Monday, September 26, 2005

The Epistemological 'Perfect Storm'

Author Dan Simmons, whom I've mentioned favorably on this site before, publishes a monthly letter to fans on his website, that I'm linking to below.
Readers of this blog may know that I've recommended some of his books, especially 'Darwin's Blade' and 'The Crook Factory', along with his sci-fi series 'Hyperion'.
In this month's letter, he talks of his epistemological 'storm' i.e., "one of those rare and serendipitous conjunctions of books randomly read resulting in a quantum leap in conceptual understanding on an important issue or opaque era or human dilemma or complex idea or all four of these catagories and more..."

Mr. Simmons goes on to lambast creationism among other things, but says this interesting quote: "How can I think and write with greater clarity while simultaneously discovering and creating more ambiguity?"

I'm linking to this open letter not as an endorsement of Mr. Simmons own epistemology or of his conclusions, but as an exercise in 'Philosophical Detection' for those who wish to read a stimulating article.

Best premises!

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