Tag Archives: epistemology

Implicit Sacramental Fallacies (Re: Gregory Bateson on the Nature of the Sacred)

A linear concept of causality cannot adequately explain the interactions of a complex
system or Gestalt. The classical scientific paradigm is sufficient only for understanding
carefully isolated phenomena, where unidirectional cause and effect relationships occur
between interacting pairs, e.g., between one thing and another thing. – Lawrence Bale (Gregory Bateson, Cybernetics, and the Social/Behavioral Sciences)

Gregory Bateson: Am I using explanation in the same sense you are? I’m not sure. By explanation I would mean mapping a bunch of phenomena onto a tautology. The tautology being such that you cannot doubt the steps contained within it. The propositions you can doubt, but the steps you cannot. If P…then P…all right. This means that what is contained in the tautology is relations, only relations

Paul Ryan: Right.

Gregory Bateson: In order to explain, we build a tautology and map the things onto the tautology. And in order to strengthen our explanation we shall then go into what Peirce calls abduction and find other cases under that tautology.
(Metalogue: Gregory Bateson, Paul Ryan via earthscore.org)

In a computer, which works by cause and effect, with one transistor triggering another, the sequences of cause and effect are used to simulate logic. Thirty years ago, we used to ask: Can a computer simulate all the processes of logic? The answer was “yes,” but the question was surely wrong. We should have asked: Can logic simulate all sequences of cause and effect? The answer would have been: “no.” (Gregory bateson, Mind and Nature)

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Dr. Danièle Moyal-Sharrock (Hertfordshire) on: “Wittgenstein’s Razor”

Dr. Danièle Moyal-Sharrock (Hertfordshire) on: “Wittgenstein’s Razor” (pdf)

5th Annual Conference of the British Wittgenstein Society (BWS)
Wittgenstein, Enactivism & Animal Minds
University of Hertfordshire, 7-8 July 2012

Here’s some help from Dr. Moyal Sharrock‘s entry Knowledge and Certainty, 2015 Blackwell Companion to Wittgenstein. Glock, H-J. & Hyman, J. (eds.). Wiley Blackwell

Abstract

In On Certainty, Wittgenstein subverts the traditional picture of basic beliefs. They are not indubitable or self-justified propositions, but animal certainties. With the word ‘animal’, he does not mean to reduce these basic certainties to brute impressions or to intuitions, but to say that they are nonreflective and nonpropositional. So that what philosophers like Descartes and Moore put forward as propositions susceptible of falsification and thereby of scepticism are in fact heuristic formulations of certainties whose status is logical or grammatical, and whose only occurrence qua certainty is in action – that is: in what we say (e.g. ‘I’ll wash my hands’) and in what we do (e.g. we wash our hands). So that although they often look like empirical conclusions, our basic certainties constitute, not objects of knowledge, but the ungrounded, necessary, nonpropositional basis of knowledge. This paper delineates Wittgenstein’s route to this conclusion, while countering the epistemic and/or propositional readings of ‘hinge propositions’ put forward by Michael Williams, Crispin Wright, Annalisa Coliva and Duncan Pritchard. It is argued that only a nonepistemic and nonpropositional reading of hinge certainty allows it to solve epistemology’s core problem: the infinite regress of justification.

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