[-empyre-] a book, dna and code

sdv at krokodile.co.uk sdv at krokodile.co.uk
Mon Oct 22 02:57:59 EST 2007


I don't think it would be right to say nothing about this, on the other 
hand it may not be right to follow this line of thought too far as it's 
quite a few steps away from code and the poetics of DNA. But still...

Yes - i was being generalist, but you have misunderstood. Science 
imagines that it is a 'realism' and it is philosophy which understands 
itself to be ontological, that recognizes and insists that science is a 
constructivism. Not all philosophy of course but that which best 
understands sciences functions. Depending whether I am feeling 
particularly deleuzian or not at the time I would argue that science is 
an empirical constructivism or a constructive empiricism. The last thing 
I want to do is get involved in a discussion about science as a realism 
or naturalism, so  suffice it to say that the priviliged status that 
this approach gives science as knowledge is why a constructive 
empiricist approach functions better. To be clear I'm quite happy to 
regard Marxism as a science, accepting recent justifications of this 
argument by Daniel Bensaid(Marx for our times) and the somewhat related 
work by Isabelle Stengers on psychonalysis. Further back Marxist 
scientists like Bernal and Haldane do consider that the understanding of 
what constitutes science must include the human sciences. As such the 
seperation is not distinct as you apper to be implying below, for 
example the proofs of the existance of the class based nature of our 
societies are rather more secure than anything that the genetic sciences 
have currently proved.

To argue that 'science is not THE best way to explain everything' well 
that's just nonsensical, what do you have left but religion, faith, 
magic, transcendentalism, humanism none of which explains anything.

These threads are framed by DNA, Poetics of DNA and code... so i'll 
ignore the references to religion, however as a fellow european I'd have 
been happier with the EU reference if you had instead mentioned the EU 
in relation to N&H's concept of 'empire' and the historical terror that 
actually brought it into being.

warm regards

brian.holmes at wanadoo.fr wrote:

> Steve wrote to Jasper:
> "I agree entirely with 
> the marxist sentiments expressed, but given that science, the scientific 
> method remains the best means developed to explain things and explain 
> the previously unexplainable. Extreme care needs to taken when 
> establishing relations between science and capital because whilst all of 
> the below is true isn't it rather wonderful that science makes it provable
> ?"
> Great conversation here, very informative and thought-provoking. But I
> think you are getting a little generalist with the above! The disciplined
> empiricism formulated as the scientific method is certainly not THE best
> way to explain everything. A very different kind of explanation has been
> indicated with the reference to Lukacs' understanding of the  class
> division that made possible the productivist technoscience of the 20th
> century. And that understanding is not a "sentiment," it's a deliberate
> form of reasoning and argumentation that has taken care to mark its
> distances from other forms. I would appreciate more detailed explanation of
> Lukacs' thoughts on this subject, and references to the texts where he
> develops these ideas; and I am convinced we would NOT find they are based
> on the current scientific methods of hypothesis, laboratory
> experimentation, insertion of the results into statistical series,
> smoothing of the series, etc. 
> If there were only one way of explaining everything, such as science, well,
> then, of course you could ultimately only argue about the epistemological
> details (questions about "method"). But that old beast, ontology, or
> assertions about being, comes back consistently among humans wondering why
> they are here and how to guide their course through mortal time; and
> indeed, my view is that the very poor and willfully ignorant ontologies of
> fundamentalist religion are now so strong, precisely because the
> disciplined and self-interested empiricists of a capitalist and
> technoscientific society refuse to ask questions about being and
> destination. For instance, why was the European Union made? For
> knowledge-driven economic growth, competitive international trade and
> increasing consumption! Those are now the classic answers that are given,
> perfectly value-free (except for the dominant values they refuse to name as
> such), and very much in line with the unquestioned asumptions of
> technoscience. Most scientists who speak publicly have pretty lousy
> explanations about being and destiny, almost as bad as the technocratic
> state capitalists - and the biologists are really not proving any
> exception. Those explanations will only get better if we distinguish
> between different ontological departure points, and the different modes of
> reasoning and argumentation that flow from them. Only in that way can some
> debate take place. A monospecies mental ecology populated only by
> contemporary science makes for a stultifying and potentially dangerous
> world!
> best, Brian

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