More on Science & Epistemic Closure
Philosophers can argue about the ontological status of what scientists study; i.e. what is reality? You can’t see a quark any more than you can see a thought. Is one more “real” than the other? I subscribe to Thomas Kuhn’s ontological punt that – roughly rendered – science is the human enterprise that allows us to ask better and better questions of the world we experience. Since Anton van Leeuvenhoek first saw little critters swimming under his microscope, science has asked better and better questions about the microbial world. We have modern medicine as a result.
Science is a social activity. Scientists are humans who understand that it is the synergy of all their collective work that expands our species’ knowledge base. This collective work proceeds because scientists endeavor to abide by (socially constructed) standards of intellectual rigor, transparency and replicability. As a social activity they provide the best example of why human beings hold dominion on this planet; we are social, cooperative beings who, together, create meaning.
I try not to feel morally superior to people who make earlier stops on the epistemological trail, but I place a high value on the social process we call “science” and what it has brought humanity.
I do accept what science is telling us now; we are warming the planet.But I am not sure my own response to this “knowledge” is morally much different than a denialist’s response might be.
More to follow.