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  1. #71
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Hi. I'm going to have a go at the basis of your contentions - please don't take it personally

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleph-One View Post
    It is somewhat trivially true to say that each of us has only our own subjective experience of the world to go on, never anything more. But we are perfectly capable of generalizing experiences which seem to share certain commonalities, and then putting these general claims to experiment to see if we have made a correct generalization or not. The very essence of explanation and cognition is, indeed, generalization. We may observe other people engaged in their process of inquiry and, if they arrive at the same conclusions, then it is very difficult to advance the claim that each of us has some private reality or truth which others do not have.
    This reminds me of Russell's Chicken

    You are, if I may be reductive, stating that commonality in modes of perception which come to a similar conclusions are inherantly worthy? All you are confirming is that you share the same biases. You appear to have the view, Great minds think alike. I prefer the saying, Fools seldom differ. You can side with Russell's chickens if you wish, but I'd rather be the farmer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleph-One View Post
    If someone claims that they are exempt from a factual statement or its consequences because of their point of view, then they are unaware that those factual statements are formulated to be preserved across points of view.
    Indeed. You are criticising an agent for not playing a rigged game! I would congratulate him for spotting the trap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleph-One View Post
    In any case, they must offer evidence... to suggest that a claim has not captured some grain of truth.
    Why? I have better things to do.

    All the best.

  2. #72
    Senior Member Aleph-One's Avatar
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    I have the point of view that great minds allow repeatable and consistent experimental evidence to have the final say in their valuation of statements. Anything else is solipsistic.

    The biases of cognition are not arbitrary. If carefully controlled observation repeatedly yields the same result, then it demands more than mere axiomatic skepticism to attack that result. The control of observation is designed with the elimination of biases in mind (the fashionable appeals to the so-called theory-ladenness of observation are themselves undermined by the fact that scientists who subscribed to the phlogiston theory of combustion obtained the same measurements as those who subscribed to the theory which replaced it). And I am criticizing someone for not playing the game, but there is no trap there. As I have said, the statements of a physical theory are formulated to be as invariant as possible. We are, in other words, attempting to discover or construct a set of statements which can be made about the world which are independent of a point of view (and biased or not, we discover an error of generalization through experiment if one has been made), but still retain predictive content about the system we wish to analyze. An agent who thinks that point of view invariant generalizations are a trap cannot think, since this generalization is the essence of thought. It is a self-refuting position, much like any other assertion of radical skepticism.
    Aleph-One, you look like the kind of person who would spend his spare time building a giant robot to hold the government for ransom. -Some Guy on the Internet

  3. #73
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    This is Devil's Advocate. And you know it.

  4. #74
    Senior Member Aleph-One's Avatar
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    What do you mean by "this"? My position or the whole conversation? I'm certainly not being insincere in my position. I won't argue something unless I believe it.
    Aleph-One, you look like the kind of person who would spend his spare time building a giant robot to hold the government for ransom. -Some Guy on the Internet

  5. #75
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    It's the fundamental premise of politics, and a good working thesis for a career in advertising. See Wag the Dog.

  6. #76
    Senior Member Aleph-One's Avatar
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    Oh, I see. You were using the movie Devil's Advocate as an example rather than saying that the argument was being done pro bono. Sorry about the confusion. I think examining the implications of any brain in a vat scenario will do just as well. I'll write something about that later this week.
    Aleph-One, you look like the kind of person who would spend his spare time building a giant robot to hold the government for ransom. -Some Guy on the Internet

  7. #77
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleph-One View Post
    Oh, I see. You were using the movie Devil's Advocate as an example rather than saying that the argument was being done pro bono. Sorry about the confusion. I think examining the implications of any brain in a vat scenario will do just as well. I'll write something about that later this week.
    I can be Al Pacino.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleph-One View Post
    The biases of cognition are not arbitrary.
    Exactly. See Russell's chicken.

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