New Copernican revolution

Reply Sat 14 Jul, 2007 01:42 pm
[CENTER]Colin leslie dean in his book



presents a new Copurnican revolution . He argues science has finally seen that it cannot know the universe in its totality. Since the langauge it uses to understand reality is just a system of signs which make up a language refer only to one another and interact with one another but do not figure forth a world.

Thus man looses his priviliged place as knower if the universe. As Copernicus decentred the earth from the cenre of the universe and Freud decentred mans consciousnes from the centre of his knowing Dean decentres man from a privildged position of knower at the centre of the universe


There have been two major decentreing in the history of human thought. Copernicus and Freud. Copernicus took the earth from its place at the center of the universe- in other words he decentred the earth. Freud similarly took mans consciousness from the center of his experience - he decentred man. In other words Freud destroyed the belief that man can have an understanding of himself solely via his consciousness. Freud's views of the unconscious decentred man from his place as an autonomous free thinking subject at the center of his world. A third decentreing has now occurred The situation is now that man has been decentred this time from his place as the privileged knower of the universe. MAN HAS LOST HIS PLACE AS THE CENTRAL REFERENCE POINT FOR THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE UNIVERSE. This because the very medium through which man uses to understand the universe i.e. language in fact falsifies the universe. Thus man looses his ability to be a privileged knower of the universe. With the inability of language to capture the totality of the known about the universe man ends up without any intellectual reference points and is thus decentred from his privilege place as the interpreter the universe- he is decentred from the universe. Man cannot know the universe as the language he uses to understand the universe at his previous centre only falsifies it .Mans language is not able to capture the totality of the known about the universe. For thousands of years man has thought that his language can unlock the secrets of the universe. But this is just blind arrogance in his belief of his own creation i.e. language as being a privileged medium through which to know the universe. Man can not know the universe as his language used to know it only falsifies the universe. This results in the death of man i.e. the death of asserting a privileged observer of the universe. All we have is an endless free play of words trying to capture the universe but all these words are man's own creation which in fact falsifies the universe. WITH THE DECENTRING OF MAN FROM THE UNIVERSE WE HAVE NO GUARANTEED FACTS OR INTERPRETATIONS WHICH ARE AUTHORITIVE SINCE THE WORDS WE USE FOR THESE FACTS OR INTERPRETATIONS ONLY FALSIFY THE REFERENTS. The universe is now seen as being that which is produced by man via his culturally arbitrary conventional systems of signs i.e. language. What arrogance to think that this constructed human system is a privileged medium to know the universe? As if the totality of all knowledge about the universe is capture in our puny human words. A new science is called for where by we leave behind our language and concepts and embark upon a new way of seeing the universe. Operationalism was one such way of knowing without the use of language as such. Mysticism was another . It is time for a new science


"The very words physicists use to describe reality constrain their knowledge of it and scientists in every field will one day encounter this barrier to human understanding."[1]


Saussure's thinking stressed the way language is arbitrary, relational and constructive ."[2][3]

[1] . P, Barry, Beginning theory, Manchester university press, 2002 p 113.

[2] Ibid,. p. 44.

[3] ibid, p.64.

[1] A. Wick, The Infamous Boundary, Birkhauser, Berlin, 1995 p.39.


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