Re: ...until you newbies showed up....

Jeff Inman (
8 Jul 1995 21:52:40 GMT

Paul Schlyter ( wrote:

> My example showed how metallurgy evolved from an art to a science. Except
> for a brief transition period, it never was both at the same time.

What your example really did was to clarify your rather unusual
definitions. The point you are making depends on me accepting your
neurotic style of vocabulary. For more sensible people, it is
perfectly obvious that metalurgy is in fact both an art and a science.
It makes clear that science is a groping with principles, and while
epistemological problems remain (i.e. always) the best that can be
done is to organize things into intuitive categories and principles.
It is the height of arrogance to forget that one is exploring rather
than merely elaborating.

In fact, the very way you originally described the "art" of metalurgy
revealed that it was a science in utero (or something), which required
you to come up with a second definition of "art" (the fictional,
mythological useless variety) so that you could persist in separating
astrology from anything remotely "scientific".

Here's how you helped me: metalurgy can be understood as a primitive
science. And also as an art. This helps me understand what one kind
of art (i.e. what the greeks called techne) is a struggling after
principles in a domain that is still too large to have real exploitive
power, in terms of reductive techniques, etc. That's also the way I
understand astrology, at the moment.

> And how do you know that was science and not art to the ninja's ??

The distinction is only improtant to you. I doubt if the ninja's gave
a damn whether what they were doing was best referred to as "art" or
"science". They had a different dictionary than you do, after all.
Those wise eastern folks knew that something could be both at once.
Curiously, this made them good at doing both. Sun Tzu's "Art of War",
for example, concerns something that is both art and science.

> Making a high-quality metal is one thing -- shaping this metal into
> aesthetically pleasing shapes is a completely different thing.

You're getting all mixed up. This has nothing to do with "art versus
science", except in your private arcane dictionary, which exists for
the sole purpose of shielding you against concepts that unite art and
science. Therefore, your arguments are tautological, in your terms,
and misguided, in anyone else's.

You don't design a sword (just) to look good, you design it to CUT.
Swords that cut extremely well, and can be utilized efficiently are
implicitly beautiful. How about that, eh? Enhancing both of these
features is both an art and a science.

> It appears that you like to confuse matters. Maybe that can appear
> stimulating to the mind, but it's not an accurate description of
> reality...

Paul Schlyter, master of reality.

> Yep! Astrology needs astronomy, but astronomy has no need for astrology...

Another way to say this is that astronomers (at least the ones you are
likely to recognize) are ignorant.

[I'm away next week. I'll probably miss any responses to this.]

Happy Trails,

"Milk those poignant thoughts, my sad little clown."

Jeff Inman