The complementarity principle in biological and social structures
Complementarity is an epistemological principle derived from the subject-object or observer-system dichotomy, where each side requires a separate mode of description that is formally incompatible with and irreducible to the other, and where one mode of description alone does not provide comprehensive explanatory power. The classical physics paradigm, on which biological, social and psychological sciences are modeled, completely suppresses the observer or subject side of this dichotomy in order to claim unity and consistency in theory and objectivity in experimental observations. Quantum mechanical measurements have shown this paradigm to be untenable. Explanation of events requires both an objective, causal representation and a subjective, prescriptive representation that are complementary. The concepts of description and function in biological systems, and goals and policies in social systems, are found to have the same epistemological basis as the concept of measurement in physics. The concepts of rate-dependent and rate-independent processes are proposed as a necessary distinction for applying the principle of complementarity to explanations of physical, biological and social systems
Tired of waiting for the promised OP on Moderation from keiths.
I am hoping participants in the “Teleology and Biology” thread might find this paper interesting. Continue reading
Can someone familiar with the thinking at Uncommon Descent explain why there is such opposition to the idea of Anthropogenic Global Warming? There’s this today, following several long commentaries by VJ Torley on the pope’s encyclical, mostly negative. I don’t get the connection. Is it general distrust of science? Or of the “Academy”? Or is there something about the idea that we may be provoking a major extinction event that is antithetical to ID? Or is it, possibly, that the evidence for major extinction events in the past is explains the various “explosions” that are adduced as evidence, if not for ID, then against “Darwinism”?
Apologies to anyone who tried to post an OP or send a PM over night and couldn’t. Permissions are restored.
I was trying to set up a means for the admins to confer together on site rather than singly by PM or by email, as a result, set the cat among the pigeon (skua among the penguins?) by first of all making a “password protected” page for the admins, new comments to which appeared in the “new comments” list, arousing great alarm, and in any case turned out to be visible from the dashboard. So I tried another WP option which was to make it a “private” page, but people could still see it from the dashboard. So I switched off that. But then people couldn’r post OPs or receive PMs. So I’ve restored it again. We will keep the “private” admin page, but for those curious about it, you will find you can access its comments via the dashboard. Which is fine by me – it wasn’t like we wanted to plot anything anyway, just have a means of conferring about stuff (security issues, strategies, plug-ins, rules etc) between our selves. So this seems a good solution. Nobody need get paranoid because they can always check the record, but it won’t be a prominent feature of the site.
Same sex marriage is a constitutional right for all USAians, regardless of the homophobic, religiously-motivated bigotry in 14 state legislatures.
Chief Justice Kennedy writing the 5-4 decision:
In the ‘Moderation’ thread, William J Murray tried to make a case for ideological bias among evolutionary scientists by referencing a 2006 Gil Dodgen post, in which numerous authors emphasise the lack of teleology within the evolutionary process. I thought this might merit its own OP.
As the new millennium approaches, our scientific knowledge of the universe surpasses that of any previous age. Yet, paradoxically, the philosophy of science movement is now in disarray. The collapse of logical empiricism and the rise of historicism and social constructivism have effectively left all of the sciences without an epistemology. The claims of realism have become increasingly difficult to justify, and, for many, the only alternatives are probabilism, pragmatism, and relativism.
But the case is not hopeless. According to William A.Wallace, a return to a realist concept of nature is plausible and, indeed, much needed. Human beings have a natural ability to understand the world in which they live. Many have suggested this understanding requires advanced logic and mathematics. Wallace believes that nature can more readily be understood with the aid of simple modeling techniques.
Through an ingenious use of iconic and epistemic models, Wallace guides the reader through the fundamentals of natural philosophy, explaining how the universe is populated with entities endowed with different natures – inorganic, plant, animal, and human. Much of this knowledge is intuitive, already in people’s minds from experience, education, and exposure to the media. Wallace builds on this foundation, making judicious use of cognitive science to provide a model of the human mind that illuminates not only the philosophy of nature but also the logic, psychology, and epistemology that are prerequisite to it.
With this background, Wallace sketches a history of the philosophy of science and how it has functioned traditionally as a type of probable reasoning. His concern is to go beyond probability and lay bare the epistemic dimension of science to show how it can arrive at truth and certitude in the various areas it investigates. He completes his study with eight case studies of certified scientific growth, the controversies to which they gave rise, and the methods by which they ultimately were resolved.
The Modeling of Nature provides an excellent introduction to the fundamentals of natural philosophy, psychology, logic, and epistemology.
William J. Murray has repeatedly questioned the prevalent materialist epistemology evident here at TSZ.
But are the sciences as a whole without an epistemology, and why?
What could possibly ground an epistemology of science?
At UD, Barry has written another hypocritical OP criticizing former NBC anchor Brian Williams. I have some questions for him:
Given your own deception and dishonesty, why are you so concerned with the deception and dishonesty of Brian Williams? Are you angry that he’s encroaching on your territory?
When will you explain what happened to Aurelio Smith’s comments, and why it happened?
Will you ever explain why you deleted this entire thread?
How do you reconcile your abysmal behavior with your claim of “having a standard of integrity far beyond what the world requires”?
He has reified the abstract concept of gravity and attributed casual [sic] powers to the reified concept. It is easy to fall into that hole, and we should all watch out for it.
—Barry Arrington, June 18, 2015 at 3:10 pm
I hear from intelligent-design proponents that information is neither matter nor energy, is conserved by material processes, and is created only by intelligence. Would you please explain how they determined that intelligence is real, and not merely an abstraction? I’d like to see you contrast it with gravity.
Herman Reith says that the trouble with the design argument is that “the examples used and the interpretation given them prevents the argument from rising to the metaphysical level…above the order of the physical universe,” so that “it cannot conclude to anything more than the existence of some kind of intelligence and power” within that universe. … Christopher F.J. Martin … avers that “the Being whose existence is revealed to us by the argument from design is not God but the Great Architect of the Deists and Freemasons, an imposter disguised as God.”
…arguments like Paley’s … cannot in principle get us outside the natural order to a divine intellect of pure actuality but at most to an anthropomorphic demiurge.
– Edward Feser. On Aristotle, Aquinas, and Paley: A Reply to Marie George
I may be a bit different from the typical IDist in that I am a huge fan of Edward Feser. His criticism here of ID is that it cannot get you to God.
What’s more, the modern design argument cannot get you to God even in principle.:
But the problem is not just that Paley’s designer may be something other than God as classicasl theism understand Him. There is reason to think that Paley’s designer could not be God as classical theism understands Him.
…Paley’s procedure is to model his designer on human designers. By implication, his designer exercises the same faculty human designers do–he works out design problems, performs calculations, and so forth–but does so with massively greater facility. He is an essentially anthropomorphic designer. And as such it is hard to see how he could be as classical theism says God is — absolutley simple, immutable, eternal, and so forth.
– Edward Feser, Natural Theology Must Be Founded in Philosophy
So on the one hand we have some critics of ID claiming the problem with ID is that it’s not about God and on the other hand we have critics of ID claiming the problem with ID is that it is about God. Must be nice to be an ID critic!
For those of you who think that ID really is “about God” why not adopt the approach of Edward Feser?