Page 33 - MODES of EXPLANATION

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[insert Figure 4]
Figure I.4.
Plane-crossed ellipsoid
Initially we conjecture that the intersecting planes can be thought of as the two
Sciences and the two philosophies of science (scientific realism and pragmatic
constructivism). This conception helped us shape the conference, the workshops, and this
book. Yet the exercise of organizing, gathering, speaking, listening, transcribing, questioning,
editing, and writing has led to a revision in this conception. We now are suggesting that the
two planes are those of ontology – represented by the Mobius strip of the two Sciences – and
epistemology – represented by a model of question generation that we will further discuss in
Chapter 5 and beyond. This question-generation model represents a guide to the pragmatic
hermeneutic process (see Figures I.5 and I.6).
[insert Figure 5]
Figure I.5.
Question Generation Model
[insert Figure 6]
Figure I.6.
Question Generation Model
This question-generation model allows the simple mappings of scientific realism and
Science 1 and pragmatic constructivism and Science 2 to be avoided. What it does instead is
to demand that framing issues be reexamined and not merely assumed. It is designed to help
avoid the errors described by Kahneman (2011): “We are ruined by our own biases. When
making decisions, we see what we want, ignore probabilities, and minimize risks that uproot
our hopes.” By making assumptions (and in so doing restricting ourselves to a set of labels
and a model) we predetermine what might be learned, which will limit the options that appear
to be open to us. As Kahneman says: “We often fail to allow for the possibility that evidence
that should be critical to our judgment is missing. What we see is all there is.” Gould’s (2011)
take is: “We therefore fail to note important items in plain sight, while we misread other facts
by forcing them into preset mental channels, even when we retain a buried memory of actual
events.” Further, Piattelli-Palmarini (1994) notes: “we take up only those actions and
solutions that have an immediate effect on the situation, and always as they have been framed
for us.”
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