Wednesday, October 06, 2010

John McMurtry: Reclaiming Rationality and Scientific Method - The Life-Coherence Principle as Global System Imperative

McMurtry's conclusions are exactly correct, in my opinion - the "how" of correcting the problems is the big picture piece I am not seeing yet. Here is the main issue that I agree with:
What has been excluded must be included - the universal life support systems whose preconditions must be taken into account for full coherence of any claim to truth. There are three general criteria of truth versus falsehood and ignorance. The first two are known, but the third has been missing. There is (1) consistency of assertions with established evidence, what scientific method has mastered. There is (2) consistency of inferences with premises, what philosophical logic and analytic philosophy have mastered. And there is (3) consistency of objectives and conclusions with life support systems which have been recognized by neither. There is no full coherence without consistency of all three. One cannot deny any of these three requirements of reason without absurdity. It cannot be rational or scientific to ignore or flout empirical evidence, to be inconsistent in claim, or to violate the requirements of universal life support systems. The most primary consistency – that without which life capacity is always reduced or destroyed – is now due.
Sounds right to me. Here is the beginning of the rather long article posted at Global Research: Center for Research on Globalization. I could be optimistic, but
McMurtry seems to be arguing for a worldcentric values system in the global economy.
The Life-Coherence Principle as Global System Imperative

Global Research, October 5, 2010


This paper explains what has long been missing across domains and levels of analysis: (1) the life-blind inner logic regulating the dominant paradigms of “rationality” and “scientific method”; (2) the reasons why it selects for unforeseen consequences of ecological, social and economic collapse; and (3) the life-coherence principle which identifies and corrects the derangement.


12.1. The Nature of the Rising Global Crisis and Why It Cannot Be Seen

12.2. Recognizing the Connected Disasters and Their System Causal Mechanism

12.3. The Ultimate Decider: Society’s Rule System Decides Life as Better or Worse

12.4. The Driver of the Ruling System: Self-Maximizing Rationality with No Life Ground

12.5. The Regulating Sequence of System Rationality and Its Alternative Step By Step

12.6. The Hidden Mechanism: Private Financial Subjugation of Society and the Academy

12.7. Prisoner’s Dilemma and Game Theory: The Paradigm of Scientific Rationality

12.8. The Underlying Incapacity of Critical Responses to the World Disorder

12.9. The Failure of Rational and Scientific Method to Understand Global Collapse

12.10. The Unexamined Problem of System-Cooked Science

12.11. The Life Coherence Principle: The Missing Ground of Scientific Rationality

12.1. The Nature of the Rising Global Crisis and Why It Cannot Be Seen?

Humanity’s governing rule system has generated a fatal contradiction. There is a deep-structural contradiction between its life-means support-system requirements, on the one hand, and the global system of private money-sequence and commodity growth, on the other. It is not, as Marx taught, a contradiction between productive force development and capitalist relations because both grow in technological tandem while the world burns. It is a deeper contradiction of the ruling system with life and life support systems themselves. The meaning of this crisis has been tracked throughout this study from 1.12. The Life-Blind Nature of Modern Economic Rationality and 1.14. The Axiological Sequences of Money Capital and Life Capital through 9.10. Above Public and Market Rules: The Money-Sequence System Disorder to 11.5. The Unseen War: Goods for Corporate Persons Are Bads For Human Persons and 11.12. Absolutization of the Ruling Rights System Overrides Life and Life Support Systems.

The reigning system is governed by private money-sequence growth as determining goal, and more priced-commodity yield growth is its justifying performance. Yet both of these ruling principles of value gain cumulatively violate life requirements at organic, civil and ecological levels. Although calls for a steady-state or no-growth system increase as the negative externalities of system growth destabilize the life of the planet, these rising calls usually remain stuck within the old concept of growth. Unlimited consumerism and inequality are rightly rejected, but no yardstick of life needs and capacity realization steers conception instead. To speak of “a fuller, greater, or better kind of development”, as Herman Daly, the most grounded of contemporary critical economists does in his Ecological Economics and the Ecology of Economics , is not made criterially clear by defining it as “qualitative improvement in the composition of the physical stocks of wealth that result from greater knowledge of technique and purpose”. How does one tell “better” from worse, or “qualitative improvement” from not? The problem here is one of repeating pro-value terms without principled meaning. This is a common problem, as we have seen, even with advanced theorists who know something has gone badly wrong. Life-value analysis meets such problems by its primary axiom and measure, explained in Chapter 6 on and systematically addressed ahead as “the life-coherence principle”.

The more prevalent problem is that system irrationality cannot be seen at all by its agents because they presuppose it as necessary and/or good a-priori. Critical philosophers too lack this grounding principle, as 5.15. The Imperative of a Higher Value Standard to Judge Practices and Traditions and10.11. Justice Theory Without Life-Ground, Life Plans without Life have explained at the most general normative-analysis level.

12.1.1. The Idea of an Invisible Hand Regulating Competition to an Optimal Result

The idea of an ‘invisible hand’ adjusting supply of private commodities to private money demand by self-maximizing competition among atomic agents is the theodicy of a ruling system which can see nothing else. There has been much said and unsaid about this logic of “the free market”, but the concept of “free market” itself has remained confused. The free market of local and independent artisans not affecting supply or demand explained by Adam Smith has almost nothing in common with the transnational-corporate oligopolist system regulating the world today. At the same time, the universal human life needs and the life support systems which lie at the base of the economic enterprise are blinkered out. If the economics is critical rather than propagandist, the generic life-standard regulators required to govern at the system level are lost in local examples without a principled ground of alternative.
Read the whole article.

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