Scientific Realism or Antirealism
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24-04-2017, 11:56 AM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
(24-04-2017 11:45 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(23-04-2017 05:28 PM)Chas Wrote:  I find your insistence on labels and pigeon-holing not constructive.

We see this a lot with theists... searching for a label; searching a church...

Churching? Consider

Seeking a label vs. seeking for what is true vs. seeking for what is real.

"Oh god, what am I?" asks Adam.

"Oh oracle, what do I know?" asks Socrates.

"Oh world, what is I?" asks Darwin.

The ages of man.

Yet, all that really matters is "what is useful?"

"... in truth,
being is all
that matters
matter is all
that is."

"I am he
As you are he
As you are me
And we are all together"

"What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end,” spoke Zarathustra thusly.

Rolleyes

I think the use of terminology in philosophy is quite useful. You could certainly say that it's not a perfect system, but I think it gets the job done quite well.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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24-04-2017, 11:58 AM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
(22-04-2017 10:57 AM)Naielis Wrote:  
(22-04-2017 07:15 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  There is one genuine point here, and I've no idea whether it was in any way intended to be the case:

We can only study our observations, and work backwards. We can't study reality. It's like we're seeing shadows of things, and assuming something is making the shadow.

But ultimately, even if it isn't, it makes no difference. The effect on our end is the same. What goes on behind the curtain sure would be fun to know, but it may as well be dancing space monkeys or that dog from the silent hill 2 ending. It's why all woo claims fall flat on their face, because they rely on positing causation from behind the curtain rather than what we can actually see the difference in. Same deal with philosophy divorced from science.

This is an antirealist approach to science. And I think I'm certainly leaning towards antirealism. Realism puts scientific knowledge far too high, claiming that it actually is true. They point to the No Miracles argument, but this could easily have been used in past centuries to justify assigning truth values to theories that we now understand to be false. The realist is trying to get science to be an enterprise that arrives at truth rather than just aiming at it, but in doing so they either restrict what can be called a theory or they assert that our best theories can never be shown to be false.

I gots some news fer ya bud.
I guarantee there is NOT ONE researcher at Cedars-Sinai (a huge medical complex in LA) that even thinks (or even KNOWS) or CARES about this "angels on the head of a pin" stuff. NO ONE IN science thinks they "arrive at" the truth, about anything. They work at it, day after day. When they're lucky they advance it a little bit.
Rolleyes

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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24-04-2017, 12:07 PM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
(24-04-2017 11:58 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(22-04-2017 10:57 AM)Naielis Wrote:  This is an antirealist approach to science. And I think I'm certainly leaning towards antirealism. Realism puts scientific knowledge far too high, claiming that it actually is true. They point to the No Miracles argument, but this could easily have been used in past centuries to justify assigning truth values to theories that we now understand to be false. The realist is trying to get science to be an enterprise that arrives at truth rather than just aiming at it, but in doing so they either restrict what can be called a theory or they assert that our best theories can never be shown to be false.

I gots some news fer ya bud.
I guarantee there is NOT ONE researcher at Cedars-Sinai (a huge medical complex in LA) that even thinks (or even KNOWS) or CARES about this "angels on the head of a pin" stuff. NO ONE IN science thinks they "arrive at" the truth, about anything. They work at it, day after day. When they're lucky they advance it a little bit.
Rolleyes

As a heath care professional myself I have to agree with this too. As Dawkins said, "science, it works bitches" Big Grin
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24-04-2017, 12:08 PM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
(24-04-2017 01:45 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I should point out again that mathematics needs only to work internally. It doesn't have to have any (known) correlation with reality whatsoever.

I was once studying a form of geometry where the "length" between two points was defined as something totally obscure. It's been a long time now so I can't remember exactly what it was, but it was something to do with how a particular prime number divides into the difference between the coordinates. It produced a result so weird that it had no possible practical use, even as far as the professors who gave me the task knew. It was entirely theoretical.

I studied how this version of geometry produced different results than normal, such as the summation of infinite series tending to a finite limit if the terms tended to zero (this isn't always the case in regular maths).

I was producing facts that could be shown to be 100% true within the framework. Like others have said, I'm basically manipulating tautologies. That's what maths is, at the end of the day. Yet everything I was proving may not have any relationship whatsoever with the real world.

So you don't think certain maths are necessarily true? Does the fact that an obscure geometry produces odd results mean all maths aren't necessarily true? I'm saying this because, in your video, you slip into using mathematical language when you're attempting to corroborate mathematics with observed reality. This would seem to be circular reasoning. I think the problem with the example you gave in the video is that it's not complex proofs; rather, it's the very foundation of our understanding of quantity in general. If someone were to say 1+1=3 because they counted out two objects, we'd know they had miscounted because the system which they are using to count (math) requires that they end up with two. And I think the reason we use the language that system, in some cases, interchangeably with reality because the basic principles of the system are intuitive. And I want to be careful with how I use intuitive here. I don't mean just that it happens to make sense to our minds. I use intuition in the context of an intuition-based basicality in beliefs. So something is intuitive when it is the ultimate foundation of one's understanding of something.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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24-04-2017, 12:14 PM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2017 12:20 PM by Robvalue.)
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
Math "requires" that 1+1=2 because we define it that way. Reality is not required to do anything. If someone puts one object and another object together and ends up with three objects, then that's what happened. You can't just decide that it can't happen. Of course, they probably made a mistake, in everyday terms. But we don't have certainty about reality, or how it works, ever.

They must have made a mistake in a reality exactly like one modeled by our mathematics. But we can never be sure this is such a reality. We can't proscribe reality.

You're also trying to revert to styles of self-evident arguments. Intuition and such has nothing to do with it. Whether things make sense to us or not, is not something reality has to conform to. This is why we use evidence, to avoid using emotions to come to conclusions.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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24-04-2017, 12:15 PM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
(24-04-2017 11:58 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(22-04-2017 10:57 AM)Naielis Wrote:  This is an antirealist approach to science. And I think I'm certainly leaning towards antirealism. Realism puts scientific knowledge far too high, claiming that it actually is true. They point to the No Miracles argument, but this could easily have been used in past centuries to justify assigning truth values to theories that we now understand to be false. The realist is trying to get science to be an enterprise that arrives at truth rather than just aiming at it, but in doing so they either restrict what can be called a theory or they assert that our best theories can never be shown to be false.

I gots some news fer ya bud.
I guarantee there is NOT ONE researcher at Cedars-Sinai (a huge medical complex in LA) that even thinks (or even KNOWS) or CARES about this "angels on the head of a pin" stuff. NO ONE IN science thinks they "arrive at" the truth, about anything. They work at it, day after day. When they're lucky they advance it a little bit.
Rolleyes

I think after the death of logical positivism, almost all scientists switched to a view of realism. And that has carried on a bit today. With the revival of antirealism, many have switched back, but there are plenty of realists still in the field of science. It's important to keep in mind that scientific realism is different for everyone who holds to it. Stanford does a much better job of characterizing it than me though. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scien...#WhaSciRea

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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24-04-2017, 12:19 PM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2017 12:23 PM by Naielis.)
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
(24-04-2017 12:14 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  Math "requires" that 1+1=2 because we define it that way. Reality is not requires to do anything. If someone puts one object and another object together and ends up with three objects, then that's what happened. You can't just decide that it can't happen. Of course, they probably made a mistake, in everyday terms. But we don't have certainty about reality, or how it works, ever.

But my point was that applying the concept of the quantity three to the objects is doing what you say shouldn't be done: "You can't just decide that it can't happen." You're slipping into theoretical language to even make the observation about observed reality. By counting out numbers of things, you're applying mathematics to reality before you've even determined that it applies. And if you count two things and end up with three (assuming this isn't incoherent), all you've done is show that math is inconsistent with itself. You haven't actually corroborated it with observed reality. I think it isn't necessary to actually corroborate math at this basic level because it is our foundational understanding of quantity.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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24-04-2017, 12:32 PM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
(24-04-2017 12:19 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(24-04-2017 12:14 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  Math "requires" that 1+1=2 because we define it that way. Reality is not requires to do anything. If someone puts one object and another object together and ends up with three objects, then that's what happened. You can't just decide that it can't happen. Of course, they probably made a mistake, in everyday terms. But we don't have certainty about reality, or how it works, ever.

But my point was that applying the concept of the quantity three to the objects is doing what you say shouldn't be done: "You can't just decide that it can't happen." You're slipping into theoretical language to even make the observation about observed reality. By counting out numbers of things, you're applying mathematics to reality before you've even determined that it applies. And if you count two things and end up with three (assuming this isn't incoherent), all you've done is show that math is inconsistent with itself. You haven't actually corroborated it with observed reality. I think it isn't necessary to actually corroborate math at this basic level because it is our foundational understanding of quantity.

The part I highlighted is a perfect example of the errors in your thinking. You don't require evidence, because of "foundational understandings" and other such things. You're bypassing the scientific method using intuition. This is a ghastly error, one I've been trying to get you to recognize since you came here.

There is reality. Reality is reality. Whatever we say about it is just us trying to understand it.

Quantity is an abstract concept we come up with to try and understand it. There are no inherent quantities. There is just reality. This is again conflating the real and the abstract. We draw circles around things and group them in ways that are convenient to us. But they are still the same as they ever were. We don't get to give them properties.

We "count" by describing what we see. And using this process, we use our mathematical system. It's all artificial. This is all our abstract way of helping ourself.

We count one object, we count another, and then we count them "together".

We have an idea what it means for the count to be one, two, three... and it's all made up, for our convenience.

So we may find that at some point, in certain conditions, our method of counting that we use to describe the combination of "one thing and one thing" produces what appears to be "three things". At this point, our observations do not match our model. So our model is not as universal as it appears.

This is why science, hypothesis testing and evidence are so important. If we rely on intuition only, we end up going badly wrong. Much of what science has shown is extremely non-intuitive, and we would never have got there with your kind of thinking.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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24-04-2017, 12:45 PM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
(24-04-2017 12:32 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  The part I highlighted is a perfect example of the errors in your thinking. You don't require evidence, because of "foundational understandings" and other such things. You're bypassing the scientific method using intuition. This is a ghastly error, one I've been trying to get you to recognize since you came here.

There is reality. Reality is reality. Whatever we say about it is just us trying to understand it.

Quantity is an abstract concept we come up with to try and understand it. There are no inherent quantities. There is just reality. This is again conflating the real and the abstract. We draw circles around things and group them in ways that are convenient to us. But they are still the same as they ever were. We don't get to give them properties.

I disagree only minimally. I think there must be a foundational level for one to build upon before they can do things like hypothesis testing. I'm not bypassing science, I'm giving the foundation of science in my worldview.

Quote:We "count" by describing what we see. And using this process, we use our mathematical system. It's all artificial. This is all our abstract way of helping ourself.

We count one object, we count another, and then we count them "together".

We have an idea what it means for the count to be one, two, three... and it's all made up, for our convenience.

So we may find that at some point, in certain conditions, our method of counting that we use to describe the combination of "one thing and one thing" produces what appears to be "three things". At this point, our observations do not match our model. So our model is not as universal as it appears.

This is why science, hypothesis testing and evidence are so important. If we rely on intuition only, we end up going badly wrong. Much of what science has shown is extremely non-intuitive, and we would never have got there with your kind of thinking.

This is a good explanation of the way in which we might encounter a phenomena that contradicts our understanding. So I think I agree now that math can moved outside of my foundation. But I do have one question for you. Do you think there are any beliefs you have that are true simply by virtue of their content? I would think you would have to have at least some considering you take a metaphysically modest approach to reality (reality exists separate from what we proscribe or prescribe). If that is the case, it seems we need at least some foundational beliefs that tie us to reality at all. I would use the example of postulating my own existence.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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24-04-2017, 12:51 PM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
I don't at all mean to be insulting. I'm trying to help.

I've been less than professional and charitable before and I apologise.

Basically what I'm says is that "Reality can't behave a certain way because that doesn't make sense to me" is an argument from incredulity. We've all done it at some point, I'm sure.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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