Re: [xmca] Copernicus, Darwin and Bohr

From: Tony Whitson <twhitson who-is-at UDel.Edu>
Date: Fri Jun 22 2007 - 06:16:46 PDT

On Fri, 22 Jun 2007, David Kellogg wrote:

> I guess what I find most disturbing about arguments like "toolforthoughts" (a concept which still seems profoundly NONdevelopmental to me) and Jay's ideas on "radical" ontology is that they are basically monolithic. It seems to me that they do not accept that tools and thoughts may presuppose each other on one level but not on another, or that causality may operate on one level but not on another.

David, I think the concerns you raised a month ago are pertinent; but that
was before this article was chosen, and people might have lost track.

In the discussion about blogs etc. some have suggested greater use of the
threaded archives of these email posts. In that spirit, here is the URL
for the May 22 post that you're referring back to here:

> I once tried out the argument that the uncertainy principle disproves causality on the old man. He laughed (as he usually does at my physics) and shook his head. He said "causality" is an English word, and what uncertainy refers to is a mathematical wave function.

I love your father's answer. I've never been able to understand people
invoking the uncertainty principle to make a case for using qualitative
research in education (for example). It seems to me that if the
uncertainty principle were shown to be untrue, that would make not one
whit of difference for the issues in educational theory and research for
which I've heard it invoked.

> As when you translate a cliche from one language to another where it sounds fresh and new, when you go from the mathematics to English, meanings appear that simply are not actually there. I am still trying to figure out what "actually" actually means.

"Actually" is -actually- a very useful term, it seems to me. John Deely
has a book in which he argues for a "semiotist" alternative to both
realism and idealism (classically conceived). While I find Deely's
arguments convincing, the term "semiotist" is meaningless for anyone who
is not acquainted with semiosis as understood since Peirce. I use
"actualist" to introduce this stance, using it for basically the same
thing Deely means by "semiotist."


Tony Whitson
UD School of Education

"those who fail to reread
  are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
                   -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
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Received on Fri Jun 22 06:26 PDT 2007

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