Crumb Trail
     an impermanent travelogue
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Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Norm replies "I'd have a question about why nature as in some meaningful sense 'a given' has to be problematized when, as Gary himself says, 'not all choices will result in good outcomes because physical reality constrains theā€¦ choices we might make'. "

The modernist conception of nature is rigid, simplistic and wrong more often than right. As scientists we suspect how little we know and make an uneasy peace with that uncomfortable state. In theory we can proceed with current best judgements knowing that our positions are provisional, pragmatic and subject to revision, but in practice we tend toward beliefs. The tension of remaining undecided, critical, open and questioning is wearing and there is a strong tendency to give in, to take a stand, to inflate, as Dennett says , "the truth about truth into the Truth about Truth, some absolutistic doctrine that makes indefensible demands on our systems of thought." It isn't nature that is a problem, it is Nature - a given which is submitted to with near religious awe - that is a problem."

posted by back40 | 9/03/2003 10:20:00 AM


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