By Yehuda Fried, Joseph Agassi (auth.)
There is a curious parallel among the philosophy of technology and psychiatric conception. The so-called demarcation query, which has exercised philosophers of technological know-how during the last many years, posed the matter of distinguishing technology right from non-science - in par ticular, from metaphysics, from pseudo-science, from the non rational or irrational, or from the untestable or the empirically meaningless. In psychiatric thought, the demarcation query seems as an issue of distinguishing the sane from the insane, the good from the mentally sick. The parallelism is attention-grabbing while the standards for what fails to be medical are noticeable to be congruent with the factors which outline these psychoses that are marked by way of cognitive failure. during this booklet Dr Yehuda Fried and Professor Joseph Agassi - a practising psychiatrist and a thinker of technological know-how, respectivel- specialize in an severe case of psychosis - paranoia - as an basically highbrow ailment: that's, as one during which there's a systematic and protracted myth that is sustained by way of logical capacity. They write: "Paranoia is an severe case through the actual fact that paranoia is by way of definition a quirk of the highbrow gear, a logical fable. " (p. 2.
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Extra info for Paranoia: A Study in Diagnosis
Usually, metaphysical principles get superseded in a much simpler way by being replaced by better ones. The easiest example for the rare case of a testable integrative principle may be Daltonian chemistry. We shall not illustrate it since it is by now too obvious to anyone sufficiently familiar with high-school chemistry. Suffice it to say, however, that for long it stood, as formulated by Dalton himself, aloof from empirical tests and yet was highly valued, because of the fact that it was presented as a principle generating empirical hypotheses; it repeatedly stimulated scientists to propose an ever increasing variety of chemical hypotheses about atomic ratios and structures in given molecules, which hypotheses were tested empirically, and often with significant results.
Let us only repeat that only when certainty is required of an integrative principle does Kraepelin's condemnation of the paranoic's erroneous principle show any degree of plausibility. CHAPTER 5 METAPHYSICAL BACKGROUND We have left a point in the middle, a few paragraphs back. Almost everybody, we said, confuses pseudo-science, metaphysics, and madness. 1 Leaving madness aside for a moment, as a topic which we shall soon study in detail, we wish to present here the theory of the role of metaphysics in science as an integrative principle.
Morris Ginsberg is typical in this respect: he has attempted to study prejudice in an effort to combat it. The strength of a genuine and troublesome prejudice, he says, is that it offers a genuine integrative principle which turns the view its holder has of the world into an integrated uniU That is to say, the holder of a prejudice sustains it systematically and logically. For example, the holder of a prejudice against doctors sees not only doctors in a different way from us; he also sees differently facts which we may wish to use as an argument against him, including facts about health and disease, so that he sees the same facts as innocuous or even as supportive of his view.