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Democratic Knowledge

My use of the terms ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ is not unlike Kant’s. He uses the word ‘objective’ to indicate that scientific knowledge should be justifiable, independently of anybody’s whim: a justification is ‘objective’ if in principle it can be tested and understood by anybody. ‘If something is valid’, he writes, ‘for anybody in possession of his reason, then its grounds are objective and sufficient.’

Now I hold that scientific theories are never fully justifiable or verifiable, but that they are nevertheless testable. I shall therefore say that the objectivity of scientific statements lies in the fact that they can be inter-subjectivity tested.

The word subjective is applied by Kant to our feelings of conviction (of varying degrees). To examine how these come about is the business of psychology. They may arise, for example, ‘in accordance with the laws of association’. Objective reasons too may serve as ‘subjective causes of judging’, in so far as we may reflect upon these reasons, and become convinced of their cogency.

Kant was perhaps the first to realize that the objectivity of sceitific statements is closely connecte with the constrcutin of theories – with the use of hypotheses and universal statements. Only when certain events recur in accordance with rules or regularities, as is the case with repeatable experiments, can our observations be tested – in principle – by anyone. We do not take even our own observations quite seriously, or accept them as scientific observations, until we have repeated and tested them. Only by such repetitions can we convince ourselves that we are not dealing with a mere isolated ‘coincidence’, but with events which, on account of their regularity and reporducibity, are in the principle – inter-subjectivey tetable. Popper LoS p23

And this I say, is the limitation of knowledge as the proposed. For in this system is a bias to the “regular” which is experienced repeatedly, and which is inter-subjectively testable. This bias leads us to only see Order that can be perceived and experienced repeatedly by the many. This therefore defines order as that which is “regular” and repeatedly experienced. This bias seeks consistency rather than coincidence.

Yet, if the Source of “Order” is fully Independent and Sovereign, then the only consistency and regularity there can be is that of the Source, not of the [perceived] “Order”.

Furthermore, this system of knowledge defines regularity as reproducibility according to shared and consistent experience. Thus one, by definition of this system, cannot consider things such as taste or emotion as [higher] objective knowledge. Rather such knowledge takes the derogatory term of “whim”.

Thus according to this system, we give more value and authority to that knowledge which is “regular” and can be inter-subjectively testable. However I maintain that this democratic knowledge should by no means have a higher claim to the Absolute.

Man seeks Order and democratic knowledge, thus he resorts to his five senses he shares with others and integrates them with the Artifact of Logic. In the meantime, he denies his inner sixth sense which bears his individuality and uniqueness, and chooses for it the derogatory term of “whim”.

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