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Author Barry Linetsky

Part 20: Science, Human Action, The Search for “Truth”, and Consequences

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

Conclusion: Reaffirming the Intellectual Foundations of Western Civilization (20/20)

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

When the scope of science as the act of systematic discovery of knowledge is confined to the experimental methods appropriate to the study of the physical causality by an underlying ideological commitment to mechanical materialism, positivism, and empiricism, however well intentioned, no room is left for seeking knowledge under the guise of science in the realm of human action with its teleological roots in the form of intentions or plans activated by the desires, motives, and purposes of individual actors. Read more

Author Barry Linetsky

Part 19: Science, Human Action, The Search for “Truth”, and Consequences

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

The Scientific Roots of Production and Destruction (19/20)

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

It is widely accepted by many leading scientists and intellectuals that self-awareness of volitional consciousness is a phenomenological illusion somehow generated by unconscious material brain matter. Because they reject the axiomatic status of existence, identity, and consciousness, and inappropriately demand proof for their validity that cannot be forthcoming because such proof is a logical impossibility (any proof presupposes these axioms), they choose to abandon epistemology and reason rather than revisit their invalid premises and assumptions. They choose to pretend that the phenomenon we call free will or human agency or human action does not really exist.

It is self-contradictory and irrational to attempt to use reason to put forward arguments and evidence for a conclusion while at the same time proclaiming that reason as an active volitional process of man’s consciousness is a mere illusion.  Instead of checking their premises, many scientists and others choose to reject reason. 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 12: Science, Human Action, The Search for “Truth”, and Consequences

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

A Science of Two Parts Forms a Whole (12/20)

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

Ludwig von Mises drew a sharp distinction between two types of study, one being non-teleological events in the world of inanimate matter, and the other being teleological human events that rest on the “human faculty of thinking, cognizing, and acting” (The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science, 11). He noted: “There is within the infinite expanse of what is called the universe a small field in which man’s conscious conduct can influence the course of events” (ibid.).

Mises referred to the study of non-teleological events as “natural sciences” and the study where conscious human cognition was an aspect of the subject matter as the social sciences, or “the sciences of human action.” He included his own field of study, economics, in this latter category.

The nature of the two domains of natural science and human science is such that each requires a separate, distinct, and appropriate methodology of study. Read more

Author Barry Linetsky

Part 7: Science, Human Action, The Search for “Truth”, and Consequences

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

In The Land of Blind Science, Volitional Consciousness Is King (7/20)

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

When it comes to human actions, notes Hayek in his aptly titled book The Counter-Revolution of Science, “things arewhat the acting people think they are” (44). For example, a hammer is not a thing in itself or an objective fact of Science, but rather a means to an end as perceived by a human being, a tool that can be created, designed, and used for a conceived purpose as defined by the user. A hammer can be a tool to join pieces of wood by means of nails, or to remove nails and break things apart.

Scientism neglects the study of human action and the meaning humans ascribe to the world they encounter. The best science can do in this realm is generate statistics and data maps. Human motives cannot be directly perceived and quantitatively measured, and to this extent are excluded from “real” Scientific study. Read more