KZ: “Craig, according to Kuhn, a scientific paradigm includes the practices that define a scientific discipline at a certain point in time.”
Me: Yes, that describes a current paradigm.
KZ: “Paradigms contain all the distinct, established patterns, theories, common methods, and standards that allow us to recognize an experimental result as belonging to a field or not.”
Me: Correct again, about current paradigms, but not of new ones.
KZ: “Per Kuhn, science proceeds by accumulating support for hypotheses which in time become models and theories. But those models and theories themselves exist within a larger theoretical framework, the paradigm. The paradigm is thus a culture, which scientists seek to extend.”
KZ: “Kuhn is not wrong. Some sciences and portions of some sciences work this way. But others do not. This is what we learn when we study the actual practice of science. Rather, scientists in their work draw distinctions and establish associations or alignments between different paradigms. Scientists, particularly those who study science don’t like the public to know about such things, as they tend to threaten the public’s belief in and acceptance of science’s objectivity and certainty. It also makes those who support realism as the foundation of science nervous.”
Me: There are paradigms as in specific ideas and modes of operation within sciences/disciplines like the scientific method, and then there are full blown paradigm CHANGES which at the very least within the area of human endeavor/body of knowledge the new paradigm applies to does indeed change everything conceptually and also is such a dramatically progressive step forward that no one and nothing ever goes back to utilizing the old paradigm ONLY. Such a paradigm change, if it occurs within an area that effects enough human activity and has been ripe for a new paradigm for a long time, also can bring dramatic “knock on” benefits in related fields such as politics, finance, psychology, technology etc. ….and a new monetary and economic paradigm would be exactly one of these kinds of paradigm change.
As for making realists nervous, the breakthrough discovery of tying monetary policy in the form of a discount/rebate directly to the point of retail sale OUGHT to make allegedly realist macro-economists nervous. At least macro-economists who being abstractly thrice removed from the day to day operations of commerce, have thus missed both that temporal reality and the extremely relevant fact that both the pricing and money systems are digital. This discovery is not just some data point, it is a huge re-discovery, and the policy itself defines the new monetary and economic paradigm.
KZ: “If paradigm shifts change everything, bringing in an entirely new scientific culture,” the theories of the last paradigm are wholly incommensurate with those of the new. This means what’s real changes, if you believe science is in touch with reality.”
Me: A full blown paradigm change doesn’t “bring in an entirely new scientific culture”. For that to occur there would have to be a full blown paradigm change in the scientific method itself….which is something I’ve been advocating here for some time by the way in suggesting that the superlative human discipline of Wisdom be integrated into the scientific method.
KZ: “the theories of the last paradigm are wholly incommensurate with those of the new. This means what’s real changes, if you believe science is in touch with reality.”
Me: Not necessarily true. Some of the theories of the old paradigm are invalidated, others that align partially with it are incorporated into the new. It’s true that what’s real changes in that a new paradigm is a new mental understanding of what is good, progressive, more applicable (and generally) more ethical in the temporal universe. This does not mean that aspects of the old paradigm must disappear. Hunting didn’t end with Agriculture. However, Agriculture replaced the PRIMACY of the old paradigm of which hunting was an integral and essential aspect.
KZ: “Thankfully, Kuhn’s notions on paradigms have been challenged successfully. Scientific practice, as opposed to Kuhn’s theory of it shows a multiplicity of paradigms, characterized by disunity, patchiness, and scrappiness. That’s why not everything adapts to a new paradigm.”
Me: That is simply a description of the oft problematic scientific paradigm itself which is a trinity-fragmenting-reductionistic-temporal fact finding process of:
[ Hypothesis (true x untrue) ]
Thus its “disunity, patchiness and scrappiness”.
Wisdom on the other hand is an integrative trinity-unity-
oneness-wholeness process of:
[ (Scientific Method x Aspect of Consciousness) Wisdom ]
This formulaic process is useful for defining a genuine and specific paradigm itself as well as for the process necessary for paradigm perception.
A full blown paradigm change is a change in an entire pattern which by definition means everything relevant and within that pattern changes-adapts….to it.
KZ: Craig, I’m taking my cues from Kuhn. He does not mention partial or selective paradigm change. Kuhn’s takes scientific paradigms as “all the distinct, established patterns, theories, common methods, and standards that allow us to recognize an experimental result as belonging to a field or not.” This is identical to the understanding of culture by humans. I’m an American because I believe in and live within American culture. Cultures gradually evolve and adapt, based on member actions and conditions that provoke change. Cultures also collapse and either go extinct, with surviving members attaching themselves to other cultures or they become so corrupted they devolve into anarchy (many Native American cultures from 1880-1950). If scientific paradigms are cultures, then all this can happen with them as well. One sign I am correct here is the “scientific method.” The only part of it that’s not changed since WWII is the word method. Hypothesis is more ontological today than following WWII, experiment’s definition has expanded greatly, and gathering evidence has added dozens of tools and processes. Like culture, there’s nothing formulaic about science. The power of science is in the imagination and creativity of scientists, which formulas quash. Science is neither a superhuman nor a subhuman culture. It is merely an extension and enhancement of human imagination and creativity. The important concern is the forms these take. Like capitalism or religion humans must choose what they want science to be and what they want it to do.
Me: We could go on and on about this. Suffice it to say that the mindset of Science ONLY is part and parcel of what needs to be transcended (does not mean abandoned) exactly as the current paradigm of Debt ONLY does, and Nomadic Survival ONLY, Ego and Terra-Centric Astronomy ONLY and Hand Written and Oral Communication ONLY as current paradigms also needed transcending….in order to actually advance the species…instead of going through decades if not centuries of mental masturbation about 5000 year old problematic business models and their dominating and monopolistic paradigm; all the while being largely if not completely unconscious of both the current paradigm and having slight if any idea of its replacement….and then ending up with insignificant tweaks that parade themselves as new theories or even new paradigms.
We NEED new paradigm perception in economics….and that requires both the objectivity of science and the holistic mindset of Wisdom.
KZ: Craig, Sapiens’ survival has been based on imagination and creativity since the agricultural revolution 12,000 years ago. Now Sapiens faces threats to its survival from the very imagination and creativity that allowed Sapiens’ cultural adaptations. Some of these cultural changes threaten Sapiens’ physical survival. Among the threats economists work with daily are capitalism, consumerism, and bio-diversity destruction. These can be identified as paradigms, if you wish. These destructive theoretical constructs must be countered by constructs that support the survival of Sapiens and the planet upon which it depends. Economists can, if they choose, play an important role in building ways of life supportive of these goals, while helping Sapiens finds workable solutions for resource and economic distribution problems. But economists must choose this path, over the one they currently traverse. Otherwise, economists continue to be an enemy of Sapiens’ survival. We could attempt to convince economists to make such changes in course through education and “rational” argument. That has not worked. Many economists are too much attached to power and prestige, as well as the wealth from their plutocratic masters. I believe it’s time to discipline economists, as one would a child. With a combination of praise for steps toward Sapiens’ survival and punishment for attacks on Sapiens’ survival. We can also give economists actions to imitate. We know much human learning comes through imitation. That’s a task with which those who post here can help. This all means convincing economists to change long held belief systems and alter patterns of actions that have benefited them greatly over the last 100 years.
Me: I’m agreeable with all of that. What I’m saying is this:
It’s a monetary economy….and that is fine as the invention of money facilitates trade, monetary distribution and resolving monetary policy distribution that dovetails excellently with another human invention, the digital means of determining profit or loss and costs known as double entry bookkeeping.
It is no coincidence that the “product” of the business model of Finance is Debt, that their paradigm is the virtual monopoly of Debt ONLY and that they dominate every other business model and probably 97-98% of the general populace.
Economists are guilty of a lot of things like ego-centrism, cowardice, alignment with wealth and power, physics envy, scientism…the list goes on. These are all barriers to necessary change, the last probably being the most subtle and yet most problematic….because it blocks consideration of the science inclusive superlative human mental discipline of Wisdom which enables man to discern the truths and highest ethical considerations in apparently opposing perspectives and so resolves/does not palliate longstanding problems in whatever area of human endeavor it is applied to. This would be a Wisdomics.
The pinnacle concept and experience of Wisdom according to all of the world’s major wisdom traditions is grace-graciousness. An aspect of grace is freedom, and economically that translates to free gifting and dynamic free flowingness. Grace of course is about abundance. As per above it is also the dynamic ongoing integration of apparent opposites resulting in the best integration of the ideal, the pragmatic and the ethical…..in the temporal universe, i.e. where action and change actually takes place. Hence grace-graciousness is of the highest human and systemic relevance.
Finally, grace-graciousness is both mentally unitary-unifying and also the highest survival consideration, so that even within individual monetary abundance, tremendous technological productivity and innovation and the complete finance-ability that a sovereign public utility fiat money system would bring, the consequent mental understanding it also brings….not only would not conflict with an ecologically sane mindset, but would actually make it more acceptable and more likely.
KZ: Craig, you’re proposing massive cultural changes. All well and good. But how do you propose economists be “convinced” to propose and implement them? Cultural changes are difficult in the best of circumstances. And these are not the best of circumstances.
Me: Well actually looking at the retail sale discount/rebate policy by playing the actions out between three people the retailer, the consumer and the monetary authority executing the policy might be a real good start. That in itself could pop economists and pundits out of their obsessively abstract theorizing fugue and enable them to realize how economically powerful such a policy could be for them, for everyone else, for enterprise and for the entire system. As I said cogniting on the significance of monetary policy tied directly to the point of retail sale is not just some data point in a theory, rather its immediate and “knock on” effects, especially if paired with a universal dividend policy, are deep, long and paradigm changing. Furthermore philosophically and policy wise it aligns with lesser policy suggestions advocated by leading edge heterodox economists (anti-austerity, UBI, governmental monetary stimulus, one off debt jubilees, financial parasitism etc. etc.).
Then, you’d think, economists could get together and unify their efforts to educate the general populace about the terrific benefits of these two policies and create a mass socio-economic movement out of it. Call it Operation Monetary Grace As In Gifting or something…and change the friggin’ world. Crisis IS the best time to effect change and we are many and Finance is relatively few….and ethically compromised.
KZ: Craig, interesting notions. Frankly, I don’t want economists or retailers, and certainly not the monetary authority to have more authority. I want them to have much less authority. Two things I’ve learned about shaking people out of fugue states it isn’t voluntary and they hate you for it. You make the same flawed assumption as mainstream economists – that human actions, especially economic ones are rational. They seldom are, particularly where great power and privilege are concerned. I give credit to your focus on the actual relationship of buyers and sellers. This process is complex and culturally situated. In other words, it is part of culture. Which means the processes can change or be changed only by changing the culture. So, whatever economies and economic actions look like today, whatever they pursue or want today, whatever justifies them today cannot be the same when the culture changes. My preference for future economies and economists is they be focused on a communitarian lifestyle, with cooperation and mutualism emphasized over competition. They also need to create a smaller environmental footprint and reject every aspect of the Kantian and neo-Kantian assumptions that have dominated western civilization for 300 years. And they need to be democratic and fully transparent. With these changes, humans might just last out the next century.
Me: Again, my policy suggestions are not notions. Look at their immediate temporal effects.
Retailers don’t have any additional authority with my policies, and the authority of the monetary authority is based upon, aligned with and immediately systemically effects the highest concept humanity is capable of attaining. Economically we need to “hitch our wagon to the stars”. Graciousness, and economically implementing grace as in monetary gifting is the only concept capable of spanning and integrating self interest and The Good. In fact the concept of grace IS the continual dynamic process of integrating opposites whether individually or systemically. Am I just some airy-fairy philosopher? No. The policies of grace implemented at a stable ending point in the otherwise complex flurry of activity in the economy, i.e. retail sale EFFECTS monetary grace. If individuals are not immediately gracious as a result…is irrelevant….and largely remediable by further regulation and acculturation. The point is the following question:
Would graciousness be more likely to grow to become the ethic if the temporal systems of economics and money were indeed based on grace and its aspects, or lesser ethics like self interest only and/or profit and power that enforce chronic stress, monetary austerity, systemic servitude and hopelessness????? It’s a hard question to answer, I admit. 🙂
KZ: Craig, these are my specifics. My stance is deontological. By that I mean a rule-based morality where the rules specify moral obligations or duties. The rules bind us to duties. The neoclassical assumption that people render decisions rationally (no consensus definition in neoclassicalism) is replaced by the notion that people typically select means, not just goals, based on their values and emotions. Far from always “intruding on” or “twisting” rational deliberations, values and emotions render some decision-making more effective. This holds for noneconomic actions, such as courtship, and for economic behavior, say relationships with one’s employees or superiors. The circumstances under which people do act the way neoclassicists assume they generally behave—rationally (to one extent or another)—are accounted for in my proposed paradigm as expressing unseen duties, successfully performed or not. The neoclassical assumption that the individual is the decision-making unit, is changed such that social collectivities (such as ethnic and racial groups, peer groups at work, and neighborhood groups) are the prime decision-making units. Individual decision-making often reflects, to a significant extent, collective attributes, and processes. Individual decisions do occur, but largely within the context set by various collectivities. The same holds for the relationship between society and the market as a sub system. The market economy is not a separate system, a system that is basically self-containing, and whose distinct attributes can be studied using a perfect competition model. I replace this with the economy as a subsystem of a more encompassing society, polity, and culture. The processes of the economy, including the extent to which it is competitive, cannot be studied without integrating social, political, and cultural factors into one’s paradigm. Moreover, in my paradigm social collectivities are not just aggregates of individuals, but structures of their own, structures that place individuals (and other subunits) not according to their individual attributes, and which deeply affect their dealings with one another. The significance of structure is highlighted by the study of one major structural attribute, the political power of select economic actors. Instead of taking the economy as basically competitive, and hence that economic actors (mainly firms) are basically subject to “the market,” possessing no power over it (monopolies are regarded as exceptions and aberrations), power differences among the actors are congenital, built into the structure, and deeply affect their relationships. Power differentials are gained both by applying economic power (the power that some actors have over others, directly, within the economy) and by exercising political power (the power that some actors have over others, indirectly, by guiding the government to intervene on their behalf within the economy).
Me: Ontology-Consciousness-Beingness is a necessary factor no matter whether one considers it supernatural or utterly natural. It exists. It is. It’s an ever present reality. Rational expectations as an economic assumption and an ideology is deeply flawed of course, but consciousness and its archetypes, i.e. the aspects of grace are powerful and the more we integrate with and tap into them the more they beneficially effect us. Grace as a rigorously examined and contemplated philosophical concept is cosmic….and you can’t get any more powerful than that.