Author Topic: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.  (Read 6490 times)

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Re: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2010, 10:52:43 pm »
I think I understand what Fuller is saying, but perhaps you could give your take on it?
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Re: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2010, 02:36:47 am »
I think I understand what Fuller is saying, but perhaps you could give your take on it?

Oh man, I just realized how jargon filled sections .56 and .57 are.... sorry about that. I will have to pass today, I'm not really thinking straight (still recovering from the flu I got @ jury duty _last month_...the mucus and dizzy spells are nearly gone). I will definitely get back to this, tho. Maybe I start a topic on Bucky and we can go through his Synergenics from the start?
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Re: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2010, 02:55:55 am »
I think I understand what Fuller is saying, but perhaps you could give your take on it?

Oh man, I just realized how jargon filled sections .56 and .57 are.... sorry about that. I will have to pass today, I'm not really thinking straight (still recovering from the flu I got @ jury duty _last month_...the mucus and dizzy spells are nearly gone). I will definitely get back to this, tho. Maybe I start a topic on Bucky and we can go through his Synergenics from the start?

It's fine. :)
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Re: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2010, 06:05:08 am »
I agree that it was right of me not to polarize, but at what point does that predict your argument?

I think, I agree with you... I still don't agree with Wilson. And while my first answer was kind of rushed, here is why of my disagreement:

Quote
And to others concerned about the growing dissolution and irrelevance of the intelligentsia, which is indeed alarming, I suggest there have always been two kinds of original thinkers, those who upon viewing disorder try to create order, and those who upon encountering order try to protest it by creating disorder. The tension between the two is what drives learning forward.

Here he proposes two kinds of thinkers, the creators of order and the creators of disorder, so far so good.


Quote
It lifts us upward through a zigzagging trajectory of progress. And in the Darwinian contest of ideas, order always wins, because--simply--that is the way the real world works.

But here he states that "order always win", leaving to a secondary place disorder.

Quote
[...]We will always need post-modernists or their rebellious equivalents. For what better way to strengthen organized knowledge than continually to defend it from hostile forces?
There isn't a dialectic movement between order and disorder... disorder is a hostile force, a threat to knowledge

Quote
John Stewart Mill correctly noted that teacher and learner alike fall asleep at their posts when there is no enemy in the field. And if somehow, against all the evidence, against all reason,
Here he says something like "yeah, I'm really really sure I'm right and they are wrong"

Quote
the linchpin falls out and everything is reduced to epistemological confusion, we will find the courage to admit that the post-modernists were right, and in the best spirit of the Enlightenment, we will start over again.
And here "and EVEN if we are wrong, we (the creators of order) are the ones that will still be in charge."
 
Quote
Because, as the great mathematician David Hilbert once said, capturing so well that part of the human spirit expressed through the Enlightenment, Wir mussen wissen. Wir werden wissen. We must know, we will know.
And here I ask... really we MUST know? really we WILL know?

While he talks about the relation between order and disorder as necesary to the creative proces, he is describing disorder as subsidiary to order. Also he is defending the XVIII century notion (he even says it...) that Reason will triumph, simply because it HAS TO triumph, giving the development of human knowledge some kind of "greater meaning".

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Re: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2010, 07:03:59 am »
I had a flash illumination when mulling this thread, some taoism.


The delusion of thinking order or disorder are "more important" (see the PD) basically leads one to identify the Form(ordered/disordered) of the system, and the Narrative(the Flow, the emergent behaviour) together, loosing the distinction between them.

What the materialist empiricist order-worshipers cling to is this notion that the Story, the Narrative(Confucian-'Tao', Divine Plan, etc) is ORDER, just like the molecules in a magnet 'are' ordered. Narrative can certainly be ordered and disordered as Lost and other tropes have shown.

But the Narrative is CHAOS, the counterpushpull of Entropy(treding towards disorder) and Syntropy(trending towards order) and not one or the other.
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Re: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2010, 01:08:28 pm »
I agree that it was right of me not to polarize, but at what point does that predict your argument?

I think, I agree with you... I still don't agree with Wilson. And while my first answer was kind of rushed, here is why of my disagreement:

Quote
And to others concerned about the growing dissolution and irrelevance of the intelligentsia, which is indeed alarming, I suggest there have always been two kinds of original thinkers, those who upon viewing disorder try to create order, and those who upon encountering order try to protest it by creating disorder. The tension between the two is what drives learning forward.

Here he proposes two kinds of thinkers, the creators of order and the creators of disorder, so far so good.


Quote
It lifts us upward through a zigzagging trajectory of progress. And in the Darwinian contest of ideas, order always wins, because--simply--that is the way the real world works.

But here he states that "order always win", leaving to a secondary place disorder.

Quote
[...]We will always need post-modernists or their rebellious equivalents. For what better way to strengthen organized knowledge than continually to defend it from hostile forces?
There isn't a dialectic movement between order and disorder... disorder is a hostile force, a threat to knowledge

Quote
John Stewart Mill correctly noted that teacher and learner alike fall asleep at their posts when there is no enemy in the field. And if somehow, against all the evidence, against all reason,
Here he says something like "yeah, I'm really really sure I'm right and they are wrong"

Quote
the linchpin falls out and everything is reduced to epistemological confusion, we will find the courage to admit that the post-modernists were right, and in the best spirit of the Enlightenment, we will start over again.
And here "and EVEN if we are wrong, we (the creators of order) are the ones that will still be in charge."
 
Quote
Because, as the great mathematician David Hilbert once said, capturing so well that part of the human spirit expressed through the Enlightenment, Wir mussen wissen. Wir werden wissen. We must know, we will know.
And here I ask... really we MUST know? really we WILL know?

While he talks about the relation between order and disorder as necesary to the creative proces, he is describing disorder as subsidiary to order. Also he is defending the XVIII century notion (he even says it...) that Reason will triumph, simply because it HAS TO triumph, giving the development of human knowledge some kind of "greater meaning".

1) Again, I dislike the words he uses, but it's true: disordered systems don't exist in continuity; they quickly fall apart. That's what he means.

2) "hostile forces" is a metaphor for criticism. He's not talking about physical violence, but verbal criticism of knowledge in the form of antithesis (ala Hegel's dialectic). And it's good to remember that when he talk's about "defending" it's in the Popperian sense, that scientific hypotheses need to be tested and refined/eliminated in order to progress in knowledge. That is of course the Popperian philosophy of science; Kuhnian philosophy depicts science as puzzle solving with very little hypothetico-deductive reasoning. And then there's Strong Inference, which like Popper rather than like Kuhn is a model of how science should work, not how it does on a regular basis. But I digress. Wilson very much follows Popper and Platt's Strong Inference and it shows in his statements.

3) When he says "against all evidence", he means against all the combined evidence and testing that has resulted in our present understanding, and when he says "against all reason" he's referring to Popper again. He's allowing for change, just like every good scientist.

4) Again, "we will start over again" does not translate to "we are in charge". Wilson will seek to understand the universe even if everything he knows so far turns out to be wrong. He will "start over", with new basic hypotheses if needed. Again, the mark of a good scientist.

5) To your comment on "we must know", solipsism gets a person no where. While a solipsist sits in their impenetrable fortress, neither can they sally forth, so the scientist leaves them behind. My opinion is that people who are uninterested are also uninteresting. "We can't know, we won't know" aren't useful statements, to anyone.

Quote
While he talks about the relation between order and disorder as necesary to the creative proces, he is describing disorder as subsidiary to order. Also he is defending the XVIII century notion (he even says it...) that Reason will triumph, simply because it HAS TO triumph, giving the development of human knowledge some kind of "greater meaning".

Describing order (ie processes) is the only way we can gain knowledge about the universe. Order is pattern. Disorder is not pattern, and therefore cannot be described or utilized in any meaningful way unless we can put it in the context of order. And again, if you want to throw up your hands and say we can't know anything at all, good for you, but it sounds very much like the cries of religious fundamentalists who can't accept evolution yet enjoy modern medicine. And given that this is coming at the end of a chapter on The Enlightenment, yes, of course he's going to take that thesis. To do otherwise, to say there is no order in the universe, that no reason can understand it, would be (IMO) stupid. While I disagree with utopianism, there is a progression in knowledge, either by reciprocal illumination or revolution. To think otherwise is to disregard human history, and makes you look foolish.
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Kai

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Re: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.
« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2010, 01:11:07 pm »
I had a flash illumination when mulling this thread, some taoism.


The delusion of thinking order or disorder are "more important" (see the PD) basically leads one to identify the Form(ordered/disordered) of the system, and the Narrative(the Flow, the emergent behaviour) together, loosing the distinction between them.

What the materialist empiricist order-worshipers cling to is this notion that the Story, the Narrative(Confucian-'Tao', Divine Plan, etc) is ORDER, just like the molecules in a magnet 'are' ordered. Narrative can certainly be ordered and disordered as Lost and other tropes have shown.

But the Narrative is CHAOS, the counterpushpull of Entropy(treding towards disorder) and Syntropy(trending towards order) and not one or the other.

So, what does this have to do with the OP?
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Kai

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Re: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.
« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2010, 01:34:12 pm »
And to clarify the episemology involved:

In science, The Truth (cf. Dok Howl's dictionary) exists, and it is uncovered by reciprocal illumination, a cycle between induction and deduction. Induction provides the model pattern, and is supported by data (empirical facts) being consistant with that model pattern. Deduction provides further support or refutation by congruence or incongruence of additional data. Incongruence leads to additional questions, leading back to induction and a refining/revamping of the model pattern. This means scientific understanding takes a spiraling course downward towards The Truth, becoming tighter and tighter as knowledge progresses.
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Re: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2010, 06:35:09 pm »
I had a flash illumination when mulling this thread, some taoism.


The delusion of thinking order or disorder are "more important" (see the PD) basically leads one to identify the Form(ordered/disordered) of the system, and the Narrative(the Flow, the emergent behaviour) together, loosing the distinction between them.

What the materialist empiricist order-worshipers cling to is this notion that the Story, the Narrative(Confucian-'Tao', Divine Plan, etc) is ORDER, just like the molecules in a magnet 'are' ordered. Narrative can certainly be ordered and disordered as Lost and other tropes have shown.

But the Narrative is CHAOS, the counterpushpull of Entropy(trending towards disorder) and Syntropy(trending towards order) and not one or the other.

So, what does this have to do with the OP?

I think it has more to do with how people are interpreting the OP, which is why I'm glad you clarified many of the terms he was using. I don't consider the OP lost in the Aneristic Illusion (he seems a pretty savvy guy), but many of the metaphors he's using are lodged in the Aneristic Delusion that structures our current use of language. They have a technical sense (understanding of which leads one to a greater understanding of the OP), and they have a 'common' usage (which are tied up in so many Order and Authority games that some-one not familiar with the technical meanings will miss the point).
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Re: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.
« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2010, 06:54:14 pm »
1) Again, I dislike the words he uses, but it's true: disordered systems don't exist in continuity; they quickly fall apart. That's what he means.

I guess that is what he means, and that's how things work, as simple as that. The problem is what it involves in "those who upon viewing disorder try to create order, and those who upon encountering order try to protest it by creating disorder", when

2) "hostile forces" is a metaphor for criticism. He's not talking about physical violence, but verbal criticism of knowledge in the form of antithesis (ala Hegel's dialectic). And it's good to remember that when he talk's about "defending" it's in the Popperian sense, that scientific hypotheses need to be tested and refined/eliminated in order to progress in knowledge. That is of course the Popperian philosophy of science; Kuhnian philosophy depicts science as puzzle solving with very little hypothetico-deductive reasoning. And then there's Strong Inference, which like Popper rather than like Kuhn is a model of how science should work, not how it does on a regular basis. But I digress. Wilson very much follows Popper and Platt's Strong Inference and it shows in his statements.

I'm not talking about physical violence neither, just that "hostile forces" involves some kind of enemy. If "Wilson very much follows Popper and Platt's Strong Inference and it shows in his statements", which are models "of how science should work, not how it does on a regular basis"; then we are not discussing things as actually happen, but as should happen. If things were as they should and not as they are I probably wouldn't have any problem with what he is saying.


3) When he says "against all evidence", he means against all the combined evidence and testing that has resulted in our present understanding, and when he says "against all reason" he's referring to Popper again. He's allowing for change, just like every good scientist.

4) Again, "we will start over again" does not translate to "we are in charge". Wilson will seek to understand the universe even if everything he knows so far turns out to be wrong. He will "start over", with new basic hypotheses if needed. Again, the mark of a good scientist.

Start over again... even if it means to accept the limits in their current epistemological premises? He says yes and if he is talking about scientists in a general, present and future I can belive the premises will with time evolve (and in fact are probably evolving). If he talks about the scientists alive today, I hardly think most of them would accept it. The change is possible because people had made science a somewhat dinamic structure. But it is the people, not science per se

5) To your comment on "we must know", solipsism gets a person no where. While a solipsist sits in their impenetrable fortress, neither can they sally forth, so the scientist leaves them behind. My opinion is that people who are uninterested are also uninteresting. "We can't know, we won't know" aren't useful statements, to anyone.
I'm not saying we can, in some way, know. I'm saying that there is no MUST in that process that ensures that we WILL know.

Describing order (ie processes) is the only way we can gain knowledge about the universe. Order is pattern. Disorder is not pattern, and therefore cannot be described or utilized in any meaningful way unless we can put it in the context of order.


Agree

And again, if you want to throw up your hands and say we can't know anything at all, good for you, but it sounds very much like the cries of religious fundamentalists who can't accept evolution yet enjoy modern medicine.
Straw man fallacy

And given that this is coming at the end of a chapter on The Enlightenment, yes, of course he's going to take that thesis. To do otherwise, to say there is no order in the universe, that no reason can understand it, would be (IMO) stupid. While I disagree with utopianism, there is a progression in knowledge, either by reciprocal illumination or revolution. To think otherwise is to disregard human history, and makes you look foolish.

Progression of knowledge isn't something that happens just by itself. It is a complex phenomenon related to HUMAN processess such as comunication and the development of ideas. Knowledge can be lost, regained, refuted, etc. There is not such thing as an unavoidable advance of Reason, Logical Thinking, and Common Sense, as they are cultural related and depend on the people that use them.

In science, The Truth (cf. Dok Howl's dictionary) exists, and it is uncovered by reciprocal illumination, a cycle between induction and deduction. Induction provides the model pattern, and is supported by data (empirical facts) being consistant with that model pattern. Deduction provides further support or refutation by congruence or incongruence of additional data. Incongruence leads to additional questions, leading back to induction and a refining/revamping of the model pattern. This means scientific understanding takes a spiraling course downward towards The Truth, becoming tighter and tighter as knowledge progresses.

And finally, we arrive to the epistemology. At least in most historical studies it is considered that The Truth is, in fact, something that must be culturaly accepted. That is because even when there are objective conditions the way we understand them requires come kind of interpretation. That interpretation involves the context of the interpreter (in this case the scientist), that is previous knowledge, religious and philosophical beliefs, epistemological premises, the situation that the interpreter is living, the simbolic structures by which he communicates, economical structures, etc. There is no objective Ultimate Truth, in the end all we can understand is culturally defined, and the way we understand it is in constant evolution. For example, you probably understand evolution in a different way to which Darwin understanded it, even when it is basically the same theory and the same overall idea.

So yes, we can know, but the way we know it has validity in the context we are knowing it. Also Knowledge, Science and The Truth are distinct things, even when they are related. This kind of thing is what I find hard to believe that Wilson will accept. And I'm not even talking about post-modernism, I'm talking about ideas that have been developed since the 1930s by the first generation of the schools of Frankfurt and Annales, both of social studies. Mentality, in the Ginzburg's way of understanding it (as the unconcious, recurrent elements in a determinated way of understanding the world) are a long durée phenomenon, that evolve in a really slow way.

As I understand the fragment of the opening post Wilson is accepting the necessity of criticism, but don't seems to be willing to accept the possibility (the really really big possiblility) that it is not they (the scientist that are at this moment "important", or those who are likeminded) but new generations of scientist that will understand Science, Knowledge, and Truth in a different way that Wilson and his peers, the ones who will do the "start over". Maybe even some kind of post-modern scientist, who will create disorder in order to allow future generations to create a new order or maybe even to do both himself. This way disorder isn't a "hostile force" but an inside force that allows evolution of knowledge.

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Re: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.
« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2010, 07:01:58 pm »

5) To your comment on "we must know", solipsism gets a person no where. While a solipsist sits in their impenetrable fortress, neither can they sally forth, so the scientist leaves them behind. My opinion is that people who are uninterested are also uninteresting. "We can't know, we won't know" aren't useful statements, to anyone.


Kai, with shades of Crowley ITT ;-)


Quote
Second, I exclude “vital scepticism.” What’s the good of anyfink? Expects (as we
used to learn about “nonne?”) the answer, “Why, nuffink!” and again is prejudice.
Indolence is no virtue in a questioner. Eagerness, intentness, concentration,
vigilance—all these I include in the connotation of “sceptic.” Such questioning as
has been called “vital scepticism” is but a device to avoid true questioning, and
therefore its very antithesis, the devil disguised as an angel of light.
- Liber CLVIII
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"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

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Re: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2010, 12:49:21 am »
1) Again, I dislike the words he uses, but it's true: disordered systems don't exist in continuity; they quickly fall apart. That's what he means.

I guess that is what he means, and that's how things work, as simple as that. The problem is what it involves in "those who upon viewing disorder try to create order, and those who upon encountering order try to protest it by creating disorder", when

2) "hostile forces" is a metaphor for criticism. He's not talking about physical violence, but verbal criticism of knowledge in the form of antithesis (ala Hegel's dialectic). And it's good to remember that when he talk's about "defending" it's in the Popperian sense, that scientific hypotheses need to be tested and refined/eliminated in order to progress in knowledge. That is of course the Popperian philosophy of science; Kuhnian philosophy depicts science as puzzle solving with very little hypothetico-deductive reasoning. And then there's Strong Inference, which like Popper rather than like Kuhn is a model of how science should work, not how it does on a regular basis. But I digress. Wilson very much follows Popper and Platt's Strong Inference and it shows in his statements.

I'm not talking about physical violence neither, just that "hostile forces" involves some kind of enemy. If "Wilson very much follows Popper and Platt's Strong Inference and it shows in his statements", which are models "of how science should work, not how it does on a regular basis"; then we are not discussing things as actually happen, but as should happen. If things were as they should and not as they are I probably wouldn't have any problem with what he is saying.[/quote]

Perhaps there is no enemy except solipsism, disinterest, complacency and ignorance.


Quote
3) When he says "against all evidence", he means against all the combined evidence and testing that has resulted in our present understanding, and when he says "against all reason" he's referring to Popper again. He's allowing for change, just like every good scientist.

4) Again, "we will start over again" does not translate to "we are in charge". Wilson will seek to understand the universe even if everything he knows so far turns out to be wrong. He will "start over", with new basic hypotheses if needed. Again, the mark of a good scientist.

Start over again... even if it means to accept the limits in their current epistemological premises? He says yes and if he is talking about scientists in a general, present and future I can belive the premises will with time evolve (and in fact are probably evolving). If he talks about the scientists alive today, I hardly think most of them would accept it. The change is possible because people had made science a somewhat dinamic structure. But it is the people, not science per se

If the current epistemological premises do not work, they will find other epistemological premises which work. It goes back to what I said below that you agreed with. Science finds patterns, solves problems. It's true, I agree in many ways with Kuhnian philosophy of science as a problem solving enterprise in essence, and use strong inference as a guide to solving problems faster, and Popper as a guide on what to do when there is incongruence, BUT. There is still a requirement for a pattern, some sort of order to follow, and that's what leads the way to scientific discovery.

Quote
5) To your comment on "we must know", solipsism gets a person no where. While a solipsist sits in their impenetrable fortress, neither can they sally forth, so the scientist leaves them behind. My opinion is that people who are uninterested are also uninteresting. "We can't know, we won't know" aren't useful statements, to anyone.
I'm not saying we can, in some way, know. I'm saying that there is no MUST in that process that ensures that we WILL know.

To this, I respond with another Wilson quote:

Quote
Better to steer with a lodestar than to drift on meaningless seas.

In other words, better to act as if everything is possible and work towards ultimate knowledge, even when complete ultimate knowledge isn't possible, than to believe it's not, when it is, and never reach it.

Quote
Describing order (ie processes) is the only way we can gain knowledge about the universe. Order is pattern. Disorder is not pattern, and therefore cannot be described or utilized in any meaningful way unless we can put it in the context of order.


Agree

And again, if you want to throw up your hands and say we can't know anything at all, good for you, but it sounds very much like the cries of religious fundamentalists who can't accept evolution yet enjoy modern medicine.
Straw man fallacy

True. You weren't doing that. But some people do.

Quote
And given that this is coming at the end of a chapter on The Enlightenment, yes, of course he's going to take that thesis. To do otherwise, to say there is no order in the universe, that no reason can understand it, would be (IMO) stupid. While I disagree with utopianism, there is a progression in knowledge, either by reciprocal illumination or revolution. To think otherwise is to disregard human history, and makes you look foolish.

Progression of knowledge isn't something that happens just by itself. It is a complex phenomenon related to HUMAN processess such as comunication and the development of ideas. Knowledge can be lost, regained, refuted, etc. There is not such thing as an unavoidable advance of Reason, Logical Thinking, and Common Sense, as they are cultural related and depend on the people that use them.

I agree. That isn't what I was saying though. What I was saying is that by looking at history you can see a progression of knowledge regardless of the losses, especially in the recent times. This is where I get pragmatic, and say, it works, even if it needs refining.

Quote
In science, The Truth (cf. Dok Howl's dictionary) exists, and it is uncovered by reciprocal illumination, a cycle between induction and deduction. Induction provides the model pattern, and is supported by data (empirical facts) being consistant with that model pattern. Deduction provides further support or refutation by congruence or incongruence of additional data. Incongruence leads to additional questions, leading back to induction and a refining/revamping of the model pattern. This means scientific understanding takes a spiraling course downward towards The Truth, becoming tighter and tighter as knowledge progresses.

And finally, we arrive to the epistemology. At least in most historical studies it is considered that The Truth is, in fact, something that must be culturaly accepted. That is because even when there are objective conditions the way we understand them requires come kind of interpretation. That interpretation involves the context of the interpreter (in this case the scientist), that is previous knowledge, religious and philosophical beliefs, epistemological premises, the situation that the interpreter is living, the simbolic structures by which he communicates, economical structures, etc. There is no objective Ultimate Truth, in the end all we can understand is culturally defined, and the way we understand it is in constant evolution. For example, you probably understand evolution in a different way to which Darwin understanded it, even when it is basically the same theory and the same overall idea.

I might say, not that I understand it better, but I understand it more completely. And I would argue there is The Truth, objective reality, and it's by reciprocal illumination that we continually strip away the filters of culture and mind to see through to that. Even if we never reach it, the task is worthy.

Quote
So yes, we can know, but the way we know it has validity in the context we are knowing it. Also Knowledge, Science and The Truth are distinct things, even when they are related. This kind of thing is what I find hard to believe that Wilson will accept. And I'm not even talking about post-modernism, I'm talking about ideas that have been developed since the 1930s by the first generation of the schools of Frankfurt and Annales, both of social studies. Mentality, in the Ginzburg's way of understanding it (as the unconcious, recurrent elements in a determinated way of understanding the world) are a long durée phenomenon, that evolve in a really slow way.

Yes, science and The Truth are separate things. The Truth is objective reality, and science is a system by which to reach ever closer to objective reality, even if we never reach it. And I think that's a good thing, which is a moral statement and therefore an opinion, but so is everything else in philosophy.

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As I understand the fragment of the opening post Wilson is accepting the necessity of criticism, but don't seems to be willing to accept the possibility (the really really big possiblility) that it is not they (the scientist that are at this moment "important", or those who are likeminded) but new generations of scientist that will understand Science, Knowledge, and Truth in a different way that Wilson and his peers, the ones who will do the "start over". Maybe even some kind of post-modern scientist, who will create disorder in order to allow future generations to create a new order or maybe even to do both himself. This way disorder isn't a "hostile force" but an inside force that allows evolution of knowledge.

I think Wilson definitely allows that as a possibility. Something he talks about frequently is the ocean of discovery as a metaphor, that most people hug the coasts but a few venture out into deeper waters. On the other hand, they have to be careful not to venture too far or the people won't be able to put into context what the explorers have to say. The poem Slanted Truths by Emily Dickenson comes to mind.

And that sort of person in your last statement would be an activist, not a scientist. You can be both, but not simultaneously. And I don't want this thread to go off on a tangent about the impossibility of total objectivity due to monkey mind, because I've already covered that with reciprocal illumination, so I'll just leave it at that.
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Kai

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Re: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2010, 12:53:32 am »
I had a flash illumination when mulling this thread, some taoism.


The delusion of thinking order or disorder are "more important" (see the PD) basically leads one to identify the Form(ordered/disordered) of the system, and the Narrative(the Flow, the emergent behaviour) together, loosing the distinction between them.

What the materialist empiricist order-worshipers cling to is this notion that the Story, the Narrative(Confucian-'Tao', Divine Plan, etc) is ORDER, just like the molecules in a magnet 'are' ordered. Narrative can certainly be ordered and disordered as Lost and other tropes have shown.

But the Narrative is CHAOS, the counterpushpull of Entropy(trending towards disorder) and Syntropy(trending towards order) and not one or the other.

So, what does this have to do with the OP?

I think it has more to do with how people are interpreting the OP, which is why I'm glad you clarified many of the terms he was using. I don't consider the OP lost in the Aneristic Illusion (he seems a pretty savvy guy), but many of the metaphors he's using are lodged in the Aneristic Delusion that structures our current use of language. They have a technical sense (understanding of which leads one to a greater understanding of the OP), and they have a 'common' usage (which are tied up in so many Order and Authority games that some-one not familiar with the technical meanings will miss the point).

Well, as long as I define terms and we reach a coming to terms, everything works out alright in communication (with the corollary there is no 2nd circuit monkeying for dominance going on).
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Kai

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Re: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.
« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2010, 12:55:20 am »

5) To your comment on "we must know", solipsism gets a person no where. While a solipsist sits in their impenetrable fortress, neither can they sally forth, so the scientist leaves them behind. My opinion is that people who are uninterested are also uninteresting. "We can't know, we won't know" aren't useful statements, to anyone.


Kai, with shades of Crowley ITT ;-)


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Second, I exclude “vital scepticism.” What’s the good of anyfink? Expects (as we
used to learn about “nonne?”) the answer, “Why, nuffink!” and again is prejudice.
Indolence is no virtue in a questioner. Eagerness, intentness, concentration,
vigilance—all these I include in the connotation of “sceptic.” Such questioning as
has been called “vital scepticism” is but a device to avoid true questioning, and
therefore its very antithesis, the devil disguised as an angel of light.
- Liber CLVIII

It can definitely be said in different ways, but the meaning is the same. :)
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Ikelos

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Re: EO Wilson on Order and Disorder.
« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2010, 01:38:14 am »
So, let me see if I understand the whole thing correctly, if there is something missing then tell me.

Perhaps there is no enemy except solipsism, disinterest, complacency and ignorance.

Agreed


If the current epistemological premises do not work, they will find other epistemological premises which work. It goes back to what I said below that you agreed with. Science finds patterns, solves problems. It's true, I agree in many ways with Kuhnian philosophy of science as a problem solving enterprise in essence, and use strong inference as a guide to solving problems faster, and Popper as a guide on what to do when there is incongruence, BUT. There is still a requirement for a pattern, some sort of order to follow, and that's what leads the way to scientific discovery.

Order is needed so we can have knowledge. Agreed. Science as a hole can advance and evolve in order to solve problems. Agreed.

In other words, better to act as if everything is possible and work towards ultimate knowledge, even when complete ultimate knowledge isn't possible, than to believe it's not, when it is, and never reach it.
I believe Ultimate Knowledge isn't possible. But nevertheless agree that is worth the try to attain it in a critical and dinamic way...

True. You weren't doing that. But some people do.
Agree

I agree. That isn't what I was saying though. What I was saying is that by looking at history you can see a progression of knowledge regardless of the losses, especially in the recent times. This is where I get pragmatic, and say, it works, even if it needs refining.
Agree, progression of knowledge works even when it needs refining.


I might say, not that I understand it better, but I understand it more completely.
I didn't said better, just differently


And I would argue there is The Truth, objective reality, and it's by reciprocal illumination that we continually strip away the filters of culture and mind to see through to that. Even if we never reach it, the task is worthy.

I make a difference between The Truth and objective reality because what we consider to be The Truth is an interpretation of the objective reality, even in the most trustworthy cases. As I see it we will never strip away the cultural filters in knowledge completely, even when science has made a great advance in that enterprise.

Yes, science and The Truth are separate things. The Truth is objective reality, and science is a system by which to reach ever closer to objective reality, even if we never reach it. And I think that's a good thing, which is a moral statement and therefore an opinion, but so is everything else in philosophy.
Agree, it is a good thing to try to reach objective reality, it's also a moral statement.

I think Wilson definitely allows that as a possibility. Something he talks about frequently is the ocean of discovery as a metaphor, that most people hug the coasts but a few venture out into deeper waters. On the other hand, they have to be careful not to venture too far or the people won't be able to put into context what the explorers have to say. The poem Slanted Truths by Emily Dickenson comes to mind.
I would have to investigate his work and his context to make an argument. So I will take your word on it.

And that sort of person in your last statement would be an activist, not a scientist. You can be both, but not simultaneously.
So you can be both, there is no need to have "two kinds of thinkers".

And I don't want this thread to go off on a tangent about the impossibility of total objectivity due to monkey mind, because I've already covered that with reciprocal illumination, so I'll just leave it at that.
Agreed, there is no need to discuss that further.