Popular conceptions and the communication of philosophical views of reality
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The aim of this article is to show that the issue is not whether there is a mutual communication between philosophy, the special sciences (scholarly disciplines or scientific disciplines) and popular conceptions, but rather whether these communications acknowledge what are actually communicated, namely philosophical views of reality. Unless this basic and inevitable mutual communication is recognised the ultimate philosophical roots of much that is floating around will not be acknowledged as such. The philosophical problem of the coherence of irreducibles receives a negative answer in monistic -isms – such as physicalism or biologism – that attempt to elevate some or other aspect of reality to be the exclusive and decisive principle of explanation of whatever there is. One may designate the underlying philosophical issue here also as that of unity and diversity. In our discussion below another issue will surface, namely the relation between continuity and discontinuity (constancy and change). These examples will serve to show that the special sciences cannot operate except upon the basis of implicit or explicit (perennial) philosophical problems explicitly or implicitly communicated from philosophy to the various academic disciplines and popular conceptions of reality. In the course of the exposition the impasse of special scientific stances (such as physicalism and neo-Darwinism) will be subjected to immanent criticism from the perspective of a non-reductionist ontology, in particular also questioning positivism as a philosophical orientation, the philosophical stance known for its denial that it is a philosophical orientation.