Monday, May 20, 2013

Science, Nihilism, and the Ascetic Will

Terrence of Agent Swarm has continued a conversation from Matt Segall's Footnotes 2 Plato on mytho-poetic thinking and nihilism.

In a long comment, I explain the relationship of scientism and the ascetic will in more detail than I have in prior posts here. My thesis is that the popular consciousness of science engages in the ascetic will, and I suspect that many scientists do as well.

For those unfamiliar with the Nietzsche reference, I am saying that people will accept as true only what can be produced on firm foundations, yet in the process of producing such knowledge the phenomena in question are reduced to what can be proved on those grounds. However, given the reduction, the actual phenomena and what is proved are not the same, and the scientific proof intentionally mischaracterizes the phenomena while being blind to and forgetting this. This is a case of the "asectic will" in that the real goal is to have "firm foundations" and not to have the "truth," and thus the truth become subordinate to a need for clarity, perfection, precision, and all those Appollonian traits that readers of Nietzsche will recognize. Given that much that is of value in human life cannot survive the reduction, this is a problem, and it is likely to devalue human experience, expertise, and concerns.

No comments:

Post a Comment