Re: memetics-digest V1 #1011

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Mon Apr 08 2002 - 23:21:47 BST

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #1011
    Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 18:21:47 -0400
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    >From: Wade Smith <>
    >Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #1011
    >Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2002 14:56:16 -0400
    >On Monday, April 8, 2002, at 02:22 , Scott Chase wrote:
    >>How can someone make "pure" unfiltered observations when we are
    >>beset and preset by biases from the sense organs upward to our
    >>conceptual categories?
    >Of course, we cannot make omni-spectral observations, but we can
    >make 'unmemetic' observations, and do.
    That would be at the conceptual level and memes aside I would still hold
    that some sort of conceptualization precedes observation. To observe one
    needs an idea of what to focus upon. Prior learning could even *enhance*
    one's ability to make critical observations. This is again at the level of
    thought processes, but I was also focusing on the level of sensation where
    genetic influences help shape our receptors and what they are tuned into.
    There's a set of expectations or presuppositions involved in sensation of
    what the world is like. These "theories" if you will have been tested over
    many generations, sort of a conjecture/refutation process *sensu* Karl
    Popper, but he explains things much better. On page 72 of _Objective
    Knowledge_* he says (emphasized strongly in italics BTW): "...there is no
    sense organ in which anticipatory theories are not genetically

    You may have gotten confused by my shift of focus from the level of
    *thought* to the level of *sensation*. I was trying to assert that
    theory-ladeness of observation applies at both levels, which *if* true
    pretty much obliterates an overly empiricist approach, though not quite
    embracing the antipodes of hyperationalism, idealism or solipsism.
    >I fail to see your point here, or see that we are in any state
    >of disagreement.
    Maybe not but thought-free observation could be a minor sticking point.
    There could be "unconscious" material floating around in your noggin that
    may influence observation too. How perfect or unfiltered would observation
    be then?

    *-my previous quote of Popper in a recent post was from page 259 not page
    59; keyboard's not co-operating today ;-)

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