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oschalit's picture

the end of the world as we know it?

This statement, “it’s the end of the world as we know it”, touches upon the core of issue regarding realism. This issue being the lack of knowledge surrounding the question, how do things appear when we are not looking at or thinking about them? Do these things have a purpose without people, human beings, projecting their lives, thoughts and observations onto them? Kosso and Lukacs intersect on this point in that they both emphasize the distraction of realist scientists who, by labeling, defining, calculating and comparing, lose sight of how this so called “reality” can really be understood. Kosso explains at the beginning of the chapter, “The things we know are apparently as much our own doing as the world’s and we seem to be stuck describing how nature appears to us rather than how nature is in itself” (p.3). Lukacs explains as well, in a few of his “illustrations”, that in fact we are impeding our knowledge of the world by, for example, developing a nomenclature for it, applying numbers and equations to it and by deeming our knowledge “factual”, as he puts it. Nature and knowledge are ever changing. Now, especially, these theorists are pushing past what they know and see, hence the title, “it’s the end of the world as we knew it”.

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