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The New Inquisition: Irrational Rationalism and the Citadel of Science Paperback – April 23, 2020
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"For Bob, nothing was sacred and nothing was set in stone – except maybe the idea that fundamentalism is a dangerous dead end. Like Alfred Korzybski’s Science and Sanity, Robert Anton Wilson’s The New Inquisition seeks to rescue science from fundamentalist materialism, and the rest of us from the broader implications of this approach. It is at once a philosophical treatise and an act of cognitive defiance . . . His message is more important right now than it was when he wrote it. Our digital fundamentalists see human beings as an engineering problem to be solved. Behaviors and thoughts that do not conform to our algorithmically generated profiles are to be eliminated, and humans shepherded into the reality tunnels that obey the laws of rationality alone. We are right now being programmed by the very fundamental materialists RAW is warning us about on these pages."
– from Douglas Rushkoff's Introduction to The New Inquisition
"What great physicist hides behind the mask of Wilson?"
- New Scientist
"Malicious, misguided fanaticism."
- Robert Sheaffer, The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
Finnegan quoting Sean Murphy, "Ah, Jaysus," he said, "I've never seen a boogerin' normal day." He paused to set down his pint, then added thoughtfully, "And I never met a fookin' average man neither"
- Timothy F.X. Finnegan, Committee for Surrealist Investigation of Claims of the Normal
"OBSCENE, blasphemous, subversive and very, very interesting."
-- Alan Watts, Zen Philosopher
About the Author
- Publisher : Hilaritas Press, LLC.; 2nd edition (April 23, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 350 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1734473541
- ISBN-13 : 978-1734473544
- Item Weight : 14.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.73 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #258,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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"There remains, of course, Scientific Method (SM), the alleged source of the certitude of those I call the New Idolators. SM is a mixture of SD (sense data: usually aided by instruments to refine the senses) with the old Greek PR. Unfortunately, while SM is powerfully effective, and seems to most of us the best method yet devised by mankind, it is made up of two elements which we have already seen are fallible - SD (sense data) and PR (pure reason) can both deceive us. Again: two fallibilities do not add up to one infallibility. Scientific generalizations which have lasted a long time have a high probability, perhaps the highest probability of any generalizations, but it is only Idolatry which claims none of them will ever again have to be revised or rejected. Too many have been revised or rejected in this century alone.
Certitude is seized by some minds, not because there is any philosophical justification for it, but because such minds have an emotional need for certitude."
The main point of the book is how science fell prey to Fundamentalist Materialism or the New Idolatry, as Wilson calls it. This is basically the failure to adhere to the scientific principle of empirical testing and remain model agnostic. What this means is that scientists begin to pay more heed to pet theories, ego, career, and popular paradigms than to actual data, and let honest, open inquiry fall by the wayside. He uses data from a wide variety of sources, including hard science and some fairly fringe areas.
He challenges the status quo and argues quite convincingly that science has followed much the same path as religion in this regard, even to the point of calling dissenters "heretics."
Wilson's ability to shake entrenched notions and cause one to entertain new thoughts is quite singular, and I consider him one of the most important writers and thinkers in Amercia today. I highly recommend this and his other works.
Top reviews from other countries
In terms of content, the book covers the topics that Bob covers in Prometheus Rising and Quantum Psychology (primarily), so for me it was nice to read familiar material in a somewhat new context with some new anecdotes. If I were to recommend to someone to read a RAW book, then this would not be it. I think this lacked a bit of the humor and some of the context that I find to be better elaborated in Prometheus Rising, then again it's difficult to beat that one. I've read probably 8 times already.
If it’ll give you at least some of what it’s giving me, it’d be a real shame for you to miss out...