“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Monday, May 7, 2012

Why Can We Have Physical Laws and Paradigms? Because of Real Things

Take it away Bill Benzon.

1 comment:

Bill Benzon said...

Tim -- Here's more along the same line:

Reality 2: Heidegger/Harman and J. J. Gibson

This is, in a logical sense, a prequel to yesterday’s post, Reality 1: Kuhn and Harman. In that post I asserted an analogy between Thomas Kuhn’s treatment of the relationship between Newtonian and Einsteinian mechanics and Graham Harman’s treatment of Eddington’s two tables, the phenomenal table and the quantum mechanical table. The purpose of this prequel is to put some conceptual scaffolding between the perceptual activity of examining an object and the rather more abstraction activity of scientific reasoning about objects. We begin by first considering Heidegger’s account of the object, as given by Harman (for I’ve not myself read Heidegger) and then move on to the ecological psychology of J. J. Gibson. That will create an “epistemological bridge” to yesterday’s treatment of Kuhn.