Posts

Author Barry Linetsky

Part 18: Science, Human Action, The Search for “Truth”, and Consequences

Thinking on the Potential Dangers of Science Myopia (Photo: Joao Silas, Unsplash.com)

Machine Messiahs (18/20)

© 2018, Barry L. Linetsky. All Rights Reserved.

As we have seen, there seems to be a significant number of modern scientists and influential intellectuals who, in the post-modernist tradition, want to obliterate the human mind by obliterating the need for a science of epistemology. Their pretense that they are advocates of reason under the guise of science is just that: a pretense to garner social credibility and respect.

Many go one step further. The more ideological among them take to bullying an unknowledgeable and trusting public predisposed to deferring to self-proclaimed but ideologically motivated and politically aggressive experts. In the worst of cases, scientists knowingly conspire in the guise of mercenary soldiers to produce fraudulent research in support of ideological and political ends. Read more

Author Barry Linetsky

Part 17: Science, Human Action, The Search for “Truth”, and Consequences

Thinking on the Potential Dangers of Science Myopia (Photo: Joao Silas, Unsplash.com)

Mindless Survival is an Invitation to Chaos (17/20)

© 2018, Barry L. Linetsky. All Rights Reserved.

An outright attack on the efficacy of the human mind, not just as the allegorical locus of human agency, but on the very existence of agency, is an outright attack on humanity, society, economy, and human survival itself.

When that attack it is done in the name of, and with the full backing of our institutions of science and their leading public voices, there is a legitimate worry that science will become a propaganda tool to serve anti-mind, anti-reason, anti-freedom interests. Even if leading scientists themselves are unlikely to have and value such explicit and consciously derived proclivities, they still bear responsibility for their conclusions and the foreseeable implications of the policy initiatives they advocate. Read more

Author Barry Linetsky

Part 16: Science, Human Action, The Search for “Truth”, and Consequences

Thinking on the Potential Dangers of Science Myopia (Photo: Joao Silas, Unsplash.com)

Goodbye Mind, Hello Mindless (16/20)

© 2018, Barry L. Linetsky. All Rights Reserved.

We have seen that there is a tendency for advocates of the narrow scientistic perspective with regards to science to want to obliterate the mind by knowingly or unwittingly obliterating the need for a science of epistemology – the study of the nature of knowledge and how we acquire it by means of concept formation, applied reason, logic, inference, etc.

Where it is asserted that the mind does not exist – that volitional consciousness is taken to be an illusion of functioning brain matter – reason as a solution-seeking faculty of man’s consciousness under volitional control is also taken to be an illusion. (Ironically, this conclusion is taken to be valid by the application of reason, not empirical observation.) Read more

Author Barry Linetsky

Part 15: Science, Human Action, The Search for “Truth”, and Consequences

Thinking on the Potential Dangers of Science Myopia (Photo: Joao Silas, Unsplash.com)

Ah, You Don’t Believe We’re on the Eve of Destruction? (15/20)

© 2018, Barry L. Linetsky. All Rights Reserved.

Identifying valid methods of human thought in pursuit of life-sustaining human action through sensory perception, observation, reason, and logic is itself a science.

Built into the human mind is the structure and latent capability to identify causality, to value profitable outcomes, and to differentiate success and failure, profit and loss, pain and pleasure, guided by reason and logic.

These built-in capabilities provide the potential and set the stage for human discovery and are necessary for individual survival. They allow us to discover and recognize the utility of and need for peaceful cooperation to advance the development of socially beneficial production and trade to satisfy our needs and desires. Read more

Author Barry Linetsky

Part 14: Science, Human Action, The Search for “Truth”, and Consequences

Thinking on the Potential Dangers of Science Myopia (Photo: Joao Silas, Unsplash.com)

The Marginalization and Destruction of Epistemology (14/20)

© 2018, Barry L. Linetsky. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Edwin Locke notes in The Illusion of Determinism: Why Free Will is Real and Causal that to construct an experimental method while at the same time acting consistently with the belief that human beings lack free will and that volitional consciousness and human agency is always and everywhere an illusion, a scientist would not be able to know what procedures to follow, choose the proper procedures to follow, or know what determined their actions, for doing so would be regulated by uncontrollable causes governed by the natural laws controlling the physical world. Read more

Author Barry Linetsky

Part 13: Science, Human Action, The Search for “Truth”, and Consequences

Thinking on the Potential Dangers of Science Myopia (Photo: Joao Silas, Unsplash.com)

Volitional and Mechanistic Causation: Science or Sciences? (13/20)

© 2018, Barry L. Linetsky. All Rights Reserved.

The question of whether social science or any study of reality having to do with human action can be accepted as valid and legitimate science remains contentious amongst intellectuals. Human action and the study of those disciplines serving human values and interests don’t fit neatly into the modern scientistic and positivist worldview held by the majority of the scientific community.

There exists a clash of paradigms. Read more

Author Barry Linetsky

Part 5: Science, Human Action, The Search for “Truth”, and Consequences

Thinking on the Potential Dangers of Science Myopia (Photo: Joao Silas, Unsplash.com)

Hayek’s Fallacy of Scientistic Prejudice (5/20)

© 2018, Barry L. Linetsky. All Rights Reserved.

The consideration of the existence of a single scientific method – a prejudice towards a methodology for studying the world of human action using a scientific method developed for the study of a mechanistic world of natural laws – was referred to by economist F.A. Hayek as the fallacy of scientistic prejudice, or scientismfor short. Hayek wrote a series of essays about this problem that were published in 1952 as The Counter-Revolution of Science: Studies in the Abuse of Reason. (All page citations for Hayek to The Counter-Revolution of Science (2nd Ed.), LibertyPress, Indianapolis, 1979.)

Hayek argues that prior to the 19thcentury, a feature of science was its choiceof appropriate methods to study disciplines of knowledge, including the study of politics, history, and economics. Following in the footsteps of Aristotle, science covered both the natural sciences and the social sciences. “The term science,” Hayek wrote, “had not yet assumed the special narrow meaning it has today, nor was there any distinction made which singled out the physical or natural sciences and attributed to them a special dignity.” (19-20) Read more