Kant’s Einbildungskraft, Popper and Lem

Another take on the same topic. Popper falsificationism amounts basically to a view of the scientific process where science in its march places increasingly more stringent bounds on the possible explanations that are supported by a verification process. It is in a way pruning more and more the tree of possible outcomes, the tree of the scientific explanations supported by facts.

Immanuel Kant came along (earlier). He said that human mind has the capability of creating images of things that are not necessarily existent (yet). The question is then the following: does our reason have the capability to “cast into images” outcomes that are not coming from the existent reality and so does it have the ability to bypass the mimesis and proceed way ahead of the already-seen?

If that is the case (back to Stanislaw Lem) then we can probably argue that the blind watchmaker that created (for example) a horribly inefficient structure as the human spine (see N. Wiener,The Human Use of Human Being), can be improved upon by our conscious effort to perfect that ex-post-only design.

Of course it is our rationality (as a species) that needs to be invoked, not any supernatural design. Would that mean we could overcome the mimesis? Exit the cave maybe?

Need to read Lee M. Silver ‘Challenging Nature’, he may have an idea how to step out of this question. As an aside, such a Gedanken thread may even account for the sympathy Lamarckism enjoyed in USSR and for the success that F. Engels books and articles on science had in the former Soviet bloc. See Sebastiano Timpanaro (preface to the Italian translation to d’Holbach ‘Good Sense’).

Categories: Episteme, Lem

1 reply

  1. Nice Blog, thanks for sharing this kind of information.


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