Monday, April 23, 2012
In NDPR, Jeff Kochan reviews Dimitri Ginev's The Tenets of Cognitive Existentialism.
Heidegger argued that scientific knowledge follows a "change-over" in the fore-structure of understanding: from a non-thematic understanding of an entity encountered unreflectively in some practical activity (your tongue while eating) to a thematic understanding of an entity encountered deliberatively as an object of attention (your tongue after biting it). Heidegger claims that the former is more indicative of everyday life than the latter. Scientific understanding springs from the latter, when an object of attention is further thematized as a subject matter for quantitative analysis (your tongue studied by an anatomist). This sort of thematization Heidegger called "mathematical projection": it facilitates the interpretation of entities through a fore-structure which includes such abstract categories of measurement as length, mass, location, and time. Ginev criticizes Heidegger's concept of mathematical projection as being in hock to "mathematical essentialism."
I'll have to remember next time I'm playing the Dozens; "fool, your mother's a mathematical essentialist".
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