Tsze-lu said, “The ruler of Wei has been waiting for you, in order with you to administer the government. What will you consider the first thing to be done? “The Master replied, “What is necessary is to rectify names.” (Analects of Confucius)

At the beginning of his now classic work After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre asks us to imagine a future society in our civilization has collapsed. (Not too difficult to do). The remnants of our scientific knowledge would be perhaps remain in textbooks and other resources, and these would be carefully preserved and taught. At the same time, the whole scientific infrastructure that allowed that the content of the sciences to have truth and coherent meaning would be gone. The scientific nomenclature would become a body of opinion which might correspond with reality, but might not. It would be what later generations could make of it.

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