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  1. #41
    Member ferunandesu's Avatar
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    As an aside, you can follow up with a point about the fall of idealism. But, do you know what slew idealism? Logic, and it's obvious that you don't understand it. You say that I don't understand the Philosophy of Science. Sure, I haven't read much, but logic 101 is an important prerequisite for grasping Philosophy, any Philosophy. It doesn't appear that you fully understand the scope of logic. Therefore, you don't truly understand the Philosophy of Science.

    I could berate you more, but perhaps you're asleep.

  2. #42
    Member Beyonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferunandesu View Post
    Furthermore you resort to ad hominem when you realize that none of your objections are valid, and that you occasionally object to what I'm saying with the very point that you were objecting (in effect).
    So what? You already where playing to the man in posts #13, #16 and #26... Just because I then indulge in a tu quoque fallacy, you're going to point ME out as the cause of that bs?

    Quote Originally Posted by ferunandesu View Post
    I'm not saying that there aren't things that exist outside of pure thought, but that neither you, Einstein, Popper, Hawking, Godel, nor even William James Sidis could understand it.
    This, I just want to save for posterity. LMAO :yim_rolling_on_the_

    I'll be waiting for your 'groundbreaking' work on the logic of the scientific method. :yim_rolling_on_the_

    Quote Originally Posted by ferunandesu View Post
    As an aside, you can follow up with a point about the fall of idealism. But, do you know what slew idealism? Logic, and it's obvious that you don't understand it.
    Uh-huh, logic slew idealism. Right. Got that. :yim_rolling_on_the_

    I'm pretty sure it was Kant, who synthesised both the empiricism and idealism of his time, but whatever you say, dude. You seem to be such an authority on all these matters.

    but logic 101 is an important prerequisite for grasping Philosophy, any Philosophy.
    Oh, so that's why I've been wasting 5 years of my life on understanding philosophy fruitfully, without any knowledge whatsoever of propositional logic. :yim_rolling_on_the_

    Want evidence? I'm moderator at philosophyforums.

    Quote Originally Posted by ferunandesu View Post
    I'm mucking up 'reason' with 'logic'? Logic is the study of reasoning.
    Ever heard of dialectics and rhetorics? Apparently not. The name propositional logic already says it, doesn't it? It's a sub-study of reasoning.

    Anyway, what's your position on Frege's logic and the one developed by Russell and Whitehead? Boolian logic? How about other (less rigorous) forms, then? How about aristotelian and kantian logic?
    What do you think about the relationship between informal logic, rhetorics and propositional logic? Or the axiomatic diagrams employed by Fries and Nelson?

    Enlighten me, since I really don't know that much about formal forms of logic in general, besides informal logic and the art of argument (rhetorics).
    Or where you just using the term 'logic' in an amphibolous way (as in, mucking up 'logic' with 'reason')?

    Therefore, you don't truly understand the Philosophy of Science.
    ...

    I could berate you more
    You could? Nope. It's just you showing me that you're not capable of grasping the nuances of my arguments. Simple strawmen won't do, here.

    My main point still stands, wich was:

    Because religion isn't about constructing logically coherent systems, but actually tries to talk about reality, those systems can't actually be judged on their coherency (wich is what children are asking for).

    Religion, just as science, is a posteriori, and with that property, also always is ad hoc. Exlanations of why things are the way they are always trail behind the actual observations being made (problem of induction from wich science also suffers, as evidenced by periodic paradigmatic revolutions...). Because science is immanent and religion holds a trancendent position, science can be constructed in such a way that it explains systems immanently while religion can not. Religion is unscientific, because of it's trancendent way of explaining the world, wich is untestable. This doesn't mean that it has less explanatory power than science though, because it does incorporate (theoretical) higher levels of the universe wich can't be seen by us, because of our own immanent position.
    And science falls on that point if regarded as bringing closure, since we can't possibly know if there are higher trancendent levels from our position in the entire scale of matter and mind. This doesn't mean that science itself is fruitless, though, because it does explain how the way things operate from our own (relatively) trancendent position in regards to the lower levels of reality (like phenomenological, neurological, molecular, atomic, nuclear and quantum).
    But adhereing to a solely immanent theory dogmatically just because it has relative explanatory power doesn't mean that from higher levels, such a theory would cease to be the case; without the knowledge of nuclei, three quarks floating together would just would be that; three quarks floating together (as oposed to them construeing either a proton or a neutron, dependent on their configuration). Again, science does provide ways of manipulating and understanding reality, but our own meddleing into those regions does show that we're not nearly at a level of understanding to make accurate predictions about each and every outcome as evidenced by the various ecological disasters of our own making. This, incidentally, also shows how our reasoning about these matters is completely ad hoc, that is, trailing behind the facts. Yes, we usually learn how the actual systems operate, but most of the time this happens after the damage is already done. And this in turn, also shows the errors in our ways of reasoning; if our intellect would be as good as some profess it to be, then why on Earth are we generally destroying our planet? Maybe because our conjectures, either supported or created by reason, logic or fantasy aren't as perfect as we usually think they are? And that's why I was lamenting the fall of epistemic idealism, wich would hold that we would (should?) be able to know reality through reasoning alone; and this worship of reason would be a scholastical view of reality, wich has been abandoned a while ago...

    On to the scientific method (bored yet?):

    Experimentation is a result of conjecture in wich logic can be employed, but I agree with Popper, in that fantasy plays an even more important role in the finding of theories wich in turn can be tested (I already mentioned this in post #20, but you apparently missed that); logic can play a role in constructing conjectural theses and making more solid predictions (see that link to Einsteins philosophy of mind, on why I prefer pointing to epistemology as oposed to logic alone, regarding these matters), but doesn't play a part in judgeing if a theory is 'scientific' or not. This is done through experimentation (ie. setting up a controlled environment for the eventual replication of the outcomes of said experimentation) or observations of phenomena open to all (and this observation is also done during controlled experiments). The quotes I provided in post #17 already pointed to this, but you didn't get those, apparently. Anyway, the predictions being made by said theories either have a possibility to be refuted (testability) or they don't (unscientific theory).
    So in short, what makes a theory scientific is that it makes predictions wich can be tested, and this testability is what makes a theory scientifically valid or not.
    But the above is mere theory; what actually happens exhibits the problem of induction more clearly...
    What actually happens is that during a scientific experiment, observations are provided wich either corroborate or refute existing theories within the paradigm... And when a refutating observation is made (anomalies in Kuhnian lingo), this is reasoned away ad hoc, untill enough anomalous observations cause a 'crisis' within the ruling paradigm, eventually leading to a pardigmshift (maybe through reasoning, maybe through the more romanticist notion of a single briliant mind. Romanticism is a philosophical movement, btw). The change from newtonian to relativistic physics, or the changes from a ptolomaic to copernican astronomy clearly show how this process works (or Lavoisiers impact on chemistry or Georges Cuviers impact on geology)...
    In all those instances, observation played a key part in the disproving of ruling paradigms (next to the deaths of people from 'the old guard', as Kuhn put it, lol), a reason why I put observation into such a key position regarding the judgement of the 'scientificality' of theories.

    But... well... according to you, I don't truely understand the philosophy of science, so go read those books yourself. :yim_rolling_on_the_
    Last edited by Beyonder; 05-21-2007 at 12:26 AM.
    "I determined nothing."
    -Sceptical expression

  3. #43
    Member ferunandesu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beyonder View Post
    Uh-huh, logic slew idealism. Right. Got that.
    It's very simple: The core notion of idealism is logically invalid. Us being unable to conceive of an external reality without our minds is true, of course, it's always true, and depending on how you write it out it's a tautology. However, the idealist will go from this to the belief that there can be no external, objective reality without our subjective experience, and it's clearly not the case that this is always true, therefore the argument is bad. It's logic 101, really. A logically valid argument can never go from tautological premise to a potentially false conclusion.

    You can blabber all you want about Kant and whatnot, but his and everyone else's objection to pure idealism boils down to it being simply invalid. Perhaps if you understood logic you could have told me why in a simple sentence rather than telling me to read a whole damn book full of writing wrapped around a single logical concept.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beyonder View Post
    Because religion isn't about constructing logically coherent systems, but actually tries to talk about reality, those systems can't actually be judged on their coherency (wich is what children are asking for).
    Okay. You gave a better explanation of your position the second time around, so I'll give you credit for that. However, as is, the text above isn't a good argument. Since all that it says is that religion isn't subject to logical evaluation because it tries to talk about reality. The main point that I was making is that plenty of systems DO try to talk about reality, and ARE subject to logical evaluation.

    Aside from this, most people see this as a personal preference. I, like many others would like to see religion (which does try to talk about reality) be subject to the same criticism as science (because I'd like to see it wiped off the face of the earth). Sure, there may be valid philosophical objections to this, but I don't care.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beyonder View Post
    Religion is unscientific, because of it's trancendent way of explaining the world, wich is untestable. This doesn't mean that it has less explanatory power than science though, because it does incorporate (theoretical) higher levels of the universe wich can't be seen by us, because of our own immanent position.
    This is a grotesquely over-philosophical thing to say. There's a difference between an [(either illogical explanation) or (one derived from zero direct observation or evidence)] and (a testable scientific theory). People don't like to be lied to, and they want explanations of reality to WORK, either for practical purposes in their daily lives, or for the reassurance of a happy afterlife free from pain for those who were good... Or, whatever. Here, I'll formulate a crude probability to show you what I mean:

    If an explanation of reality has the property (X) of no direct, observable evidence to vouch for or against it, nor if there is anything to support or undermine ANY of it's counter explanations, then the probability that the explanation is 'true' is 1 out of the entire range of possible explanations. Linguistic recursion allows for an infinite quantity of explanations to be formulated. Therefore, the probability that any given explanation with property X is true is 1:infinity (effectively zero).

    Since there's (as you said) no way to empirically test a religious claim, logic is pretty much all that we have to judge them. Sure, the everyday gentleman doesn't exactly think through the complex, logical implications of their beliefs, but plenty of philosophers have, and plenty of religious leaders have been willing to bend their claims based on the counter claims of rational minds. Regardless, it would be hard to deny that a person wouldn't subject their beliefs to the logic that they can both grasp and use to compare said beliefs to their morals, their life experience, or their emotional whims... Or, whatever... Seriously, whatever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beyonder View Post
    Maybe because our conjectures, either supported or created by reason, logic or fantasy aren't as perfect as we usually think they are?
    Duh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beyonder View Post
    Anyway, the predictions being made by said theories either have a possibility to be refuted (testability) or they don't (unscientific theory).
    When I say judge, I'm not restricting it to judging whether or not a theory is merely valid, and I don't know why you would think so. You seem a bit too caught up in words. All that has been said here is incredibly redundant since I already know. I could argue that logic still plays a role in this process since it underlies the very reasoning behind determining if a theory is valid or invalid, but you would probably then claim that I'm mucking up 'reason' with 'logic' again, because, as I said, words are leading you astray from meaning and we're both getting caught up in a web of confusion caused by linguistic relativity. You even said that a priori truths were outside of the realm of symbolic, deductive logic, and they're not (depending on what you mean by 'outside the realm', and I do know that you probably worded this differently). A priori truths are the very foundations of deductive logic. The consequences of a priori need to be dealt with when they arise within dialogues, arguments, scientific models, refrigerator design, whatever. Such as, an argument whose conclusion is an a priori truth is automatically valid, yet not automatically sound. An a priori premise, alone, can never lead to a false conclusion in both a valid and sound argument. Regardless of what you think of the scope of deductive logic and how it relates to reason, breaking the rules of deductive logic is always thought of as irrational, bad reasoning. In science, this can mean that a theory likely needs to be reevaluated and more observations need to be made. This is what I meant when I said judged.
    Last edited by ferunandesu; 05-21-2007 at 07:36 AM.

  4. #44
    Member ferunandesu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beyonder View Post
    Oh, so that's why I've been wasting 5 years of my life on understanding philosophy fruitfully, without any knowledge whatsoever of propositional logic. :yim_rolling_on_the_

    Want evidence? I'm moderator at philosophyforums.
    Take your moderator status into the office of a professor and you'll be laughed out of the building. This is the very reason why I take so little of what you say seriously. A philosopher with no working knowledge of sentential and predicate logic is only comparable to a physicist with no working knowledge of differential and integral calculus. And those are just the minimums to study the very basic shit. Real philosophers, like real physicists, go much deeper. You can get away with a philosophy degree with only sentential and predicate logic, but any PHD program in philosophy will require that you study metalogic, deductive systems, model theory, etc. in depth. So, I'll just go ahead and say that your philosophical knowledge may be broad, but it's also very thin. In other words, your reach extends your grasp, as evidenced by how it's so easy to see through what you're saying despite your thick rhetoric. Until you get an education and sharpen your critical thinking skills, you'll never be able to call yourself a 'philosopher', for now you're no more than a fan, a stamp collector, a bird watcher, a historian who regurgitates paper thin, story book knowledge on teh intarwebs.

  5. #45
    Member Beyonder's Avatar
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    Whatever you say, bub. You're even less, intellectually, than me (you don't even have any credibility, yet. Didn't you say you had to study for your little class?). So this conversation is over. Besides, having a library of over 100 philosophical/scientifical texts + over 1100 lectures on university level (from the Teaching Company. What's that? Ivy League professors don't count? Don't make me laugh) does put some weight into the scale for me. But you're into argueing from authority, so I'll let you wallow in your own retarded mire. That's fine with me.
    And if you use words that vaguely, you're not even capable of discussing such things. And you say you study logic? Well, vagueness seems to not have been treated in your class. Try analysing your own (ambphibolous) words with predicate logic.

    Anyway, I've already wasted enough time on an intellectual dilletante as you. You're not even intellectually honest, so there's no point in sticking 'round here, discussing these matters with you. Oh, and according to your notion of what a philosopher should be, with you holding a nice philosopically external position, that would make all eastern philosophers and most of the ancients 'stampcollectors and birdwatchers'. How nice. You're not in a position to judge my (or anyone elses) philosophical merits, apparently, not even a bit.
    Me not knowing about formal logical systems but knowing rhetorics instead puts me in the same (argumentative) league as Seneca the Younger and Cicero, btw (well, I'm not as good as those guys). Not too shabby, if I say so myself.
    "I determined nothing."
    -Sceptical expression

  6. #46
    Member ferunandesu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beyonder View Post
    You're even less, intellectually, than me (you don't even have any credibility, yet. Didn't you say you had to study for your little class?).
    Of course, I didn't study, since as I said I already know most of it. Regardless, what you say in no way belittles my observation. All I'm saying is that your arguments are thin because you've neglected to study logic in depth. Also, university credits in philosophy aren't credible? Learning any given subject is very different when you're critiqued day in and day out. As for mine, I'll study no more philosophy than what's recommended for my degree (so far, intro phil, logic, intro to cog sci, and then phil of mind, tok, deductive systems, model theory, artificial intelligence, and phil of language). Regardless, your own ambiguous writing is open to two interpretations. Since I can interpret it as you saying that the measure of someone's intellect is how much they know of philosophy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beyonder View Post
    Besides, having a library of over 100 philosophical/scientifical texts + over 1100 lectures on university level (from the Teaching Company. What's that? Ivy League professors don't count? Don't make me laugh) does put some weight into the scale for me.
    Sure it does. It means that you're an inquisitive individual. You would also likely thrive in a university setting. So get off your ass and go to school. Wouldn't you love tenure as a philosophy professor? Go do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beyonder View Post
    And if you use words that vaguely, you're not even capable of discussing such things...
    It's not vague, but abstract. I'm assuming that your N is well developed and your Ti can reason from general principles to specific instances. But since your english is a little rough, and since prescriptive english is very different from the southern US vernacular, it's no surprise that you're not grasping my semantics. No biggie.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beyonder View Post
    Me not knowing about formal logical systems but knowing rhetorics instead puts me in the same (argumentative) league as Seneca the Younger and Cicero, btw (well, I'm not as good as those guys). Not too shabby, if I say so myself.
    Nearly two millenia have passed since they croaked. There have been a lot of advances since then, and if you want to catch up, then I would recommend some learnin'.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferunandesu View Post
    However, of course reality isn't always logically coherent.
    So the universe contradicts itself? (ignoring beyonder's woefully mistaken attempts to demonstrate that it is). To say that a set of propositions is "coherent" is simply to say that it is free of contradiction.

    Logic is an axiomatic system, like mathematics and geometry, and like those two it can never perfectly model reality - Nothing can!
    How did you get from "is an axiomatic system" to "can never perfectly model reality"? I might agree that the vast majority of axiomatic systems do not perfectly model reality, but in no way does it therefore follow that an axiomatic system can "never perfectly model reality".

    Before there can be a deduction there must be an induction
    That is a deduction.

    Besides, how do you imagine that could be possible, since inductive "logic" (I place in scare quotes, because I believe their is no such logic), is itself an axiomatic system. In fact, inductive "logic" draws upon many of the same axioms as deductive logic.

    and a perfect induction has never been shown to be possible.
    That because the logical strength of the conclusion always exceeds the logical strength of the premises, so inductive arguments are never truth-preserving, they're never valid.

    The merit of an induction is whether or not a useful, observable prediction about reality can be derived and shown to be damn true. BTW, this a tangent.
    Yet clearly, no matter how many times the principle of induction is refuted, people still cling to it. There is nothing "useful" about induction that cannot be formulated on purely deductive terms; the latter, being logically valid; the former, being logically invalid.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Alienclock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by niffer View Post
    Exactly. And it's fun to watch angry old men question religion and conclude their experiences on the human race.
    Yeah.
    Quote Originally Posted by HilbertSpace View Post
    ..... a particular approach to religion - ignorance, or a God of the Gaps, is not a sufficient excuse to indulge in arbitrary mysticism.
    I wonder if there is ever a sufficient excuse to indulge in arbitrary mysticism? Frankly I enjoy arbitrary mysticism with my morning coffee, is it not the same for all of you?

  9. #49
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    Regarding science,

    Scientific theories are demarcated from nonscientific theories by virtue of being refutable by empirical evidence i.e. falsifiable. Scientific theories share with nonscientific the capacity to be refuted if a contradiction can be derived i.e. inconsistant.

    The presence of falsifiability is important, because no observation-statement can refute a consequent where the implication is tautological. Notice that the following sequence is always true:

    P then (Q or not-Q)

    The presence of inconsistency is important, because anything follows from a contradiction. Notice that the following sequence is always true:

    P then (not-P then Q)

    This is what makes scientific theories different to nonscientific theories, that scientific theories can be criticised in a way which nonscientific theories cannot. That is to say, that empirical evidence (or observation-statements), where those statements constitute existential quantifiers i.e. a 'there exists'-type statement, is capable, in principle, of logically implying the falsity of a theory.

    The argument I am making here is not itself scientific, and cannot be subject to scientific criticism, the argument is metascientific i.e. about science, not part of science. These metascientific theories, while unfalsifiable by any observation, are nonetheless criticisable through logical analysis, or in other words, must be logically consistent.

    The interesting thing is that scientific theories do have nonscientific implications. For example, think of the determinism implied by Newtonian Physics, or the implications Darwinism has for the philosophy of mind. This may be slightly less obvious, but you could even consider the logical implications that science has upon ethics.

    On one last note, the notion that quantum states can be contradictory is nonsense; only if we insist upon the old empiricist dogma of verification should we reach any such contradiction, which merely demonstrates the poverty of that dogma, it does not imply that quntum particles exist in two states simultaneously. To demonstrate a physical constraint upon humans to decide between competing theories (temporary or otherwise), does not imply that both theories are true.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  10. #50
    Member Beyonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    So the universe contradicts itself? (ignoring beyonder's woefully mistaken attempts to demonstrate that it is). To say that a set of propositions is "coherent" is simply to say that it is free of contradiction.
    Finally, someone else. What I was getting at is that there isn't any reason for nature to equip certain kinds of animals the way it does. There can be explanations about why such and such has this or that, but those are ad hoc from a trancendent point of view (be it 'evolution' or 'God'), and need a certain hypostasis of certain theories, to work in an explanatory fashion. Biology provides explanations (like biological armsraces or, as hilbertspace said, genetical significance etc), not reasons why such and such is necessarily the case (beyond 'biological diversity', but that's stretching it). Nature, from our immanent point of view could have provided those creatures with different defensemechanisms.

    I was talking about the difference between trancendent synthetic propositional reasons (trancendent reason for why a synthetic proposition is the way it is) and immanent synthetic propositional reasons (immanent reasons for the same), to put it in general terms, but I figured no-one would understand what I was talking about where I to put it like that.

    And I wasn't argueing that the universe contradicts itself. That's just a silly position.
    "I determined nothing."
    -Sceptical expression

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