[OPE-L:7314] Re: 'De omnibus dubitandum

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Mon Jun 03 2002 - 06:35:29 EDT

Re Howard's [7309]:

> We talk past one another.  

Perhaps that is the case so I will try again.

>  reference to authoritative texts by appeal to 
their authority does not develop science. < 

Excellent.  This is an important source of agreement.
By inference, you must agree that hermeneutic debates
do not develop science.  

>  Fidelity to background theories we judge to represent 
accurately (approximately) relevant causal mechanisms is 
not submission to authority. <

Why "fidelity"?  If we believe that a theory has explanatory
power then we need not demonstrate "fidelity" in applying it
_unless_ the theory itself is very uncomplicated.  Within the
context of a complex social theory, such as Marx's analysis
of capitalism,  one might accept certain propositions, reject
others, and be doubtful of still others.  The theorist who
exhibits the most "fidelity" to Marx's perspective ("orthodoxy")
is not necessarily the theorist with the better perspective. 
This is the case particularly if one recognizes -- as you do above --
that a background theory  is _only_  *approximately*  accurate.
One advances a science when one questions perspectives,  
rather than demonstrating fidelity.  

In solidarity, Jerry

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