Thursday, June 18, 2009
The metaphor of the "foundations" of knowledge
When you build a structure it is essential that you build the foundation first; but when you plan a structure, you don't plan the foundation first: first you see what kind of structure it is, and then you decide on the kind of foundation you need. This is roughly analogous to the process of scientific discovery and its actual structure. We don't know what kind of foundation science needs until we know what the science has to say; but once we know a certain number of scientific data, we need to apprehend the foundations lest science be seen as a collection of unrelated facts.