Analytic Idealism and theory choice

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JustinG
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Analytic Idealism and theory choice

Post by JustinG »

Thomas Kuhn's ( https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/thomas-kuhn/) famous work on scientific paradigms and theory choice contends that the factors which determine theory choice are "not fixed and neutral but vary and are dependent in particular on the disciplinary matrix within which the scientist is working".

Kuhn lists criteria of accuracy, consistency, scope, simplicity and fruitfulness as the shared basis for theory choice in science. However, there is no objective way in which the balancing of these factors can be determined and theory choice will depend on the social, institutional and disciplinary environment in which the scientist works.

I think the same reasoning about theory choice could be applied to the choice of philosophical theories, though with additional criteria such as asethetic appeal and harmony.

In this respect, the analytic philsophy tradition, in which BK's analytic idealism sits, has been criticised for being overly subservient to the natural sciences, defending scientism and contributing to the fragmentation of culture and intellectual inquiry (see this book https://www.amazon.com.au/Philosophical ... 1138685763 for example). These scientistic features of analytic philosophy could be viewed as being connected to a institutional envionment dominated by physicalism.

So, paradoxically, whilst BK's analytic idealism may be the best metaphysics for a form of philosophy which is underpinned by a physicalist institutional milieu, this may not be the case if idealism ever became the dominant framework underpinning academia. If idealism was dominant then things like harmony and aesthetic appeal migh be weighted more heavily in theory choice then things like parsimony (which BK's arguments heavily rely on).

Thus, perhaps analytic idealism can be characterised as useful step towards its own negation and replacement by something better.
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AshvinP
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Re: Analytic Idealism and theory choice

Post by AshvinP »

JustinG wrote:So, paradoxically, whilst BK's analytic idealism may be the best metaphysics for a form of philosophy which is underpinned by a physicalist institutional milieu, this may not be the case if idealism ever became the dominant framework underpinning academia. If idealism was dominant then things like harmony and aesthetic appeal migh be weighted more heavily in theory choice then things like parsimony (which BK's arguments heavily rely on).

Thus, perhaps analytic idealism can be characterised as useful step towards its own negation and replacement by something better.
Possibly. We are certainly in the midst of the mother of all paradigm shifts. What would something with more "aesthetic appeal" look like?
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
JustinG
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Re: Analytic Idealism and theory choice

Post by JustinG »

Who knows?? Maybe like the preSocratics or Plato's Timaeus.
SanteriSatama
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Re: Analytic Idealism and theory choice

Post by SanteriSatama »

JustinG wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:57 am
Thus, perhaps analytic idealism can be characterised as useful step towards its own negation and replacement by something better.
Good observation. Analytic idealism is consciously and polemically targeting materialism and analytical philosophy. Continental philosophy, which starts from German idealism, has continued in mainly idealist frame but attention has shifted from pure metaphysics to other stuff.
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AshvinP
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Re: Analytic Idealism and theory choice

Post by AshvinP »

JustinG wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:59 am Who knows?? Maybe like the preSocratics or Plato's Timaeus.
Well, I certainly think a 'perennial' philosophy is where we are heading, a space where all of those great thinkers over centuries will be revealed as necessary to its overall structure.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
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