Re: Empiricism

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Fri, 17 Apr 1998 12:56:34 -0500 (EST)

At 10:58 AM 4/17/98 -0400, Massimo Pigliucci wrote:
>Dear Moorad,
>there is a fundamental misunderstanding here. Somehow, you think that
>scientists don't appreciate love, relationships, poetry, music, and
>human emotions and the arts in general.
>Now, *that* really is utter nonsense. Of course we do! The reason I feel
>good about being a scientist is because *on top* of all of the above
>(which is readily accessible to every human being with a heart - in the
>poetic sense), I have a (partial, and probably partially wrong)
>understanding of the physical reality of the universe.
>Far from being pride for the sake of pride, it is pride of being a human
>in the fullest sense of the word.
>Where we disagree is in my claim that the "other" part of the world (the
>feelings, the arts), are an epiphenomenon (!!) of the physical one. That
>by no means imply that scientists will *ever* be able to describe love
>and poetry with mathematical equations. And we don't really care of
>doing that either (at least, most of us). That is not the point. But you
>have to convince me that love and the arts imply the existence of
>non-physical and supernatural realities. And that's much harder to do.
>Good luck,

Dear Massimo,

Explain what "being with a heart" means in term of your invented term of
epiphenomenon? It is easy to give names to things we do not understand or
may be beyond your ability to predict within your physically-based theory.
There are all sorts of terms that humans use to describe their condition
which have no physical base whatsoever. By the very nature of science, only
physical devices are used to collect data. The human element is purposely
eliminated so that we have objective science. Otherwise we are lead into
pseudosciences. Therefore, the human is eliminated from science and then
people like you claim that you can "derive" humans from the very science
that excludes them. Make sense of that.

Take care,