Unhewn demonstrations

Compell the Reasoner to Demonstrate with unhewn Demonstrations

Let the Indefinite be explored. and let every Man be judged

By his own Works, Let all Indefinites be thrown into Demonstrations

To be pounded to dust & melted in the Furnaces of Affliction:

He who would do good to another, must do it in Minute Particulars

General Good is the plea of the scoundrel hypocrite & flatterer:

For Art & Science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars

And not in generalizing Demonstrations of the Rational Power.

William Blake, ‘Jerusalem’1


This article is intended as a contribution to critical realist philosophy, not a criticism of it, but my starting point is a paradox about the critical realist corpus, and my conclusion a rather surprising practical consequence of it. Indeed the conclusion involves incorporating into a scientific realist position some views which are normally associated with romantic or Green critiques of science, although there is nothing essentially anti-scientific about them.2

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