Monday, February 20, 2012

Chaotic science wars

This interesting article investigates the political "science wars" between the feuding factions of chaos theory, between Prigogine's philosophical approach, which sees correlations with pomo cultural theory, and the more objectivist and applied approach of Mandelbrot et al.

Seems to me that the former is a more integral, pluralist and interdisciplinary thinker whereas the latter was more of a paradigm absolutist imposing one methodology on all others. Interestingly, Prigogine is comfortable with and acknowledges that metaphor is essential to not only scientific theory but all theory, given theory's embodied root in it. Whereas the idealistic (and perhaps Platonist?) objectivists abhor such metaphoric contamination amongst its ranks, so much so that Prigogine has become persona non grata within their ranks. Which is all the more interesting since "Prigogine is the only man to have to have thus far won the Nobel Prize for work related to non-linear dynamics" as of the writing of this article.

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