On Monday, September 3, 2012 1:38:03 PM UTC-4, John Clark wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 3, 2012 at 7:48 AM, Roger Clough
> > I don't hold to Popper's criterion. There's got to be a lot of things
>> that are not falsifiable.
> Popper didn't say everything is falsifiable, he said if it's not
> falsifiable then it's pointless to subject your valuable brain cells to the
> ware and tear of thinking about them because you're never going to make any
> progress, none zero goose egg. Your time could be better spent thinking
> about other things, falsifiable things, because those you just might be
> able to figure out; no guarantee but at least you have a chance.
> > For example, you drop an apple and gravity pulls it down. You can't turn
>> off the gravity to falsify it
> Yes you can, get in a rocket and travel far from the center of the earth,
> or just get in a elevator and cut the cable.
> > Actually, Hume discussed cause and effect to some great length. He said
>> [blah blah]. Leibniz also believed as Hume did.
> These philosophers died several centuries before the discovery of
> Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, the electromagnetic theory of light and even
> thermodynamics and a understanding of what energy and entropy are. They
> knew nothing about chemistry or atoms and couldn't tell a electron from
> Electra, they didn't know about the big bang or that the universe was
> expanding much less accelerating, in fact the very concept of acceleration
> would have been considered cutting edge science for them. The idea that
> these ancients had anything useful to say to a modern physicist about cause
> and effect or anything else is utterly ridiculous.
The idea that someone considers the sum total of human thought irrelevant
in the face of the achievements of recent physics is so profoundly
prejudiced and counter to scientific thought that is utterly ridiculous. Is
it possible that the architects of the pyramids might have known something
that the architects of large hotels don't? Could Shakespeare know something
about writing in English that J.K. Rowling doesn't?
The philosophers who you dismiss have a lot more to do with why you know
the words cause and effect than does the work of any contemporary
physicist. They formulated the way that we think about it to this day, far
more successfully I might add, then the muddle of conflicting
interpretations and shoulder shrugging mysticism that has come out of
quantum mechanics. I can respect your boldness in being willing to break
from the past - I don't care much for elevating the past either, but the
more I see of the originality and vision of philosophers, the less
impressed I am with the instrumentalism of modernity.
> John K Clark
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