Philosophy Class

"The Truth will make you odd."

Contradictions in Contemporary Philosophy

Contradictions in Contemporary Philosophy.... From Culture Wars, November '95


Contradictory (ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE) Philosophies are alive and well...


The Enemies Science Deserves.  


Book review of Higher Superstition: The

Academic Left and its Quarrels with Science by

Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt, The Johns

Hopkins University Press, 1994.


p. 40 Postmoderns presume that reality is

inaccessible, or at least incommunicable,

because of the inherent unreliability of language.

Science to postmoderns is only one of any

number of possible "discourses," no one of which

is fundamentally truer than any other. This is

because there are no foundations to thought,

which is everywhere radically determined by the

interests and history of the thinker. Those who

claim to establish truth by experiment are either

lying or self-deluded.


P. 42 Simply false, however, is the postmodern

conviction that Goedel's Theorem proved that all

language is fundamentally self-contradictory and

inconsistent. Postmoderns find the idea

attractive, however, because they believe that it

frees them from the chains of logic, and

undermines the claims of scientists to have

reached conclusions dictated by logic.


p. 42 Postmodernism, say the authors, is the

deliberate negation of the Enlightenment project,

which they hold to be the construction of a

sound body of knowledge about the world.


p. 43 ...the authors note that Logical Positivism,

with a little help from the philosophy of Karl

Popper, remains the philosophical framework of

working scientists to this day. The problem,

however, is that Logical Positivism leaves science

as a little bubble of coherence in a sea of

"nonsense," of thought and ideas that cannot be

directly related to measurable physical events.


p. 43 Logical Positivism has many inherent

problems as a philosophy (the chief of which

being that its propositions cannot themselves be

derived from sense experience)...