I am a white cis woman in my thirties. I blog about art, mathematics, politics, and whatever else I feel like. You can search for art, drawings, math, comments, tarot, yams, or neolalia.
I will be off of tumblr probably until around March 24th. Until then, I am wishing all my friends and followers well. <3
Processes of idea development cannot be abstracted from their concrete circumstances: the method of discovery is specific to what is discovered, and whatever worked in that situation will fail in others. Chaos, rule-breaking, and error making are necessary for learning. Also, ideas are developed through action. It’s wrong to picture understanding as preceding an action based on it: first, we understand something poorly and badly; we begin to act on it; in acting, we clarify our understanding; thus action and understanding reinforce one another in a feedback cycle.
Such is my probably rather callow paraphrase of some of the first couple of pages of Against Method by Paul Feyerabend.
Those are the parts that I think I at least kind of understand; other parts I wish I understood better. For example: ‘a well-trained rationalist…will conform to the standards of argumentation he has learned, he will adhere to these standards no matter how great the confusion in which he finds himself, and he will be quite incapable of realizing that what he regards as the ‘voice of reason’ is but a causal aftereffect of the training he had received. He will be quite unable to discover that the appeal to reason to which he succumbs so readily is nothing but a political maneuver.’
What does he mean by ‘causal aftereffect’? Is that just a fancy way of saying ‘an effect’? If not, what does he mean? If it is, what are some examples of people overestimating the scope of logical argumentation in this way? Of course I know lots of examples of people misusing logic - by starting with bad premises, by committing all sorts of fallacies - but I think he’s saying that logic will fail us even when it’s used as intended. That’s what I want to understand better.
(Note that I am doing the same thing he suggests in a way: blundering forward and airing my thoughts even though they are still in confusion. )
*deigns to get dressed at 5pm*