Pragmatic Science Studies: Thoughts

All things are subject to interpretation; whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Examine the thesis: Science serves as a social utility that facilitates the economic and political power over a community.

Elucidate the utility of science from an individual and national level. Show how science and economy are reflexively compatible and serve as complimentary forms of power.

What are the pros of accepting science as truth? What are the cons? Can one accept external truths and retain freedom? Internal?

Claims to be demonstrated and supported:

Observable reality exists within time and space.
Truth and falsity claims are timeless (do not change; see relations of ideas).
Therefore, there is no truth or falsity claims about observable reality.

Truth is authority.
Authority compels obedience.
Obedience is not freedom.
Therefore, truth is not free.

Scientific truth creates uniformity by standardizing experience and values.
Uniform standardization allows for rational justification and probable predictions.
Rational justification and probable predictions allows for greater economic and political power.
Therefore, scientific truth corresponds to increased power.

Naturalism means “the idea or belief that only natural (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) laws and forces operate in the world” and “the idea or belief that nothing exists beyond the natural world.

Materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance.

Scientific truth establishes the authority of naturalism.
The authority of naturalism establishes (or is tautological to) the authority of materialism.
Scientific truth establishes authority of materialism.

Materialism states that only physical things exist.
(Non-physical things do not exist.)
Only physical things can be measured.
Value is a measure of worth (Importance, usefulness)
Therefore, only physical things are valuable

Physical things are valuable.
Physical things are temporal.
Therefore physical things are both valuable and temporal.

Humans desire valuable things
Valuable things are consumed or possessed.
Therefore, humans desire valuable things that are consumed or possessed.

Value attributed to materialism fosters consumerism and priority on things and the now.
Consumerism drives economic growth and power.

Adopting truth is abandoning freedom.
Adopting freedom is abandoning truth.
(Conclusion depends on if truth exists, or one can know truth)
Freedom is necessary for adaptation and evolution.
Truth is necessary for control (by establishing a determined framework)
So long as there is time, there is no determined framework.

The will to power is the driving force behind the activities of mankind: achievement, ambition, the striving to reach the highest possible position in life; these are all manifestations of the will to power.
Power is assertive and dominant.
Science is a result of man’s will to power to assert truth and dominate over the will of others.

The self is a relation.
Relations are true.
Character is a matter of fact.
Experience yields matters of fact.

Actualization: when the self manifests itself overtime through action. In this way the inward becomes the outward. The true relation of self is transcribed onto and into the world. This manifestation from relation to fact is the “will to power”. Through action the self asserts itself and dominates over the environment; in this way the inner man is revealed

As the self asserts itself through the “will to power”, truth is imparted onto the world. The imparted truth manifests experience as “matters of fact” according to the relation of the self, or the intentional object of domination.

A more precise intention will yield an increasingly coherent experience and for refined matters of fact with which to verify the experience. This is how knowledge is ascertained.

Intention needs no immediate object of perception. It only needs directedness and content of a time and place. In this way a particular point can be indexed and acted upon.

Sub Claims:

Truth is a relation of ideas. (Relation is timeless)
Experience is a matter of fact. (Matter is extensional)
There are no true matters of fact. (There are only probable matters of fact, viz. induction)
Therefore no experience can be true. (Experience can only be probable)

The self is a reflexive relation.
The self exists in the moment. (Relations are timeless// Self is true.)
The moment is timeless.
The self is timeless.
The timeless is true.
The self is true.

Science is an ideology.
All ideologies provide a context for introducing understanding and explaining action in society and the physical world.
All ideologies are instrumental myths.
Choosing myths is ethical.
Ethics are normative and subjective to person, time, place, and purpose.

Freedom is the ability to choose.
Choice implies ability to change.
Therefore, freedom is the ability to change.

Surviving or thriving requires adaptation
Adaptation is adjustment to change over time (state of nature)
Adjustment to change requires freedom.
Therefore, surviving or thriving requires freedom.

Thoughts:

Lakatos’ research programs most accurately reflect the methodology of current science. It assumes no consistent methodlogy to its methodology. Novelty is the only instigator and mark of progress.

True theories can never be inferred from facts in the strict logical sense because induction is fallible. What of deduction?

I will borrow Nietzsche’s conception “will to power” to refer to the driving mechanism or force in man; achievement, ambition, the striving to reach the highest possible position in life; these are all manifestations of the will to power. The “will to power” is used specifically because it refers to the dominance over hierarchies.

(Darwin’s notion of “struggle for existence” implies ancillary considerations of the will to avoid pain and the will to seek pleasure. I do not think these considerations play a significant role in my discussion because they require referral to past experience which is a regressive move. )

A regression is concerned with the past or the future, somewhere other than now. A progression is concerned with the present. In the present the relation of the self actualizes into existence. The will to power is the domination over the moment.

Science is a myth rooted in social utility.

Science bridges the gap of nation- its citizens and government- and the economy.

An Economy requires that material goods are highly valued. The more goods exchanged, the greater exchange of wealth. Nations derive their power from wealth. Democratic nations derive their power from self guided pursuits of wealth. Capitalism requires the values of materialism and individualism to function. In this way wealth in continually generated through internal competition.

Science is an ideology that necessarily relies on naturalistic assumptions and valuations. It claims that there is an objective reality that contains a Truth value. According to Feyerabend, it is a myth that masquerades as Truth.

The ideology of science is necessary to facilitate values of materialism. This functions to empower the economy and (thereby) reinforce its legitimacy as Truth.

Science is more of an ethical enterprise than a Truth seeking enterprise. The standards/criteria for truth are subjective valuations.

Science funding is assessed according to economic profits or political empowerment.

Feyerabend claims that the authority and veracity of science is taught like religion once was. Students are indoctrinated. There is no choice of dissent without a backlash.

Feyerabend says that when truth is identified, one has little choice but to follow it. He claims that science asserts itself as true. If we follow science, we are not free to choose.

He posits that when truth conflicts with freedom, a choice is born. Either abandon truth or abandon freedom.

The authority and veracity of science is argued from two points: 1) It’s method 2) It’s results. Both of these fail.

Freedom is necessary for adaptation.

All sciences are now under the obligation to prepare the ground for the future task of the philosopher, which is to solve the problem of value, to determine the true hierarchy of values.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Because science relies on the veracity of naturalism, materialism is the measure of value for all things.
Values of matters of fact can be measured. Materialism offers science as a tool for establishing values. What was once an ethical appraisal is now an assessment of utility. Materialism has replaced ethics with utility.

Values of the self cannot be measured. The immeasurable values contained within the self are true and priceless precisely because they cannot be measured. But science leads one to believe that there is nothing valuable which does not exist. So we become preoccupied with securing things of value.

I will borrow from Lakatos’ conception of science as a research program that progresses due to novel predictions. The truth/falsity is irrelevant with regards to methodological rules which tell the scientist to retain or discard research program.

Peirce: irritation of doubt causes a struggle to attain a state of belief. Belief is typically a result of habit. We cling to what we believe. Belief produces actions/ behaviors.

Inquiry is to settle opinion.

External permanency: “there are real things independent of us that affect our senses according to laws through different relations to objects, and through reason we ascertain how these laws work.” Never absolute; always approximate.

**
Existence cannot be rationalized. We can try to rationalize and justify means and ends and value through any number of ideologies, be it science, rationalism, religion, superstition, etc. Their value is in their usefulness. Usefulness is wholly dependent upon one’s aims and ends. All of these ideologies are viable in one context or another, but to make truth claims about them is more of an ethical statement regarding its justice.

2 thoughts on “Pragmatic Science Studies: Thoughts”

  1. Nietzsche is one of my favorites and i loved the way you started off this article. This is another brilliant piece. I do think you are an excellent writer (not just saying it) as i read and read and read. i do nothing but read and i like to think that i dedicate my life to the written word. when i say written word i mean, literature, philosophy of course.

    I want to ask you if you had read any Kerouac? would love to read, (or hear) your opinions.

  2. As cliche as it sounds, Nietzsche was brilliant and ahead of his time.

    I have yet to read Kerourac but everything I read about him tells me that I’d like him. I feel like his content and style resonate with some of the same themes I try to touch on.

    Many thanks!

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