Here we see how the idealist phenomenologist's critique turns agains himself. He takes the immediate appearance, dismisses any possibility of epistemological connection with an objective reality outside his perception, and embraces with full credulity this intuition, in a kind of Cartesian fashion, as the thing itself (or what counts as it). This "immediacy" is supposedly a firm ground for justifying belief, cogito ergo est. While he denies any justification for an underlying order outside his perception, which would have to be taken as a mere leap of faith, he assumes an underlying order inside his perception, which is, nevertheless, no less of a leap of faith. The same skepticism that he applies to believers in the external thing in itself, applies to his own intuition (that he by no means accepts as an illusion) of the internally given. And just the same as an advocate of the idealist phenomenologist's project can claim that natural science is just going around in circles, taking as conclusions the principles from which it departed, phenomenology itself embarks in a no less tautological, self-referential, paradigmatic adventure. By doing that, the idealist phenomenology has not proven anything, not even refuted science or its epistemic base (whether he tried or not), he has just attempted to rescue the old idealist project of replacing the material immanent nature, for a transcendental one of pure consciousness, where he can dwell without the disturbance of real practical matters.Hereandnow wrote: No, the reason why epistemology is the beginning of trouble for establishing a foundation of the Real is because of the quantitative and qualitative distinction, or, as Heidegger or Husserl would put it, in the matter of "proximity": The "actuality" of what lies before me has an immediacy in its presence, or a presence in its immediacy, if you will, for these are bound mutually affirming, but the point is that there is an epistemological proximity of what is present qua present that commands belief and justification with arguable absolute authority (after all, Husserl and Heidegger are quite different on the matter of hermeneutics) that exceeds that of the natural sciences. The leaf is, in its various descriptive accounts, delivered to us "free" of extraneous interpretative constraints, which is Husserl's epoche, and this is simply the idea that in the immediacy of the given, there is an analysis that is logically and, if you will, existentially prior to what natural science can say. Dismiss the scientific presuppositions that attend naturalistic thinking, and "observe" what is there, simply (that is, reduced to its "presence") and a qualitative movement occurs. Such a movement is toward what Heidegger called primodiality.
This is why phenomenology, at least its idealist version, is a complete failure. What any realistic science of things shows is the opposite of what these phenomenologists claim: it is the first-hand impression of things the most deceiving, precisely what the thing is not. Or more precisely, there's some truth in how the thing appears to us, in other words, its appearance is not really a deception, it's a form of its existence, but at the same time, its appearance also hides other internal developments, its transformation. And it is more often that natural and social sciences are able to distinguish fallacious connections or separations from the real ones. A theory of ideologies or the structure of myths wouldn't have been possible if there was nothing to disclose from what's immediately given. It's true that phenomenology attempts to disclose deeper structures, but by dismissing a key dimension of the empirical as meaningless in itself, in favor of the "science" of mere contemplation. While pretending to avoid naivety, it becomes the more naive enterprise of all.Hereandnow wrote:Now, this matter gets technical, to be frank, and to explain would require a great deal of writing. Kierkegaard's thoughts about actuality are not Husserl's, and his not Heidegger's. But the essentials can be laid out illustratively: observe the leaf, dismiss from your knowledge all that science and everyday thought would tell you, and attend only to what it IS before you, then give analysis to what it means to BE at all. It turns out (via Kant, Hegel, Husserl, and many others) that questions of its Being, Reality, Existence, whatever you want to call it (outside of the theories that would be very careful about these words) are ones that lead to a wholly different discipline which lays out what it means to BE at all in vastly complex terms.
I just took your own example to make a point: even if Moses had forgotten where the tablets came from, I mean, even if he had no mystical, absolute knowledge, of their source, knowing what the tablets in his hands are in terms of what they work for, would give him right away the clue of where he has to look for. Just the same, fundamental questions about the universe in general, and about the social world, have been answered by science and the materialistic view attached to it, which even when not being complete, absolute answers, guide us towards the path most likely fruitful to find the missing pieces of the puzzle. And we know that the miraculous path, which used to be the main source of answers to our fundamental problems, has been refuted by science.Hereandnow wrote: First, it is most certainly not epistemological nihilism, any more than quantum physics is Newtonian nihilism. It is a way to open up the more fundamental problems in epistemology. And regarding Moses, incidentally, the assumption is that God were there and delivered the tablets in "person" and this kind of thing, a direct intimation of God's will, thoughts, whatever, is miraculous, not science.
As I said, this kind of approach refutes itself: by asserting that there IS nothing independent of logic and language, you're actually asserting that logic and language ARE in the world, and they should also be constituted by logic and language, in other words, are mere tautologies. Claims of stable, a priori assumptions are in la la land, too. All that the idealist phenomenologist can do is to proclaim that he is in a different ball game: he is doing cricket and the others are doing soccer or baseball. Fine, as long as he does not pretend that his rules of cricket, where the agents at work have been predetermined as the relevant ones, should apply to soccer and baseball and make them better sports. Interestingly, one can take a non-idealist approach to phenomenology, which takes into account the possibility of other agents at work constituting reality, independent of our perception, and can also take into account the necessary mediation of logic and language. But even more, each one is dialectically grounded on each other, as man and his consciousness are a product of nature, and then language can be more than a vehicle of understanding. This surely is a richer, subtler, more profound enterprise than any idealist self-absorbed in pure contemplation can ever imagine.Hereandnow wrote: Serious philosophy is much more subtle than this and the hermeneutic circle needs to be understood. WHEN you try to confirm that logic and language, that are not simply the vehicle to understanding but ARE what understanding IS, can say something about the world that is true independently of logic and language, then you are in la la land. You have to work this out for yourself but it is not arguable, and since this is a stable, apriori assumption (the "logic" should be crystal) one must therefore conclude that all propositional posting about the way the world is, is constituted by the language and logic. This is at the very heart of phenomenology. In order to address this the onus is on you the make clear how it is otherwise. But this is imply not possible.
Actually the question was not aimed to getting an answer about what is the eternal, the absolute. And certainly, if we were to avoid the "vastly populated land of religious silliness", Kierkegaard should be the first one to get away from. The problem was that if breaking through the "in-here" to get to the "out-there" implied dropping away our finitude and landing in the transcendental realm, isn't that basically the same mystical operation that the idealist phenomenologist performs, since by dropping the "out-there", he has already stood outside his first point of view to witness its absence? It is like saying that according to the rules of cricket, a goalkeeper in soccer cannot touch the ball with this hands.Hereandnow wrote:I do like that question, but a fair answer requires me to refer you to Kierkegaard (The Concept of Anxiety)and Wittgenstein (Tractatus) and it again deals with notions of quantitative and qualitative "knowledge" in quotation marks because these are hard to separate. Anyway, the only way to truly understand what the meaning of eternity, one has to drop the quantitative idea of an infinite succession of events, and embrace the qualitative idea of a withdrawal from events altogether--in the eternal present.
The eternal present is not a concept well suited for analytic discussion because it is a metaphysical impossibility, that is, a present that is altogether NOT informed by the past cannot be conceived since the conceiving logically requires thought and content. BUT: when the Buddhist sits quietly, doing nothing, denying explicitly the intrusion of the past to define the present moment, interesting things do happen, revelatory things. And this is one the reasons existential thought is often considered to bridges the span between the "mystical arts" and theory. This is actually the whole point of philosophy, if you ask me. Analytic philosophers are clueless about this, as I have read in Quine, Putnam, Davidson, Dennett, and others.
Hmm, no, I'm sorry, but science does rest on ad hoc principles (not to be confused with Popper's ad hoc hypothesis). While talking of the scientific method in general seems to give a fair description of science, one that fits the Baconian program, it falls short for describing science as the complex human praxis that it is. Observation is not the starting point, because the scientist arrives there prepared with the properly calibrated lens, in terms of methods, theories, norms, etc., which surely accommodate knowledge of previous encounters. This is not against the notion that science is about the observed world, it certainly is, but here we should strip off from the word "observation" the connotation of naive empiricism, which would make the work of men of science no different than witchcraft. And it is evidently more than a matter of translating every simple observed event into the technical language of equations. There's a theoretical framework that gives sense to what is observed. This was well figured out by Kolakowski and no one sets a better example than Galileo, whom most likely didn't drop some weights from the Pisa Tower; it was a thought experiment, a model in the abstract that would explain the agents at work in mechanical movement, notwithstanding that practical experiments had to prove the model. As I mentioned before: science is a continuous movement between the general principles and the local ones.Hereandnow wrote: But the scientific method is not ad hoc, and it is what all scientists do, it's what doing science begins with, regardless of the special nature of the content or procedure. Here, I am defending a pragmatic definition of what this method is about: Observations occur in time, and are forward looking for what is anticipated, a "pregiven" anticipation, that rests on previous encounters in the world that make for "normal science" as Kuhn put it.The "practical output" as you call it is precisely what this is about. Regarding the "way of organizing with "abstract concepts and math operations," such concepts and operations are originally "about" the world and observations made of it. Walking down the street, one could say, is descriptively obvious, observationally simple, yet the formal physical equations that can be brought in to to discuss this can be highly technical, but this latter, the particle physics, wave analysis of the reflected light of the surface of the sidewalk as the walk is executed, the study of the retina where waves enter the biological system, and so on, and so on; these are bound to observations that can be traced to phenomena as simple as the nitro's volatility, and without such tracings, there is no science. It's wrong to suggest natural science is not about the observed world. An example of such a thing does not exist, for even in the most abstract mental exercise, even in analytical apriority or synonymy, you will find observational data rendering it meaningful.
I cannot disagree. Yes, the world is our laboratory, and we are all scientists, even philosophers. And we are all philosophers, even scientists.Hereandnow wrote: Take this notion of the "pregiven" you mention, and ask, what would a scientific discipline be without this? Ask also, what is the nature of this pregiveness? That is, when approaching the novelty of a scientific problem, what is it to be ready, able to interpret? You know what this is. The philosophy being offered here says that this same kind of predelineation of issues occurs at the level of basic apprehension of the world. Quite literally, we are all scientists in knowing anything at all, for to know the sun will rise rests essentially with an inductive argument; and to know when my foot hits the pavement is just this, having repeatedly landed said foot enough times to construct a very strong case for this. Thus, the world is our laboratory, and all knowledge is forward looking, anticipating repetition, and repeated results is the essence of natural science (notwithstanding how discursive processing may be, for all of the discursivity that may be brought to bear in analysis is inherently pragmatic. See the above).
Again, I don't disagree if we speak of all disciplines that seek knowledge, although perhaps I would look nuance in what we mean a theoretical world, which is not a leveled field of contrasting ideologies, relatively valued in function of the subjective interests of the parties. Our world as a cultural habitat is a social construction indeed, but the Earth does revolve around the sun.Hereandnow wrote: Not at all that interpretation is immune to the failures in judgment. Quite the contrary, it makes the world "open" to future disclosure on all fronts. What is sought, it should be emphasized, is a way of describing and explaining a foundational theory of the world, all that is, and this is asking what all knowledge claims are about as knowledge claims. All terms are theoretical; we live in theory; facts are hypothetical deductive theories that are handed to us as historical paradigms, and the same can be said for my knowledge that...
Hereandnow wrote: "No clash with the view that the world can only be seen in terms of interpretation"? Odd you would say this, if you are defending "some versions" because if the world can only be seen as interpretation...
If you look at it again, you will notice that I didn't say the statement that you put between quotation marks. There's some difference in saying that A can only be seen in terms of B, than saying that A can be seen only in terms of B. I could see my house only as a financial investment, avoiding on purpose any other criteria, which would also be valid. I could see it only as my family's home, or just the place where I dwell. But it would be different if I asserted that my house can only be seen as a financial investment, excluding anything else.
Hereandnow wrote: Knowing there is a bus coming is a pragmatic "knowing". It does not presuppose the philosophical ontological assertion that when systems of interpretation are removed, there are still buses and streets, for the ideas of 'bus' 'street' and bring things into comprehension. What actually happens absolutely cannot be said. The argument as to whether a term like 'absolutely' can be made sense of is one of the interesting issues of phenomenology. Another one is: does, in the interpretative act, the Being there, the actuality of Being there, present any absolute in the material (phenomenological) presentation? That is, is "Being as such" just a concept bound contextually to other concepts and possessing nothing of conditions outside hermeneutics? Can sense be made at all of such an outside? See, Fink, Levinas; see Anthony Steinbach's Phenomenology and Mysticism.
Phenomenology takes one to the Real frontier where meanings meet actuality. Fascinating, really.
But that's of course what phenomenology can say of itself, of its own paradigmatic enterprise. It sets its boundaries and claims complete ownership of that domain of first-person point of view and its concurrent interpretations. As I said, fine with that. Some people are in another ball game.
Hereandnow wrote: Kant is not on the material realist side of this argument. He is literally the father of phenomenology and positivism and the founder of German idealism. But the above passage set me to looking. He certainly can be confusing, especially in ambiguous matters dealing with inner and outer where distinctions are readily made in empirical matters, great and small, but when it comes to our issue, the "outside of experience" kind of outer, ambiguity needs straightening out.
If you want me to speak in a scholarly fashion about Kant's Critique, the language has to be very carefully drawn up, and here, he does sound ambiguous, but he's not, really. When Kant says, "natural science must deduce the legitimacy of its designation only from a pure part of it, [a part] namely, which contains the principles à priori" he is referring to scientific descriptions of the things apriori, that is, with the spatial characteristics the are universal and necessary, like numbers, shapes, sizes, "a triangle's longest leg is opposite it largest inner angle," for example; numbers run apriori, larger ones being analytically the sum of smaller ones; this kind of thing. Geometry, which is apriori synthetic (is necessary and universal and thus antecedent to experience, AND is determinant of things in the world), is exactly the kind of thing, Kant tells us, that makes our spatial apprehensions representational and not not independent of the way things are taken up in experience. Apriority is an essential feature of of analytic of Space in the Transcendental Aesthetic, and it is a sure fire indication that space is a constructed experiential foundation of all possible experience. Outside of this, it is "nothing". After all, a priority is what WE do, if you will, in thinking, not issuing from the "outside" at all, this latter being received contingently, not a priori (keeping in mind that ALL things coming in from "outside" are transcendentally, that is, apriori, constructed through the faculty of reason, making all outside things, well, INSIDE.
To see this more clearly, one would have to study the Critique itself. I've read it, but it's been a while.
I will not claim that I know exactly what Kant meant, I mean, that all the scholarly interpretations of his work can easily be conciliated, and that I can judge it accordingly. As far as I know, there are major disagreements among scholars in key issues, and a general agreement too about his confusing terminology, often explained away as some obsession Kant had for the "architectonic" structure of the concepts. But my point was, regardless of this, that Kant seemed not to dismiss reason completely, nor the concept of "science" as a "systematic body of principles on which you can ground truths that are once universal and necessary". Whether these are hermeneutical truths or empirical ones, that's another problem.
Hereandnow wrote: I would argue that all knowledge comes from experience, but then, what is experience?
Remember Kant, that all knowledge comes along with experience, is not the same as knowledge arising from experience.
Hereandnow wrote: I don't buy the analytic/synthetic distinction, really. there was this paper by Quine I read, the Two Dogmas, which questioned synonymy and analyticity, and showed how this latter cannot be distinguished. Anyway, here, the question of experience and "pre delineation" where one emerges into a world with an awareness that informed by interpretative resources always already in place. The issue is TIME, and I refer you to Caputo's Radical Hermeneutics to understand this. I will only talk about it is you want to. This is not Parmenedes' world; it is Heraclitus', and all the frameworks, interpretations, in all fields of knowledge (your above) are In the structure of time.
I remember Quine's paper, as well as some criticism of it. I really don't mind accepting the analytic/synthetic distinction. Experience could be perhaps understood as either the encounter between the subject and the phenomenon, or the simple act of awareness of existence that possibilitates any encounter. In the first case, one might say, there's a movement of one thing towards the other, an event which implies the notion of time. In the second case, if it were possible, it seems as if the act is immediate, devoid of time frames. I always wonder to which category of experience belongs finding yourself (theoretically) inside the womb, without any other reference but your awareness of being aware. I can hardly think of any other circumstance closer to this, apparently free of a posteriori conditions, and yet this theoretical situation shows the most basic being in the world as an event, the consciousness of something, which implies its encounter in time. However, another issue comes up: we are assuming a discrete and static nature of consciousness, so it doesn't matter whether you're the consciousness of a 3rd month or a 8th month fetus, of a newborn child, or an adult. Dropping off such assumption would mean that our cognition is developed gradually in time, and our basic encounter becomes an indeterminate continuum, where the a priori/a posteriori synthetic distinctions make little sense as absolutes, and are only useful to describe these categories of knowledge by reference to their relative position in that continuum. You might want to locate space and time as an input of a priori knowledge in a given stage of cognitive development, something that our minds contribute to our basic experience, but that might as well be the output of another previous stage of that development, which makes it a contribution a posteriori. The first person point of view is now dispersed in time and the immediacy of direct presence dissolved. Phenomenology can't study this because of its summary ditching of the empirical; it works, as all idealist philosophies, with consciousness in the abstract.
And what exactly is the most primordial interpretation? It seems here as if you're not talking about epistemic foundations in our claims of knowledge, of how we justify beliefs "internally", but ontological foundational claims: what justifies or possibilitates (externally) true beliefs. Anyway, is it how the world is structured (what are its constitutive elements and how they are related to each other), or is it what are the properties of its constitutive elements, or is it both? The answers that material monism gives to these overshadow any attempts by other substance monisms or dualisms, because such knowledge is consistent with human experience at all levels, even on its phenomenical description. There are simply no outer/inner worlds, that's truly a subjective and linguistic construction imposed over our real experience of the only world, which is not just a receptacle where I move. Actually the world and me form a continuum and there's no need to find the magical glue that artificially binds us. One could say that this continuum is pure consciousness, precisely our supposedly primordial first encounter, but that would require a completely new set of explanations about the structure, the constitutive elements, the properties and laws, that would directly oppose and refute those of material monism, in other words, a science of the spirit. The closer to a research program aiming to dethrone the principles of natural science would be theology, and it is entirely ridiculous and absurd, not even a science. And phenomenology is in another ball park, not contending natural science, but dismissing it.Hereandnow wrote: Yes, very good. But the question here is does the positing of material substance bring us to the most primordial interpretation? No because presents a model that begs questions that challenge this. For example, material substance as foundational would have be able to show the connection between the outer and inner worlds, to put the matter loosely. But if the inner world (assuming how materialist might frame the matter) presents conditions that reveal an analytic impossibility of separating the two due to epistemic analysis, then the question turns toward what it is that binds them and how.
Hermeneutics makes sense? Generally speaking, yes, it does. Whether it makes complete sense of the world, that's another story. There should be no problem with science's work as interpretation, but a particular type and method of interpretation. There's no possibility of refutation of the type of interpretation that science adopts, consisting of a direct relation and conformity between our sensible experience of the world and its real objective existence, even if it is a distorted mirror that needs to be corrected. Phenomenologist think that this is not warranted by the experience itself, because no one has direct cognitive access to the rest of the world. To see a tree is to see something "as" a tree, forcing all the immediate relations surrounding "treeness" to concur into the concept of a tree. We overcome that limitation by an indirect access, given the appropriate systematic approach, that justifies our certainties (more or less the same way we took the first picture of a black hole, it was not a direct shoot of an object presented to the camera, but actually a complicated reconstruction that gave us the final image). Science and materialist monism make sense, too, but even more complete sense, and the world keeps imposing itself on us, independent of our interpretations and paradigms. On the other hand, the progeny of phenomenology has produced a way of thinking that dissolves any distinction between reality and illusion, everything is a subjective construction, the individual has no biological foundations and they are whatever they subjectively want to identify with.Hereandnow wrote: Hermeneutics makes sense. At root all knowledge is interpretation, I say, pragmatic interpretation. Everybody knows this. Scientists don't think they "know" what energy is absolutely. Kuhn was a Kantian, so he didn't think, say, our knowledge of electricity had anything to do with what is "there" when experiential systems are removed, for "thereness" is structured by concepts, and no concept is stand alone, but are other-referential in nature (Derrida called this "deference"). This is the hard issue, one that all this discussion falls upon, and it has a lot to do with the "pregivenness" you spoke of earlier, for the matter of pregiveness in time has a different analytical perspective: is it possible for an apprehension of a "thing" to be a "pure" apprehension, one that stands apart from the body of associated ideas? Can one think tree without the body of implicit things we think of about trees? Or is 'tree' literally a conceptual (and more broadly, experiential; after all, concepts are not simply Kantian syntheses, are they? They are abstractions from a stream of consciousness that at the time was an actuality of many things, interests, appetites--was the researcher hungry at the time?-- and so forth) matrix of temporal problem solving events that consummates in the term?
Truth is made, sure, but the point is whether truth and reality ever touch. If reality is an unreachable "eternity", it is so for the phenomenologist, too. He can say that there's nothing to say about reality from the scientist, but he can't say anything, either, for he can't escape from what he has defined himself as inescapable. All he can say is he has built his own truth, just as he claims the scientist has done.Hereandnow wrote: Hermenuetics simply understands that perception is essential to make the object an object. Beyond this is "eternity" if you will. Materialists want to say, to give credit where it is due, that science approximates eternity, if you will; that an empirical scientist's knowledge reveals more about what is "out there" but the phenomenologist will counter: to say this you will have to show how such knowledge can be sufficiently "unconditioned" such that the world is revealed through the knowledge. But knowledge is inherently conceptual and this eidetic composition seems simply inescapable. Rorty is a radical in this: truth is made, not discovered. To see how strong his and other arguments are, one would have read them. (Part of why I post here and elsewhere is to try get others to read this kind of thing. So much judgment at the ready, so little actual reading.)
No, I'm not so much interested in out-thereness being acknowledged. It's far more interesting to know where the "of course" comes from, and how that conciliates with the phenomenological project. I mean, I really wish to grasp the seriousness of that term, and not simply be dismissed as a problem outside of philosophy. Because then, well, that will look like an incomplete philosophy to me, especially if it proclaims its concern about the primordial and the essential.Hereandnow wrote: Of course there is out thereness. But what do you say about it?
I assume you must mean "others" in the phenomenological sense of "in-hereness", that is, within the boundaries of its self-constructed truth, a product of one's subjectivity. "It is there" actually means "it is here", as there's nothing to say about anything "out there".Hereandnow wrote: I don't know what you mean by you're not saying it, but phenomenology is perfectly content to talk about others.
To open the door, really? If there was any coherence in his thought, the first thing to say was that all doors are closed, that we are trapped in the eidetic composition of knowledge. How can suddenly something called "faith" stand alone, free of the conceptual conditions, and escape? Yeah, I know, it's complicated.Hereandnow wrote: Kant gave us the Critique so as to open the door for faith, which must be beyond knowledge.
The problem, let me reinstate it, apparently not solved by Kant, Husserl or Heidegger, is that if everything in the sensible world conforms to the laws constructed by the human mind, one has to ask: which human mind? Is there by any chance a mind out there? If they say "yes, of course there's something out there", they would be contradicting themselves, as they would be acknowledging that there's something more than the sensible impressions conformed to their own human mind. If they say no, then they can only speak of the only mind immediate to their experience, their own. Should they ever posit the presence of a plurality of minds in that "inner" world, they should explain their hermeneutic necessity, what are the laws that govern such plurality in their own minds.Hereandnow wrote: The solution is begins with Kant's Copernican revolution. It does not, obviously, provide terminal answers. But the field is exactly where philosophy should be.
I would be the first to applaud some derogatory terms against such presumptuous scientist. I've been critical myself of scientism and many stances of positivism. I despise the silly philosophical pretensions of some highly acclaimed physicists, or the altogether proscription of philosophy in our dealings with nature, a position embarrassingly held by Hawking, Neil deGrasse and Krauss.Hereandnow wrote:
Well, the way you put this, a person could say the similar derogatory things of the presumptuous empirical scientist, who cares little about where the begged questions lead and the implications it has for basic questions, dogmatically clinging to assertions so familiar, she can't even imagine thinking beyond them; and so on.
I have not held that phenomenology is without merit, in fact I have considered the field in general worth my attention in relation to the philosophy of mind, but I also doubt there's perfect epistemological unity among phenomenologists. No need to convince you of that, you have shown yourself some disagreement with major figures. And so I have myself centered the critique on what I call the idealist phenomenologist, that should give some clue about my belief in the possibility of a realist phenomenology. Some ideas I have seem to be pointing into the direction of Merleau-Ponty, a phenomenologist, but I don't know, I'm not there yet.Hereandnow wrote: The arguments presented by phenomenology are, as with all ideas, theory, but to think they are without merit before reading them is a little perverse to reason. Why not spend some time, well, a lot of time on them. Obviously you have an interest in philosophy, joining a philosophy club at all, why not look more deeply into what these philosophers have to say?
Anyway, I do find without merit popping out names and demanding that the entire canon of said disciplines be read thoroughly before making comments on this forum. I understand that the well-versed in a particular school of thought might find frustrating a level of discussion less than scholarly, but given the present context, such demand is not particularly justified. The topic was not phenomenology, but its flag was raised and brought into the discussion as the potential solution to the problems being submitted. If one comes waving what purports to be relevant and decisive, it is the burden of such person to demonstrate its relevance, and for the rest suffice to have a general knowledge of the principles in question and to remain open to such knowledge being amended if deemed appropriate. If I don't dig deeper in all of Husserl or Heidegger is because from what I have already dug I don't expect to find anything worth the effort, but a good argument does stimulate my interest in challenging the soundness of my current view, which could actually end up reinforcing it. That is, I think, the whole purpose of these debates, to gain insights in a dialectical manner and advance our knowledge. I could send anyone to read Kolakowski or Lakatos and ask not to present Heideggerian doctrines without having thoroughly read Mario Bunge first, but that would be simply useless.
Sorry, but I never said that scientists should be the ones approaching the problems of ethics, I said they could provide a good aid to those who will. And that's because ethics is not that abstract thing floating in ethereal heights as idealists imagine, but it ultimately deals with predispositions and concrete acts of human behavior, which fall within the scope of science. So I would never ask to make sense of a "natural science of ethics", although certainly a realist and materialist point of view of ethics is more than possible, and actually going on in humanist and secular circles.Hereandnow wrote: Sorry, this is just wrong. there is a good reason why scientists don't have anything to say about ethics, which is ethics cannot be observed. See Moore's Prinicpia Ethica, for starters. Here, the issue is metaethics, and the matter turns on the question, "what is it that grounds ethics qua ethics?" Ethics comes to us via pragmatic constructions of behavior prescriptions, but then, question is,m what IS it? Metaethics is NOT within the purview of empirical science.