R: Food for thought from a personal conversation with a friend who is a retired professor of philosophy form Kent State University. The discussion was about science, methodology, and the limits of reductionism:
Reductionism has three types; the first two are philosophic, and the third is a common scientific strategy. Ontological reductionism denies the being of higher levels of reality: “So-called spiritual reality is nothing but a psychological experience; psychological experience is nothing but a biological process; and a biological process is nothing but a set of biochemical events.” Epistemological reductionism claims to explain a higher-level science wholly in terms of a lower-level science, for example, “Scientific theories using psychological terms can, in principle, be reduced to scientific theories using only biological terms; in the future scientists will be able to explain biological terms solely in terms of chemistry and physics.” So-called “non-reductive materialism” accepts ontological reductionism but rejects epistemological reductionism. Methodological reductionism says, “In order to have a coherent and rigorous science, we exclude any hypotheses about spirit. For the purposes of this research program, we restrict our conclusions about spiritual experience to the language of neuroscience.” Note that religionists and atheists can in good faith co-author reports of methodologically restricted research. Nevertheless, methodological reductionism may be problematic, too, because it raises a crucial question in the philosophy of science. Science, Scientia in Latin, means knowledge, which implies knowledge of the region of reality that it addresses. It would be absurd to claim to plumb the meaning of human action by the methods of chemistry. Should not the method appropriate to a given region of reality be attuned to that region itself? This observation does not imply that chemistry says nothing important about action, but it does imply that the meaningfulness of what chemistry tells us depends on a prior understanding of action itself. Making a commitment to a scientific method on account of its quantitative precision or other epistemological advantages can hobble access to the region to be known. (Jeff Wattles, personal communication, 2/14/2013, emphasis added.)
While not desiring to get into a debate about the rather narrow definition of science given in this post/article, I note it is a fact that this is one among many definitions give by scientists themselves and is not universal and itself has a historical context. Indeed, history is messy and simple right answers are not always so simple and easy.
Me: Correct. Reductionistic “science” needs to be transcended and that can be done without resorting to religious dogma. Self awareness EXISTS no matter to what one attributes it or does not attribute it to.
Current economics doesn’t consider philosophy except to consciously or unconsciously affirm the current paradigm so it is stuck in either compartmentalized social or hard sciences which tribally resist integration of their particles of truth. As I have said here many times Wisdom is the integration of the truths etc. in opposing and/or compartmentalized perspectives, and paradigms are quintessential integrative concepts because they are a SINGLE MENTAL concept that transforms and creates an entirely new PLURALISM/TEMPORAL UNIVERSE PATTERN. Hence Wisdom/integrative thinking TO THE LEVEL OF paradigmatic perception must be the goal in economics.
Sometimes it takes a “road to Damascus” type cognition on the reality of the existence of self awareness to snap people out of their habitual pre-occupations with abstractionism.
Either that, or having someone utterly violate them physically or emotionally to make them aware of the fact that, in the human world, morals and even ethics (the rational consideration of morals) EXISTS!
And, without it becoming an obsession of course, underlies and under cuts every other consideration…in every area of life and living.
R: Craig, your own religion is preached dogmatically on this very forum, I do believe 😉
Me: @ Rob
What is your (and anyone else’s) best guess about what the new monetary and financial paradigm concept is? It’s never brought up here. Very unscientific.
MC: Religion can be defined as that which one holds to be of supreme value. You are every bit as much devoted, dogmatically, to your religion Craig which you preach (post) on this forum incessantly. You merely dismiss any reasonable response like any other zealot who holds to their religious beliefs fundamentally. You fit the definition to a shoe.
Me: “Religion can be defined as that which one holds to be of supreme value.”
That’s a fair if incomplete definition of religion. Can you come up with a better supreme value than grace as in love in action/policy?
I have nothing whatsoever for or against religion per se, only the obsessive contention and dis-integrativeness it too often degenerates into. I agree with the particles of truths many express here like MMT and financial instability. I only wish their advocates would step up mentally and integrate their own theories with the philosophical concept behind the new monetary paradigm…which concept they already, if unconsciously, are in agreement with.
MC: Craig, your obsessive contention that your belief is the only integrative philosophy and everyone else, no matter how reasonable their questions or honest their critique are wrong, is itself the sign of a zealots religious zeal and fanatical insistence one is right and everyone else is fundamentally wrong. The endless cycle of lip-service then ignore honest criticism never modifying one’s worldview or learning something new; these are the signs of a dogmatically held belief. You are not being intellectually consistent and that too is a warning sign of fanaticism. When a so-called “scientist” refuses to honestly face the facts of reality and be self-correcting, preferring a bad (erroneous) theory to no theory, they are acting like a religious zealot; their science has become a religion–scientism. When a so-called “scientist” distorts history for polemical and rhetorical purposes, despite historical evidence to prove they are twisting truth and fact, their science is a religion–scientism– not true science. The strength of science is that in the long turn it does self-correct. Religion too self-corrects but over a much longer and slower period of time for it lacks the necessary institutions and cultural norms to impose such self-correction without creating sectarianism and schisms. Science has it schisms too but these schisms are more open to self-correction by the larger scientific community over time.
Me: I’m unapologetically evangelical about the new paradigm and its aligned policies and regulations, but I’ve done none of what you accuse me of above.
“your obsessive contention that your belief is the only integrative philosophy and everyone else, no matter how reasonable their questions or honest their critique are wrong,..”
I agree with much of what people say here, and I don’t make people wrong unless they attack me with ad hominem or false critique first. I do assert that virtually no one here thinks on the integrative level of the paradigm and that is an observable fact.
“The endless cycle of lip-service then ignore honest criticism never modifying one’s worldview or learning something new; these are the signs of a dogmatically held belief.”
Some of the theory and policies of Keen, Hudson, Mosler, Brown, Douglas etc. are in my book. That is not lip service, it’s being integrative. Almost no one here actually engages me on policy or philosophy. That is largely because their own theories and reforms fit fully and seamlessly within my theory of the new paradigm. I’m the only one here suggesting that the particles of truth etc. in Keen’s Minsky financial instability hypothesis, Hudson’s financial parasitism, Brown’s Public Banking and MMT integrate with each other on the paradigmatic level. Tribalism is probably part of the reason for that.
I’ve altered my thinking many times in numerous and even fundamental ways. Synthesis/integration IS change…and that is what I advocate.
“The strength of science is that in the long turn it does self-correct.”
Correct. And when a new paradigm comes into the awareness of virtually everyone as a result of one of the signatures of all historical paradigm changes, namely a new tool or insight, such change can broaden vastly, especially in our interconnected high tech world.
How do you disagree with the policies and philosophy I advocate?
MC: Do you every ask yourself why no one will engage you regarding policy and philosophy? You say you have altered your thinking, but one would never know given the overwhelming repititious nature of the content of your posts. It has become so reflexively stereotypical that one could quite literally automate your replies to virtually every topic posted on this blog (it would make a fun intro to programming assignment), but take some solice you are not alone, you do have Salter’s company to console you.
Me: When you engage me about your disagreements with my policies and philosophy, and show that you can come up with better and more universally beneficial ones I will embrace them. Until that time your recent posts are nothing but ad hominem.
Finally, whether I’m a zealot or not is irrelevant if the paradigm defining benefits of the concept and its policies I advocate are real enough to resolve the deepest and most long standing problems of modern economic systems.
MC: Craig, I don’t want to curb your enthusiasm (evangelism), for the world needs idealists no doubt. You have already been asked by Ken provide concrete practical steps as to how you might achieve this reformation of capitalism that you envision. Unless I missed the only response he got was dismissive rhetoric. Why should I think I (or anyone else for that matter) would be treated any differently?
Your ideals are sufficiently high, but your ideas are so impractical that they render your idealism pragmatically speaking, useless if you have no chance of convincing your fellows to actually adopt in practice your ideas.
I highly doubt that outside a closed utopian community you have much of a chance of convincing anyone, let alone society, to drop the current economic structure and adopt wholesale your ideas.
In other words, there must be intermediate steps to be able to implement even a small part of your ideal structure for economic behavior that your idealism envisions.
How to get there is as import and knowing where you want to go, for we (as both individuals and society) are evolutionary mortals.
Me: “You have already been asked by Ken (to) provide concrete practical steps as to how you might achieve this reformation of capitalism that you envision.”
Yes, and I told him we should directly address the individual and the small to medium sized business community in order to start a mass socio-economic movement that could herd the entirety of the political apparatus toward THE OBVIOUSLY SELF INTERESTED policies of the new paradigm. Everyone else here apparently thinks they’re going to change things by chattering endlessly with each other here and to ego-involved academics who do not have a concept of what a paradigm is current or new.
“Your ideals are sufficiently high, but your ideas are so impractical that they render your idealism pragmatically speaking, useless if you have no chance of convincing your fellows to actually adopt in practice your ideas. I highly doubt that outside a closed utopian community you have much of a chance of convincing anyone, let alone society, to drop the current economic structure and adopt wholesale your ideas. ”
My key policy, the 50% Discount/Rebate policy at retail sale immediately, empirically, mathematically and temporally doubles everyone’s earned income potential. It also immediately doubles the actually available business revenue for any enterprise. Oh, and it not only immediately, empirically, mathematically and temporally eliminates any possibility of price and asset inflation it accomplishes one of the major signatures of paradigm changes which is to completely invert the realities of the old/current paradigm. In this case from chronic price and asset inflation to beneficial price deflation.
You don’t think a 100% raise might be attractive to virtually everyone? A 100% raise in presently available business revenue to enterprise? A $1000/mo. universal dividend at age 18 that is doubled by the 50% Discount/Rebate policy at retail sale? The lifting of transfer taxation for then redundant welfare, unemployment insurance and social security paid by all employed persons and every enterprise?
“In other words, there must be intermediate steps to be able to implement even a small part of your ideal structure for economic behavior that your idealism envisions.”
That is the orthodox mindset of reformists. Viral communication in a high tech world, the hope evoking nature of new paradigm concepts and historical paradigm changes are the destroyers of orthodoxies.
Do you disagree with any of my policies?
MC: You can have the last word.
Me: Yes, I can…unless you can come up with a better paradigm and its effects.