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  1. #61
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    If you are interested in rational argument; scientific, metaphysical and ethical investigation, and the pursuit of truth, then there is little gained by concerning yourself with "knowledge" as it is traditionally defined. Wield reason effectively and exert your critical faculties for your desired ends, and you might just end up thinking many true things while "knowing" very little.
    Wow. This was very well-said and has given me a lot to chew on.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  2. #62
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    The rebuttal is simple: the absence of a method of confirming that a true theory has been discovered does not preclude the discovery of a true theory, since the truth does not depend upon our search for it. However, the issue of truth and usefulness are not 'wholly seperate' questions, as you acknowledge elsewhere, because true theories are also useful theories..
    We are in agreement about this. True theories do turn out to be useful more often than not, there clearly is a high correlation between the two.

    However, from the standpoint of epistemology, we should pursue these questions seperately. First discover if an idea is true, than see if it is useful. That requires two separate inquiries, as this may undermine the intellectual integrity of our quest for the truth.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  3. #63
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    However, from the standpoint of epistemology, we should pursue these questions seperately. First discover if an idea is true, than see if it is useful. That requires two separate inquiries, as this may undermine the intellectual integrity of our quest for the truth.
    Hmm. I would not pursue useful theories simply because I am more concerned with true theories, but even if someone was only concerned with useful theories then I would nonetheless recommend that they seek the truth, since a true theory will be more useful than a useful false theory. The latter must contradict the facts in one way or another, and should that way be the your path then it will lead to error as surely as any other false theory. The quest for truth is the best option even for those who only seek utility in their ideas, since the most useful idea is the one which actually corresponds to the facts, and provides a more precise destination for which to aim.

    If your ideal home is in Rome then aim to buy a house in Rome, do not aim to buy anywhere in Italy.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  4. #64
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    [1]When are you coming back to the states and [2] can we have you over for dinner when you do?
    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    [1]I am returning to the US on sunday.[2][...?...]
    AWK...WARD...




  5. #65
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    meh. truth is like infinity. we might as well pursue things in the realm that we can reach.

    i think possible truths should be held to the standard of predictive ability and nothing else.

    edit: this discussion of truth and usefulness seems odd to me, as they mean the same thing from a practical standpoint.

  6. #66
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    AWK...WARD...



    I know. Still, I'm a long way from Alabama, so I'll assume it's not personal. I am fairly sure that I bathed shortly before the last time we saw each other and refrained from saying anything too strange.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  7. #67
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissonance View Post
    meh. truth is like infinity. we might as well pursue things in the realm that we can reach.
    If a proposition is not true then it is false, and if a proposition is not false then it is true, by definition. Moreover, if a proposition falls short of the truth in any way then it must be false and the negated form of the same proposition must be true. Therefore, if we suppose that no proposition can "reach" the truth then the nagated form of the same proposition must, by definition, be true.

    I think possible truths should be held to the standard of predictive ability and nothing else.
    The truth, whatever it may be, does not depend upon the experiences of us, and many falshoods have and will continue to display predictive ability. The failure to predict correctly is simply our most effective method of weeding out false theories when they are put to the test, but not all theories can be tested in this manner and neither is the method exempt from fallbility.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I know. Still, I'm a long way from Alabama, so I'll assume it's not personal. I am fairly sure that I bathed shortly before the last time we saw each other and refrained from saying anything too strange.
    Hehe.

    I did not answer because I am going to be busy after I arrive and really have no idea when me and faith will be available for another meet-up. Perhaps we can arrange something at a later date, because I would definitely like to see you again.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  9. #69
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I understand! It was puerile to ask.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  10. #70
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    If a proposition is not true then it is false, and if a proposition is not false then it is true, by definition. Moreover, if a proposition falls short of the truth in any way then it must be false and the negated form of the same proposition must be true. Therefore, if we suppose that no proposition can "reach" the truth then the nagated form of the same proposition must, by definition, be true.
    well, it's like BW said. if a theory is shown to be false, it is obviously not true. but a theory can't practically be shown to be true, so we can't ever practically conclude a theory is not false.

    gah, i'm super stoned right now so i'm not too confident got my point across.

    The truth, whatever it may be, does not depend upon the experiences of us, and many falshoods have and will continue to display predictive ability. The failure to predict correctly is simply our most effective method of weeding out false theories when they are put to the test, but not all theories can be tested in this manner and neither is the method exempt from fallbility.
    "the truth, whatever it may be" is unreachable.

    and i agree that not all theories can be tested in this manner, but those theories can't be tested in other manners either.

    all manners of testing theories reduce down to predictive ability.

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