What Does the Naturalization of Information Science Mean?June 27, 2021
Dewey thinks that all intellectual inquiry is ultimately based on some kind of problem-solving activity. The thinking process involves getting rid of a complex, questionable, ambiguous or problematic point. As a result, we move ourselves to a simpler, precise, clear and unproblematic point.
There are some assumptions behind this approach, first of all, according to Dewey, we humans are not passive spectators of the world. It is more correct to think of ourselves as beings participating in the world, being a part of it and constantly interacting with it. Classical philosophical understandings make a sharp distinction between the knower and the known, and as a result, they create inextricable epistemological problems. Dewey strongly opposes representational epistemological understandings. According to this understanding, we can only know the contents that we are directly confronted with in our minds, and we do not have the opportunity to directly confront the objective.
According to Dewey, since the knower-known distinction is not a correct distinction from the beginning, such a hypothetical understanding of knowledge cannot be accepted. There is another problem created by the epistemological understanding that we can only know what is mentally represented to us. Advocates of this understanding advise us to avoid making assumptions beyond what is given to us, and to limit our arguments and ways of thinking to the mental contents with which we come into direct contact. Dewey also opposes this recommendation. According to Dewey, we humans constantly create and test assumptions in our interaction with nature and continue to use them to the extent that these assumptions produce desirable results. At this point, avoiding making assumptions with an overly skeptical approach contradicts our way of being in the world. The question is not whether a hypothesis we put forward is compatible with existing mental contents; whether it works to meet our future goals, whether it can pass the tests in the new situations we face in the future. A good assumption is one that has stood the test of time and works as such.
Handling the thinking activity in this way creates a contrast with the traditional understanding of knowledge. It is pointless to want our knowledge to be absolutely certain at any given moment. Even our most certain beliefs at a given moment may lose their certainty in the future. In this respect, both empiricist (experimentalist) and rationalist (rational) philosophy approaches, which differ from each other with their different and opposite approaches to certainty, are problematic according to Dewey.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook