Re: MD On Faith+understanding (Rorty/Bhaskar)

From: David Morey (
Date: Sun Oct 24 2004 - 12:46:45 BST

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    Hi all

    I think these points from ML are good. I would say that they relate
    to what the philosopher of science Roy Bhaskar has pointed out.
    He has drawn our attention to the fact that when we learn about
    a new theory in science we are confronted with a set of texts and
    formulae that we have to interpret with all the difficulties that
    and people like Rorty have drawn our attention to. However, we clearly
    are capable of making this leap into a common interpretation of the new
    theory. Bhaskar suggests that the individual each time has to discover the
    theory for themselves. Of course, they may not have understood it and have
    made the leap into a new thoery of their own that is not the same as the
    authors. The point in teaching is to try to reach the same
    interpretation/understanding of
    the theory. Often the teacher will be able to tell the student that they
    have the wrong interpretation
    from the generally accepted one and will try to guide them towards making a
    new leap until
    if they are lucky they get it. This seems to be the dynamic component
    relating to the individual
    with respect to attaining what we otherwise may look on as common/universal
    of meaning. Bhaskar also points out the realist assumption that there is an
    uninterpreted real world to which we relate our interpretations and will
    either fit or
    resist our interpretations. As he says, we do not decide to interepret the
    second floor
    window as a better exit than the ground floor door. Rorty will call this
    trivial, Bhaskar
    suggests Rorty takes the window then.

    David Morey

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