Believing that something must be true about the world because you can’t imagine otherwise is, five hundred years into the Age of Science, not a recommended strategy for acquiring reliable knowledge. It goes back to the classic conflict of rationalism vs. empiricism. “Rationalism” sounds good — who doesn’t want to be rational? But the idea behind it is that we can reach true conclusions about the world by reason alone. We don’t ever have to leave the comfort of our living room; we can just sit around, sharing some single-malt Scotch and fine cigars, thinking really hard about the universe, and thereby achieve some real understanding. Empiricism, on the other hand, says that we should try to imagine all possible ways the world should be, and then actually go out and look at it to decide which way it really is. Rationalism is traditionally associated with Descartes, Leibniz, and Spinoza, while empiricism is associated with Locke, Berkeley, and Hume — but of course these categories never quite fit perfectly well.SEE:What Can We Know About The World Without Looking At It?
I had been able to isolate Lee’s Smolin’s method of approach as to whether something can exist within, or, exists outside of time. Thoughts about Meno come to mind and Plato’s Problem and Meno: How Accurately Portrayed?
The idea that truth is timeless and resides outside the universe was the essence of Plato’s philosophy, exemplified in the parable of the slave boy that was meant to argue that discovery is merely remembering. Lee Smolin
Of course this article of yours Sean has lead to interesting thoughts. His talk with Memories Arise Out of a Equilibrium David Albert…..how does one logically proceed with inquiry. Why is the past so different, in so many ways, from the future? (12:20)
This raises all sorts of questions, the most basic of which are: “What counts as `looking’ vs. `not looking’?” and “Do we really need a separate law of physics to describe the evolution of systems that are being looked at?”
When you are told that carrots have human rights because they share half our genes — but not how gene percentages confer rights — wizard. When someone announces that the nature-nurture debate has been settled because there is evidence that a given percentage of our political opinions are genetically inherited, but they don’t explain how genes cause opinions, they’ve settled nothing. They are saying that our opinions are caused by wizards, and presumably so are their own. That the truth consists of hard to vary assertions about reality is the most important fact about the physical world David Deutsch: A new way to explain explanation
Of course thanks to Lubos for link on Rationalism vs empiricism You can find his thoughts there and more information around his heading below.
The dispute between rationalism and empiricism concerns the extent to which we are dependent upon sense experience in our effort to gain knowledge. Rationalists claim that there are significant ways in which our concepts and knowledge are gained independently of sense experience. Empiricists claim that sense experience is the ultimate source of all our concepts and knowledge.
Rationalists generally develop their view in two ways. First, they argue that there are cases where the content of our concepts or knowledge outstrips the information that sense experience can provide. Second, they constuct accounts of how reason in some form or other provides that additional information about the world. Empiricists present complementary lines of thought. First, they develop accounts of how experience provides the information that rationalists cite, insofar as we have it in the first place. (Empiricists will at times opt for skepticism as an alternative to rationalism: if experience cannot provide the concepts or knowledge the rationalists cite, then we don’t have them.) Second, empiricists attack the rationalists’ accounts of how reason is a source of concepts or knowledge.See: Rationalism vs. Empiricism
|The Pyramid(as an expression of Liberal Arts Encapsulated) is a combination of the Trivium , and the Quadrivium|