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February 22, 2007

Toward a post-metaphysicalist discourse on evolutionarity

Appropriations posting

There's no teleology in social evolution. Nonetheless, evolution can be usefully theorized and done so, as I began to explicate recently, without a problematic naturalism. But that's not conducive to a short posting on self-constitutivity of inquiry. However, human intelligence has evolved to provide high capacity for giving telos to activity and phenomenology. This same capacity provides for potential self-constitutivity in inquiry, thanks to ultimate openness in cognitive development, in terms of the kinds of inquiry that may be discursively integrated ("what I have in mind" below). A postmetaphysicalist sense of discursivity is implied that learns through scientifically conceptual efficacy (without scientism!).

What I have in mind involves integrating a range of discursive work—from evolutionary psychology, through cognitive science to contemporary work in evolutionary ethics and reliabilist epistemology—that develops Habermas' exemplarity beyond David L Hull's theory of conceptual evolution, which Hull explicates in terms of "conceptual inclusive fitness" and "demic efficacy."



Relatedly: The middle of another posting to the Habermas group today says:

I hope...that [Habermas will] do a career-expansive reflection on his own intellectual development, in a philosophical spirit, rather than autobiographically. I want him to show....[among other things] how his thinking integrates diachronically in a synchrony of discursive projects cohering in the singularity of discursive self-reflection. The result would not be an Hegelian Conception, but a fleshed out way in which, as he says in his recent essay on free will, a "natural genealogy of the mind [is fated to be] a self-referential project" (66), but in no sense "fall[ing] back into metaphysics." Such self-referentiality would be discursive, best (more tenably) done in terms of a discursivity whose capability of conceptual reflectivity is greatly able to conceptualize itself.



February 10, 2007

Discursive communication as appropriative interfacing

Appropriations posting

A momentary intent this morning to revise a typographical error in my brief discussion of the "theory"-"practice" relationship, Nov. 2004, became a substantial revision of that still-short discussion (after the third paragraph).

Consider the notion of interface there as something axially dependent on communicative action. The rendered "manifold of interfaces" isn't an overt focus as such, but the whole of it (a holism rendered relatively briefly, but which is vertiginously connotative to me—without overtones of mystification!) can be regarded as a sense of context for doing philosophy of social science in a Habermasian spirit.

Yet, inquiry into the conceptuality of "Theory"—e.g., interfacing epistemic and ethical inquiry philosophically—can't be completely modeled as communicative action, though presentation of inquiry always is communicative in intent (if not efficacy). Inquiry presumes content and means, bearing representations that may effect more inquiry (and grammatical traces of that such as this statement). But the self-efficacy of the work is only figuratively a "communication" with oneself, as if dwelling in woods is having words with trees.

Though, indeed, thinking can be profoundly modeled as reflection—as an interplay that is often much like an internalization of dialogue roles—the manifold mirrorplay of thinking emerges from the thinking itself less wholly as reflectivity (let alone as discretely dialogal) than as thinking emerging from itself, potentially involving the whole of capability, not merely what's linguistic. (A flowering may enfold into itself as woods.)

Thinking finds its representational order, from which resultant understanding finds presentation, which may be linguistic or not, as the glyphicality of understanding may involve any representational means (a topology of wooding flowers), though here the gardening is linguistic.