Leave these fields empty (spam trap):
Name
You can leave this blank to post anonymously, or you can create a Tripcode by using the format Name#Password
Comment
[i]Italic Text[/i]
[b]Bold Text[/b]
[spoiler]Spoiler Text[/spoiler]
>Highlight/Quote Text
[pre]Preformatted & Monospace Text[/pre]
[super]Superset Text[/super]
[sub]Subset Text[/sub]
1. Numbered lists become ordered lists
* Bulleted lists become unordered lists
File

Sandwich


Discord #Drugs Channel Now Open

Has Rationalism Failed? Do we need to rediscover the idea of Truth?

Reply
- Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:34:22 EST Nwy2IF3I No.209138
File: 1524303262008.jpg -(20998B / 20.51KB, 494x604) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Has Rationalism Failed? Do we need to rediscover the idea of Truth?
I want to talk about the concept of knowledge and truth and how we approach its understanding. I am not convinced that logic and reason can serve as the only tools for understanding truth. Here is an example using atoms I have provided to make my point more clear.
>500 BCE Leucippis develops a theory on atomism. It is the idea that everything is composed of indivisible elements called atoms.
>Early 1800s Dalton develops his own atomic theory, where he specifically says “Atoms cannot be subdivided, created or destroyed”
>1879 – 1918 Many scientists such as William Crookes discover “subatomic particles” such as protons and electrons, which are smaller than atoms.
>1964 Gell-Mann and Zweig both develop the Quark model showing that hadrons (such as protons) are made of quarks, which are smaller than subatomic particles.
We run into a bit of a problem here. Either we conclude that Leucippis and Dalton are wrong because things are made of smaller things than atoms and atoms can be subdivided. Or we can conclude that Gell-mann and Zweig actually discovered atoms, to be consistent with Dalton’s definition, and we need to rename what atoms used to be called, since Daltons atom was something that could be subdivided. But maybe we might discover something smaller than quarks and where does this end? Then we need to either rename what an atom is yet again or call it the sub-sub-sub-atomic particle.
All of this means that truth is constantly unfolding and reshaping itself. Even now, if we define anything we might end up realizing it wasn’t what it seemed to be at the time and there is a whole new deeper area on the topic to explore. Maybe rationalism has failed to grasp the nature of truth reshaping itself, so all arguments rationalism creates become undone every time a new phenomenon is discovered.
>>
Alice Greenshaw - Sat, 21 Apr 2018 11:39:01 EST DVMFurmR No.209139 Reply
While I agree with the general sentiment that there is more to truth than rationality alone, I think the particular problem you bring up (that the meaning of scientific terms gets constantly redefined) isn't a serious blow against rationality. It's just an admission of the fallibility of human language.

'Atom' is from the Greek 'A' meaning non or anti, and 'Temos' meaning cut. 'Atom' just means 'uncuttable.' So does that mean the things we call atoms aren't really atoms since they are clearly cuttable? No, not at all. 'Atom' is merely a symbol for a human concept, and the fact that the same symbol has been used to describe completely different ideas is unremarkable (especially considering Dalton's use of the term was an intentional callback to Leucippus' idea.)

When Leucippus posited the atom, he was right in one sense -- reality is made of indivisible elements. He was just wrong about their exact nature (they are strings, apparently, not what we call 'atoms.')
When Dalton posited his atom, he was right in some slightly more specific sense -- the world is composed of the atomic elements. He was just wrong about the fact that they were properly described as 'atoms' since they were indeed divisible.
And so on. With each generations the meaning of a scientific terms may expand or contract, but this is precisely because it is just a symbol humans use as a short hand to communicate ideas about an underlying reality.

There may be more fundamental limits to our ability to use rationality to understand the world, but I don't think the fact that humans are pretty careless with their use of symbols is one of them.
>>
Phoebe Turveyhall - Sat, 28 Apr 2018 11:08:20 EST SGCbMw+u No.209143 Reply
This is why you always need to accept change and accept that science continually changes and pretty much always will.

Report Post
Reason
Note
Please be descriptive with report notes,
this helps staff resolve issues quicker.