Sunday, October 24, 2004

A bit more on Leiter/Fodor/Kripke et al.: [link fixed, updated]
The division is not between science and the humanities, or whether or not you think that there can be a scientific philosophy. It's more basic than that.

I am interested in being good at what I do. That is a craftsman's logic, and it's the standard for many fields. But I'm also interested in doing justice in some form, in my thoughts, to the complexity of the world. That's a scientist's logic, and an artist's. I try not to confuse truth with skill but it's not easy and I'm often wrong. For a lawyer in a courtroom, all that matters is skill. The truth, such as it is, is merely the result. In a sense the same is true for a chemist. The debate over how we construct the rules that govern a courtroom is a different matter.

Is the primary interest of analytic philosphy, truth, or the skill of its participants? What is Saul Kripke's main concern, the representation of the world, or of his own -considerable- skill?
What was Derrida's main concern?

As I always ask: What is the difference between art and illustration?
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My comment on Leiter's post.
The difference between the two is that one seeks to solve problems -as any science does- and the other seeks ways for us to function in a world of ambiguous perceptions and situations; and since I don't think we'll ever be able to leave ambiguity behind, and life would be pretty terrible if we could, I prefer the latter and find it more useful. Analytic philosophy has turned into something like Pataphysics, Alfred Jarry's science of imaginary solutions. Not that I'm a huge fan of continental philosophy either; there's always a deity lurking around there in the void. Novelists and lawyers can appreciate ambiguity without being tempted by faith. Philosophers who are not proudly 'scientistic' in thought, can't seem to escape it.

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