Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Right Tools

One problem with the positivists (those who hold that knowledge must
be independently verifiable, repeatable, and, in effect, of the
external world: the most common attitude among scientists today) is
they think you can isolate man from what he knows, and have results of
lasting value.

The attitude that the instrument of knowing must also be studied is
not a new one, (maybe that is what the Greeks meant when they said man
is the measure of all things) but if you focus on the idea of studying
the tool of knowing, say a telescope, as well as what is learned from
the telescope, a certain perspective is gained.

I am suggesting that you must study the instrument of knowing-- as
well as the topic studied by that tool-- to gain the maxiumum and the
most reliable results. Actually the tool is always a critical part of
what is known, and the ignorance of this fact is a peculiar blindspot
of the contemporary world. The reasons for the popularity of
positivism are interesting but not the current topic.

What I would like to point out now is that without including the tool
used with the verbalized topic of learning, you fall into nonsense.
For instance without being aware of the tool used, you could not
distinguish between galaxies and cells. So the distinction between a
telescope and a microscope is part of the knowledge, just a part which
is ignored in the epistemological background---and this I call
evidence of the illogic of positivism.

Also you need to study the mind of the scientist, the knower, to
evaluate human knowledge. Only by going to the borders of knowledge,
can an investigation of so-called mysticism be brought back into the
game. It may be that this is not of great significance--- I am not
certain. The human mind can be studied as a tool though -- this fact
itself is a major tool used by seekers throughout history and in this
regard Jan Cox is only the latest, and maybe most illustrious,
example in the last century.

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