The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Need for Metaphysics and Common Sense (in ufology)


In the preliminary stages of change in the study of UFOs, sparked by Paul Kimball, Nick Redfern, and us (among a few others: Moody, CDA, Gilles Fernandez, et al.) there has to be some quiding principles of and for thought.

Mr. Kimball, at his blog -- The Other Side of Truth -- is addressing some of the issues for the new ufology.

And, for our part, we keep the ball rolling with a paper by James Williams that provides an exegesis of Alfred North Whitehead's thoughts on common sense in Process and Realty.

The paper, for those with intellectual stamina, outlines how metaphysics and life can be enhanced by proper thinking and observation.

Click here for Willams' paper (a PDF)

Ufology, a term we hate and hope to see discarded in future, and the study of UFOs need a cataclysmic paradigm shift.

Kimball, Redfern, and the skeptics, Moody, Christopher Allen, Fernandez, along with our small part are at the forefront, we hope, of a major change in how UFOs are discussed, studied, commented on, and viewed by media, academe, science, and the public.

This posting is a small step in that direction.

7 Comments:

  • Hi Rich,

    Obviously, it was an area that Mac Tonnies was very interested in as well. Greg Bishop is certainly another who has been discussing these questions, at least publicly, far longer than I have.

    Ufology is dead. UFOs as they have been represented by ufologists are dead.

    But then, were they ever really alive?

    There is so much more to ponder, and consider... and yes, UFOs might have a part to play in it. They might represent a clue as to who we are, as opposed to the other way around.

    Thanks for the link - I'll have a look on the flight to LA on Tuesday, and then Greg and I can discuss over milkshakes.

    Paul

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Sunday, May 15, 2011  

  • "we cannot work with a definition of explanation that commits us to a narrow set, or to a particular approach"

    A great quote and lots of approaches need to be brought in: Scientific, technological, historical, psychological, sociological. UFOs are just too broad a subject.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Sunday, May 15, 2011  

  • Thanks, Paul, but the post above is from my sons Richard and Josh who wish to move away from UFOs or, at least, address them in a totally new way, with which I agree, as do you.

    To quote from my favorite magazine, The New Yorker, about the truth of innovation [5/16 issue, Page 52]...

    The psychologist Dean Simonton writes about the fecundity of genius:

    "Bach, in his lifetime, created more than a thousand full-fledged musical compositions. A genius is a genius...because he can put together such a staggering number of insights, ideas, theories, ransdom observations, and unexpected connections that he almost inevitably ends up with something great. 'Quality...is a probalistic fuction of quantity...'

    There is nothing neat and efficient about creativity. 'The more successes there are...the more failures there are as well' - meaning the the person who had far more ideas than the rest of us will have far more bad ideas than the rest of us too."

    This approach is fine with me, and I would hope with the new breed of UFO investigators, leaving behind the UFO old-guard and their mouldering ideas and regurgitation of details from classic sightings that they continue to pummel everyone with in order to appear erudite, but only confirming how lousy their thinking and innovation is.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 16, 2011  

  • Don't forget that there have been previous attempts at the 'new ufology'. John Keel started it in 1970 with his Trojan Horse book. Then there was Magonia (in the UK) at around that time. There was Jaques Vallee, etc. You can always find others.

    So beware of labelling anything as 'new'.

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, May 16, 2011  

  • This time, CDA, it will be new.

    Since the persons involved are not cursed by the original sin(s) of Friedman, Maccabee, Clark, Ledger and all the other UFO codgers who've mucked up UFO studies with their hubris and stupidity.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 16, 2011  

  • CDA,

    You don't have to worry about a "new ufology", at least not from me. That's far too restrictive an outlook, and I want no part of it. Never have. I let the pseudosceptical disbelievers and the pseudoscientific believers have that ground. They deserve each other, while smarter, more balanced people in the middle get on with things.

    Paul

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Monday, May 16, 2011  

  • Paul et al.

    A new ufology is not needed and is almost an oxymoron.

    But an all-encompassing attack on the Fortean or paranormal universe is an effort that can be made, without all the grotesque accretions that have besoddened the phenomena that abuts our mundane reality.

    That effort needs a sobriquet and "ufology" isn't it.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 16, 2011  

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