Sunday, December 12, 2010

Concealing the fallacy: A quote from "Mr. Anscombe"

When we hear of some new attempt to explain reasoning or language or choice naturalistically, we ought to react as if we were told that someone had squared the circle or proved the square root of 2 to be rational: only the mildest curiosity is in order-how well has the fallacy been concealed?[1] P. T. Geach


[1] Peter Geach, The Virtues (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1977) 52.


I wonder if his wife agreed with that statement. 

62 comments:

Blue Devil Knight said...

Written in 1850:
When we hear of some new attempt to explain [development or inheritance] naturalistically, we ought to react as if we were told that someone had squared the circle or proved the square root of 2 to be rational: only the mildest curiosity is in order-how well has the fallacy been concealed?
-----------
Rhetoric is great fun. Arguments are better. Evidence trumps all.

Steven Carr said...

Reasoning is best explained through the workings of ectoplasm.

No dualist has ever explained how humans reason.

To be fair, they have hardly ever attempted to do so, and so can not be blamed for failing to do something they have never regarded as a realistic goal.

Anonymous said...

There is an irreducible biological limitation to understanding reason itself, from outside of reason, in a way akin to our irreducible biological inability to directly know the consciousness of other minds.

To the extent understand this as true, we also see that proving reductive materialism is a fool's errand. That is I think what Geach means by the effort concealing a fallacy.

Anscombe would point out, I think, more or less as as she did to Lewis, that our innate inability to know or prove something does not mean it cannot be true. Perhaps such a reducibility of mental to physical is something some believe as a matter of faith.

Steven Carr said...

In the same book, Mr. Geach claims it is useless to raise criticial doubts of the Gospel records, because if they were unreliable that would make Christ a figure of mere theory.

Superb Christian philosophy!

As Mr. Geach wants to believe Christ, he has to believe the Gospels are reliable, so he claims nobody should question them.

Oh, and human sexuality is a means of transmitting Original Sin....

No wonder Christianity is in disrepute when such books are held up as authorities.

It really is just a book full of nonsense, masquerading as piety.

Boz said...

"In the same book, Mr. Geach claims..."

Steven Carr, redd herring fallacy?

Steven Carr said...

I'm just pointing out that arguments from authority don't work when people can read what the 'authority' says.

Geach might scoff at the idea that drink and drugs can explain deterioration in mental reasoning, without recourse to the supernatural to explain why drugs affect thoughts, but Geach's opinions are only convincing to himself.

Brenda said...

What would an unnatural explanation of language or reason be?

Anonymous said...

Reason and language come from God, not matter.

"In the beginning was the Logos.."

Warren said...

>> Evidence trumps all.

So, what's the evidence that proves the truth of this assertion?

Warren said...

>> Reasoning is best explained through the workings of ectoplasm.

From "The Last Superstition" by Edward Feser:

"For the uninitiated, 'ectoplasm' is a ghostly kind of stuff that writers like (Daniel) Dennett are constantly accusing critics of materialism of believing in. It plays the same sort of straw-man role in his writings that Paley does in Dawkins' writings on religion."

Steven Carr said...

Ok, so dualists don't even have ectoplasm.

So what have they got?

Name the machinery that does the reasoning, explaining how it is affected by chemicals such as those found in cannabis.

And no straw-men either. Tell us the real stuff.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Warren: We should shape our arguments and theories to the data, not vice versa. I'm too lazy to argue for that right now, frankly, but I hope I don't need to.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Ectoplasm

Blue Devil Knight said...

Steven they could say cannibus changes the inputs to the nonphysical mind the way a new song provides new inputs to the nonphysical mind.

One advantage the dualist has is that he doesn't have to say much, while the naturalist must give details (same with creationist arguments about what could have evolved). Luckily the antinaturalist arguments about consciousness are not particularly strong, are based on predictions from limited resources and unlimited intuition.

However, none of that changes that without a detailed empirically vetted naturalistic theory of consciousness on hand, the dualist can live in this gap. I'm about 3-4 weeks away from finishing a manuscript where I address this gap, and part of it includes giving a relatively detailed science fiction story of how neuroscience could explain consciousness. It is a fiction I built to contradict those who say it is logically [sic] impossible or inconceivable that neuroscience could ever explain consciousness.

I've built a list of other arguments against naturalism about consciousness here.

Here's the list so far (plus a bunch added in the comments which I will add soon):
1. It is impossible to imagine how mere neuronal tissue could produce conscious experience (Huxely)
2. Failures of supervenience, such as zombies and inverted spectra, are conceivable (Chalmers, Locke, etc).
3. Mary learns something (Jackson).
4. Brains have mass, volume, and other physical properties, but experiences do not.
5. Paranormal phenomena (near death experiences, ghosts, ESP) are real, and involve consciousness implemented in a nonphysical substrate.
6. If shrunken so I can stroll around your brain and look about, I will observe neuronal processes, not experiences (Leibniz).
7. The soul is the seat of consciousness, and the soul is not physical.
8. Conscious experiences have intrinsic qualities, but science can only tell us about relational qualities (Russell, Rosenberg).
9. Consciousness cannot be observed; there will never be a consciousness detector that can tell you if a given creature is conscious.
10. Conscious experiences are not simply the movement of molecules; consciousness is more than mass in motion (Ward).

To be added:
Argument from unity (Hasker)

Brenda said...

Anonymous said...
"Reason and language come from God, not matter."

What is god made of?

Bob Prokop said...

Brenda, your question is without meaning. The "Maker", by definition, is not "made", and therefore cannot be made of anything, in the sense that created things are.

We are stretching the very limits of language here. Many great Christian mystics, such as the anonymous 14th Century author of "The Cloud of Unknowing" (a book well worth reading, by the way) maintained that we could only say with certainty what God was NOT, but could make no genuinely true statement (due to those linguistic limitations) as to what God WAS.

Steven Carr said...

BDK
there will never be a consciousness detector that can tell you if a given creature is conscious.


CARR
Really?

Let us hope that when you have an operation, the doctors do not take such a blase attitude.

BDK

4. Brains have mass, volume, and other physical properties, but experiences do not.

CARR
So how do drugs affect experiences when drugs have physical properties?

Will I ever be told?

Have dualists taken a vow of silence never to reveal their explanations?

awatkins69 said...

"So how do drugs affect experiences when drugs have physical properties?"

Moreover, how does God interact with the universe, when the universe has physical properties?

I wonder if it's a brute fact. It seems to be a brute fact that one physical substance causes something to happen to another physical substance. Don't know how something's being "physical" gives it more explanatory power. On a constant conjunction view of causation (or monist view like Russell's) it doesn't seem to make a difference.

This has been a puzzling question for me about dualism too though. However, what I'm more worried about is how dualistic models of libertarianism can still account for conservation of energy laws.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Steven: Note I didn't say the arguments were sound, just that they exist. See the original post where I posted that list.

As for drugs affecting experience, I already explained how the dualist would account for that. It's just changing the inputs to the mind, the way changing visual inputs changes the mind. It's not like the dualists think the brain and mind don't interact. They expect brain changes to create different states of mind.

Blue Devil Knight said...

awatkins: they can maintain conservation of energy if the nonphysical mind causes transformations of energy from one form to another that maintain the overall level of energy. Like converting chemical energy to kinetic. CD Broad wrote about this.

OTOH, the dualist interactionist doesn't need to believe that physical laws are inviolable in brains with free will. That's sort of the point of their position.

Steven Carr said...

BDK
It's just changing the inputs to the mind, the way changing visual inputs changes the mind.

CARR
How do chemicals change the inputs to mind?

'It just does' is not an explanation.

Does the mind have receptors that the chemicals can latch on to?

Please bear in mind that dualists,like Geach, laugh at the idea that chemicals can affect reasoning, in the same way that they laugh at schoolboys who claim to have proved that the square root of 2 is rational.

Steven Carr said...

BDK
They expect brain changes to create different states of mind.

CARR
Of course they do, because they cannot get dualism to work and so have to import ideas from naturalism to even begin to get their theories to work.

GREV said...

It was said -- “Have dualists taken a vow of silence never to reveal their explanations?”




Not all of us have taken a vow of silence. Some of us are either just bored with or not interested in what appears to be a continual hardcore materialist approach to explaining things by some that assumes its worldview is a given when at best it is a minority viewpoint and has a lot of work to do before convincing this person who believes in both the immaterial and the material.

awatkins69 said...

Carr: "It just does" is the same answer for "why does a physical substance cause some effect in another physical substance?" I don't see why it couldn't work for a physical substance (or whatever) causing an effect in a mental substance. (Hey I'm sounding like a physicalist!) Also, Russell's neutral monism makes this a non-problem, if you can accept that view, as well as the idea of causation simply being a matter of conjunction of events.

Also, no dualist denies that chemical substances cause mental effects. To assert that they do is a complete straw man.

BDK: How can a dualist just do away with laws like that? I mean, you might have a scientific reason like the steady-state theorist guys, but it seems ad hoc to do so with the will. Moreover, it directly contradicts scientific evidence. No energy is added or lost in physical motion of the human body (I believe).

This is probably the bigger challenge to dualism for me.

GREV said...

Oh and before someone invokes the fact that I might use materialist terms in explaining things. How about remembering this. If I believe in a Creator who is pure consciousness. In whom are all the attributes of existence and goodness. Then if this Creator creates the material; why can I not borrow from that world to explain what I see?

Steven Carr said...

'If I believe in a Creator who is pure consciousness....'

This is just an incoherent, ungrammatical sentence,like believing in a Creator who is pure yellow or pure NFL.

Such explanations are literally devoid of meaning.

Steven Carr said...

AWATKINS
Carr: "It just does" is the same answer for "why does a physical substance cause some effect in another physical substance?"

CARR
So why does Geach pour scorn on materialists who claim that reasoning is caused by physical things, when dualists say 'It just does' is a perfectly valid explanation, and one that they can find no fault with?

Provided, of course, that is they who get to play the 'It just does' card.

Brenda said...

My position -- John Searle on Consciousness

Dualism is incoherent and cannot explain how the mind and body interact. Materialism denies what is patently obvious, that we are conscious. Consciousness is as much a part of human and animal biology as digestion.

-----------
awatkins69 said...
"no dualist denies that chemical substances cause mental effects."

Maybe not but they cannot explain how it is possible for a physical event to affect a mental substance. The history is clear, Dualism is a complete failure.

--------
GREV
" I believe in a Creator who is pure consciousness."

What is consciousness made of?

"if this Creator creates the material"

How can pure thought have any effect on matter at all?

------------
Someone said
"why does a physical substance cause some effect in another physical substance?"

We can directly observe causation. Even at the quantum level particles effect changes in other particles by coming into direct contact with each other.

Blue Devil Knight said...

awatkins: well first recall I don't think they have to. But if they are dualists, and think we have free will, then we aren't simply following natural laws, we aren't just a complicated bag of chemicals following the rules of chemistry. We inject something into the world,the brain would work differently without the mind. So they shouldn't be surprised that for the mind to affect the brain, the brain shouldn't follow physics 100%. Why would this bother the dualist libertarian fee will lover? It's what they pretty much have to believe.

If the brain would work the same without the nonphysical mind, then what is the mind for?

I agree Steven that it is a mysterious interaction, that's the main problem for dualism (other than the evidence that it is false and not needed, at least for consciousness).

awatkins69 said...

"We can directly observe causation. Even at the quantum level particles effect changes in other particles by coming into direct contact with each other."

That's a good explanation of *what* happens. But I still don't see anything about *why*. This is what I mean by brute facts. When particles come into direct contact, x happens. Why? It just does.

Unless we posit natures or forms or something, but I don't know enough to get into that.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Brenda are you not a materialist about digestion and respiration? If you are, then why not about consciousness? If not, then you are using the word like few people. I prefer the term naturalist, though, as 'materialist' is old-school like 19th century making it sound like I think the world is made up of tiny pebbles or something.

There is nothing incoherent about a nonphysical mind producing physical effects (and vice-versa). It's really hard to see how it might work. If causing perplexity were sufficient for incoherence, then quantum mechanics would be incoherent. Calling dualism incoherent is an overstatement like when Victor says naturalism about consciousness is 'logically impossible'. Or his present post.

It is probably more accurate to say our best theories and evidence about the matter suggest dualism is false. But incoherent? Too strong.

Mr Veale said...

Steve

With the greatest of respect, you do know that you just reiterate your opinion and declare it a victory? It's like debating a man who steps up to the podium and declares "I've won, I've won!"

Brenda said...

Blue Devil Knight said...
"Brenda are you not a materialist about digestion and respiration? If you are, then why not about consciousness?"

Because consciousness does not reduce to neurons. Or another way... consciousness is supervenient over the brain. It arises from the activity of the brain but has a different mode of existence than pure biological processes.

Consciousness has a first person ontology whereas strictly physical events have a third person ontology.

"I prefer the term naturalist"

So do I.

"There is nothing incoherent about a nonphysical mind producing physical effects (and vice-versa)."

It violates the law of conservation of mass and energy. If mental events are really from another world, a spiritual dimension, then every time I decide to raise my arm a mental process interferes with the neurons in my brain is a way that violates the conservation laws.

"Calling dualism incoherent is an overstatement"

You might be right. I just don't know for sure right now. It may not be incoherent but the idea that a spiritual world intervenes in this one every time I wiggle my finger seems.... wrong.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Ah Brenda I see you have imbibed the Searle kool aid with:
It arises from the activity of the brain but has a different mode of existence than pure biological processes.

Consciousness has a first person ontology whereas strictly physical events have a third person ontology.


So above you said it is just another biological process like digestion, but now you say it has a special first person ontology, a special mode of existence. What does that mean in your own words? I've never liked that part of Searle it doesn't make sense. If it's like digestion, we don't need a special ontology. I'd pick the Churchlands over Searle on this one any day of the week.

On incoherence. It isn't incoherent to say that conservation of energy is violated (which, as I explained above, is not strictly necessary for dualism to violate CoE as you could shift energy around without changing the total energy).

Generally, it isn't logically incoherent to say something violates the laws of physics. That's sort of the point of miracles, and in a sense the substance dualist thinks every mind-brain interaction is a miracle (in the sense of not mindlessly following the laws of physics).

BenYachov said...

Ah the Property Dualist vs the Materialist Monist!

The Hard Problem of Consciousness dogs the MM & any argument you can muster against Cartesian Dualism can be applied too PD equally.

They are all wrong.

The hylemorphic dualist sits back & smiles.

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2008/12/oderberg-on-hylemorphic-dualism.html

Blue Devil Knight said...

BenYachov, can you summarize hylomorphic dualism and what distinguishes it from property dualism and materialism?

Also, what would you say is the Hard Problem, exactly?

Blue Devil Knight said...

Obviously, the 'Hard Problem' is usually characterized as the problem of how experience can be produced by brain processes.

I'm trying to see if you can spell out in an argument how this problem has ontological implications for materialism. As stated, the Problem is just an invitation to think about how consciousness and brains related to one another, there is not really an argument there.

I have had a lot of trouble finding arguments from Hard Problem to nonmaterialism that don't simply beg the question. You have the standard Mary, zombie boilerplate arguments, of course, but they don't work. Zombie arguments are fairly weak.

Basically I'm trying to figure out what people think follows after they utter the words "hard problem." It isn't clear what is interesting there besides restating the problem that the relation between consciousness and brain processes is perplexing.

And I'd agree with that, but it is perplexing for everyone, dualist, materialist, etc.. Or perhaps you can explain why hylemorphic dualism neatly explains it and cleans up all the perplexities?

BenYachov said...

>BenYachov, can you summarize hylomorphic dualism and what distinguishes it from property dualism and materialism?

Not really I can only punk out & point to the experts(Feser & Oderberg) in the link I provided.
(Maybe Feser's response to Chen-song might be helpful to the specifics of your question see the comments box in the link).

This is a long haul study that presupposes Aristotelian Metaphysical modeling of the world(which has to be defended separately) over and against the Machenistic Post Locke & Descarte new philosophy views which is the foundation for the modern materialist and other naturalist views on human consciousness.

That having been said I think your question is kind of irrelevant. (Not to be dismissive so forgive me) The real question is what is what's the difference between hylemorphic dualism vs Cartesian Dualism? Since modern eliminative materialism & other naturalistic explanations of the mind are answers to the problems of the later not the former.

The most basic difference in my limited understanding is the Cartesian believes the mind is an immaterial substance but the hylemorphic merely believe the mind is immaterial(& a Form in the Aristotelian sense). But Feser & OderbergI think explains it best.

>Also, what would you say is the Hard Problem, exactly?

That conscious experiences are irreducible to physical states and cannot in principle be coherently explained in those terms. IMHO the only logically consistent naturalistic view of the mind is some form of Mysterianism (i.e. the philosophical position proposing that the hard problem of consciousness will never be explained; or at the least cannot be explained by the human mind at its current evolutionary stage).

That's my limited understanding & I defer to the experts.

Cheers man!:-)

BenYachov said...

>I have had a lot of trouble finding arguments from Hard Problem to nonmaterialism...

Might I humbly suggest you should substitute here "nonmaterialism" with "Cartesianism"?

Because I submit not all forms of nonmaterialism are alike. Indeed Cartesianism is just "Ghost Matter" nothing more. A soul is not a Ghost in the machine. It is more akine to the roundness as related to a Ball.

You once remarked to me you have never studied Aristotle's metaphysics & that you can't learn everything in this life. Well might I humbly suggest you at least learn Aristotle? Granted it could lead to Classical Theism & Catholicism or maybe you will be the revolutionary who discovers how to adapt it to Atheism.

Anyway in the immortal words of Holly from RED DWARF. It's worth a laugh.

Cheers my friend.

I'm going to stop talking in case I say something stupid.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Ben I have been reading his De Anima the past few days. I must admit I am very very impressed I have only read exerprts of Aristotle before but this shows me just how far the Greeks came before the Romans squashed their philosophical schools.

(I have been reading a ton on vitalism lately, and Aristotle is one of the first people that the vitalists liked to claim as an ally: indeed the first arguments I have come across for vitalism (17th century) are basically rehashing Aristotle's arguments from De Anima).

But I have had a lot of trouble finding a clear exposition of hylemorphic dualism. At your link, Feser just links to another paper, and that paper seemed to focus on personal identity over time, not consciousness per se.

So your statement of the Hard Problem is itself a substantive position, that experience is irreducible, which would require a bit of argument.

Blue Devil Knight said...

You seem to have sympathies for McGinn's mysterianism, but that is a little strange. His view is that consciousness is physical, but we will never understand it because it is too complex; it would be like monkeys trying to understand quantum mechanics, it will just never happen.

But that seems to admit that there could be an explanation in principle, and puts a lot of stock in the prediction that we will never find it/understand it.

BenYachov said...

Well BDK then I would suggest getting Feser's book PHILOSOPHY OF THE MIND & Oderberg's REAL ESSENTALISM(which deals with hylemorphism).

Reason would dictate talking to the experts directly than one of their simple minded devotees(aka Moi). That might help. Plus at the risk of brown nosing. You are one of the more intelligent, thoughtful & philosophically literate Atheists I've come across on the net and it would be lovely to poache you to post sometimes on Feser's blog. Since rebutting simpleminded skeptics whose whole understanding of Belief vs non-Belief is from only reading THE GOD DELUSION and nothing else.

>but we will never understand it because it is too complex; it would be like monkeys trying to understand quantum mechanics,

Briefly without getting into it too much I would say it has more to do with Gödel's incompleteness theorem adapted to the mind. Thus in principle we might not be able to understand the mind. This argument has been used by Roger Penrose but his solution is no better than "fairy dust sprinkled in the brain".

As to Aristotle's view on vitality. It's incorrect science. OTOH Aristotle value is in his metaphysics & Philosophy not his primitive science. Plus we have to look at hylemorphism as it's been developed. Like science we have progress in philosophy.

This will be my last word on the subject.

BenYachov said...

I didn't finish my thought since I kept getting distracted.

"Since rebutting simpleminded skeptics whose whole understanding of Belief vs non-Belief is from only reading THE GOD DELUSION and nothing else is tiresome.

William said...

BDK:
--But that seems to admit that there could be an explanation in principle, and puts a lot of stock in the prediction that we will never find it/understand it.
--

Yes, and it means that if we could actually understand it our view of what is 'merely' physical would probably change so much that it would not then be anything resembling current physicalism. I can live with that :).

GREV said...

It would seem that a good contemporary defense of Thomastic dualism is found in Body and Soul by Moreland and Rae.

GREV said...

Or .... how about the following --

GIVING DUALISM ITS DUE
William G. Lycan

Available as a PDF article.

GREV said...

Try this reference page --

http://consc.net/mindpapers/4.2

Looks interesting.

GREV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue Devil Knight said...

So nobody here can give a summary of hylemorphic dualism?

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

sorry, blog issue: try

paper

Blue Devil Knight said...

William yes I mentioned that above it is focused on personal identity rather than consciousness, which is what we were talking about.

William said...

That does define the philosophical viewpoint, but yeah, not addressing the hard problem as such. So it looks as if hylemorphism posits form as the source of personal identity but still fails to explain how it is that the human form/identity produces consciousness. The hard problem remains hard.

awatkins69 said...

Just a note: Aristotle was *not* a vitalist. I think that's a very bad misconception of his view.

To be honest I can't really tell the difference between hylemorphic dualism and property dualism in terms of philosophy of mind.

Oderberg's paper is more of a metaphysics paper rather than a philosophy of mind paper. However, he *does* say a little something about the phenomenology of reasoning. He also says that we can't identify conscious states with brain states, and provides some brief arguments for its immateriality, such as the storage of concepts. He presents that around note [35].

Hylemorphists *do* say that the mind can survive death, in contrast to property dualists.

With all that said, I'm definitely no expert on it, and I do think the hylemorphists need to do a lot more explaining. To me, "form" is notoriously hard to understand. I don't see how the mind can survive death if, as the hylemorphists say, it is not a substance. I don't know how it solves the interaction problem. I don't know what they think of philosophy of mind.

Needless to say, maybe not enough research has been done on it. I checked out Oderberg's book though, and I'll read more about it.

Blue Devil Knight said...

awatkins: Not sure if I'd classify Aristotle as a vitalist, which is why I only said that his arguments from De Anima were used by vitalists to argue for vitalism (for instance, see Nehemiah Grew's 'Cosmologia Sacra' from 1701 and compare it to De Anima and there are clear parallels).

That said, I'm not sure Aristotle wouldn't be counted as a vitalist, in that vitalism can be seen as a rejection of mechanistic or materialistic views of life, and Aristotle definitely falls into that class. My hunch is it would come down to a semantic argument, and because vitalism isn't particularly well defined (except as a rejection of mechanistic views), it doesn't seem much of a stretch to call him a vitalist.

I don't know if this piece is a good summary from Valicella. It's the usual 'body is matter, soul is form of body' bumper sticker, but no analysis of the meaning of the word 'form'. What is the 'form' of the body over and above the body? How are the two different? And what about the brain? Is consciousness the 'form' of the brain, the latter being the 'matter'?

I originally asked for a summary because I have only seen it described the above way, with 'form' being introduced as an undefined term that is meant to be doing a lot of work, but I have no idea what it's really doing, and until it is clarified it isn't clear at all to me how it could solve the problem of consciousness.

Blue Devil Knight said...

And note Valicella's conclusion, for what it's worth:
So merely pointing out that a mind is not disembodied does nothing to solve the interaction problem. And saying that the mind is the form of the body also does nothing to solve the problem. For as I said above, the problem of interaction is a problem of efficient causation, not one of formal causation as alone would be be appropriate if the mind were the form of the body.

Whatever merits hylomorphism may have, it seem quite irrelevant to the interaction problem.

GREV said...

So:

We have the problem of explanation. Is the current state of understanding adequate? So it seems then we continue to see through a glass darkly. We see through a glass darkly in many aspects of our lives. Some things we know and some things we may never know.

So, we have the choice between carrying on with this seeming hangover from the Enlightenment that the power of human reason can be employed to understand all things or we accept that we may not understand all things. Seek to understand but accept that we may not understand. Hence I love to explore these questions, but with the clear understanding that there are limits to understanding.

“The existence of a limit to science is, however, made clear by its inability to answer childlike elementary questions having to do with first and last things – questions such as “How did everything begin?”; “What are we all here for?”; “What is the point of living?”
-- Sir Peter Medawar – Nobel Prize winner , OM CBE FRS
(28 February 1915 – 2 October 1987) was a British zoologist.

GREV said...

For those who wish to believe that the Greek and Roman philosophical schools had it all and Christianity contributes nothing but repression I would suggest a careful read of The Victory of Reason by Rodney Stark.

Blue Devil Knight said...

But it isn't like the Christian regime was just in happy persuite of truth wherever it lead. Tell that to Galileo or the martyrs like Giordano Bruno.

awatkins69 said...

Definitely don't consider Bruno a martyr for science or anything. That's a common myth. Maybe a martyr for astrology and hermeticism though.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/copernicus/#2.6

Galileo's another story.

GREV said...

Galileo -- is the story of a clash of personalities and pride.

The secularists wee enraged at his criticisms of the Aristotlelian worldview that stymied legimate scientific research.

Do I exxcuse the church? Of course not but please note that much of Galileo's house arrest was passed in rather luxurious circumstances. See Reconstructing Nature by Brooke and Cantor, 1998.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Whatever: that there was a body to enforce doctrine like that shows that it wasn't an intellectual free market (and even if Bruno wasn't about science, which I didn't claim, that doesn't justify his murder).