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Moral Relativism & Epistemic Relativism

 
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 12:41 pm
@wandeljw,
From Wiki on Fuller......
Quote:
In 2007, Fuller wrote Science Vs Religion?: Intelligent Design and the Problem of Evolution. In addition to introductory and conclusionary chapters, it has chapters on the history of the relationship between religion and science, the thesis that that modern science has its basis in an attempt by humanity to transcend itself and reach God, how Fuller believes complexity distinguishes ID from "other versions of creationism", legal issues, and the future of "Darwinism".

Professor of mathematics at Rutgers University, Norman Levitt in a review described it as "a truly miserable piece of work, crammed with errors scientific, historical, and even theological".

Levitt took issue with the following points:
Fuller's acceptance at face value of William Dembski's claims on complexity and randomness, and his failure to come to grips with the wealth of results that this field has generated and with the trenchant criticism of Dembski's claims (or even to describe these claims accurately);
Fuller's disparagement of evolutionary biology, without doing "serious analysis of the working methods and logical structure of biology itself" on which to base it;
Fuller's misrepresentation of Isaac Newton's religious beliefs in order to make a point that is in fact antithetical to Newton's views.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 01:33 pm
@fresco,
I strongly agree with all the criticisms of Fuller. However, he is using a paradigm that includes the supernatural. Fuller would simply claim that he is using a different paradigm (and I believe he has actually said that). This makes me wonder if the concept of paradigms is open to being utilized to justify pseudoscience.

Perhaps, Fuller is also an epistemic relativist.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 03:03 pm
@wandeljw,
If Fuller's "paradigm" includes the supernatural, it is not what I would call a scientific paradigm. We must distinguish between theories, paradigms and cultures. That is probably beyond my capacity. Let's hear what Fresco has to say. The issue is very complex: I would consider the psychology that developed after Freud (and Nietzsche) a paradigm even though it deals with what Popper would consider a pseudoscience.
0 Replies
 
bigstew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 03:06 pm
@fresco,
Quote:

You think "understanding" is independent of "prediction and control"

As I have said, understanding/knowledge might not be completely independent of scientific measurement, but what I didn't say was that knowledge is dependent on scientific measurement. Quite the oppositte. Scientific measurement is dependent on independent phenomena for that is what it aims to measure. If that is the case, scientific knowledge in this case depends on a realist assumption.

Quote:

You talk of "theory" as though it reflected some sort of "underlying reality"


Underlying reality is a mis nomer for reality. Reality is prior to thought (theory).

Quote:
You talk of a "phenomenon" as though it were independent of the particular action of observers despite Heisenberg's adage


Another non sequitir. Just because we might not be able to perfectly predict all phenomena because of observer effects (Heisenberg principle) it doesn't doesn't follow that such phenomena arn't in fact real.

0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 04:18 pm
@bigstew,
bigstew wrote:

Quote:
Does epistemic relativism provide legitimacy to pseudoscience?


That's a good question. If truth is realtive to an epistemic framework, there seems like no clear over riding reason to reject frameworks like astrology out of hand.

Indeed.
joefromchicago
 
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Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 04:21 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

You are resisting the evidence that your argument is circular.

Why does that matter?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 05:37 pm
@joefromchicago,
bigstew wrote:


Quote:
Quote:
Does epistemic relativism provide legitimacy to pseudoscience?



That's a good question. If truth is realtive to an epistemic framework, there seems like no clear over riding reason to reject frameworks like astrology out of hand.

Truth is not relative to anything (Rorty). The anthropological example illustrates that "truth" is an aspect of social agreement.
The reason that astrology is rejected by "scientists" is that it does not work in the sense of the consistent prediction aspect of "scientific justification".
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 06:25 pm
@joefromchicago,
The OP argues that "reality" is prior to "thought" but the evidence being here denied points to there being no a priori foundation called "reality" which is independent of thought. The argument that "consistent facts" imply such an a priori reality, is circular because "facts" are cognitive constructs (Latin facere) involving social agreement via a common culture and language. This point is particularly relevant to the OP attempt at extrapolation to moral issues because the anthropological studies cited highlight a clash of moral paradigms (views on factuality) regarding "culpability" in different cultures.
bigstew
 
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Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 08:12 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
The OP argues that "reality" is prior to "thought" but the evidence being here denied points to there being no a priori foundation called "reality" which is independent of thought.


Fresco, I have no where claimed any a-priori foundational truths. That is a straw man, especially since I myself am not certain a coherent epistemic framework is necessarily grounded by basic/a-priori beliefs. My basic argument is that epistemic realism is the best explanation for science's progressive aproximation to truth based on an empirical epistemology. That is an assumption yes, but assumptions have to be made at times. The argument is whether such assumptions are justified, and in the case of science and the supposed knowledge it generates, empirical science's methodology, and the modification of that methodology, the realist assumption best explains why empirical science operates the way it does.

Quote:
The argument that "consistent facts" imply such an a priori reality, is circular because "facts" are cognitive constructs (Latin facere) involving social agreement via a common culture and language.


Facts may be cognitive in nature, but they arn't necessarily constructed all the way down. Cognitivists simnply argue that our claims which report facts are true if such claims get the facts right. Empirical science operates based on this very same logic.

Quote:
This point is particularly relevant to the OP attempt at extrapolation to moral issues because the anthropological studies cited highlight a clash of moral paradigms (views on factuality) regarding "culpability" in different cultures.


Yes.
JLNobody
 
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Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 10:20 pm
@bigstew,
It is very difficult to give up scientific realism or epistemic absolutism because they almost make great common sense. But it is philosophically very problematical to assume that the world is absolutelly as it appears to us even without us, that our physiology, culture, and all those qualities that generate the experiences we have of the world are not what we may call intervening variables--or partial determinants of experience.
This means, to me at least, that while there IS an objective reality (whatever that means) it has no manifest form totally independent of our perceptual and conceptual apparatuses. Reality's manifestations result from the relations it has between observers and the observed. This is epistemic relativism. To deny its role is the fallacy of naive realism or epistemic absolutism.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 09:23 am
@fresco,
You misunderstand. I didn't ask how his argument was circular, I asked why it mattered that his argument was circular.
Fil Albuquerque
 
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Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 10:46 am
@joefromchicago,
...bashing one and trashing the other...how amusing ! (why would n´t matter otherwise ?) Was your grand dad a hammer smith jiggly Joe ? you have the touch... Mr. Green
0 Replies
 
bigstew
 
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Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 12:50 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
The argument that "consistent facts" imply such an a priori reality, is circular because "facts" are cognitive constructs


I should also add that science being theory dependent (in the sense that it makes use of theoretical constructs) only makes sense if there is an independent reality for which those theoretical constructs apply to. A theoretical construct of measurement (and the modification of it) wouldn't make sense if measurement was only applied to theoretical constructs. Scientific hypothesis isn't about fiction. It tests against the real world.

That isn't a circular argument. That is a justified assumption.
JLNobody
 
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Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 05:38 pm
@bigstew,
The stalemate between A2kers in this thread demonstrates the relativity of perspectives. By that I mean that our respective perspectives are deep seated and not very open to persuasion; it's more a question of what feels right than what is shown to be right.
0 Replies
 
 

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