[asa] Re: MN - Methodological Naturalism

From: Gregory Arago <gregoryarago@yahoo.ca>
Date: Fri Apr 03 2009 - 13:56:27 EDT

Other than 'supernatural' what would you classify as 'not natural' George? I have offered 'others' in the past and you have conveniently disqualified them. You know already that I consider the concept duo 'methodological naturalism' to be infantile and silly; simply bad philosophy and not at all 'scientific'.
If your umbrella is so big that almost everything can fit inside it then it is probably not much good at doing what it was designed for: keeping you dry from the rain!

There sure seems to be a lot of anti-philosophy (or perhaps better, unphilosophy) in the ranks of ASA discussions sometimes!

--- On Fri, 4/3/09, George Murphy <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com> wrote:

On Fri, 3 Apr 2009 11:00:17 -0400, "George Murphy" <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com> wrote:
>> MN, at least as I defined it in an earlier post, is a statement about what
>> types of explanation are to be considered appropriate within science.  If
>> doesn't constrain the world but science.  It does not say that there are
>> no phenomena that cannot be explained in terms of entities & processes within the world, but that only such explanations are scientific.  I.e., MN does
>> not say that science can explain everything that happens in the world.
>> Such a claim is ontological, not methodological, naturalism.  (I use the
>> adjective "ontological" here rather than "metaphysical", though it might
>> not be ideal, to avoid getting getting into shadow boxing with positivists &
>> others about metaphysics.  In addition - in response to Burgy's point -
>> in an age of acronyms it avoids confusion by allowing us to abbreviate the 2
>> concepts as MN & ON.)
>> Now it's true that there is a tacit assumption that a large class of
>> phenomena can indeed be explained by science in that sense.  If that
>> weren't the case there would be no point in doing science, & the fact that science has succeeded so well within the limits of MN gives some ex post facto
>> justification for that belief.  But MN itself makes no statement about how
>> large that class is.  Goedel's theorem suggests that the set of exceptions
>> is not empty.
>> Shalom
>> George
>> http://home.roadrunner.com/~scitheologyglm
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Bill Powers" <wjp@swcp.com>
>> To: "Kirk Bertsche" <Bertsche@aol.com>
>> Cc: "David Clounch" <david.clounch@gmail.com>; "ASA" <asa@calvin.edu>;
>> "George Murphy" <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
>> Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 12:09 AM
>> Subject: Re: [asa] Anti-Creationist Psychobabble On the Web
>>> Kirk:
>>> You say that MN is neutral with respect to religion.
>>> Let me leave that aside and ask whether you (or George) thinks that MN
>> is metaphysicially neutral.
>>> Whether you think them questionable or not it appears to me that science
>>> surely makes some metaphysical presumptions, even they may vary with
>> time.
>>> The kinds of explanations we permit, even MN itself, is metaphysical.
>> Were it not metaphysical what would it be?  Surely not empirical.  Is it
>> merely a convention?  No, I think not.  What we mean by a particle, or what is
>> a "thing."  Are these metaphysical?  They fit a template, perhaps a
>> changing
>>> one.
>>> I guess what I am briefly suggesting is that science, whether it be MN
>> or something else, paints a possible picture of the world.  It constrains
>> the world, only permitting some ill-defined possibilities, and excluding
>>> others.  There can be no discontinuities, the world is a Uni-verse; it
>>> must obey rational law.  This is certainly a more classic view, although
>>> Nancy Cartwright suggests that the world is "messy," a different "world"
>> I think.
>>> Finally, how do we distinguish metaphysics from religion?  Heidegger is
>>> famous for saying that no one worships the causa sui.  So perhaps no
>> one, but Hegel, sings to metaphysics.  Still they touch noses, it seems.
>>> bill powers  __________________________________________________________________ Yahoo! Canada Toolbar: Search from anywhere on the web, and bookmark your favourite sites. Download it now http://ca.toolbar.yahoo.com.

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Received on Fri Apr 3 13:56:57 2009

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