Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Philosopher did not invent Trump

Filmmaker, and former Princeton philosophy of science grad student, Errol Morris clarifies:
You’re right, I find Kuhn revolting. But I hope I refrained from making a causal connection between The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and the Trump travel ban or Kellyanne Conway’s alternative facts. ...

Was Kuhn merely an expression of a 60s/70s zeitgeist, one among many? Probably. The line that makes me a little queasy is “But I can’t blame Kuhn for Trump, as Morris does.” You suggest this is going too far, and I agree with you. If Kuhn had never lived, in that possible world where Kuhn was never born, there might still be a President Donald Trump. These are counterfactuals I’m not prepared to deal with. On the other hand, do I feel that Kuhn did the world any good by undermining the concept of truth? No, I don't. I’ll leave it to God to decide on the ultimate disposition of his soul. – Errol
Trump believes in "truthful hyperbole". Other politicians have a more lawyerly attitude towards truth.

Thomas Kuhn, aka Professor Paradigm Shift, was in an entirely different category. He denied that science was all about the pursuit of objective truths.

I previously posted:
Errol Morris is a famous filmmaker who is still mad at the late Philosophy professor Thomas Kuhn (aka Professor Paradigm Shift) throwing as ashtray at him and kicking him out of Princeton. ...

Morris thinks that Kuhn ruined the Philosophy of Science in the same way that I think that Einstein ruined Physics.
As with Einstein, the real problem with Kuhn lies in his followers. A whole generation of scholars took his work further, and used it to deny truth as we know it.

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