The movement toward Empiricism was shaped by the Church’s resistance to reality.  What was no less than a fight between Copernicus/Galileo and the Catholic church made heroes of the former and rightly so.  The promise of the former was that by reason, experimentation, and quantified observation, one could determine the structure of the Universe, independent of an existing religious philosophy.  The push-back from the Church, naturally, was that they had a story and humanity was at the center of that story; if humanity was no longer at the center of the story, the authority of the Catholic Church would be called into question, generally, and internally the de facto intelligence community of the day was none too keen on that. It was not of course that the story of humanity as the center of the universe was truly necessary if not necessarily true.  It was rather that with it came the possible threat to the peace (and yes, the powerful) if their story may be fashioned simply a lie to herd the sheep.

The model of Empiricism was rather promising.  One could determine the nature of the universe by thoughtful interventions, careful observation, and close analysis, and this put the court of appeal for humanity’s understanding of reality in the hands of the truly intelligent rather than a powerful lot more concerned with extending jurisdiction geographically and mentally, to accomplish ‘heaven on earth’.  Aside from the question of whether happiness is an ends rather than a by-product and whether Empiricism has the faintest hope to capture ‘consciousness’ (indeed, a likely prerequisite for a purely ‘Empirical’ ethics and morality altogether), it can no longer be denied that the concerns of the cloister in pre-rennaisance Italy have made their way – for better or worse – to even our public academic institutions where it comes to certain matters of Empirical science which are not allowed to be fully so.

It is not a heavy-handed resistence, as the Church is so depicted by Cervantes, picking through and throwing out books on a shelf while no-one is around to see (as one fellow grad-student once said to me ‘books have legs’); it is rather, an acknowledgment of success is lost in thousands of minor work by others, and an astroid to earth becomes a short shower of pebbles with room between to maintain whatever is required to keep a status considerably like the quo.  No one is awakened, no one is shaken, for from influencer to influencer, the effect is occluded, spun, or (via ad hominem) slandered; and dare I say, oft’times, from our halls, at god’s behest.