Print

Print


Justin
 
Max Eastman in "The Literary Mind" wrote some very interesting insights concerning the "scientific mind", the "humanistic mind", verifiable knowledge and unverifiable knowledge.  Eastman has many semi-concealed axes he is grinding in this book so it makes interesting reading.  Eastman was a Marxist who after a visit to the Soviet Union became very disenchanted with Stalinism.  I don't think he became any less a Marxist just much less a Stalinist.
 
You raise an interesting point concerning the people within scientific societies deferring to science for truth determination.  The individual within a mythic society makes his/her own determination of truth.  Of course he/she is using a culturally provided tool but the basic decision of truth and reality is done by the individual.  I think that the scientific man/woman of the streets does the same thing during much of normal life but when "truth" becomes a concern feels most comfortable with determinations made by others using verifiable tools.  Since those verifiable tools are not an immediate part of the social fabric of the individual the individual is dissociated from that social fabric by the use of the results of those tools.  This of course brings us back to TSE, his dissertation concerning experience, his notion of "dissociation of sensibility" and his concern for culture in modern society.  It also leads us to the interesting modern phenomena of individuals writing diatribes denouncing science using PC's or Apples or the even more interesting use of unverifiable knowledge labeled science since it was gained using the trappings of science.  An example would be the "numbering" of sociology.
 
Part of the answer to your question concerning  "I'm not sure science uses reason in pursuit of truth" may come from the notion of "good science".  "Good science" always poses as part of its logic stream a method to prove what is being asserted is wrong.  Einstein's proposed a test of his theories using gravitational lensing of star light by massive objects.  When he proposed the test astronomy was unable to conduct the experiment.  During the latter part of the 20th century, when astronomy had the technical tools, gravitational lensing was shown to exist and Einstein's theories gained credibility.  But then again Einstein was first in line demonstrating the shortcomings of his own theories with his lifelong search for a unified field theory.
 
Rick Seddon
McIntosh, NM