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Introduction to General Epistemology        Chapter 2       


Introduction to General Epistemology
Second part: Epistemology


This part, after a reminder of the classical epistemology, introduces the basis of General Epistemology, which allows to exactly apprehend the inner experience, or consciousness, in more of the classical physical and material observation. For this we must explain the error of classical materialistic science, in its principles, in its language, and into numerous concrete examples.

II-1 Reminder: Epistemology

(Permalink) Epistemology is the science of knowledge: How to acquire knowledge on the world. Of course, if somebody just wants that others accept his opinions whatever they are, then he doesn't need epistemology. Epistemology is to discover things as they are, independently of our personal desires. An epistemology is a method to explore and know reality, generally based on the notion of evidence. The most well known today is the scientific method.

The basic concept of scientific epistemology is that of experimental proof. Any statement about physical reality must be proven by the observation of this reality. A statement which does not match physical reality is false. A statement which is not checked is uncertain, and thus unusable.

Generally, we prepare a theory, which is an axiomatic system (see the first part on Logic). It takes as axioms some already observed facts, thus known and safe facts, in order to predict other facts, by means of reasoning. Ideally we look for reasoning which would be rules, to which the considered physical phenomenon would obey in a constant way. When we think we have found such a rule, then we prepare an experiment to test if the physical reality actually behaves according to the rule. If so, then our theory is true, and the rule is a «law of physics», which can be used to discover other laws, or to design useful objects or machines. If not, then the theory is not true, and it allows for no use of no sort.

Thus we discover natural laws, which make possible to make other predictions, leading to other experiments, other laws... This is the very process of scientific search.


The scientific method in practice:

-The notion of evidence.

-The notion of observation.

-The reproducibility of experiments, and collective testimony, as warrant of the exactness of results.

-The concept of testability.

-Experimental protocols.

-The institutions and peers referee play a foolproof role.

This science at this end of 20th century is certainly not perfect, but thanks to these protective mechanisms and to this methodical rigour, neither fraud nor error was ever able to settle here durably. Except for the one we shall see further.

II-2 Brief history of science

(Permalink) The history of science clearly illustrates the intent of this book.


Science such as we conceive it today was founded by people like Copernicus, the first theorist, Galileo, the first experimenter, and Newton, the first to formulate a physical law. A while later people like Leibniz, enthusiastic, wished «to show the existence of God with mathematics». This ambitious project failed, because nobody really saw how to undertake such a demonstration. So, the century of the Enlightenment preferred to devote to more concrete tasks, geometry, astrometry, techniques, natural history. These people were still Christians, but this preoccupation was no longer interfering with their study of physics, that they already considered as a field different of spirituality.

The French revolution reinforced science without changing its essence. But, with persecutions against religious people, the radical refusal of religion had become a heavy tendency in society, which also counted members among scientists. The idea to use scientific methods to dispute religion developed.

The 19th century developed a science very proud of its material achievements. But this very success in the material domains was understood as a valid motive to deny the spiritual domains, especially to state the inexistence of God and of the spirit, thus leading to modern materialism and rationalism.

The 20th century saw a very strong science, enjoying an unconditional support from the political powers, with the development of large public institutions, but also strongly infused with rationalism and technocracy, which also spread into the administrative power. The matter and the «reason of Techniques» reign there as an undisputed master, often as a «revealed religion». Criticisms which appear (ecology, preservation of landscapes, spiritual rebirth, unexplained phenomena...) cannot make show their legitimacy and all the more not their possible validity. Despite this, some strong characters like Einstein, Wignier, Chalmers… recurrently actuated the topics of spirituality or consciousness, in the frame of the institution, or while approaching Eastern spiritual conceptions.

In the 21st century science could at last play its true role, with giving clear and institutional warnings about climate change. But we are however still far of a correct working: then science showed the true existence of parapsychology phenomena and UFOs, but its own institutions still «ignore» these results, a breakthrough however much more important than electricity.

To twart this censorship, the scientists gather into private groups: IANDS, SETI, etc. But what is interesting is, rather than producing an «alternative science», their results end to be accepted by all the scientists, which leads to the idea of a one science, independant of the political or ideological adventures.


II-3 The mistake of materialist science

(Permalink) (This chapter being essential, I did not summarized it much)

As I clearly stated from the very beginning, I, and many others, are not completely satisfied with today science, in spite of its undeniable and deserved success. The main reason is that, if science as a mean to know the world triumphs in physics and technique, on the other hand it is remarkably absent in immaterial fields like spirituality, ethics, significance of life, politics... In such an extend that it is said that these field «are not science», that they are open fields for all kinds of arbitrary «opinions», «beliefs» and even for dangerous ideologies that we are not free to refute in spite of their obvious falseness, as we «must not» speak of this. So we arrive to a «legitimacy of belief» into these domains!

Traditional science clearly made a CHOICE of the subjects which it agrees or not to study. Of course this choice of allowed subjects and taboo subjects is dictated by ideologies (it thus arises only from the psychological bias). These ideologies have for name rationalism, scientistism, technocracy, atheism, materialism... but we have to wait a while, as we did not yet defined these words (chapter II-6) nor we studied in detail these ideologies (chapter II-7).

How an exact science could itself limit its objectives? How the project of a general science, such as envisioned by its very founders, Newton, Leibniz and others, has been abandoned? Why these ideologies, let us say approximately materialistic, could manipulate and ensnare people who were, far more than many others, able to show their method, their sincerity and their capacity of self-questioning? For this there is a major reason, an unconscious paradigm, a basic confusion into the method itself:





All what is not material is not regarded as real, is not considered as observable, and is thus not considered as worthy of study. Worse, the idea was spread that any assertion in the immaterial fields like ethics, spirituality, politics, significance of the life, not being able of being materially demonstrated, not making any physical sense, comes within the domain of beliefs, and thus that it arises only from the psychological bias!

This even sometimes l