Empirical Fickleness, Philosophical Superficiality

Jack Donovan has a good post over at Alternative Right. He discusses the fickleness of science in relation to identity and values, asking:

How many worldviews did this Truth of yesterday subtly — or dramatically — alter? How many of these students became adults and went out into the world, making decisions and even influencing public policy based on a theory that may now be regarded as a falsehood?

It’s a good point. But, as I commented, the problem isn’t with science and its fickleness — anymore than the problem that Plato confronted was a problem with the sensible and its fickleness — rather the problem is with the people who let the empirical finding of the day shape their identities and world views; the problem is one of philosophical superficiality.

As I mentioned elsewhere, given classical western philosophy and the association of ontology and “Truth”, that is, Truer reality, with objective nature, this has been an endemic problem among Europeans.

The abolition of white people and the whole brouhaha over possible genetic differences in “nature” are just the latest examples. It takes a profound degree of philosophical superficiality to allow oneself to get proved out of existence or to let crude empirical findings define one’s existential worth.

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