Saturday, May 14, 2011

On Explanations: Absent-Minded Science, Part X

This is the concluding piece in my series on absent-minded science, an extended critique of modern science’s tendency to willfully or unintentionally ignore mind in its explanations.

Tigger: Well, hello there Eeyore, my friend – lovely day isn’t it?

Eeyore: Lovely is all relative, isn’t it? Compared to yesterday I guess it is fair to say that today is lovely.

Tigger: Er… Yes! It is all relative, and today is indeed lovely compared to yesterday. But, you know Mr. Eeyore, this brings to mind a little philosophical problem I’ve been pondering.

Eeyore: Oh yes? [His large ears perk up as Eeyore loves philosophy almost as much as Owl.] Since when do you like philosophy my bouncy friend?

Tigger: Oh yes! [Tigger bounces on his tail in excitement.] You’ll be very interested in this, I have no doubt. I have been pondering… explanations.

Eeyore: Explanations?

Tigger: Yes! Explanations. Why are we convinced of certain explanations and not others? What is it that changes our minds and hearts?

Read the rest here.


  1. Need there be an explanation? except from one of my favorite books, The Velveteen Rabbit:

    "What is real?" asked the Rabbit one day when they were lying side by side...
    "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and stick out handle?"
    "Real isn't how you are made, " said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become real."
    "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit
    "Sometimes, " said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt".
    "Does it happen all at once, like being wound up", he asked "or bit by bit?"
    "It doesn't happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people you break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

  2. Great quote! Thanks for your thoughts.