|The Ghost of Paley
Joined: Oct. 2005
|You can look at a picture and like it, and I can see the same picture and not like it. We can give reasons and evidence which supports our individual decisions, but what knowlege is being acquired? Is any knowledge being gained about the painting? Or is the major part of the knowledge we are acquiring (probably all if I'm honest about it) about your and my socialisation, preferences, and appreciation of art? Again we return to the simple point I made ages ago, simply because we are only referring to something at the emotional level of reasoning this doesn't negate the more "clinical" levels.|
I know you wrote a lot of stuff I haven't addressed, but I'd like to talk about this contention. You seem to be reasoning in a circle, because you say that all useful knowledge is acquired by a reasoning process, and then proceed to define useful knowledge as that which is uncovered by reasoning! But I contend that discussing our aesthetic tastes and applying them to a work of art does lead to useful information outside of the clinical information gleaned about our subjective states. We have gained a deeper appreciation of the work itself, an appreciation that is shaped by our subjective experiences as much as by the painting's background data. You can't just take the emotive responses and hand-wave it away as mere trivia, because this trivia influences our relationship to the artwork just as much (more?) as the objective stuff. In fact, this emotional reasoning is the core experience of studying art!
This applies to empirical phenomena as well. Mathematical modeling + observation is a wonderful way to investigate the universe, but it is predicated on the limitations of our senses, intellect, and computational ability. We can do a lot with what we have, and what we have just might be enough, but there is a good reason to assume that we're just simplifying (and thereby distorting) certain aspects of reality that our brains can't comprehend and that our senses can't investigate. I realise you admitted that this is a real problem, but recognising and incorporating a problem into a worldview are two different things. You clearly believe that reason is enough, or that it will be someday. I'm sorry, but your assurances are not enough to overturn my skepticism about the limits of human inquiry. Heck, most scientists admit up front that science cannot handle questions about God's existence. The response seems to be, "well, it must be an unimportant question then, or a fantasy." This reasoning is circular. Science is like the drunk who searches for his keys under the lamppost because the light is better there.
Dey can't 'andle my riddim.