Friday, February 15, 2008
Steven Pinker: A brief history of violence
Steven Pinker is an atheist, evolutionary psychologist, and positivistic materialist. He discounts the felt presence of immediate experience as a mere by product of neural activity and has no spiritual beliefs. His religion is reductivism and reason. Much of what he says is "true"..or true enough. Most belief systems have kernels of truth that are local to the language tunnel that they have burrowed themselves into. The same general criticism could be leveled against Richard Alpert, who has made his religion the collectivist cause.
In calcifying their beliefs as ideologies, these thinkers are all guilty of attempting to corral reality within a limited province of their own intellectual domains. One in which they are in control, one in which understanding and mastery are professed. Answers are offered. Experience is fenced in.
The "truth" is that truth is both non-local and non-universal. Reality is limitless..beyond reason, beyond reduction. Experience is relativistic, and the world is stranger than we CAN suppose. Science is a tool that is too often mistaken for a meta-theory. In kind, good intentions cannot overcome the localized truths of human neural hardware.
Seekers after understanding should remain seekers and not salesmen. But I guess to sell books and sit on department chairs or give talks you need some ego...even if your rap is about ego dissolution.
Posted by Jacques de Beaufort at 1:53 AM