Wilkins on dKos

Darksyde interviews one of those people who convinced me that philosophy actually has something to contribute to our understanding of science (you know, it’s sadly true, but science education often belittles the value of trying to puzzle out how we know what we know)—that guy with extremely poor spelling skills, John Willikins Wilkins*. It’s a good read.

*Rumors that he bears a familial or temperamental affiliation with a certain mayor of Sunnydale are entirely scurrilous, and therefore well worth spreading.


  1. Caledonian says

    I don’t think any reasonable, intelligent, educated person would argue with the idea that competent philosophy can benefit any field of inquiry.

    As is the case with so many other things, Sturgeon’s Law holds approximately true here as well.

  2. Joe says

    Thats what makes US as educated people correct no mattter what:

    No matter how much we know, as scientists, we are ALWAYS willing to listen to other groups who may have something intelligent to contribute.

    I think thats the main difference between us and the IDiots. We may not have all the answers, but we are willing to listen with a critical ear to all different ideas. Thats the beauty of science and education.

  3. says

    It sounds like Wilkins is simply a historian of biology not too dissimilar to one of my favorite former profs, Lynn Nyhart. Despite his use of philosophical buzz words like “epistemology”, I don’t see what philosophy has to do with what he does at all (not that I think that’s a *bad* thing)

  4. says

    He’s a total moron. Ignore him. What would he know anyway. He’s Australian.

    Although, a comparison with Lynn Nyhart ain’t to be sneezed at.

    [Jonathon – I am in my own mind both a historian of biology and a philosopher. Others may disagree.]