Monday, July 27, 2015

Inductive field-historians cum philosophers versus Deductive reductive lab philosophers

The era of Modernity and Progress was a deductive era, seeking the one and only absolutely correct and complete answer to every question ---- a great time to be a determinist, reductionist 'scientist'.

And thus a terribly bad era for historians, be they historians of nature (naturalists) or of humanity. Or indeed, if they are frontline medical clinicians like Dr Martin Henry Dawson, writing up a patient's history in a hospital setting.

Not a time then for them to be offering up an ever growing number of probable reasons possibly contributing to a given situation.

For Modernity and Progress hated diversity or plentitude, only hating probabilities and possibilities even worse : as Einstein opined, "(My) God does not play dice."

Einstein's era was a gassy Era (Zyklon B, if you have it, please), an era of "Terrible Simplicities", certainties, certitudes, normalcy.

Yet to the inductive natural historian (naturalist), out in the field, ever more possibilities and plentitude was their ticket to fame.

Oh to find a yet another tit mouse species (purple-colored even !) when the experts had claimed all tit mouses had been found and all were brown or gray !

Meanwhile the only philosopher type the majority of other philosophers recognized as truly being a philosopher, was sitting behind a desk in the lab.

Hard at work, trying to become famous in their branch of intellectual activity, trying to plenticide all this new plentitude as fast as it was being created.

Ignoring the warning of King Canute.

Seeking to reduce all of Reality down to a single paragraph long "Law of Everything".

Finally explaining the redheaded waitress's elliptic smile yesterday as being the result of the mechanical motion of a certain tiny sub atomic particle, in a distant part of the universe, eleven billion years earlier.

But historians are also fully philosophers : albeit philosophers who 'explain' but do not 'explain and predict specific actions'.

A natural historian will 'explain' why a very modern jet unexpectedly crashed in a lightning storm in a remote jungle airstrip by explaining that the weather is terrible hard to predict very accurately ----- even in big urban centres where expensive weather staff are plentiful, let alone in remote and poor parts of the world.

Most of us, still brainwashed from school, will argue that really is no explanation at all.

But the inductive historians' philosophy does fully explains Reality, as something simply being too vast and too complicated to ever be fully predictable for humanity.

They differ from the deductive philosophers only in not following up their explanations with specific predictions.

They thus fail to the test of being 'scientific' and
philosophers', at least in the self definition of those two as given by the lab-bound deducers.

But being economists in the way that few deductive scientists and philosophers are capable of being, the inducers hold fast to their view.

They insist the evidence shows that predicting future Reality accurately is simply far too expensive.

At least when set against the large amount of our limited waking hours and limited earthly resources (aka limited "money") we must devote to merely staying alive and warm.

By contrast, most our deductive philosophies still predict we will eventually make accurate and yet cheap predictions, if only we keep searching for the ultimate and absolute baseline truths that negate the need for all of today's topline expensive fact gathering and calculating.

(Translation of 'search' : you taxpayers continue to fund me doodling around in my lab.)

That Reality is ultimately 'knowable' in the sense of being predictable is not a fact though --- merely an opinion - and the opinion that predicting Reality is beyond our price range is another.

So we end up with a plentitude of opinions - and in the plenticidal era of Progress and Modernity, one had to be squashed - like a bug....

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