Monday, August 08, 2011

Temporary but Unrepentant Umbilical to Furthur Thought-Insanity, Part IV

The Enlightenment thinkers, (and from now on I will not refer generally to “the Enlightenment thinkers” but will continue the blog’s convention of referring to this diversity of thought in the figure of “Kant” regardless of what mutilation this introduces into the history of the Enlightenment and the history of the philosophy of this period, or even into Kant's philosophy), succeed in placing the “thought which requires no further thought”, in other words religious dogma, under further thought. This results in much further successes—it releases bundles of energy into the world, which is used productively in more ways than I can name (and I suspect in more ways than I even know about.) Primarily, though, I am interested in considering the energy and impetus this release of energy gives to science.

It creates science—it makes science successful. Science can do things. It can make discoveries—real discoveries. It produces knowledge and techniques, technologies. Every knowledge, technique, and technology produced has the wonderful effect of producing an enormous number of other knowledges, techniques, and technologies, and on and on, each wave actualizing an even bigger wave, without completion or “totalization”, at least in science. There’s never a final product in science. Each tool of science makes new tools, and if it doesn’t, maybe it isn’t science. Maybe science can be distinguished from non-science in this way. The scientific doesn’t end, while the non-science, is nothing but a dead end. (The dead end can easily be made to wear a camouflage of science…People with advanced degrees wearing white coats and frowns walking through immaculate corridors in modern buildings, surrounded by computers and other technology, punching out numbers and papers, etc. This is not a defect of science per se.)

There’s a success of science. This success of science results from philosophical developments, but the success of science is not necessarily a philosophical success. It might even be the death of philosophy.

The success of science justifies the existence and promotion of science, but not necessarily of philosophy. That is because the success of science is a might, a power. The success of science becomes a “might making right.” If “might makes right”, philosophy was never necessary (and was in fact harmful), from the get-go. So what happened was philosophy put into question “might makes right”, and this questioning led (with many mishaps where philosophy forgot about this questioning and realigned and also went into the service of justifying different orders of “might makes right”,) eventually to science, but then science in its success made a new order of “might makes right”, which was even harder to question than previous orders, partially because of science’s birthing process from within philosophy.


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