Thursday, January 28, 2010

Two great articles.

Read Stanley Fish's article from the Times last week:

An important quote here:
For "what gives the cultural form (or set of ideas and practices) we call science its epistemic authority is not the putatively transcendent truth of its theories, but the fact that its models of the operations of the material-physical world enable us to predict, shape, and intervene in those operations more effectively in relation to our purposes."

Then read a response from the author of the book Fish bases his article on this week:

An important quote here:
This tendency to belief-persistence is well illustrated in the back-and-forth celebratory descriptions of science and pious invocations of the truth of one or another religion that swell the comments on Fish's column. Such celebrations and invocations are typically accompanied by long lists of the crimes of religion and the glories of science or (in equally long lists) vice versa. What is notable here is that no position in these seesaw exchanges is ever changed. No one is enlightened; no one is converted.

Interesting dialogue. I am always amazed at the belief-persistence of people all along with epistemological, religious and scientific spectra. With so many people sure that they're right, it's no wonder there is so little real thought and dialogue in the public forum. On the upside, we have superabundance of smug arrogance across all axes!

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