Instrumentalism




[Ariel] Rubenstein refuses to claim that his knowledge of theoretical matters can be translated - by him - into anything directly practical. 

To him, economics is like a fable - a fable writer is there to stimulate ideas, indirectly inspire practice perhaps, but certainly not to direct or determine practice.

[Nassim Nicholas Taleb]
Antifragile, p. 211




All things organic are dying in the grip of organisation. An artificial world is permeating and poisoning the natural. Civilisation has itself become a machine that does, or tries to do, everything in mechanical fashion. 

We think only in horsepower now; we cannot look at a waterfall without mentally turning it into electric power; we cannot survey a countryside full of pasturing cattle without thinking of its exploitation as a source of meat supply; we cannot look at the beautiful old handwork of a lively and primitive people without wishing to replace it by modern technical process.

[Oswald Spengler]
Man and Technics, p. 72




With the decline of metaphysics, ethics has outgrown its status as a subordinate element in abstract theory. Henceforth it is philosophy, the other divisions being absorbed into it and practical living becoming the centre of consideration. 

The passion of pure thought sinks down. Metaphysics, mistress yesterday, is handmaid now; all it is required to do is to provide a foundation for practical views. And the foundation becomes more and more superfluous. 

It becomes the custom to despise and mock at the metaphysical, the unpractical, the philosophy of “stone for bread." 

There is exactly the same difference in Classical philosophy before and after Aristotle - on the one hand, a grandly conceived Cosmos to which a formal ethic adds almost nothing, and, on the other, ethics as such, as programme, as necessity with a desultory ad hoc metaphysic for basis. 

[Oswald Spengler]
The Decline of the West, Vol. 1, p.366



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