Friday, March 25, 2016
Modern science is not empirical. It is skeptical-empirical. And our formulation of science--real science, science that works--is rooted in Judaeo-Christian scruples and an attention to nature that is, at root, engendered by discussions of "Natural Theology"--anticipated by Augustine, Abelard and Maimonides, and which took off in the wake of Aquinas and Occam... Locke, who we credit with formulating our understanding, was as interested in what we don't know as what we do know. Hence Hobbes vs. Locke, where Hobbes the empiricist believes the universe is a big machine, while Locke is happy to peaceably and correctly answer that this hypothesis just isn't supported by the evidence. In the wake of Hobbes, "determinists" seek to combine a neurotic need to explain everything with tyrannical systems of government and barbaric conceptions of the nature of authority. Unfortunately, the efficacious implications of the Lockean view are lost on many. Very curious.