The World is Intelligible Belief

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A The World is Intelligible Belief is a justified belief that the world can be modeled in some formal language.



  • (Pinker, 2013-08-06) ⇒ Steven Pinker. (2013-08-06). “Science Is Not Your Enemy: An impassioned plea to neglected novelists, embattled professors, and tenure-less historians." In: New Republic, 2013-08-06.
    • QUOTE: ... science is of a piece with philosophy, reason, and Enlightenment humanism. It is distinguished by an explicit commitment to two ideals ... The first is that the world is intelligible. The phenomena we experience may be explained by principles that are more general than the phenomena themselves. These principles may in turn be explained by more fundamental principles, and so on. In making sense of our world, there should be few occasions in which we are forced to concede “It just is” or “It’s magic” or “Because I said so.” The commitment to intelligibility is not a matter of brute faith, but gradually validates itself as more and more of the world becomes explicable in scientific terms. The processes of life, for example, used to be attributed to a mysterious élan vital; now we know they are powered by chemical and physical reactions among complex molecules.

      Demonizers of scientism often confuse intelligibility with a sin called reductionism. But to explain a complex happening in terms of deeper principles is not to discard its richness.