viernes, 11 de julio de 2008

Fragmento de una carta

(Acerca de la supuesta no-problematicidad filosófica de los científicos contemporáneos)

(...) I do not care for PoMo thought. What pisses me off the most is precisely what you hold as dismissable –the lack of scientific formation of the trend-leaders, their irresponsible shrugging off of the best (albeit still hypothetical) knowledge the human race has collected about reality.

We have discussed this already, but let me recall: you reckon you did not have a scientific (I’d say, hiperrational or mechanicistic) formation, not to say worldview. Since I am not sure whether you understand the extent of what thas means, the difference that keeps us apart, I’ll go into some re-explanation.

I grew up as a mechanical kid. My dad did that to me, and also my mother, my grandmother. Things have parts and wholes are functioning sums of able-designed parts. Every part is betterable and ought to be bettered. Better wholes can be thought of in advance, thus design is a noble art and well-designed things are a man’s contribution to a more effective universe, and the highest motive for human merit and human praise.

Now if you begin to come down to smaller and smaller parts, and to bigger and more complex wholes, technique ceases to have the upper hand, and you enter the magnificent palace of Science. I was an 11-year old kid when I did. And –mind this- I knew what was happening to me. I was about to define: I would become an engineer. If I did, I would go philosophically unproblematical. I had the foundations: matter was my playground. But then, there where Problems and I had to take some time to think about them. I think, this very process must have happened to the Yees and Shalizis: but also, mind you, to Thales and Aristotle and Spinoza and Leibniz, handymen.

I learned to be critical and became disgusted when inexact affirmations appeared in otherwise respectable work. I despised journalists: my father loved to study with me articles written by supposedly able professionals, stating mostly wrong figures about reality. Towers weren’t that tall, ships weren’t that heavy, meteors couldn’t be so quick.

I will not tolerate stupidity or ignorance to contaminate an honest search for knowledge. Problematizaton of reality can and will still be worked upon by social scientist and “philosophes” –a galicism that may now treason the very respectable sense Voltaire put into the original word- but not with my annouence. I purpose to stand in front and fight it. As for me, I shall deal with it not with the laboratories and machines which I should have learned to: but with words. But, as the avatar they are of the replaced labs, this words of mine will still be chosen not for their hazyness, not for their ignorance of what should be valuable, but for their exactitude, and the will to convey of the guy who commands this other, still aristotelian and honest, search for knowledge.

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