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Re: [xmca] Where is thinking

Oh Andy, I'm going to have to disagree with you once again!

At least, I'm going to disagree if by your statement here you mean to say
that Einstein was avoiding metaphysics. That was the interpretation the
logical positivists made, arguing that Einstean had exposed the fact
Newtonian physics had hidden metaphysical assumptions, but that, with his
operational definitions (Bridgman's term, but his ilustrations were from
Einstein), Einstein had finally showed that science was a purely logical (or
if you prefer practical) activity, free from metaphysics. What a mess that
has led us into!

I'm on Kuhn's side on this issue: every scientific paradigm has metaphysical
assumptions embedded in its practices. So we don't have metaphysics on the
one hand and practice on the other. We have alternative kinds of scientific
practice, each with their metaphysical assumptions. (The metaphysics of
Einsteinian physics include the assumption that space is something that can
be curved by a mass, for example.) The merits of each of the alternatives is
what scientists spend their careers hotly debating. Even what *counts* as
metaphysics is different from one paradigm to another.

But that's probably what you meant!  :)


On 4/22/09 8:17 PM, "Andy Blunden" <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> All Einstein did was, instead of regarding time and space as
> metaphysical entities existing independently of human
> practice, he closely examined the practice of measuring time
> and distance. That's all.

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