Sorry Stathis, and especially Colin:
I clicked up this post only after having sent my previous reply about
metaphysics - not different from Colin's post which I missed.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Colin Geoffrey Hales" <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, August 25, 2006 6:52 AM
Subject: RE: The anti-roadmap - an alternative 'Theology'
You can use "meta" in that way if you like, but "metaphysics" is about as
ingrained in the language as any philosophical term can be. I think it was
rather than Kant who started the anti-metaphysics movement:
"If we take in our hand any volume of divinity or school metaphysics, for
instance, let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning
quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning
concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames,
for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.
("An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding")
Perhaps he went too far with the book-burning, since even the logical
positivists allowed that works of art may have validity for their
aesthetic qualities - but only for their aesthetic qualities.
> > As Brent Meeker has pointed out, physical theories are just models to
> > predictions about how the world works*. If physists get carried away and
> > say
> > "this is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" then
> > are
> > talking metaphysics, not physics.
> > Stathis Papaioannou
> The archaic usage of the word metaphysics, which became a pejorative
> somewhere around the time of Kant, is no longer viable or productive. The
> modern usage of the term Meta = about... far more productive.
> meta-chemistry example...table of elements
> meta-data ... computer science term
> meta-mathematics ... 'about' a mathematics
> I'd like to eliminate the older usage of the term. It doesn't work as a
> descriptor, especially in physics!
> You're right about the physicists, though... they are the most
> 'model-bound' in all science. Their beliefs about what they do...in effect
> a theology of mathematical models... is worst in cosmology. To continue to
> believe in the intractability of any formulation of an underlying reality
> in spite of glaring evidence to the contrary...and that it is deserved of
> a pejorative label is.....
> ...... theology
> A much better pejorative!
> Colin Hales
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