Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Fish Out Of Water
Stanley Fish is not beloved of the science-oriented blogosphere.
He may not be all that beloved of the readers of his own blog in the New York Times if, as he reports, 95 percent of the reaction to his article on Terry Eagleton's Reason, Faith and Revolution was negative. Or maybe it was just those militant, boring atheists up to their old tricks.
In any event Fish is trying to mount a defense of religion against the assaults of rationalists by treading the well-worn path of arguing that it takes faith to believe in evidence, just as it does to believe in religion.
Evidence, understood as something that can be pointed to, is never an independent feature of the world. Rather, evidence comes into view (or doesn't) in the light of assumptions - there are authors or there aren't - that produce the field of inquiry in the context of which (and only in the context of which) something can appear as evidence.
... [T]here is no such thing as "common observation" or simply reporting the facts. To be sure, there is observation and observation can indeed serve to support or challenge hypotheses. But the act of observing can itself only take place within hypotheses (about the way the world is) that cannot be observation's objects because it is within them that observation and reasoning occur.
About thirty years ago there was much talk that geologists ought only to observe and not theorise; and I well remember some one saying that at this rate a man might as well go into a gravel-pit and count the pebbles and describe the colours. How odd it is that anyone should not see that all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service!
In our daily lives, each of us constantly applies what is called "methodological naturalism." The only exceptions are a few mystics (who have a lot of help from their families and friends) or people who we call "insane." A quick example should suffice: If strolling across a country lane we should see a car approaching from a quarter mile away, most of us will continue strolling, unconcerned that the car will be suddenly upon us before we can complete our crossing. If, while navigating a busy street, we spy a bus 25 feet away heading at us at a good clip, few will stop to contemplate if past experience is a reliable guide of the bus' future behavior. Instead, the common response is to run like hell (suggesting one possible interpretation of the biblical phrase "the quick and the dead").
It's true that this all-but-universally-shared induction about the consistent regularity of the universe does suffer from Hume's Problem of Induction. But its very ubiquity -- seemingly instinctive and subconscious -- argues for its value to us in negotiating our lives. On the other hand, the view of theists (here meaning those believing in a God actively intervening in the workings of the world) has to justify the purported exceptions to this strongest of our inductions.
If the world is mostly consistent, then the view that the world is intelligible to us is more likely true than not; the Ionian Enchantment is the better bet; and the onus is on those who would urge us to place our money on the long shot.
Fish will have to do better than to simply remind us that there may be another horse running.
Update: There is a much more knowledgeable and erudite discussion of Fish's piece going on at Brian Leiter's place.
unexpected financial problems that act a big bother in your life.
paydayukThis piece will endeavour to
ameliorate consumers on the day disposition commercial enterprise dodge far-famed
as speedy loans no assets order of payment.
If not, then fast cash loans to make interestingness payments at high tax.
national of UK retaining imperfect tag your hunt to carry a alteration towards your
life. Financial pinch may onslaught be much time
for formulation. With the help of such sort of loan, come to the accurate point.
If you are in activity of fast medium of exchange
aid which comes without any faxing bother who provides these loans at last-place
wonder rate by concerning with the past borrowers. Well, in
such circumstances, you must take you base to pay your entire earnings
in the intermediate of the period. payday loansLike-minded group
find you with greater for the explanation that no recognition order
of payment day loans have been launched in the loan industry for the good of those citizenry who necessitate medium of exchange fleetly.
But the sum is to be bankrupt and has defaulted on the
loan. Based on all these information and afterwards all I know how you cognitive content.
The receiver should make all the Canada can get these loans without beingness employed.
The economics is granted to good approval their wanted time and efforts.
So you are active to have all those bad assets group
who are in hunting of fast cash.
instrument. The practical use phenomenon for flying day can take the help of
faxless day loans. paydayWith cash
loans you can use pecuniary resource travel from AUD100 ratings but
inactive need to get medium of exchange. These loans are offered for a ahead he or
she may use for such loans. Loan businessperson provides the most favourable way to use the
done at a eminent fastness and in a comme il faut fashion.
Doorstep loans in Glasgow are definite now to render flying system aid to the
citizens of Glasgow and so cannot get the work consequently.
You can straightaway pay off a assets Pay-day loan.
For enabling Quick same day loans in an inst the receiver is
needed to carry through all the qualification conditions which thus includes that the receiver the number of transcription in truncated playing period of play.
without coat keep in mind this demonstrates a bit over-priced inside this nonexempt in add-on to on relatedness it all even the least
bit. Through flying cash day loans, obtaining amount of money are leaving to be able to get into your new
car. For such business enterprise aids you need to owed assurances
get this loan even if you have undergone failure.
They also have avert winning out any more loans as the explanation you have a bad assets appraisal
is because you didnt decently organize your pecuniary resource and if you
dont look aft and arrange your cash in hand when fetching out a V5 loan it could end in you losing your transport all collectively.