Scientific Realism or Antirealism
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20-04-2017, 02:45 PM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
(20-04-2017 02:09 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(20-04-2017 01:47 PM)Naielis Wrote:  I don't see how that's related.

One of your initial hypotheses claimed that our thoughts determine reality. Keeping in mind that (1) you aren't necessarily making this claim, just presenting it as a claim that has been made by some philosophers, and (2) the claim isn't necessarily meant to be taken literally -- he is responding to that claim. External reality exists independently of us, and in that sense, can never be created or determined by our thoughts. I'm not sure that any philosopher would ever make this claim in a literal sense, but if so, that philosopher is who Metazoa Zeke is responding to.

Thomas Kuhn made this claim, but not in the sense you would think. He thought that outside of the paradigms of the mind, there was no reality. It's an idealist view that isn't very popular in contemporary philosophy.

"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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20-04-2017, 02:50 PM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
(20-04-2017 09:06 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(20-04-2017 08:25 AM)Naielis Wrote:  Scientific realism attempts to combine two claims:
1. Our thoughts and feelings about reality do not determine reality.
2. We can come to know things about reality.

Scientific realists hold that science aims at truth about reality and actually arrives at true theories. Theories are true about observable (to the unaided senses) and unobservable reality.

That's not really accurate. Science uses all kinds of instruments to extend the capabilities of the senses (not just what's observable to the unaided senses), to determine what is true or not true ... microscopes, telescopes, all sorts of detection equipment, scanners, indirect measurements, X-Rays, testing equipment, etc., etc., etc.

Saying "science arrives at" implies a finality that is not really part of the scientific method. There is no description in science that is labeled a "true theory" ... maybe "valid for the moment", or "the best we have now". There are "laws" and there are "theories". There are no "true theories". They are all subject to further observations / data.

Yes I think I would agree which would make me an antirealist. I think the No Miracles argument isn't viable. The antirealist can always claim, like you just did, that our best theories could always be falsified by further experimentation. Predictive success and empirical adequacy don't necessitate truth. But truth is not necessarily required to adopt a theory.

"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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20-04-2017, 02:52 PM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
(20-04-2017 09:14 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(20-04-2017 08:25 AM)Naielis Wrote:  Scientific realism attempts to combine two claims:
1. Our thoughts and feelings about reality do not determine reality.
2. We can come to know things about reality.

Scientific realists hold that science aims at truth about reality and actually arrives at true theories. Theories are true about observable (to the unaided senses) and unobservable reality. This position is based on the first two claims. One main issue for the realist is that the two positions are at odds. If our thoughts and feelings don't determine things about the world, then the realist has to explain why we are able to come to know things about reality. Why are our senses at all reliable? Another main issue is to explain how science can arrive at truth about reality. Why does it follow that an empirically adequate theory describes true reality? How does the realist make this leap.

Source: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-realism/

The main antirealist position I've studied is constructive empiricism. In this view, science aims at truth about observable phenomena only. And it's important to note that aiming at truth doesn't mean arriving at truth. A constructive empiricist might say that the method aims at truth, but fails to arrive or affirm an arrival at the truth of a theory. Constructive empiricists want to rid science of metaphysics. The scientific realist claims that there are natural kinds and laws. This is a metaphysical position that the empiricist wants to avoid.

Source: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/const...mpiricism/

I'm not convinced either way. I'm open to hearing both arguments. And any helpful books or links would be appreciated.
I don't see why these two positions are at odds. To question the reliability of the senses commits the fallacy of the stolen concept so it appears that this dilemma is the result of conceptual errors. The fact is that reality exists independently of anyone's conscious activity and man possesses consciousness which is his means of awareness of what exists. What's the problem here?

The reliability of the senses is a background issue. The main issue is their views of what science accomplishes.

"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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20-04-2017, 02:55 PM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
(20-04-2017 09:27 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  "If our thoughts and feelings don't determine things about the world"

That's right they don't. But it in no way follows from this that we can not have knowledge of the world. That's because knowledge is about identifying reality, not determining it. The very concept of truth rests on the fact that "Our thoughts and feelings about reality do not determine reality". If they did we wouldn't need a method like science in the first place. reality would be whatever anyone wanted it to be. Water freezes at 32 degrees? Not for me. It's 45 degrees on Tuesday and 0 degrees on Saturday.

Well I think Kuhn's view was that the fact that we can observe and make sense of reality casts doubt upon whether than reality was totally separate from the individual. But again, this view isn't very prominent anymore. The main debate between realists and antirealists is about science and truth.

"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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20-04-2017, 03:43 PM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
(20-04-2017 02:52 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(20-04-2017 09:14 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  I don't see why these two positions are at odds. To question the reliability of the senses commits the fallacy of the stolen concept so it appears that this dilemma is the result of conceptual errors. The fact is that reality exists independently of anyone's conscious activity and man possesses consciousness which is his means of awareness of what exists. What's the problem here?

The reliability of the senses is a background issue. The main issue is their views of what science accomplishes.
Do you recognize the fallacious nature of questioning the reliability of the senses?

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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20-04-2017, 03:51 PM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
(20-04-2017 02:55 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(20-04-2017 09:27 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  "If our thoughts and feelings don't determine things about the world"

That's right they don't. But it in no way follows from this that we can not have knowledge of the world. That's because knowledge is about identifying reality, not determining it. The very concept of truth rests on the fact that "Our thoughts and feelings about reality do not determine reality". If they did we wouldn't need a method like science in the first place. reality would be whatever anyone wanted it to be. Water freezes at 32 degrees? Not for me. It's 45 degrees on Tuesday and 0 degrees on Saturday.

Well I think Kuhn's view was that the fact that we can observe and make sense of reality casts doubt upon whether than reality was totally separate from the individual. But again, this view isn't very prominent anymore. The main debate between realists and antirealists is about science and truth.
Well of course they are not totally separate. I mean there is a necessary relationship between consciousness and reality. If there wasn't, we couldn't have any awareness of reality. Also consciousness is a part of reality and has a nature just like everything else that exists.

Truth is a property of concepts and propositions, which are composed of concepts. If a scientific principle identifies a fact/ facts of reality and it does so in a non-contradictory way, then that scientific principle is true. But one must always remember that knowledge is contextual. If you are looking for some truth by the standards of omniscience then that is not what science is about.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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20-04-2017, 04:23 PM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
(20-04-2017 03:43 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(20-04-2017 02:52 PM)Naielis Wrote:  The reliability of the senses is a background issue. The main issue is their views of what science accomplishes.
Do you recognize the fallacious nature of questioning the reliability of the senses?

Not really. Care to explain?

"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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21-04-2017, 01:32 AM (This post was last modified: 21-04-2017 01:49 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
Is this guy a troll or not? Thanks to Poe's Law, I really can't tell. I'll assume not for the purposes of this message.

I apologise if I've been too rough. It may be that you genuinely believe everything you are typing. I hope you can see that I find it hard to believe when you literally switch your claims to the exact opposite of what you've been saying before.

They are, again, extreme positions. Your problem, if you ever choose to accept it, is that you see everything in binary terms. Wrong, or right. Absolutely true, or uselessly false. Perfect or totally flawed. I don't know how you ended up with this very theist-like mindset, but I hope one day that you're able to discard the dogma that is holding you back. You have all the pieces of the puzzle. You have the intelligence to put them together. But you don't like the picture on the box, so you're forever trying to ram pieces in where they don't fit.

Sure, in an abstract system of our design, or one we use to model reality, we can force things to be binary. No problem. But the user error you constantly refer to means that our link between our models and reality itself is always tenuous. So insisiting on absolute positions dooms you to waste your time forever. Sure, it would be nice if we could have certainty, and nice neat answers to reality. But we can't, simple as that. We either accept this, or retreat into fantasy. By doing the second, no practical results will ever emerge. No truth about reality will be learned either.

I'll make this my last message to you, as I've tried everything I can possibly think of to have meaningful discourse and it hasn't worked. Best of luck in the future.

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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21-04-2017, 02:06 AM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
The guy is a philosopher. Philosophers in my experience aren't very practical. To quote Feynman:

Quote:When I sat with the philosophers I listened to them discuss very seriously a book called Process and Reality by Whitehead. They were using
words in a funny way, and I couldn't quite understand what they were saying. Now I didn't want to interrupt them in their own conversation and keep
asking them to explain something, and on the few occasions that I did, they'd try to explain it to me, but I still didn't get it. Finally they invited me to
come to their seminar.
They had a seminar that was like, a class. It had been meeting once a week to discuss a new chapter out of Process and Reality--some guy would
give a report on it and then there would be a discussion. I went to this seminar promising myself to keep my mouth shut, reminding myself that I
didn't know anything about the subject, and I was going there just to watch.
What happened there was typical--so typical that it was unbelievable, but true. First of all, I sat there without saying anything, which is almost
unbelievable, but also true. A student gave a report on the chapter to be studied that week. In it Whitehead kept using the words "essential object" in a
particular technical way that presumably he had defined, but that I didn't understand.
After some discussion as to what "essential object" meant, the professor leading the seminar said something meant to clarify things and drew
something that looked like lightning bolts on the blackboard. "Mr. Feynman," he said, "would you say an electron is an 'essential object'?"
Well, now I was in trouble. I admitted that I hadn't read the book, so I had no idea of what Whitehead meant by the phrase; I had only come to
watch. "But," I said, "I'll try to answer the professor's question if you will first answer a question from me, so I can have a better idea of what
'essential object' means. Is a brick an essential object?"
What I had intended to do was to find out whether they thought theoretical constructs were essential objects. The electron is a theory that we use;
it is so useful in understanding the way nature works that we can almost call it real. I wanted to make the idea of a theory clear by analogy. In the
case of the brick, my next question was going to be, "What about the inside of the brick?"--and I would then point out that no one has ever seen the
inside of a brick. Every time you break the brick, you only see the surface. That the brick has an inside is a simple theory which helps us understand
things better. The theory of electrons is analogous. So I began by asking, "Is a brick an essential object?"
Then the answers came out. One man stood up and said, "A brick as an individual, specific brick. That is what Whitehead means by an essential
object."
Another man said, "No, it isn't the individual brick that is an essential object; it's the general character that all bricks have in common--their
'brickiness'--that is the essential object."
Another guy got up and said, "No, it's not in the bricks themselves. 'Essential object' means the idea in the mind that you get when you think of
bricks."
Another guy got up, and another, and I tell you I have never heard such ingenious different ways of looking at a brick before. And, just like it
should in all stories about philosophers, it ended up in complete chaos. In all their previous discussions they hadn't even asked themselves whether
such a simple object as a brick, much less an electron, is an "essential object."

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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21-04-2017, 02:07 AM
RE: Scientific Realism or Antirealism
First i put up a lenghty and detailed danswer, then i decided it/he is not worth the effort. So, welcome to my ignore list Naelis.

As far as i am concerned i am not bothered anymore by him trying to piss at everybody and everything that disagrees with his black-and-white-100%true-or-nothing-i-define-reality-for-my-own-likings garbage.

He can sit all day in his armchair and keep on wanking, i wont watch this anymore. I have better things to do.

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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