Metaphysical Assumptions in Science

Reflections on Maturana, From Being to Doing (2004):

In the pursuit of truth, the prevailing attitude in the scientific culture and community is to assume the existence of an a priori external world which is separate from our bodies and experience. This metaphysical assumption posits the existence of an independent reality as the background on which everything occurs. This external reality becomes a truth-governing paradigm supplying the source of validation for everything we do and the source of clarification for everything we can do. The body is seen as an interface or a threshold through which some perturbations get past but ultimately the body is viewed as being limited in grasping and approximating ultimate truth regarding a transcendental reality. I disagree with this; the body is human’s fundamental mode of access to the world and hence it is the primordial way in which humans develop knowledge and apprehend “truth.” From the view of a transcendental reality, there is a gap between the way things appear to be (which implies a first personal, ‘for someone’ subjective relation) and the true essence of what something really is (which is an objective relation — a view from where?). The focus is thus on the essence of our experience (what “makes” experience, an ontological question) rather than the processes by which we have those experiences.

To be continued…

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