Or even plain old post-autistic-rationality.
I keep using the “scientific” meme in scare quotes … the idea that being hyper-rational, fundamentally-objectivist … the meme of using entirely deterministic and reductionist scientific arguments and logical induction … cannot be the basis of a high quality explanation in all but the simplest “scientific” context. (Every debate of any kind in any domain including public-media, seems to have to follow these unwritten rules. At root it’s a problem with myths and metaphors about the very idea of causality. From a western scientific camp, I always quote David Deutsch as having his finger on this one, and I suspect David Chalmers may be there too, if I ever get to thoroughly understand his “supervenience” and other arguments, but of course a Buddhist slant gives us dependent-arising instead of “empty” causation – See Twelve Links for that one. )
I keep accusing Dawkins of this failing – despite him being the person who brought the idea of memes to the fore, and despite him being a great scientist and writer, ironically he seems almost totally blind to this one. Cast the meme out of thine own eyes Dawkins was a working title I’ve had for some time for an essay on the subject.
I picked up earlier on “autistic” as an adjective to describe this failing. So perhaps now we have as a working title :
Cast the meme out of thine own eye Dawkins.”
And for the pointless binary polarisation issue – really just a corollary of the above – we have the working title :
“All or Nothing:
Looking for an Argument”
Loads of general media anecdotes there – where press seem to determined to find “conflict” in looking for an angle on the truth of any story – even if it’s just the cock-up vs conspiracy angle, or the classic “scientists discover revolutionary new ….” angle. Gary Richardson of BBC Radio 5 springs to mind, can he interview anyone without setting them up to bad-mouth someone else ? It’s just sport for chrissakes Gary.
Post Note :
As well as Sam pointing me at Asophic & Apathistic as alternatives to “Autism”, whilst checking up on the Dupuy quote on knowledge in literature, both in the Dawkins comment thread below, I found this quote from Dupuy I’d also recorded as significant, way back when … Listing many problematic dichotomies in “knowledge”, from his AI / Cybernetics historical perspective, as well as science vs literature , he lists the dichotomy :
between Hidebound Savants
and Cultured Ignorami (or Foggie Froggies)
Savants are commonly “Autistic” – see Kim Peak threads, and others …
Here of course Dupuy is alluding in the Foggie Froggies to the more “cultural relativist” post-modern French philosophers contrasted with those trapped (hidebound) in the logical-positivist “scientific” meme.
The convergent spiral tightens its screw.