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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Aug > Aug 23

Re: The van Gogh Fallacy

From: Richard Hall <hallrichard99.nul>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 16:57:38 +0000
Archived: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 11:29:23 -0400
Subject: Re: The van Gogh Fallacy

>From: Jeff Olson <jlolson.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 10:28:41 -0600
>Subject: Re: The van Gogh Fallacy

>>From: Cathy Reason <CathyM.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 23:14:58 +0100
>>Subject: Re: The van Gogh Fallacy

>>>From: Gerald O'Connell <gac.nul>
>>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>>Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 02:42:37 +0100
>>>Subject: Re: The van Gogh Fallacy

>>>>From: Cathy Reason <CathyM.nul>
>>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>>Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2007 01:36:04 +0100
>>>>Subject: Re: The van Gogh Fallacy

>>>>No, it has everything to do with using words to mean what they
>>>>in fact mean.

>>>A worthy aim, so why don't you stick to it? I was originally
>>>using the term 'empirical', not 'empiricism'

>>As a matter of fact, the term you used was "empirical
>>rationalism". Since rationalism asserts the primacy of
>>intellect >over experience, that term is meaningless.

>Here's a quote from philosophy professor Peter Markie on the
>alleged irreconcilability of empiricism and rationalism:

>"Rationalism and empiricism, so relativized, need not conflict.
>We can be rationalists in mathematics or a particular area of
>mathematics and empiricists in all or some of the physical
>sciences. Rationalism and empiricism only conflict when
>formulated to cover the same subject. Then the debate,
>Rationalism vs. Empiricism, is joined. The fact that
>philosophers can be both rationalists and empiricists..."

>I've found the tenor of these remarks largely echoed by other
>degreed philosophers on this subject. I would think that someone
>who knows what they're talking about would know that.


I have a B.A. degree in Philosophy from Tulane University, 1958,
so I guess that makes me a "degreed philosopher." And I agree.
The only sense in which rationalism and empricism come in
conflict is when they each are taken as the one true approach to
discovery of knowledge (epistemology).

Like Cathy, I think emprical data should always be primary in
scientific work, but as I believe a philosopher once said
(paraphrased from memory), `One can stare stupidly at phenomena
but they will not order themselves in any meaningful way without
applying reason (rationality) to them.'  But then Cathy
seemingly contradicted herself by saying that science begins
with hypotheses.

What are hypotheses about if not empirical data? Perhaps she
meant that to be a given, and that the process of studying the
data begins with hypotheses. That would be correct, and I
suspect Gerald would agree with that too.

 - Dick

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