I like thinking of Thomas Nagel’s teleological argument being worth our shared attention. Malcolm Thorndike Nicholson’s article “Thomas Nagel is not crazy” is positively critical but coming to much the same conclusion. Coming from yet another framework I have no problem with the utility of the sciences, like Nagel appears to be saying, I do not trust in empiricism.
My lack of trust has nothing to do with currently being so heavily indebted to the sciences. I’m dependent on certain medications, I’ve also undergone two neurosurgeries and historically practiced various forms of counseling/psychotherapy and emergency psychiatric interventions. So yes, I have lived out my commitment to this deep utility.
It isn’t that the empiricist is evil in my eyes, but rather just as incompetent as I see myself and the rest of us. Look at what is afoot across the world it is obvious that at some levels we do know a lot of things. My worry is somewhat akin to Nagel’s.
In “A Tear at the Edge of Creation“, Marcelo Gleiser, a professor at Dartmouth College says, “…since we cannot know all there is to know, our science will always be incomplete.” The consistencies we keep detecting across our empirical endeavors I suspect will remain “incomplete” since each discovery doesn’t end the questioning. Like, as came with the Higgs Boson endeavor more doors and windows have been opened.
Our knowledge base, yet unfinished, is continually needing refinement. Logically and positively doubting our host of theories and laws is motivation to continue exploring. Where I differ on this rests in my anticipation that we will come across more than refinement. I suspect our incompleteness is vaster than we can imagine. Our empirical refashioning of faith in our disjointed community efforts in fitting reality between our ears.
A couple of days ago, I found in the New Scientist, the article “Particle headache: Why the Higgs could spell disaster”. A weekly journal focused on being controversial accomplished that end by taking a decidedly different view of that particle accomplishing its’ desired goal. Nonetheless, it has still pointed in the right direction. That supposed discovery of the Higgs Boson raises a host of other questions. After all, this supposed discovery is rightfully based on that point of shear probability. Assuming that what was seen arising out of a particular set of factors has to fit only to that theory sounds great, until you begin wondering if there are other perspectives to look for the same thing.
Determining whether particular ranges of dementia are developing the neuropsychologist has you looking at a computer screen seeing what looks like a pyramid. As it is rotated it they record the time and direction you finally notice it’s a three dimensional cube. For me this is a marvelous metaphor of my question about the Higgs and empiricism. So then, yes I doubt empiricism but only as being something “we” can complete.