Blog rewind: Ways of knowing

I thought it would be fun and/or mortifying to look backwards and see what I was blogging about eight years ago.  On this day, eight years ago, I wrote “Science and other ways of knowing“, which begins as follows (comments in red):

In my previous post [That’s the hook?  Who cares what I wrote in the previous post?], I think I just kept on saying “science, science, science,” etc. etc. etc. [Is that self-deprecatory humor I detect?  I’m already sick of it and of the person who is using it.]  I am perhaps a little self-conscious [more like self-absorbed]—I wonder if I look rather arrogant saying, “I know I’m right because SCIENCE [ironic capitalization of science, what novelty] is on my side.” “Aren’t there other ways of knowing?” my hypothetical second reader asks. [Har har, because the first reader, the writer, is the only one who isn’t hypothetical.  More jaded self-deprecatory yet self-indulgent irony bullshit.]

The rest of the post is mercifully short, but is still incoherent.  Past me clearly has too many thoughts about “other ways of knowing”, and believes that the best approach is to squeeze all the thoughts together in as compact a space as possible.  These days I believe in giving each thought the space it needs.

Looking back, the most striking thing about the post is the drive for nuance.  I was countering a simplistic trope, the idea that there are other ways of knowing besides science.  I was taking the skeptical party line, arguing that all proper ways of knowing are scientific.  But even though I’m taking the party line, I carefully note flaws in it.  For example, if all proper ways of knowing count as science, that would lead to an unusually broad definition of science.

But seriously, forget nuance if it means I need to trudge through that writing.


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