Tuesday, August 16, 2016

the idea of a consolidated erotetic completeness shipwrecks on the infeasibility of finding a meaningful way to monitor its attainment


The nuanced nugget above is from Rescher's "The Unrealizability of Perfected Science."*

The idea is not new. Rescher is after the so called completeness of science. Say Physics, could it —at some point in the future— become upper bounded, or as some put it Q-complete

I've dealt very with this problem here, and here.

Rescher presents four points: 1- Erotetic completeness, 2- Predictive completeness, 3- Pragmatic completeness, 4- Temporal finality.

In my opinion, Rescher better points are 1, and 4.

You may think what's the value of all this. See it as probing questions that pertain to problems as diverse as scientific realism, instrumentalism, the systematicity of nature, the cognitive limits, etc. 

But what I'm after here is style, the Rescherian unique manner of clothing ideas, which needs a whole post about stylistics in writing philosophy, but I don't have the time now.

When I read Rescher, I read a whole epoch: Strawson, Quine, Putnam, even a bit of Goodman. And yet his language has a unique old school elegance. There's always a secret interlocutor behind Rescher's thoughts, an echo of heedfulness.

Again:

the idea of a consolidated erotetic completeness shipwrecks on the infeasibility of finding a meaningful way to monitor its attainment 

Imagine this bloated erotetic cerebration crashing against its own nullness.

Pure poetry!

(I'm onto Rescher)

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*Reason Method and Value, A Reader on the Philosophy of Nicholas Rescher (Ontos Verlag, 2009) p. 335.

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