[eDebate] ans Sanchez

Michael Korcok mmk_savant
Sat Apr 26 22:05:05 CDT 2008

Sanchez suggests that Meagher may have only been arguing that evolution is misappropriated by others rather than that scientists, biologists, and evolutionary biologists smuggle social/political assumptions and agendas into evolution.  I read him as writing the latter and at least a couple of his authors do the same.  There are several reasons I believe I am correct in this interpretation, not the least of which is that it is a commonplace in the postmodern criticism of science to treat science generally and specific scientific content as "discourses", that is, to subject science to literary analysis and criticism.
Sanchez asks why one would have to be competent in a number of scientific fields to "consider and criticize" common misapplications of science.  One wouldn't necessarily, but I read Meagher as undertaking a critique of science, and in particular of "the discourses of natural selection and evolution" rather than a critique of the social and political uses of science.  Anyone who would undertake to "consider the discourses of natural selection and evolution" certainly does need to have at least a minimal access to those discourses and that requires "a minimal competence in science generally and in biology, chemistry, geology, zoology, and paleontology in particular."  
Sanchez argues that my claim that Sokal killed pomo is incorrect because "it's illogical to infer from the stupidity of some editors of an academic journal that an entire "style of critique" has been deemed illegitimate."  While that is certainly persuasive, the publication in Social Text of "Transgressing the Boundaries" began a well-publicized and in-depth examination of the Post-modern critique of science which spilled-over into post-modernism generally.  That discussion revealed the vacuity of the post-modern turn in the academy and Pomo fell apart.  Well, in most quarters anyway...  you know...  Creationism and Crop Circles and all...
Sanchez then inexplicably claims that the correspondence theory of truth is a premise that "most analytical philosophers no longer find particularly convincing."
This is the claim in his response that I am interested in.
Did I miss a poll of analytical philosophers or others which shows the correspondence theory of truth in disrepute?  Short of personal interviews of the majority of analytical philosophers, I am unsure how Sanchez could otherwise come to this conclusion.  I will bet a dollar against a horse, however, that Sanchez just made this part up.
Furthermore, I teach my students in Argumentation and Rhetoric the correspondence theory of truth, introducing Aristotle's formulation of it and discussing Kripke's reworking of it.  I even mention the deflationary version/criticism of it.  
Now, we both know your entree into this part of the conversation is a rhetorical bluff.  If you find any particular argument against the correspondence theory convincing, please do tell.  Philosophy, analytic and otherwise, awaits.  If your argument is any good, you will change the world by shifting a 2,000-year-old foundation of human thought.  
Good luck and may the flying spaghetti monster massage you with its noodly appendages.
Back to work after baby?how do you know when you?re ready?
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