Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Morning Scepticism: Dragons

To say a dragon has wings would be as non-controversial as saying an elephant has tusks. Yet elephants have wings is a statement of fact, it's something empirically verifiable or falsifiable. Dragons don't exist, or at least as far as we are aware. So while a statement about the nature of dragons can seem just the same as talking about an animal, they are in very different ontological categories. Forest that's been been damaged by something large would count as evidence for elephants, yet a fire would not count as evidence for dragons. The conceptual of a dragon may be able to breathe fires, but there's no link between dragons and real fires. It's giving a construct an explanatory power that hasn't been established.

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