Science/philosophy is the process of sorting out what is the real world from what are anthropomorphic projections of how we have evolved to see the world based on what benefitted our ancestors in pleistocene environments where most of the shaping of evolution on proto human brains occured.What makes science any less anthropocentric than the way our ancestors gained knowledge about the world? Are you implying that Aristotle's theory of knowledge was correct in postulating that mankind's knowledge ascends higher and higher towards Truth with he passage of time? Are we more attuned to reality than our ancestors were?
Science, at its best, is less anthropocentric because it imposes a better methodology upon itself than say, armchair philosophy, which at it's worst is simply a tautologous (analytic) shuffling of words which just unpacks what was there all along in different combinations (see nietzsche on 'truth and lies...'). Science produces synthetic truths...i.e. information which is true, *but which was not simply contained in the premises all along*. Philosophy produces analytic truths...i.e. information which is true but which was there all along. Mathematics is an interesting sub-set of purely apriori exploration which produces synthetic truths.
Some of our ancestors thought they could cure illness by snipping off bits of their genitals, or make a sea journey more successfull but sacrificing a nice heffer to poseidon. All this was the result of specialised, evolved algorithms in the human brain whcih we all possess and which give us unconscious rules of social exchange. These psychological adaptations were successful for they allowed us to benefit from interaction with human agents (we feel, intuitively, that we should offer something up if we want something in return like health or a good voyage) but we overextend this innate 'logic' to supernatural agents. This is a concrete, empirical example of our ancestors viewing the world through anthropomorphic tinted glasses. Our evolved cognitive biases, or how we evolved to process data from the world, is studied by cognitive scientists and evolutionary psychologists: http://avaxhome.ws/ebooks/The_Adapted_Mind_Evolutionary_Psychology_and_the_Generation_of_Culture.html
. I will leave you to ponder whether you think science is more 'in contact' with reality in these sorts of situations.
Perhaps our ancestors had different kinds of knowledge that we moderns lack, while we possess greater utilitarian knowlede about how to cure illnesses and make sea journeys more successfull. Maybe. Ancients may have had a more 'holistic' understanding of life... but probably by accident because they didn't have the science to get bogged down in very specific avenues of knowledge.
yes Aristotle was corrent, but not beause he knew why. The modern problem is that knowledge has become very compartmentalised and overtly moralised.
Also, what makes humans predisposed towards perfect forms if they don't exist?
Efficiency and the hammer and chisel of evolution. You place something under an idealised and abstracted mental category for ease of processing. Like 'good'. 'Good' doesn't exist but we place 'not killing infants and children in the group' under the ideal mental category of 'good' for ease of processing, or more specifically for the moral case, because it was beneficial to regard it as bad... not because it WAS bad, outside the observer.
Was Plato implying the Realm of Forms is really just mental? Are the mathematical patterns we perceive in nature just psychology?
Plato didn't know about evolution so, being a smart man, came up with an interesting logical epistemological hypthoesis in its absence. He observed, correctly, that there are no pure triangles in nature... but then how do we come to have an understanding of pure triangle? We must have come from a different realm before this one (in which there are no pure triangles), in which we were in contact with the form of a triangle!
Mathematics is an interesting one. it will be psychological on some level I think. It will be 'hardware' not 'software', like language faculty is 'hardware' but the method of induction is 'software': a thiking tool we learn from cultural evolution. re maths: There are interested neurological observations which have seen that the brain keeps track of frequency using nueronal pulses (we hear one noise and one pulse is accumulated, two noises and two accumulate etc) and this may mean that we evolved basic arithmetic abilities as hardware and developed these culturally. Are there nubmers 'in' nature... or do we represent nature with numbers which just happens to work?