Re: realist-rationalist quad

From: wilkins (wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU)
Date: Tue Feb 13 2001 - 23:55:56 GMT

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    From: wilkins <wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU>
    Organization: The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
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    Subject: Re: realist-rationalist quad
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    Mark Mills wrote:
    > At 09:25 AM 2/14/01 +1000, you wrote:
    > >"I don't believe in ism's, I just believe in me." - Ferris Beuller, quoting
    > >some dead rock star.
    > >
    > >Top left?
    > I am assuming you mean: anti-realist, anti-rationalist. Right?
    > I hadn't put things in any visual order, so I built a webpage chart:
    > (some new labels)
    > upper left: Realist & anti-rational (pure realist)
    > lower left: Anti-realist & anti-rationalist (anarchist, nihilist)
    > upper right: Realist & rationalist (pragmatist, enlightened?)
    > lower right: Anti-realist & rationalist (pure rationalist)
    > I keep wondering if it is possible to be both rationalist and realist.
    Bear in mind that these are polar, not discrete, options. This describes
    a field of positions that may be occupied in degrees rather than kind.
    Moreover, there may not be equilibrium states (see David Lewis'
    _Conventions_ for a description of these) but rather some sort of
    chaotic attractors so that the most stable position is something like
    pragmatist realism but not entirely. How you could determine this I am
    not sure. Perhaps it could be modelled and then tested against observations.

    John Wilkins, Head, Graphic Production, The Walter and Eliza Hall 
    Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia
    Homo homini aut deus aut lupus - Erasmus of Rotterdam
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