On 07 May 2012, at 19:42, John Clark wrote:

On Sun, May 6, 2012  Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>>>I'm not an engineer.

>> I know, that's part of the problem.

> I think it's part of the solution. As the saying goes, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

It's far easier to get a reputation as a good philosopher than a good engineer because you can't fake it. If a engineer is full of shit there is no way to hide it, the bridge falls down or the laptop catches on fire or the power grid dies and plunges the nation into darkness and all the world knows he's a idiot, but a philosopher can hide his ineptitude by saying things that can never be proved or disproved in his lifetime or expressing platitudes in pretentious language that sounds much deeper than they really are or by expressing his personal preferences as if they were universal truths and not just a matter of taste.

To keep his job a engineer needs to be right, or at least not dead wrong, nearly 100% of the time because if he is dead wrong people could quite literally end up dead, but a philosopher can never be right and still get tenure. When a engineer makes a blunder it's front page news but when a philosopher makes a blunder few know or care and he never misses a paycheck. The engineer has by far the harder job.

This is because since 1500 years rigor is simply not allowed in philosophy and theology. It is mainly political. In a part of academy it seems that results throwing doubt on the Aristotelian dogma are simply ignored. We are still prehistorical in theology, for reason of control, not for reason of reason. Enlightenment was half enlightenment. And it is grave: if an engineer is wrong, problems can be quickly fixed, but if you are wrong in the human sciences, problems can last for millennia.



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