Terence Blake informs me that I’ve “been reflecting on the necessary rapprochement between ontology and epistemology,” a notion I find just a little surprising. For, as I told him, I’ve not thought of myself as doing that; I’ve not set that as an intellectual objective. Yet I can see why he would make that observation.
I’ll take it under advisement.
Speaking crudely and informally, I do believe that we live in multiple worlds, each with its own way of knowing. There is no such thing as THE scientific method, not even for science, whatever that is, much less for everything.
Nor is it a matter of anything goes. Some things work, some don’t.
And, alas, we can’t sort these things out ahead of time. We can only try as best we can.
At some point the effort to know will differentiate out a realm of being. Then we know.
Some Points of Comparison
Jay Foster. Ontologies without Metaphysics: Latour, Harman and the Philosophy of Things. Analectica Hermeneutica, No. 3 (2011)
Here’s a suggestive passage, p. 9:
Harman declares himself to be a “traditional” philosopher insofar as he thinks that metaphysical issues are “separate” from epistemological issues. Latour does not entertain this traditional distinction between metaphysics and epistemology, or ontology and epistemology. Questions about how scientists know objects via acquaintance with some but not all of their properties are an indispensable part of Latour’s work. Latour does agree with Harman this far: scientific acquaintance with an object does not involve discovering its nature or essence.
I like that: “...some but not all of their properties...” As you may know, I’ve conjectured that objects have unbounded properties.
Then there’s this old post: Q. Where’s Reality? A. Which One?