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Logic & Scientific Philosophy

A Ghost’s Report -Aman

Bonjour lecteurs,

I’m Jean-François Lyotard’s  ghost. From 1924-1998 I was a great French philosopher, sociologist, and literary theorist. Most people know of me because of my analysis of post-modernism and it’s affects on the human condition. I have taught at many universities and have come up with a theory of my own.

My beautiful self.

In this passage I will be attempting to answer the question that Mr. Jackson’s philosophy 12 class was discussing today. Is science objective? The majority of the class agreed that no, it was not. This includes people who were feminists, instrumentalists, anarchist epistemologists, Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, logical positivists, and Van Ormine Quine. After stating why each side believed in what they did, we heard many interesting perspectives (as a ghost I like to listen in on various conversations). I believe the conclusion they came to was that the process to find the truth of an experiment is subjective but the truth is objective, however that was still debated afterwards. Like Mr. Popper’s theory says, nothing is 100% and there is always room for falsification.

However, I am not Mr. Popper; therefore I will be writing about my own theory today. First I must explain to you that I am opposed to universal truths, narratives about other narratives, and generality. I do not see the point in the universalist claims of the Enlightened. Case and point, broad claims are stupid. Not everyone can be put under one category.

In one of my reports I was writing for Quebec called: La Condition postmoderne: Rapport sur le savoir (The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge) I simplify narratives of narratives that are called meta-narratives which are essentially big, universal theories and philosophies. The one I will be discussing is the meta-narrative of the knowability of everything by science.

The first question I have is why is this theory putting all of us under the same category? People in developing nations don’t have access to learning about science or performing science, or what we perceive to be science.  They survive and know how to survive, not by science, but by the need to live. This leads to the question: isn’t needing to survive a primal instinct? Isn’t it science? Well yes, but is it an objective truth? Do we know what the earliest humans were thinking? How do we really know what primal instincts are for everyone? There different for people in countries in African and they’re different for people living in Canada. I’m sure we could all come up with ideas and words that were said by the earliest humans, but we don’t know. However what we do know is that every word or idea we think is different than what another person thinks.

Moving on, how do we know what’s real? We don’t! That’s the tragic beauty of life. Everyone has different opinions and everyone has different realities and stories so it’s hard to come to an unanimous decision. We are all diversified, we all have beliefs, morals, cultural views, and, desires. These aspects affect all parts of our lives including science. This is why I don’t believe science is objective because you can’t group everything under one area and everyone and everything is different. We don’t know what’s real and we don’t know what’s true. We only know what is true for us.

“Scientific knowledge is a kind of discourse.” 

Sincerely yours,

Jean-François Lyotard

Please note I am not actually a ghost but a philosophy 12 student who decided to delve into the mind of a influential post-modern philosopher. 

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  1. Pingback: Scientific Philosophy Round Up | Philosophy 12 - October 8, 2013

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