Saturday, 18 October 2008

Scientific method

"We have to remember that what we observe is not nature in itself but nature exposed to our method of questioning."

1 comment:

joaovox said...

here we go

Humberto R. Maturana

Ontology of Observing


ii) Objectivity in parenthesis. The assumption of objectivity is not needed for the generation of a scientific explanation. Therefore, in the process of being a scientist explaining cognition as a biological phenomenon I shall proceed without using the notion of objectivity to validate what I say, that is, I shall put objectivity in parenthesis. In other words, I shall go on using an object language because this is the only language that we have (and can have), but although I shall use the experience of being in language as my starting point while I use language to explain cognition and language, I shall not claim that what I say is valid because there is an independent objective reality that validates it. I shall speak as a biologist, and as such I shall use the criterion of validation of scientific statements to validate what I say, accepting that everything that takes place is brought forth by the observer in his or her praxis of living as a primary experiential condition, and that any explanation is secondary.

iii) The universum versus the multiversa. The assumption of objectivity, objectivity without parenthesis, entails the assumption that existence is indpendent of the observer, that there is an independent domain of existence, the universum, that is the ultimate reference for the validation of any explanation. With objectivity without parenthesis things, entities, exist with independency of the observer that distinguishes them, and it is the independent existence of things (entities, ideas) that specifies the truth. Objectivity without parenthesis entails unity, and, in the long run, reductionism, because it entails reality as a single ultimate domain defined by independent existence. He or she who has access to reality is necessarily right in any dispute, an those who do not have such access are necessarily wrong. In the universum coexistencee demands obedience to knowledge.

Contrary to all this, objectivity with parenthesis entails accepting that existence is brought forth by the distinctions of the observer, that there are as many domains of existence as kinds of distinctions the observer performs: objectivity in parenthesis entails the multiversa, entails that existence is constitutively dependent on the observer, ant that there are as many domains of truths as domains of existence she or he brings forth in her or his distinctions. At the same time, objectivity in parenthesis entails that different domains of existence constitutively do not intersect because they are brought forth by different kinds of operations of distinction,. and, therefore, it constituvely negates phenomenal reductionism. Finally, under objectivity in parenthesis each versum of the multiversa is equally valid if not equally pleasant to be part of, and disagreements between observers, when they arise not from trivial logical mistakes within the same versum but from the observers standing in different versa, will have to be solved not by claiming a privileged access to an independent reality, but through the generation of a common versum through coexistence in mutual acceptance. In the multiversa coexistence demands consensus, that is, common knowledge.