File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2003/bhaskar.0312, message 46


Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2003 16:23:21 +0100
Subject: RE: BHA: scientific realism,


Hi richard,
I hope I get your point right: In the parlance of Bhaskar, my formulations 
regarding the acts of knowing would be situated in the transitive 
dimension, while the thing you really were interested in was the 
intransitive dimension of knowing, i.e. with what really, or perhaps 
actually happens when we are in the process of cognition? Unfortunately i 
haven't read Lonergan's book, but I would oppose to the characterisation of 
my ideas as not dealing with the intransitive or ontic aspects of 
cognition. We could perhaps maintain that we never know anything outside 
particular theoretical descriptions which are always transitive, i.e. 
epistemological, but, as Bhaskar points out in the concluding page of RTS, 
'Things exist and act independently of our descriptions, but we can only 
know them under particular conditions.'

But please, explain your formulation:
  A very general epistemological question involves reflection upon my
 > > own
 > acts of knowing -- what am I doing when I am knowing?  A related
 > ontological question is:  what am I knowing when I am doing these things?

Be more precise in what you mean by the 'doing' in the first question and 
what 'these things' refer to in the second and perhaps the 'what' as well...
Do you mean by this that the acts of knowing are not in the intransitive 
domain? and that only teh subject matter of the act of knowing is intransitive?
I apologise for the confusion. I hope you can be more clear than I manage 
to be....

My point about teh social character of cognition would of course harbour 
the Polanyian notion of tacit knowing, this would merely point to the 
significande of scientific training, and the fact that we are always 
standing on the shoulder of giants, as Newton put it...

Best regards,
Par


At 15:14 2003-12-04, you wrote:
>Hi Par,
>
>Your post is exemplifies the kind of reflection upon your own knowing I 
>call "epistemological."  My interest is not so much to distinguish between 
>philosophy and neuroscience as between epistemological and ontological 
>questions.  My rather awkward way of expressing the questions is derived 
>from Bernard Lonergan's "Insight."  I like it because it draws attention 
>both to the differences in the two questions and one of the ways they are 
>related.  I think Lonergan's approach would be regarded by many on this 
>list as skating dangerously close, if not falling into, the 
>epistemological fallacy.
>
>I agree that acts of knowing always have content, so I do not believe that 
>I can refelct upon any content-free act of knowing.  But I can reflect 
>upon different acts of knowing with a view to discovering common 
>properties, one of which is that they all do seem to be intentional, in 
>the sense you have pointed out.
>
>I regard the background to my acts of knowing as "personal" as well as 
>"social," in the sense that Polanyi has spelled out in his "Personal 
>Knowledge" and "The Tacit Dimension."  All of my past experiences leave 
>residues -- the physical nature and patterning of these residues is 
>subject-matter for neuroscience.  Much of this background is tacit, but 
>that does not prevent it from influencing present acts of knowing.
>
>Best regards,
>
>Dick
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Par Engholm [mailto:Par.Engholm-AT-soc.uu.se]
>Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2003 7:51 PM
>To: bhaskar-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU; bhaskar-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU
>Subject: Re: BHA: scientific realism,
>
>
>Hi Carrol, Richard  and others,
>Jus a quick one before rejuvenating for another real day... Surely you 
>don't propose to say that all epistemological questions
>'properly belong' to neuroscience?
>
>The act of knowing is an 'event' going on on a whole variety of ontological
>strata, and thus belongs to whole range of scientific disciplines. 'What am
>I doing when I am knowing?' seems to be a rather awkward way of putting the
>problem,but when I am knowing something I must have recourse to a social
>background, to cognitive faculties - which are both innate and culturally
>obtained, to theoretical matrices which enable me to know a thing, to
>situate it in associative webs of similarity and difference. The act of
>knowing is always directed towards something, (as Brentano and Husserl
>would describe it as a certain form of intentionality), so it would be hard
>to say what conts as an abstract knowing without any subject matter to draw
>one's attention to... Furthermore it is always working in terms of
>difference and similarity, that is by ways of marking contrast to known
>things and putting it into classes of similar (in some particular,
>pertinent aspect) things. In everyday life as in science, we use models,
>analogies, and metaphors to situate the unknown in the world of the known.
>Acts of knowing are simultaneously practical, social, psychological,
>neurophysical etc... We may of course then formulate the acts of knowing
>both in terms of the individual ontogeny, in which, as Archer has summed up
>some of the most interesting treatises in her Being Human, the practical
>involvement in the world is of considerable and primary importance, as a
>prelinguistic formation of acquaintance with things, and in terms of
>phylogeny, where the gradual continuing expansion of human knowledge is
>indeed a extraindividual, a social endeavour, a process of objective
>knowledge, of knowledge without a knowing subject, to use Poppers
>characterisation. These two processes are inseparably intertwined.
>
>I came back with some more thoughts tomorrow
>Best regards,
>Par Engholm
>
>PS Perhaps the distinction between philosophy proper and (neuro)science is
>as hard to uphold as Rorty would have it... One thing which is certain is
>that the therapeutic role of philosophy would never cease to be important.
>
>At 21:46 2003-12-03, Carrol Cox wrote:
>
>
> >"Moodey, Richard W" wrote:
> > >
> > > A very general epistemological question involves reflection upon my
> > > own
> > acts of knowing -- what am I doing when I am knowing?  A related
> > ontological question is:  what am I knowing when I am doing these things?
> >
> >The first question properly belongs to neuroscience rather than
> >philosophy. The second question does seem to be a validly philosophical
> >question.
> >
> >Carrol
> >
> >
> >
> >      --- from list bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu ---
>
>-----------------------------------------------------------
>Par Engholm; Par.Engholm-AT-soc.uu.se
>Uppsala University, Dept. of Sociology
>Box 821; SE-751 08 Uppsala; SWEDEN
>Phone: +46 18 471 1180; Fax: +46 18 471 1170
>Home: Botvidsgatan 14 B; SE-753 27 Uppsala
>Phone: +46 (0)18 696348; Mobile: +46 709 783546 
>http://www.soc.uu.se/staff/par_e.html
>
>
>--- StripMime Warning --  MIME attachments removed ---
>This message may have contained attachments which were removed.
>
>Sorry, we do not allow attachments on this list.
>
>--- StripMime Report -- processed MIME parts ---
>multipart/alternative
>   text/plain (text body -- kept)
>   text/html
>---
>
>
>      --- from list bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu ---
>
>
>      --- from list bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu ---

-----------------------------------------------------------
Par Engholm; Par.Engholm-AT-soc.uu.se
Uppsala University, Dept. of Sociology
Box 821; SE-751 08 Uppsala; SWEDEN
Phone: +46 18 471 1180; Fax: +46 18 471 1170
Home: Botvidsgatan 14 B; SE-753 27 Uppsala
Phone: +46 (0)18 696348; Mobile: +46 709 783546
http://www.soc.uu.se/staff/par_e.html


--- StripMime Warning --  MIME attachments removed --- 
This message may have contained attachments which were removed.

Sorry, we do not allow attachments on this list.

--- StripMime Report -- processed MIME parts --- 
multipart/alternative
  text/plain (text body -- kept)
  text/html
---


     --- from list bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu ---

   

Driftline Main Page

 

Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005