Foresight and Knowledge by Yves R. Simon
By Yves R. Simon
For Yves R. Simon, philosophy has an affinity to technology, no longer within the feel that philosophy is a trifling metascience, a statement at the sciences, yet relatively since it stocks an identical target as technology: the quest for rationalization. The philosophy Simon espouses is philosophical realism which, following Jacques Maritain, he prefers to name severe realism. opposed to the unfairness that just some model of philosophical idealism, be it serious or absolute, is in a position to knowing optimistic technology. Simon, in Foresight and information, develops a philosophy of technological know-how shape a pragmatic standpoint. Philosophy of technology or the critique of technology, because it used to be identified in France, is in accordance with Simon, metahphysics within the workout of its serious functionality. Simon selects because the important concentration of the treatise the matter of determinism, causality, and likelihood. Simon exhibits that the idea that determinismmust be understood in several conceptual platforms, similar to a philosophy of nature and physics; within the latter, determinism is conceived as conceivable of sure and precise prediction.
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But this determination of the fortuitous is only de facto and not de jure. The necessity of the contingent is but an inevitability, a factual necessity; it is an historical, not an essential necessity. If you consider as factually existing, historically posited, an aggregate of causes whose actions converge without their convergence being embodied either in any of these causes or in the aggregate itselfwhich, by hypothesis, is nonunifiedthe result of their convergence, provided no free agent steps in, will occur necessarily (according to an historical necessity) without ceasing to be contingent and fortuitous: fortuitous, for it is not intended by any cause, or by any unified system of causes; and contingent, for it would not have occurred if another aggregate of causes had been factually posited.
Much effort has been expended with a view to establishing this mutual trust; it is appropriate to ask ourselves where we are now and what remains to be done. A first point is established. We are present, on the side of Thomistic philosophers, at the decline of that spirit of philosophic imperialism which formerly was able to place the freedoms of positive science in jeopardy. Maritain's work has definitely liquidated the tragic misunderstanding begun during the Galilean-Cartesian age, and no one today any longer maintains that the very possibility Page 4 of an experimental and mathematico-physical science is excluded by the principles of Aristotle's philosophy; but if there are Thomists who undertake to return this misunderstanding to the order of the day, let us dare to say that they are wasting their time.
The conjunction of their kinship and of their misfortune may not be fortuitous. They may have been exposed to the same danger because they wished to stay close to each other. If, on the contrary, two brothers one of whom is serving on the northern border and the other in the South are killed the same day, there is every reason to consider this conjunction as a chance happening. Thus, when the two great brothers-in-arms, Desaix and Kléber, fell on the same day, indeed almost at the same moment, one on the field of battle at Marengo, the other, at the hand of a fanatic, in the city of Cairo, there certainly was no connection between the maneuvers of the armies on the plains of Piedmont and the causes that, on the same day, led the assassin to attempt his work.