First-Science

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Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 08:34 pm
First-science concerns itself with the most fundamental questions and answers. First-science functions by subverting itself. What are the fundamental questions and answers that other questions and answers are built on? This is a question for first-science. Psychology seems like a first-science, because the mind is the source of first-science in the first place. Linguistic philosophy (in the broadest sense) seems like a first-science, for both psychology, first-science, and linguistic philosophy are made of sentences. But all of these develop over time, in human history. Are history and/or historicism first-science? A question for first-science.

Is first-science a bottomless pit?
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 08:54 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;127732 wrote:
First-science concerns itself with the most fundamental questions and answers. First-science functions by subverting itself. What are the fundamental questions and answers that other questions and answers are built on? This is a question for first-science. Psychology seems like a first-science, because the mind is the source of first-science in the first place. Linguistic philosophy (in the broadest sense) seems like a first-science, for both psychology, first-science, and linguistic philosophy are made of sentences. But all of these develop over time, in human history. Are history and/or historicism first-science? A question for first-science.

Is first-science a bottomless pit?


Sounds like if first-science was a computer, it would blow itself up.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 13 Feb, 2010 04:04 pm
@Scottydamion,
Scottydamion;127736 wrote:
Sounds like if first-science was a computer, it would blow itself up.


In a way, first-science is a computer. A wet analog computer. I don't think I mentioned it, but "first-science" isn't my term or invention.

To me, philosophy is first-science. But some don't want philosophy to play this role. They want to avoid first-science, because they don't think it's practical. It's also scary. I think first-science appeals to those with what Keat's calls negative capability.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 12:32 am
@Reconstructo,
For me, one question breeds another. I am surprised that no one is engaging this notion.
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 01:00 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;128081 wrote:
For me, one question breeds another. I am surprised that no one is engaging this notion.


Maybe the title scared them off.

So, you would be saying that questions are inherently "question begging"? Or that asking one question opens up an infinite regress, like a can of worms?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 01:12 am
@Scottydamion,
Scottydamion;128092 wrote:
Maybe the title scared them off.

So, you would be saying that questions are inherently "question begging"? Or that asking one question opens up an infinite regress, like a can of worms?


Yes, one good question leads to another. One questions the question, for one thing.
I think that any intellectual position is vulnerable to potent questioning. Do we stop questioning because our current position is emotionally satisfying? Are all intellectual positions based on a sort of faith? On the cessation of questioning?
Is the "pursuit of truth" a bluff, then? Is "truth" just adjustment? Is ultimate truth possible at all? What is my motive for asking these questions? If you have an answer to this question of my motive, what is the motive behind your answer?
Do we want truth or only the prestige associated with it?
If we propose a concept or model of the psyche, how do we know that this concept or model is not the result of wishful thinking, a rationalization?
Is all reason really rationalization? But then reason as rationalization would be a rationalization. Can the snake catch its tail?

You see what I mean?
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 01:29 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;128101 wrote:
Yes, one good question leads to another. One questions the question, for one thing.
I think that any intellectual position is vulnerable to potent questioning. Do we stop questioning because our current position is emotionally satisfying? Are all intellectual positions based on a sort of faith? On the cessation of questioning?
Is the "pursuit of truth" a bluff, then? Is "truth" just adjustment? Is ultimate truth possible at all? What is my motive for asking these questions? If you have an answer to this question of my motive, what is the motive behind your answer?
Do we want truth or only the prestige associated with it?
If we propose a concept or model of the psyche, how do we know that this concept or model is not the result of wishful thinking, a rationalization?
Is all reason really rationalization? But then reason as rationalization would be a rationalization. Can the snake catch its tail?

You see what I mean?


I very much see what you mean. I wish more people would stop and consider the idea, because there are too many strawman "strongmen" out there pushing their view as the ultimate truth.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 01:36 am
@Scottydamion,
Scottydamion;128110 wrote:
I very much see what you mean. I wish more people would stop and consider the idea, because there are too many strawman "strongmen" out there pushing their view as the ultimate truth.


That's how I feel. So many define themselves as against "blind faith" and yet do not engage in questioning their assumptions. I'm not saying they are wrong to do so, but only that it strikes me as self-contradicting. Philosophical positions are often as unquestioned as religious faith. Do we make idol of famous philosophers? Do we huddle under their prestige, an intellectual prestige which has replaced the prestige of the saint or the conquerer?
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 01:49 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;128117 wrote:
That's how I feel. So many define themselves as against "blind faith" and yet do not engage in questioning their assumptions. I'm not saying they are wrong to do so, but only that it strikes me as self-contradicting. Philosophical positions are often as unquestioned as religious faith. Do we make idol of famous philosophers? Do we huddle under their prestige, an intellectual prestige which has replaced the prestige of the saint or the conquerer?


I personally have yet to read a philosopher with such an amazing new outlook that I was taken aback in awe... so I don't mind making idol of famous philosophers. If you think about how history works, in 200 years or so the name and number of philosophers being taught that were taught now will most likely be diminished by a fair amount.

I think admitting that one may be wrong about everything leaves one open to truly discuss ideas with other people. To truly open one's mind to the ideas of others, and sit in their shoes as it were.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 08:05 am
@Reconstructo,
Any "first science" must provide the grounds for both itself and for the other sciences, even though---when seen from special horizons---each science can be said to provide this ground. Hence we find conflicting claims for priority from anthropology, history, and many other specialised disciplines or ways of knowing; even religion and literature make such claims.

Yet, can any of these justify themselves from within their ways of understanding? Only by transcending their perspectives or special ways of looking at the world, only by appealing to another source that can establish the validity of their rules and procedures and perspectival processes can they do so, and that over-reaching "science" and source is philosophy, and all those "philosophies of" their disciplines to which each appeals when in doubt.

And alone of all these human endeavors of knowing (science), it seems that only philosophy can even begin to provide its own ground in the discipline of meta-philosophy.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 09:45 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;128174 wrote:
Any "first science" must provide the grounds for both itself and for the other sciences, even though---when seen from special horizons---each science can be said to provide this ground. Hence we find conflicting claims for priority from anthropology, history, and many other specialised disciplines or ways of knowing; even religion and literature make such claims.

Yet, can any of these justify themselves from within their ways of understanding? Only by transcending their perspectives or special ways of looking at the world, only by appealing to another source that can establish the validity of their rules and procedures and perspectival processes can they do so, and that over-reaching "science" and source is philosophy, and all those "philosophies of" their disciplines to which each appeals when in doubt.

And alone of all these human endeavors of knowing (science), it seems that only philosophy can even begin to provide its own ground in the discipline of meta-philosophy.


What does it mean for a discipline to "justify itself"? Why, for instance, history have to justify itself? Against what criticisms. What would be the matter with history against which it would have to defend itself? Or, anthropology (which you also named)? We too often think that a sentence with a question mark at its end is expressing an intelligible question. So, what doubts have you about history, or about anthropology, that you think that first philosophy (whatever that is) may assuage?

The crucial attack on philosophy was made in the 18th century by David Hume. To which Kant gave an answer, but not a satisfactory answer. A different answer was then provided by analytic philosophy. But Hume presented very specific and powerful criticisms against philosophy, and they obviously required dealing with. What are supposed to be the criticisms against history or anthropology, the disciplines you name. Or, if you prefer, any other discipline you care to name. Let's, as Wittgenstein put it, "get back to the rough ground" of specifics.
 
manored
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 12:33 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;128081 wrote:
For me, one question breeds another. I am surprised that no one is engaging this notion.
Its because (or so I believe) most of us already have, and we already know what is down there, and we already know what is down there leads nowhere =)

We always get down to "Nothing is certain, there is no truth" and there is no way out of that.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 12:46 pm
@manored,
manored;128199 wrote:
Its because (or so I believe) most of us already have, and we already know what is down there, and we already know what is down there leads nowhere =)

We always get down to "Nothing is certain, there is no truth" and there is no way out of that.


It is true, I think, that nothing is certain. But why should that mean that there is no truth? What have certainty and truth to do with one another?
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 02:30 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;128200 wrote:
It is true, I think, that nothing is certain. But why should that mean that there is no truth? What have certainty and truth to do with one another?


Good point. Some believe that truth has to be above uncertainty, but that is a very dogmatic and impractical conception of truth. Truth is simply logical and parsimonious consistency with evidence.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 03:09 pm
@Reconstructo,
Is first science meta-science?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 03:58 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;128210 wrote:
Good point. Some believe that truth has to be above uncertainty, but that is a very dogmatic and impractical conception of truth. Truth is simply logical and parsimonious consistency with evidence.


But why could not some statement be true that is inconsistent with the evidence. Many people think that the statement that there is a God is inconsistent with the evidence, but it may be true nonetheless.

---------- Post added 02-14-2010 at 04:59 PM ----------

Deckard;128218 wrote:
Is first science meta-science?


You'll have to ask the person who coined the term, I suppose. In philosophy departments is tis called, "the philosophy of science", and there are also journals with that name.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 07:47 pm
@Scottydamion,
Scottydamion;128124 wrote:

I think admitting that one may be wrong about everything leaves one open to truly discuss ideas with other people. To truly open one's mind to the ideas of others, and sit in their shoes as it were.


Keats thought this was the secret of Shakespeare's power. He called the ability to remain in doubt "negative capability." I find that this concept applies to what you said quite well. It also touches on Rorty's notion of the ironist. In case you are unfamiliar with these:

Negative capability - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ironism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

---------- Post added 02-14-2010 at 08:50 PM ----------

jgweed;128174 wrote:


And alone of all these human endeavors of knowing (science), it seems that only philosophy can even begin to provide its own ground in the discipline of meta-philosophy.


I agree. The term "first philosophy" might have been a better title for this thread, actually. But since I view science as founded on whatever you want to call the ground of world-view, it doesn't really matter.

I almost feel that the unnameable lurks nearby. Or the always-already-renaming-itself.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 07:54 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;128294 wrote:

I agree. The term "first philosophy" might have been a better title for this thread, actually. But since I view science as founded on whatever you want to call the ground of world-view, it doesn't really matter.

I almost feel that the unnameable lurks nearby. Or the always-already-renaming-itself.

Is first philosophy perennial philosophy?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 08:01 pm
@manored,
manored;128199 wrote:
Its because (or so I believe) most of us already have, and we already know what is down there, and we already know what is down there leads nowhere =)


I can't agree with this. I don't think we "know what's down there." I don't think that "there is nothing new under the sun." I don't think that fundamental questioning "leads nowhere." Are we forgetting Socrates?

Yes, life demands more of us than the asking of difficult questions. Nietzsche quipped that philosophy was the idleness of God on the seventh day.

Another thing: do you find no thrill in the grand questions?

---------- Post added 02-14-2010 at 09:02 PM ----------

Deckard;128296 wrote:
Is first philosophy perennial philosophy?


A question for first-philosophy?
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 01:07 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;128222 wrote:
But why could not some statement be true that is inconsistent with the evidence. Many people think that the statement that there is a God is inconsistent with the evidence, but it may be true nonetheless.


I sometimes think a new name is in order to separate logical truth, necessary truth, colloquial truth, etc... because all too often they are mixed and mingled, diced and sliced in conversation making it very hard to distinguish one's usage of the word (and we all know we hate adjectives right?)
 
 

 
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