That thing about drawing the boundaries in a different place, again.
Julian drew them as:
- everything else, especially the humanities and looking at a painting
I want to draw them as:
- science and all other kinds of inquiry that are constrained by reality
- the arts, aesthetic experience, appreciation
I think we both put religion in a separate category, and both think it overlaps with the arts, storytelling and the like. I think we both think it’s in conflict with our respective 1s, but I think Julian muddled the issue by not including all other kinds of inquiry that are constrained by reality in his 1.
I think it’s good to emphasize the fact that many kinds of inquiry that are not strictly science are nevertheless constrained by reality. If they’re not they become pseudo-whatever it is. David Irving, who falsifies his evidence, does pseudo-history.
This is the bit that Rational Inquiry doesn’t name, and the reason I wanted (and still kind of want) a new name. It’s what Ron Susskind pointed up with the famous line from the Bush admin official about not having to bother with “reality-based” thinking. It’s the really important difference between theist thinking and whatever the word is for my 1 – reality-constrained inquiry is what I mean, but it’s a clunker of a phrase. The important difference is (to spell out the obvious) the difference between just making it up and knowing that just making it up won’t do.
Just making it up is fine for some purposes. It’s what my 2 is all about. It’s compatible with my 3. But for my 1, it’s the kiss of death; it’s the one thing you must not do. If you’re trying to find out the truth about anything, including something as trivial as where you put the dog’s leash, just making it up will do you no good. Educated guesses may do you good, intuitions may get you started, but just making it up will thwart your purposes.