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17 April 2018 Leonardo Anfolsi
With a very strange move for the history of thought, all of a sudden, epistemology – a term that has always referred to the episteme ἐπιστήμη, that is to say the ultimate question – became the discipline concerning certain knowledge and how such knowledge can be possible; in addition it became the discipline that celebrated the history of this new and evolving trend.
By underlining this fact, I want to show a small disaster: the transition from a possible research of facts to a real religion-of-mass-of-agreed-facts.
Yet for Plato the episteme was the truth dictated by reasoning (diànoia) and by intuition (noesis = noetic inspiration) that comes from the understanding of facts taken as such, that is, looked at by a deafening silence, by a state of uncommon ascetic contemplation , obtained with great dedication and insistence, very similar to the meditative state obtained in Buddhist meditation, in those times translated into Greek as eusebeia, εὐσέβεια.
Episteme would essentially mean “what is held by itself”, therefore it is the evidence of reality itself, something that can only be spoken of with great caution and not in terms of faith, academism or identity, and which therefore cannot be divulged.
One of the scientific superstitions that most unites those who do not understand science, and therefore not even the episteme, is a vague but stubborn faith: that of living in the best of all possible worlds thanks to a continuous discovery of new discoveries destined to improve conditions ever more. of life of humanity.
That this idea is false as well as obscuring, it becomes clear when we realize how science (commonly confused with technology) does not actually give its benefit to all mankind nor to its best, but how, indeed, it is totally subjected to the economic calculation of third parties.
So the characters in this drama are, as always:
who produces discoveries, or astonishment, narration or certainty,
who should benefit from it on a social scale,
who really benefits from it (wealthy – elected – manager).
Within this dynamic we know that one or more characters firmly believe in it instead of looking at its aspects and recognizing its gray areas.
The real users, once, were the nobles or the princes of the church, while today they are private institutions of a supra-national nature. This last reality may not even concern us, except that it invades and tends to manipulate information, discoveries, research, inventions and the use of all this.
Whoever has a good mouth sees this as a conspiracy, whoever wants to understand this game sees instead common sense made political credibility, economic calculation, identity attachment to roles.
Since science has been a mass phenomenon for more than two centuries now, it is clear that it undergoes the same deviations and alterations that occurred in mass religions, i.e. all those pressures derived from the collective unconscious and from the critical mass of those who have made their faith and, consequently, made a priesthood of their research or implementation work.
In addition to the identity and the economic fact, capable of deeply polluting the results of any scientific research, these results can be considered as the product of past theories which have now crystallized into certainties; and this even if these results are considered an innovation, which clearly shows how difficult it is – on these bases – to accept all the possible variables that reality and the most sincere research offer us every moment; on paper it should be like this, since science is a fruitful field of infinite variables to be explored, but it never is, and this is reflected in the attitude of identity of almost all the experts.
As the famous physicist David Bohm said:
“For there to be a change in theory, a whole generation of physicists needs to die.”
A dear physicist friend told me how his colleagues, convinced of a completely strange new theory, made the European community spend billions on particle accelerators and other instruments, in order not to obtain the nothing he had already foreseen, and to how he was covertly threatened by colleagues who had an interest in receiving that funding.
Obviously the acquaintance in question does not allow me to name him.
From what has been said derives the fundamental intuition that when we talk about border science we are actually evoking all those researches that have been abandoned to follow the flow of the main currents – the famous main-stream – deviations always motivated by oblique necessities, that is unconscious, if not merely commercial and / or political.
As we have said, an even more dangerous factor these days is political credibility, an aspect of real politique that is orienting the decision of sovereign states towards the interest of well-paying individuals or those very capable of representing their proposal; in the past this was the case for nuclear power, today it is for hypervaccination.
Knowing the crassest American mentality, one can come to imagine that science could even take its cue from science fiction, and we would not be very wrong, because this happens punctually, simply because scientists are men; to understand the seriousness of this, we should consider how, on average, there is a lack of sincere humanistic preparation in scientists, a fact that in them often creates a chasm of projective presumption on every subject, direction, discipline, person, just because reductionist ideology implies a materialism that explains everything and that would shine in itself, as an evident truth (decay of the concept of episteme into doxa) which, in reality, once again, is meant to be highlighted as revealed truth.
It is therefore not in need of a proof thanks to its perfect coordinates; and we can well understand how this is more gripping than any previous revealed truth.
Today we are able to define our cartographic position in the universe with millimeter precision, and we are even able, with an electronic instrument, to detect this position alphanumerically; yet we invented the concept of “map” and it is not at the center of the universe.
And above all it is not the truth, given that having to find – for example – a person to love, or to ask for something unusual, we must be willing to get lost in the labyrinth of life avoiding chance, habits, calculation, maps and the coercions.
Gregory Bateson, to point this out to us, used the famous motto: “The map is not the territory”.
Fortunately, every century, there are “returns”, potentialities that have been dormant for a long time come on, intuitions that are awakened in the collective memory, possibilities that were unpredictable until the day before, but which in reality are concrete facts; unless you want to continue to see the facts through the theories, instead – as it would be by assertion of principle – to build scientific theories that are not concluded and systemic, but really open to every variable and, above all, based on the facts. This trivial error of evaluation, however visible to true philosophers and not to “scientists”, seems to me to be, in fact, the root of every current problem.
I quote Bohme again:
“What is the source of all these problems? I am stating that the source is mainly in thought. Many might think that this is madness, considering that thought is the only thing we have to solve our problems and that it is part of our tradition to use it; yet it seems that what we use to solve our problems is the very source of our problems. It’s like going to the doctor to be infected”.