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A Minimal Philosophical Agenda' Worldview Construction as a Philosophical Method' Wedesnday 31th Jan

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Title: A Minimal Philosophical Agenda' Worldview Construction as a Philosophical Method' Wedesnday 31th Jan


1
A Minimal Philosophical Agenda. Worldview
Construction as a Philosophical Method.
Wedesnday 31th January 2007Clément
Vidal(ECCO, VUB)clement.vidal_at_philosophons.com
2
Table of content
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The philosophical method
  • 3. The worldview agenda
  • 4. What are the best philosophical worldviews?
  • 5. Worldview confrontation and diffusion
  • 6. Application - Towards an integrative worldview
  • 7. Conclusion

3
1. Introduction
4
1. Introduction
  • Take over of science over philosophy
  • Mind, time, space, cosmos, etc
  • Philosophical trends (Ricoeur 1979)
  • Analytic philosophy
  • Continental philosophy
  • Philosophy as a worldview

5
Collapse of todays philosophy
  • Analytic
  • No general guideline
  • Continental
  • Lack of method
  • Specializations
  •  Philosophy of x 

6
The problems
  • A method is any procedure to attain a certain
    aim. So
  • (1) What is the aim of philosophy?
  • (2) How can we make rational, informed and useful
    speculations?
  • In Poppers words
  • If philosophical theories are all irrefutable,
    how can we ever distinguish between true and
    false philosophical theories? (Popper 1958, p266)

7
2. The philosophical method
8
2. The philosophical method
  • As many different methods as different
    philosophies.
  • Metaphilosophy
  • Broad 1947 (Analysis, Synopsis, Synthesis)
  • Popper 1958 (Philosophy as problem solving)
  • Rescher 2001 (Philosophical agenda)
  • Leo Apostel and the Worldview group
  • (Apostel, Van der Veken 1991)

9
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10
3. The worldview agenda
11
What is a worldview?
  • Worldview/Philosophy of the eski or the mayas
  • Distinction
  • Worldview questions
  • Worldview components
  • A worldview is a collection of concepts that
    must allow us to construct a global image of the
    world, and in this way to understand as many
    elements of our experience as possible.
  • adapted from (Apostel, Van der Veken 1991, 17)

12
The seven questions. (Apostel, Van der Veken
1991)
13
(a) Bacteria (b) Scientific (c) Religious (d)
Society
4. Values Reference signal / goal
Self system
6. Knowledge acquisition perception
5. Action theory action
Worldenvironment
disturbances
2. Explanation Past
1. Model Present
3. Futurology future
Worldview of an individual in a cybernetic
system. Reproduced without the kind permission of
Francis Heylighen (2000).
14
Objections
  • Evolution of the questions?
  • No.
  • very general
  • minimal
  • domains of philosophy.
  • Evolution of the answers?
  • Yes!
  • An important characteristic attributed to
    conscious beings is the ability to form internal
    models of the world they experience the greater
    the consciousness, the more complex the models.
  • (Russell, P. 1996, 83)

15
4. What are the best philosophical worldviews?
16
Necessity to have a worldview
  • Homo quaerens (Rescher 2001, 7)
  • Sociological need.
  • No beliefs gt feelings of insecurity and distrust
    (Echardus, 1998)
  • Psychological need
  • Beliefsgt increase of well-being (Myers, 1993).

17
The class of philosophical worldviews.
  • Philosophical worldviews as rational worldviews
  • Tension speculative/critical attitude
  • Compare
  • How much is 57?
  • Is there a God?

18
Philosophical worldviews.Three criteria
  • Rationality
  • Widest possible synopsis (Broad, Descartes)
  • Open discussion

19
Three analogies
  • How can we construct the best philosophical
    worldviews?
  • Answer all questions in a coherent manner.
  • Three analogies for the worldview questions
  • Axioms
  • A system of equations
  • Problem to solve

20
Axioms
  • Finding models for the worldview axioms.
  • Completude
  • A theory is complete iff it contains P or non-P
    for every sentence P in the language
  • Coherence
  • No proof of both P and non-P.

21
Axioms (2)
  • Completeness Coherence?
  • (1) uncomplete and coherent worldview
  • Scientific worldview
  • (2) Complete and incoherent worldview
  • Religious worldview
  • complete then coherent.
  • Gödel, limit of the analogy.

22
The seven questions. (Apostel, Van der Veken
1991)
23
System of equations
  • Solving philosophical problems is "comparable to
    solving an intricate set of simultaneous
    equations which may have no solution at all or
    only relative solutions in the sense that we have
    often to choose between giving more weight to
    satisfying (more adequately) one equation or
    another."
  • (Wang 1986, 210).

24
Problem-solving
  • every rational theory, no matter whether
    scientific or philosophical, is rational in so
    far as it tries to solve certain problems. A
    theory is comprehensible and reasonable only in
    its relation to a given problem-situation, and it
    can be rationally discussed only by discussing
    this relation. (Popper 1958, 268-269).
  • (1) Understand the problem
  • (2) Conceive a plan
  • (3) Execute the plan
  • (4) Examine the solution
  • (Newell, Simon 1972 Polya 1957)

25
Problem-solving
  • 3. The worldview agenda
  • 4. What are the best philosophical worldviews?
  • 5. Worldview confrontation and diffusion
  • (1) Understand the pb
  • (2) Conceive a plan
  • (3) Execute the plan
  • (4) Examine the solution
  • (Newell, Simon 1972 Polya 1957)

26
5. Worldview confrontation and diffusion
27
Worldview confrontation and diffusion.
  • Uniqueness?
  • be afraid
  • be attracted
  • conclusion
  • Worldview confrontation
  • Agree to disagree
  • Satisfaction
  • Application - science against religion
  • Worldview diffusion

28
One unique worldview or several?
  • Ill argue that we should aim at one.
  • Why be afraid?
  • Totalitarism communist, nazi worldviews
  • Solution -gt critical attitude, open-discussion
  • We would all think the same
  • A worldview is guide, gives recommandations, a
    lot of freedom for actions. (See Heylighen 2000,
    Global Superorganism, sect. 7)
  • The danger is in fragmentation. (Bahm 1979,
    101).

29
One unique worldview or several?
  • Why be attracted by one unique worldview?
  • Worldview components 1,2,3 constrained by
    science.
  • Homogeneous societies have fewer conflicts
    (Durkheim 1893). Common values, goals.
  • Conclusions
  • (1) Find a trade-off
  • Less diversity -gt easier to control
  • More diversity -gt more adaptability (Gershenson
    2007)
  • (2) Two levels
  • The philosopher
  • The historian of philosophy/ideas.

30
Worldview confrontation
  • Agree to disagree (Harnad 1979)
  • Habermas (1981)  communicative action  (?)

31
Comparison (Rescher 2001, 31)
  • One philosophical theory/thesis is better than
    another when, other things being equal
  • (1) It addresses and adequately resolves a
    broader range of important questions
  • (2) It exhibis greater internal and systemic
    coherence
  • (3) It involves fewer anomalies - fewer
    difficulties that need to be met, a fewer seeming
    contradiction that need to be explained away.
  • (4) Its deliberations are less complex and its
    exposition il less complicated it invoves fewer
    distinctions and requires less elaborate
    explanations.
  • (5) Its principles are better substantiated and
    seem less artificial and contrived.
  • (6) It has a better fit to our prephilosophical
    knowledge in everyday life and in natural
    science.
  • (7) Its lessons and implication for the conduct
    of life accord better with those of "common
    sense" experience.
  • (8) It encourages a life-outlook that is
    personally more rewarding and socially more
    beneficial

32
Comparison (Popper 1958, 269)
  •      (1) Does the theory effectively solve the
    problem?
  •      (2) Can it be in contradiction with other
    philosophical theories requiered to solve
    different problems?
  •      (3) Does it solve it better than other
    theories?
  •      (4) Has it just moved the problem?
  •      (5) Is it simple?
  •      (6) Is it fecond?

33
Application science  against  religion
  • Towards more philosophical worldviews
  • (1) A religious worldview more compatible with
    scientific findings.
  • (2) A scientific worldview completed with an
    axiology and a praxiology.

34
Worldview diffusions
  • How to diffuse a worldview? 
  • (1) refute or show the limitations of the old
    worldview.
  • (2) develop social structures to help people with
    their concrete actions (a pragmatic praxiology).
  • (3) Simplify your worldview for diffusion.

35
Peace or war?
  • Kant 1781 stopped metaphysical speculations.
  • Good science develops more clearly
  • Wanted peace in the reason absurd!
  • In philosophy, controversy is the life blood of
    the entreprise.  (Rescher 2001, 208).
  • Let the World-View-War begin!

36
6. Application - Towards an integrative worldview

37
Failure of traditional worldviews
  • Understanding our problem situation
  • religious worldview
  • reductionist worldview
  • holistic worldview
  • humanistic worldview
  • individualist worldview
  • Relativism
  •  my little daily life .
  • Remede  evolutionary modelling capacities 
  • (Stewart 2000)

38
Science first
  • Do not make philosophy a science!
  • Mistakes of Descartes, Spinoza, Hegel, Marx
  • Distinction non-scientific/un-scientific (Broad
    1958)
  • Firmly and explicitly ground philosophy in
    science.
  • Not an option!
  • With at least what is the most established.
  • Evolve with science
  • Ex widest synopsis -gt cosmic scale

39
Ambition and caution
  • Maxim
  • The more ambition in the questions, the more
    caution with the answers.
  • Hypotheses about hypotheses of science
  •  Hippopo-theses 

40
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41
Systematic philosophy
  • Hegel
  • Evolution is at the heart of his system
  • But very naïve and unsufficient principle of
     thesis, antithesis, synthesis .
  • Rescher 2001
  • Systematicity is more efficient in our goals of
    inquiry.

42
A language for sciences
  • Complexity sciences as a bridging sciences
    (cybernetics, system science)
  • Ex general concepts like feedback,
    self-organization, etc applies to physics,
    chemistry, biology, psychology, sociology, etc
  •  No single Man 
  • Key concepts above.
  • More collaborations, use of information
    technologies.

43
7. Conclusion
44
Summary of steps to take
  • 1. Make a synoptic review of what could be useful
    to answer the worldview questions.
  • 2. Create or construct the best concepts to make
    a synthesis out of this synopsis.
  • 3. Propose a synthesis, in the form of a
    systematic philosophy.
  • 4. Confront the resulting worldview to show why
    it is a better worldview than the other existing.
  • 5. Show how it can solve the problems of our
    time.
  • 6. Diffuse your worldview.

45
Conclusion
  • The worldview approach is in harmony with
    traditional philosophical domains
  • Paraphrasing a philosopher of Königsberg,
  • Speculative philosophies without content are
    void
  • critical philosophies without synoptic
    conceptions, blind.

46
Thank you for your attention!
  • Feel free to ask all your questions now or later
  • clement.vidal_at_philosophons.com

47
Bibliography (1)
  • Apostel, L., Van der Veken, J. (1991)
    Wereldbeelden DNB/Pelckmans. Translated with some
    additions in (Aerts et al.1994).
  • Aerts D., Apostel L., De Moor B., Hellemans S.,
    Maex E., Van Belle H., Van der Veken J. (1994)
    World views. From fragmentation to integration.
    VUB Press. http//pcp.vub.ac.be/CLEA/reports/World
    viewsBook.html
  • Bahm, A. (1979) The philosopher's world model,
    Greenwood Press.
  • Broad, C.D. (1947) Some methods of speculative
    philosophy. Aristotelian Society Supplement 21,
    p1- 32. http//www.ditext.com/broad/smsp.html
  • Broad, C.D. (1958) Philosophy, Inquiry I,
    p99-129.http//www.ditext.com/broad/philo.html
  • Durkheim, E. (1893) The Division of Labor in
    Society. The Free Press, New York.Translated by
    George Simpson (1984).
  • Elchardus M. (ed.) (1998) Wantrouwen en
    Onbehagen, (VUB Press, Brussels).
  • Gershenson, C. (2007) Design and Control of
    Self-organizing Systems, PhD Thesis, VUB,
    Brussel.
  • Habermas, J. (1981) The Theory of Communicative
    Action Beacon Press.

48
Bibliography (2)
  • Harnad, Stevan (1979) Creative disagreement. The
    Sciences 19 18 - 20. http//www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/
    harnad/Temp/Kata/creative.disagreement.htm
  • Heylighen, F. (2000) "World View", in F.
    Heylighen, C. Joslyn and V. Turchin (editors)
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  • Heylighen F. (2007) "The Global Superorganism
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    http//pespmc1.vub.ac.be/papers/Superorganism.pdf
  • Kant, E. (1781), Critique of the pure reason.
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