Friday, October 06, 2006

In Homage to Clio:
In contradiction to the beliefs of modern "neo-pagans" who never bother to examine things too closely the mythology of Greece was a rather fluid thing. It varied with location and with time. Some beliefs were not just "different" from others but in total contradiction to them. One of the beliefs that changed through time is the mythology of the 'Muses' . In one version these are the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (one version of "memory" in Greek). At first there were only 3 Muses who were worshipped at Mount Helicon in Boeotia. Three different versions were worshipped at Delphi. Finally there were nine Muses. These were the goddesses of the various arts and sciences. What follows is my tribute to Clio, the Goddess of History.
Why is Clio a great goddess ? Many have said that physics is the queen of the sciences. This is because of its accuracy, simplicity and beauty. Recent developments in "string theory" have thrown this regal status in doubt because a branch of physics has become no more meaningful than theology or post modernism. But the goal of physics still remains for the other sciences to strive for.
That is one "great goddess". What is the equivalent in the "social sciences" ? These fields of study are not yet "sciences" in the strict definition of the term whereby they present propositions that can be proven true or false (ie "falsified") in a more or less dispassionate dialogue. The "dialogue" of the social sciences is heavily ideological, even though it is being encroached upon in fields such as psychology, anthropology and economics by "real science". One can expect the ideologues to carry out a rear-guard action against reality in these disciplines for a few more decades until the old professors are all dead.
There are some academic disciplines that are so much ideological creatures that one can never expect them to be penetrated by reality. Political "science" ? Philosophy ? In a more neutral field, ethics ?
But there is one social science that has its own methods and views that can compare to the natural sciences. Clio is the Muse of History. history assumes that there were real events that actually happened, despite the protests of foolish post modernists. It is as based in reality as any natural science. Even what actually happened may be in dispute, but Clio sets outs ways of argument that can lead to an understanding of such disputes. As to "why" certain events happened the "way of Clio" is a much better guide to reality than any other "method" that has been proposed. It restricts explanation in a way that other social sciences do not. So called "sciences" that give a greater range to the imagination than any theology ever has.
Thus, I am a worshipper at the shrine of the Goddess Clio. She is the greatest of the Muses. Things seen in her light take on a different perspective from other lights.
Molly waiting for her flight.

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