Problems In Philosophy • 11

Re: Problems In Philosophy 9Richard Saunders

BTW I’m not sure I really see a distinction between descriptive and normative (prescriptive?) science except in the set of aims, goals, etc. that are entertained.  It might be useful to try to characterize some distinctions in the goals of each.

Re: Problems In Philosophy 10Richard Saunders

Jon, the philosophy of science is all about the aims of science \textsc{and} good ways of achieving them.  I’m still not seeing a clear distinction, traditions notwithstanding, between descriptive and normative science.  I do see the recursive entanglement though, and I’m still wondering if we can find common axioms that underlie both.

\textsc{Saturday, November 7}

Dear Richard,

Sue and I will be downing some bubbly and sleeping it off till the dawn’s early light, but Sue was into this Policy-Theory Reunion stuff well before I clued into it, so here’s one of her earlier papers you might find of interest in the interim.

  • Scott, David K., and Awbrey, Susan M. (1993), “Transforming Scholarship”, Change : The Magazine of Higher Learning, 25(4), 38–43.  Online (1) (2) (3).

\textsc{Monday, November 9}

I am still trying to unscramble my brains after the week’s events but I’m surprised to see so much difficulty over the difference between descriptive sciences, the special sciences as Peirce called them, and normative sciences like aesthetics, ethics, and logic.  I deferred to common idiom and conventional wisdom regarding the irreducibility of “Ought” to “Is” but roughly the same dimension and tension is recognized under a legion of names — policy vs. theory, procedural vs. declarative, deontic vs. ontic, and many others.

A pragmatic semiotician’s ears will naturally perk up at reading the word irreducibility above and lead to wondering whether the irreducibility of normative to descriptive has anything to do with the irreducibility of triadic relations to dyadic relations.

To my way of thinking, yes, it does.


cc: CyberneticsOntolog ForumPeirce ListStructural ModelingSystems Science

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1 Response to Problems In Philosophy • 11

  1. Poor Richard says:

    Jon, I’m all ears, but to my thinking both normative and descriptive are irreducible from triadic to diadic.  IOW diadic relations don’t exist in the “real” world.

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