The Platform For Scientific Inquiry

A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring‘ wrote Alexander Pope in the early years of the Scientific Age, the longer poem, a celebration of the new Prometheus.

The Symbol ‘0’ is not against Science. It is the necessary platform on which the Scientist must mount to draw the best from Scientific Inquiry. Get to it. And go back to the Lab.

The ‘Scientific Stance’ is the stance of ‘Seeing Straight’, of not denying what is in front of your eyes in skimpy deflection and obstinate argument. It is a refusal to blink, wink and look-away.

But if the self-scuttling is incomplete, we create the modern ‘Objective Scientist’.

Analytic and observation methods, cut loose from the  monastic disciplines that were a requirement in the first houses of Learning, ignorant of the simplest Meditative and Mindfulness Practices, severs the observer from that which is observed.

Investigating the self-referential loop is effectively barred. An elaborate and intricately layered reality is built which at its core is absurd.

The perch of the contemporary Scientist, the post from which he views, is located at an arbitrary point, a point no Scientist would accept as legitimate if it were within his own domain of investigation.

You cannot: ‘Wish to be Objective’; then ‘Objective’ becomes your new subjective bias. You cannot: ‘Prefer to not-prefer’; then ‘Not-Preference’ becomes your new preference. ‘Trying to see straight’ is a tenth of an inch away from: Seeing Straight.

A man conditioned over many years to be ‘Objective’ by a studied process of limiting the personal, limiting the ‘Subjective’. Out there is the ‘Objective, Observed World’, and behind this fog of the emotional, the wishful and the personal, lies the ‘Subjective, Seeing Me’.

And he builds a self-created ‘Objective World’ that is itself deeply sourced within his own unexamined ‘Subjective Self’.

Instead of standing on ‘True Nothing’ and becoming ‘Subdued to the material at hand’, the modern Scientist sits on a mountain of venerated paradigms, inherited conventions, embedded preferences and unspoken presumptions.

The way out is well-mapped. The Observer must be investigated first before inquiry on the Observed. The lens must turn inwards.

None of this is unique to the profession of Science. Art Theory for instance, has long struggled with the notion of ‘Objective’ criteria, a fundamental pillar of the defense of Culture itself and the confusion is palpable in the wrenching obscurantism of today’s Art Dialogues.

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