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An Interview with Claus Volko, M.D. on Ethics and Critical Rationalism (Part Three)

June 1, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 23.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Nineteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: June 1, 2020

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2020

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,764

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Claus Volko is an Austrian computer and medical scientist who has conducted research on the treatment of cancer and severe mental disorders by conversion of stress hormones into immunity hormones. This research gave birth to a new scientific paradigm which he called “symbiont conversion theory”: methods to convert cells exhibiting parasitic behaviour to cells that act as symbionts. In 2013 Volko, obtained an IQ score of 172 on the Equally Normed Numerical Derivation Test. He is also the founder and president of Prudentia High IQ Society, a society for people with an IQ of 140 or higher, preferably academics. He discusses: Philosophy; ethical philosophy; non-religious or without religious affiliation in Austria; religions; Critical Rationalism; principle of Falsifiability; classical liberalism of John Stuart Mill; John Locke, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrick August von Hayek; strengths and weaknesses of classical liberalism, socialism, fascism, and conservatism; liberalism against Marxist socialism and Plato’s totalitarianism; a critical rationalist approaching a problem; John Locke; Ludwig von Mises; Friedrich August von Hayek; me counterexamples to the given existence statements and universal statements; classical liberal ideals; and moving the dial further towards classical liberal ideals.

Keywords: Claus Volko, Critical Rationalism, ethics, Friedrich Hayek, John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Ludwig von Mises.

An Interview with Claus Volko, M.D. on Ethics and Critical Rationalism: Austrian Computer and Medical Scientist (Part Three)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: This week’s session, I want to focus on the ending point of Part Two, which dealt with the metaphysical and philosophical questions important to so many in an informal way and salient to an extreme niche of studious people in a formal manner. To rake the leaves here, some softer questions to start us off: What philosophy makes the most sense to you?

Dr. Claus Volko: My father was a fan of Karl Popper and thought that Popper’s philosophy was the only one worth spending time with. I share a similar preference for Popper over other philosophers. Popper tried to come up with a rational epistemic methodology that follows the laws of logic, and he also applied it to political philosophy.

2. Jacobsen: What ethical philosophy makes the most sense to you?

Volko: I have dealt quite a bit with political philosophy during my student years and I prefer the political philosophy of classical liberalism over others such as socialism, conservatism and fascism. Classical liberalism is about freedom from force enacted by the government. The
government shall be minimal and only take care of the protection of life and property. Karl Popper was also a liberal philosopher. He wrote “The Open Society and Its Enemies” in which he defended liberalism against Marxist socialism and Plato’s totalitarianism.

3. Jacobsen: You are non-religious or without religious affiliation in Austria. Do you believe in a god or gods? If so, why so? If not, why not?

Volko: For me god is a metaphor for laws governing the universe that we know or do not know of. So if I write “Thank God” it is not that I am thinking of a person but it is a phrase to signify that something good happened, perhaps by chance, perhaps by reason.

4. Jacobsen: As a non-religious person, why be non-religious when so many religions offer sustenance for so many in their emotional, ethical, social, and intellectual lives?

Volko: For me religions do not offer anything but restriction in my thinking.

5. Jacobsen: What relates the social, political, economic, and ethical philosophies for you?

Volko: Karl Popper called his philosophy “Critical Rationalism”. I would also say that my approach is a rationalist one. I try to investigate everything analytically and back up my stances with reason.

6. Jacobsen: Your emphasis on Karl Popper is interesting to me. It’s important for a number of reasons. One of those is the principle of Falsifiability. If something can be proposed as a theory about the world, then it should provide a means by which to show a condition under which the theory would fail. What kinds of hypotheses would fall under this? What types of theories would not?

Volko: From a strictly logical point of view only universal statements fall under this, but not existence statements. Existence statements can be proven by providing an example, while it is extremely difficult to disprove them. By contrast, to universal statements Popper’s principle applies. You cannot prove a universal statement, but it is enough to provide a single counterexample to disprove a universal statement. Popper was of the opinion that scientific knowledge is preliminary and therefore science should restrain itself to making only statements that can be falsified if a counterexample is found.

7. Jacobsen: Are we speaking of the classical liberalism of John Stuart Mill? If others, who?

Volko: John Locke, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrick August von Hayek – there are several big names.

8. Jacobsen: What seem like the inherent strengths and weaknesses of classical liberalism, socialism, fascism, and conservatism?

Volko: These ideologies have different goals. Classical liberalism wants to maximize freedom from force by the state, socialism emphasizes equality, fascism tries to create a totalitarian state that controls everything (the opposite of classical liberalism), and conservatism is about stability and keeping up societal hierarchies.

9. Jacobsen: In Popper’s text mentioned, what were some of the defences put forward for liberalism against Marxist socialism and Plato’s totalitarianism?

Volko: The open society welcomes foreigners and integrates them into society. By means of democratic elections the government can be ousted and replaced by a more capable government. Popper essentially criticizes Marx and Plato for being enemies of freedom.

10. Jacobsen: In a Critical Rationalism, what is the mode of thinking there? In that, what is the process of a critical rationalist approaching a problem?

Volko: In general the approach is rational, based on facts and logical thinking rather than sentiments. However, the critical rationalist is also aware that rationalism is limited and that it is itself based on the irrational assumption that rational thinking is superior to emotional feeling.

11. Jacobsen: Naturally, I am lead to ask in succession. Why John Locke?

Volko: He is the author of Two Treatises of Government and generally considered the father of classical liberalism.

12. Jacobsen: Why Ludwig von Mises?

Volko: He is the author of Human Action and very influential in the libertarian community.

13. Jacobsen: Why Friedrich August von Hayek?

Volko: He was a Nobel Prize winning economist who wrote The Road to Serfdom. Like with Mises, many in the libertarian community identify with him.

14. Jacobsen: What some counterexamples to the given existence statements and universal statements, so as to show how this process works?

Volko: A universal statement is: “All ravens are black”. An existential statement is: “There is a white raven”. These two statements contradict each other. By proving the existential statement, the universal statement is disproven, and vice versa, though proving the universal statement and disproving the existential statement is very difficult.

15. Jacobsen: What states best represent classical liberal ideals now?

Volko: This question is difficult to answer, mostly because of my limited experience. Economically, small principalities such as Liechtenstein might come close to classical liberalism. Regarding personal freedom, there are limitations to it all around the world, but of course in the Western democracies people enjoy more personal freedom than in the People’s Republic of China and other dictatorships.

16. Jacobsen: Following from the last question, how could those states move the dial further towards classical liberal ideals of Mill, von Mises, von Hayek, Locke, and others?

Volko: By adopting laws that grant freedom and abolishing laws that limit it.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1]  Austrian Computer and Medical Scientist.

[2] Individual Publication Date: June 1, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/volko-three; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2020: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Claus Volko, M.D. on Ethics and Critical Rationalism: Austrian Computer and Medical Scientist (Part Three) [Online].June 2020; 23(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/volko-three.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, June 1). An Interview with Claus Volko, M.D. on Ethics and Critical Rationalism: Austrian Computer and Medical Scientist (Part Three)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/volko-three.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Claus Volko, M.D. on Ethics and Critical Rationalism: Austrian Computer and Medical Scientist (Part Three). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 23.A, June. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/volko-three>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “An Interview with Claus Volko, M.D. on Ethics and Critical Rationalism: Austrian Computer and Medical Scientist (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 23.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/volko-three.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Claus Volko, M.D. on Ethics and Critical Rationalism: Austrian Computer and Medical Scientist (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 23.A (June 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/volko-three.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Claus Volko, M.D. on Ethics and Critical Rationalism: Austrian Computer and Medical Scientist (Part Three)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 23.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/volko-three>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Claus Volko, M.D. on Ethics and Critical Rationalism: Austrian Computer and Medical Scientist (Part Three)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 23.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/volko-three.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Claus Volko, M.D. on Ethics and Critical Rationalism: Austrian Computer and Medical Scientist (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 23.A (2020):June. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/volko-three>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Claus Volko, M.D. on Ethics and Critical Rationalism: Austrian Computer and Medical Scientist (Part Three) [Internet]. (2020, June 23(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/volko-three.

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Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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