Technology and Human Responsibility

Issue #162                                                   April 5, 2005
                   A Publication of The Nature Institute
             Editor:  Stephen L. Talbott (

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Editor's Note

Recognizing Reality (Stephen L. Talbott)
   Toward a New, Qualitative Science (Part 1)


About this newsletter


                              EDITOR'S NOTE

Regarding the following essay:  if any of you have been impatient with my
earlier critique of mechanistic science, or with the dialogue on mechanism
that Kevin Kelly and I pursued, then I hope you will read, with critical
faculties on high alert, the series that begins here.  I will be
attempting to articulate the vision of reality that has, all along, been
implicit in the critique, and from which the critique arose.

I will continue to gather, re-organize, and revise all these essays, along
with various supporting papers, on the Nature Institute website.  You'll
find the entire collection at
For those of you who live within striking distance of Hudson, New York: I'll be giving a lecture at The Nature Institute the evening of Thursday, April 14, at 7:30 It's entitled, "Grasping for Certainty, Fleeing from Meaning: The Dilemma of Science and Some Thoughts on Its Resolution". Go to for details. SLT Goto table of contents ========================================================================== RECOGNIZING REALITY Toward a New, Qualitative Science (Part 1) Stephen L. Talbott ( What is a quality? I cannot tell you -- at least not in any direct way. This makes it difficult for me when a reader, Maurice Englander, responds to "The Reduction Complex" (NF #158) by complaining that "Talbott never defines what he means by 'quality'". Former Wired editor, Kevin Kelly, voices a similar concern when he asks me for a definition of "the exact method of holism -- how it runs as a science and not as poetry". I respect these requests. This essay is the beginning of a response. But I am afraid my response may not be quite what my correspondents were looking for. The crucial issue, we