First off, given what the internet can be sometimes, I appreciate the spirit of inquiry in your question and the refreshing respect to a differing viewpoint. You must be a very good scientist. So nothing but good feelings here.

As I wrote this response, it got a little bit long. It's a complex matter, but I hope I explain it well enough.

Secondly, I lean more towards Kant and Kierkegaard. So off the bat I am biased towards Hume. Because I first learned about Hume from Sugrue's lectures and as far as I understand it, Hume's idealism is founded on conditional statements. IE "If you want this, then you should do that."

And I think that's counterintuitive to the way our minds work. Because the most dangerous opponent we have in a debate is ourselves. We are experts at convincing ourselves. So that's why I am more drawn towards the idea of the categorical imperative and the leap of faith.

And I know scientists are not massive fans of things like leaps of faith, but that's really what keeps you in business. The general public cannot develop a professional understanding of science since they need to do other stuff during the workday.

So since that is the case, Hume becomes disqualified in a lot of contexts. For science to function as a set of institutions in a larger society with millions of people, then we need an imperative relationship with science.

And that's also why romanticism is very important, because while scientists cannot necessarily expediate every particular claim to the public, what you can do is to demonstrate that you are trustworthy and principled people.

You can show in a variety of ways that you have the public's welfare in mind, and not to mention public prosperity in mind.

And that is a very sentimental aspect to empiricism, especially in our day and age. Because science and technology and media now is so advanced. It can falsify and not to mention saturate information at incalculable rates.

That's why we see things like anti-vaccine sentiments and flat earth theory experience a kind of renaissance. Albeit the less beneficial side of the renaissance.

Thanks to television and the internet, we once again live in an age of myths. Everyone can manufacture convincing viewpoints. Not because there's no such thing as objective evidence, but because of how most people lack the time to investigate all the millions of claims thrown at their doorstep each time that they check their phones or log on to their computers.

And that's why scientists today are not just people who test and explore and define knowledge, but in many ways they are also people who arbitrate knowledge.

Modernism was the goldilocks spot between technology and information flow, that's where the Einsteins and the Teslas and the Jungs of the world could really thrive. The rate of information was very managable.

And we also had a lot more neutral institutions. I don't need to tell you about how the trustee system in academic institutions allow corporations to lobby and influence people's education and research. If it bothers me, then I'm sure it bothers you twice as much.

But because of this crisis of information, we can no longer rely purely on neutrality or objectivity as such. Nor can we simply cop out and say that everything is subjective. Instead we are looking at a new age of virtue. We are looking at the driving force which made the Greeks explore the fundamental ideas of ethics and principles and virtue.

So I would say this is the blindspot in current scientific epistemology. We need a kind of classical heroism among especially scientists and doctors. We've circled back to a circumstance where character is just as vital as truth, because once again the truth is a lot more difficult to find.

I can't reproduce the experiments done at CERN, I don't have a supercollider sitting around at home. All I can do is ask whether or not I think the people at CERN seem trustworthy or not, and sadly, that is becoming a very nuanced question.

A lot of institutions take their authority for granted, and often focus more on profits than they do public good. Only romanticism can fix that. It's not at the point where I would make conspiratorial claims about CERN, but it is at the point of where I would say it's time to wake up and smell the coffee.

And then there is the secondary aspect to romanticism, which is that science rarely explores feelings. There's even this false dichotomy between facts and feelings, and it's a very dangerous one. Try proving that torture is unethical using facts. It's very difficult.

But with feelings it only takes a second. It's true that the deeper spiritual aroma of human emotion and sentiment and experience is beyond observations that may be reproduced, at least in an intuitive sense. But we do live in a culture that often defines intelligence as a quite callous trait.

The gentler side of genius that existed under modernism is disappearing. I would once again point to Einstein and Tesla. They were very gentle people. They had a lot of compassion. Same as Carl Sagan.

Contrast that with intelligent archetypes today, men like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens who very happily write justifications for wars of aggression and dangerous nationalist rhetoric.

I think this is what happens when romanticism disappears from scientific thought, and as our capacity to create more and more powerful weapons grows tenfold with each decade, then we better resolve that quickly.

International man of mystery.

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