digloria at digloria at
Fri Mar 26 09:52:50 PST 1999

A brief digression to gives someone a kick in the pants. he keeps begging for it. enough already, i'll accomodate, against my better judgment. i do so because Bruno S deserves to have an identity of his own and so do I, especially since I have such a bad reputation on this list already!!

NO DOYLE I'M NOT FUCKING MASQUERADING AS BRUNO S.! And freaks Doyle, ferpete'sake, think about it for a minute. did that sig quote not say "Jesus was a Freak, King Kong was a Freak, Just Gimme a Freak" ? Yes, that's what it said. That you think this is bad, is beyond me. The line is from a song written by a friend of mine, he just sent me a demo and i typed in sig quotes for the fun of it. He also said something about Maplethorpe and Romeo and Juliet being freaks. I think my friend is a romantic goofy dork sometimes: he thinks love can change society and that's what the song was about. but i wanted to 'honor' him in my own small way. Anyway, the song is about people or figures in history represent LOVE but are considered freaks nonetheless.

And Doyle, I think you have something to learn about not insisting on translating the other into your all-too-familiar vocabulary.

The rest deleted. I'm not bothering to argue anymore. get it?


Paul writes to Mom:

>No, it wouldn't. I was just teasing. But... that's how an awful lot
>that flies under that flag actually operates. And it's how you just
>operated in the passage above.

sure, but hey it was fun. and a jab at Bruno S.

>Well, Kelly, here I really *WAS* responding to you as a text. What you
>wrote is VERY far afield from how James would respond. Perhaps our
>difference is this: I'm responding from a philosophy-of-science
>perspective, and you're responding from a
>trench-warfare-in-the-social-sciences persepctive.

so paul, james fully defines pragmatism? dewey, royce, buchler, rorty, peiece, quine, mead, putnam. oh minor point, but i think that there are some subtle differences that could be explored--though i'm certainly not prepared or even willing to do so here. for now.

>It's a sad fact that positivist philosophy is quite influential as an
>ideology, and leads to people claiming they are doing "positivist
>science". This is a form of mystification. What they are doing is
>science, period, to the extent that it works. A major use of the
>"positivist" label historically has been to discredit those who aren't
>doing what's labelled "positivist". This often involves a fetishization
>of "hard" results, as if being able to measure something was more
>important than how important it is. A pragmatist approach always asks
>"for what purpose?" kinds of questions.

well i don't disagree with you entirely--at least about the normative thrust of your argument. but, it's not true that positivism is only used by those who oppose it. firstly, it was happily and excitedly defined by Comte in a fit of Enlightenment enthusiasm in the 1830s. yes, it is a term that is used in confused and contradictory ways. secondly, i don't think it wise to just say 'science' period. science means something, it bequeaths privileges to those who say they do it, and it is often used by some to suggest that they aren't doing science but are, instead, doing journalism, cultural critique, philosophy, fiction, autobiography, literary or film criticism, or politics. in other words, there are claims made here about the character of knowledge, truth, objectivity, politics, evidence, and the role of science and scientists.

yes, maybe pragmatism a la james has the answers. but it seems silly to simply assert "this is what science is" without recognizing what actually goes on. look, it's not much different when folks criticize you for wanting to analyze the popular media. they object by saying, this is the way it should be. you respond by saying, but this is what we have to work with here and now.

>Yes, hard data is nice.

ummm well i hope you're using this on purpose to provoke me. but i'll pretend it's an accident, a slip and ask: what the hell's going on with the use of 'hard' data? as opposed to what Paul, soft data? why is one hard and the other soft? what makes it so? what does it mean to say that data is hard? what gets consigned to being soft? and why?

> I'd just LOVE to have the kind of detailed LIS
>statistics we have today for the 19th Century to cram down the throats
>of all the Arianna Huffington "Effective Compassion" types. By the same
>logic, it would seem that a time-series like that going back to the
>1300s would be utterly super.

who cares? do you think Huffington is going to be persuaded? see, now you're suggesting a very positivist claim: that the evidence, just the facts ma'am, is enough to adjudicate ethicial-political differences. nonsense. in another post i'll expand on what i mean by positivism and how it is conventionally used.

>Language is a system of communication. SOME of what is communicated is
>representational. Some is not. Language does not arise out of
>reflecting the world, it arises out of multiple purposes.

multiple purposes? are you being mysterious or vague? both?

>Furthermore, "representation" is a misleading way to speak of even these
>functions, since it is generally abstracted out of what is actually
>something quite different--purposive action in which representational
>bits can be found.

Paul, you're going to have to explain this one more concretely.

>This is a problem in applied math. It's very important re how we learn
>to use math in the world. But it doesn't respond to my point. 1 + 1 =
>2, even if 1 cloud plus 1 cloud equals 1 (bigger) cloud or no cloud at
>all (the bigger cloud rains itself away).

chaos and complexity theory. ooooh now my head hurts cause i dated someone who was an economist and into that. he once tried to show me the complicated mathematical formulae used to explain something about migrating geese and counting the geese and their father and sheesh even something about land use impact. heh heh. i needed some tylenol, and not tylenol p.m either as i had no problem falling asleep. <snort> NOT one of my favorite mistakes, Paul, not at all.

>And spoil all the fun?





>There's nothing in all this AS SCIENTIFIC PRACTICE that supports a
>positivist account of science rather than a pragmatist one.

Paul, are you talking the context of discovery or context of justification? both?

>"actual science is more faithfully described by the multiplicity of
>styles and approaches that constitute its practice than by its dominant
>rhetoric or ideology"
> -- Evelyn Fox Keller, _Reflections on Gender and Science_, p 125.
>The case for how to conduct research should be made primarily in terms
>of what you want to learn about. Pragmatism supports a bottom-up

but, but paul, i thought we determined that there are too many bottoms. well, least Yoshie did anyway.

more anon, kelley

"And all you can do is more heavy revolvers."

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