Re: [Fwd: Re: endless relativism]

Robert Parks (
Tue, 18 Jun 1996 02:40:13 -0400

Could I ask if you would reflect for a moment on how you would respond,
were I to ask you to give me the facts which provide the evidence for your
beliefs as stated below:
>For the moment, I will say this: we humans only know that which we
>canbring into our language. I say 'language' as the genus, with what
>most of us call 'language' more correctly being known as tongues, or
>variations of language (over 2,000 at last count, I understand).
>Our every move, thought , idea, feeling, etc., is nguistically-enveloped,
>if we look close enough. And if a matter is not so enveloped, or is
>'outside of language,' ---like, for example, the sound of a dog whistle
>would be to our ability to 'hear'---then we do not know about the
>That's why I say, with Maturana, Flores, Winograd, etc., 'we live in
>language.' In language we are married and buried. In language we buy
>and we sell. In language we love and we hate, make friends and enemies.
>So the most fundamental point which anyone seeking to understand we
>humans needs to get, deeply, is that we are primarily lilnguistilc
>creatures. And we are the only creatures we know of, of whom that is so.

In your presentation, the ideas of Maturana and Varella are very
emphatically, lyrically and sincerely stated. But the standard you have
been trying to impose on others is that they provide facts/evidence that
you would accept as verification (or validation).

Others have asked you to read Kelly, but I think an overview of current
theory/philosophy of science would be more helpful. You might start with
Kuhn, whose notion of "paradigm" you have made use of. The primary problem
in communication in this thread appears to be a difference in understanding
of the logic and possibilities of "science". Your faith in the positivist
approach (sorry to use terms you aren't familiar with) might be challenged
by exposure to the several alternatives. Brian Gaines alludes to Poppers
"falsification" alternative. There are others, and reading them may bring
you back to the themes of the earlier "postmodernist" thread.

Best regards,