Sometime interlocutor here at the Skunkworks, Mike Cifone, a philosopher of science among other things, has launched a new blog as a space to work out his thoughts on and more importantly towards the possibility of a science of UFOs.
Cifone’s approach is complementary to and marginally overlaps that pursued here. Where I bracket the question of the reality, nature, or being of the UFO to focus on its meaning, Cifone has resolutely set his sights on thinking through just what a knowledge or science of that reality might be. Of course, the line that divides the being from the meaning of the phenomenon touches both, and in drawing that line, as I’ve had to do to make my own position clear, I have had to venture some thoughts that Cifone has found germane.
Cifone, in a radically philosophical move, begins from a point of radical ignorance of the nature of the phenomenon he would see illuminated. As he writes, “we are trying to establish our definitive ignorance, our definite lack of knowledge about something that has, frustratingly, entered into the purview of our otherwise ordinary experience.” It is from just such a standpoint, as Socrates and Husserl would agree, that the first, tentative steps toward knowledge begin.
Cifone’s notes toward a “liminal epistemology” are a breath of fresh air, sure to ruffle the feathers of both believers and skeptics.