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8 juni 2010

Chomsky om språk och medvetande... och vetenskapsfilosofi

The Galilean intuition vs. the Jacobean intuition

Nature is perfect and it is the task of the scientist to discover in just what sense this is true. Newton’s confidence that Nature must be very simple reflects the same intuition.

However obscure it may be, that intuition about what Ernst Heckel called Natures drive for the beautiful has been a guiding theme of modern science since the Galilean revolution - perhaps even its defining characteristic.

Biologists, however, have tended to think rather differently about the objects of their inquiry. Very commonly they adopt Francois Jacobe’s image of Nature as a tinkerer [the bricoleur!] which does the best it can with the materials at hand - often a pretty rotten job, as human intelligence seems to be keen on demonstrating about itself.

We just don’t know which of these two conflicting intuitions is more accurate.

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