two ways, each involving a fundamental error at the root, i.e. the historical thinking of the Enlightenment on the one hand and of Romanticism on the other hand. It is this duality that is ultimately responsible for the false problem in which the Dilthey-Troeltsch-Herrmann-Bultmann line of thought is entangled in their distinction between Historie and Geschichte.
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