Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
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10-02-2017, 12:23 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(10-02-2017 11:51 AM)Naielis Wrote:  
(10-02-2017 11:40 AM)SYZ Wrote:  LOL... are you for real?

Are you actually claiming that the theory of gravity is merely a "hypothesis", and its falsification is merely "approaching" infinity.

Weeping

I didn't mention gravity specifically, but yes. What justification is there for the Universal Law of Gravitation? There's no a priori justification so it encounters the Problem of Induction. How do Pragmatists solve this?

We know the universe works the way it does for the last billions of year.
What the fuck do you want ? You have not one instance where it has been found to not apply.

As long as YOU brought this up, what there is, is no justification to assume the causal assumptions we observe here, to apply to any other environment than this universe. THAT'S what is not justified.

Fap away boy.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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10-02-2017, 12:30 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(10-02-2017 12:01 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  A solid foundation? Like what?

Why is it not solid? It sounds like you want to treat reality like an abstract system so you can make definitive statements about it. It isn't, no matter how convenient that may be. You need science to learn about reality. Replacing science with... just philosophy, or whatever else you intend to replace it with, isn't going to achieve anything. Convince me otherwise.

Science is about modeling reality. It seems to me that your beliefs can't be supported by science, so you want to replace it with something that will. If this isn't the case, what exactly do you think science isn't achieving that it could be?

If you're still insisting on absolute truth, you'll be waiting forever. There's no such thing. At some point, we have to accept that there is a limit to what we can learn about reality. We make models, and we test them. That's ultimately all we can do. Why is working not enough for you? What's the problem? We don't just claim it works. We show it works.

What is your actual suggestion? It's easy to dismiss science, but since it does actually work and has produced fantatic results, you'd better have something amazing to take its place.

I subscribe to Foundationalism. I haven't delved much into Coherentism. But in Foundationalism, you start with a foundational belief or beliefs. You have starting points that govern everything you know. From your foundation, you can form an entire epistemology. Foundationalist epistemologies are often compared to skyscrapers. You have a foundation at the base of the building, from which you build a strucure. You then fill in certain parts of the structure with new knowledge. If either the structure or the foundation of the skyscraper are weak, the whole building falls. Similarly, if your foundational belief or beliefs have weak justification, or the structure of your system is warped, your entire system fails. If you claim something is fact, you're making a truth claim. You're ascribing a property to reality. To do this, you need justification. If your justification is weak in a key area, everything else that follows from it is affected. This is similar to making a mistake in the first step of a math problem. Every step after that becomes wrong instantly. So if one of your foundational beliefs is weakly justified, then all conclusions that follow from it share in this weak justification. In my epistemology, I try to push the partially justified beliefs as far up the skyscraper as they can go. This way, all of my beliefs with weak justification are rendered harmless to my worldview. But with Pragmatism, the structure is warped, if even present, and the foundational beliefs aren't grounded in themselves or justified in an ontology. They're mere assumptions. Grounding your epistemology on assumptions is like willfully supporting a skyscraper with a foundation of marshmallows.

"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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10-02-2017, 12:41 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(10-02-2017 12:01 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  You need science to learn about reality. Replacing science with... just philosophy, or whatever else you intend to replace it with, isn't going to achieve anything. Convince me otherwise.

Science is about modeling reality. It seems to me that your beliefs can't be supported by science, so you want to replace it with something that will. If this isn't the case, what exactly do you think science isn't achieving that it could be?

I don't know what beliefs I have that are unsupported in scientific data, but I want to use this claim as an example of a poor foundation. You assert that science is about modeling reality. But the problem is that to even begin using the scientific method, you have to already agree on certain properties of reality. First you have to show your solution to the Problem of Induction: why are you able to extrapolate from specific experiments to make claims about reality as a whole? What grants your ability to generalize. For example, how do you know gravity exists in all places. This is a founational law in science and yet it's justification is a mere model? But this isn't the biggest problem. The biggest problem is solving the issue of Skepticism. Skepticism is itself incoherent, but a threat to epistemologies with weak foundations and structures. When you say "science works" to justify it under a Pragmatist system, the Skeptic will simply ask how you know it works. How do you? You have to trust your senses. If your senses are unreliable, you have no way of running experiments on reality. What the Skeptic's question gets at here is that Pragmatists assume things at their foundation. These are things that need to be established in order for the scientific method to make sense. But Pragmatists just assume them. The skyscraper has fallen over.

"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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10-02-2017, 12:45 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(10-02-2017 12:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  But the problem is that to even begin using the scientific method, you have to already agree on certain properties of reality. First you have to show your solution to the Problem of Induction:

Wrong.
That's what YOU have to do.
You don't get to dictate anything to anyone.

The Theory of Gravity works, and is the best we have today.
At some point, when science advances, (even though you ASSerted it does not change with new data), we may have a more complex understanding of what gravity is, and why it works.

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10-02-2017, 01:05 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(10-02-2017 12:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  First you have to show your solution to the Problem of Induction: why are you able to extrapolate from specific experiments to make claims about reality as a whole?

Because it works!!! I know you don't like that answer, but tough. That's reality. As we keep trying to tell you, in the real world, absolute certainty is unobtainable. We do the best we can with the data we have -- that's all we can do, and all we will ever be able to do.

The problem of induction is no problem at all unless you demand absolute certainty, and no scientist is that demanding. They can't afford to be. If you demand absolute certainty, you will be trapped in your ivory tower forever, and never accomplish anything at all in the real world. To get anything done, you must be a pragmatist (and not in your narrow sense of using pragmatism to determine "truth" -- whatever that is). Real-life pragmatism is concerned with what works.
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10-02-2017, 01:06 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(10-02-2017 11:40 AM)SYZ Wrote:  LOL... are you for real?

Are you actually claiming that the theory of gravity is merely a "hypothesis", and its falsification is merely "approaching" infinity.

Weeping

Yes.

Again, it's semantic games. It's simply taking the word "proof" and moving the attached goalposts so far out that scoring is simply not possible.

I could go further in depth and explain the other issues with it, but I really don't care. The position is worthless.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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10-02-2017, 01:15 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(10-02-2017 12:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  I don't know what beliefs I have that are unsupported in scientific data

We're still waiting on that definition and demonstration of the immaterial aspect of sound waves.

(10-02-2017 12:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  You assert that science is about modeling reality. But the problem is that to even begin using the scientific method, you have to already agree on certain properties of reality. First you have to show your solution to the Problem of Induction

No, they don't. The "problem" of induction - and I place that in quotes very deliberately - is just a simple statement that inductive reasoning is not capable of producing absolute certainty. Science does not deal in absolute certainties, so the problem of induction can take a flying leap.

Do note the absolute there as well. As you yourself stated, the levels of certainty that induction allows approach absolute so closely as to make no difference. Point-nine-repeating is equivalent to one, and all that.

(10-02-2017 12:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  For example, how do you know gravity exists in all places. This is a founational law in science

No. It is a conclusion.

(10-02-2017 12:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  and yet it's justification is a mere model?

No. Its justification is the evidence. The model is the result.

You don't seem to know how science actually works.

(10-02-2017 12:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  The biggest problem is solving the issue of Skepticism.

Science is applied skepticism. You may as well suggest that the biggest issue for higher order calculus is solving the issue of addition.

(10-02-2017 12:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Skepticism is itself incoherent

You don't seem to know what that word means, either, despite having it explained to you several times.

When I say that your position is incoherent, Naielis, I mean that you have not defined your terms properly, and the end result is either semantically meaningless or self-contradictory. Skepticism does not have this issue.

Logic is applied semantics. Rationality is applied logic. Skepticism is applied rationality. Science is applied skepticism.

(10-02-2017 12:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  When you say "science works" to justify it under a Pragmatist system, the Skeptic will simply ask how you know it works.

And then the pragmatist can demonstrate it.

(10-02-2017 12:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  How do you? You have to trust your senses. If your senses are unreliable, you have no way of running experiments on reality. What the Skeptic's question gets at here is that Pragmatists assume things at their foundation.

That's not skepticism. That's solipsism. Skepticism does not lead to solipsism, because solipsism is incoherent.

You do not understand the terms you are trying to use.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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10-02-2017, 01:25 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(10-02-2017 11:51 AM)Naielis Wrote:  I didn't mention gravity specifically, but yes. What justification is there for the Universal Law of Gravitation?

It worked, every single time we tested it, under any circumstance we observed it, at any place we tested it? Every.fucking.time?

In case you are going to bother to reply:
What justification do you have that i have written this? If you just replied? How do you justifiy talking to someone who might possibly not exist? Are you crazy? Scizophrenic? Why are you talking to people before you even check for their existence? Are you mad? Why do you bother typing on your keyboard? Is there a keyboard? What if it starts floating around suddenly, because....you know, maybe gravity wont work in 5..4..3..
What if the moon is made of cheese? What about my laundry, do you think i made some laundry earlier today?

Questions, questions......every one of them so relevant....and live is so short.....

Earlier you said "question everything, question even this very statement". Should i question to question this statement even? Should i even question to question to question this?

Today was the funeral of my mother, and i just realized there are worse things than just being dead, like wasting your life with bullshit. I recommend you stop doing that

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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10-02-2017, 01:45 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(10-02-2017 01:25 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:  
(10-02-2017 11:51 AM)Naielis Wrote:  I didn't mention gravity specifically, but yes. What justification is there for the Universal Law of Gravitation?

It worked, every single time we tested it, under any circumstance we observed it, at any place we tested it? Every.fucking.time?

This is far more relevant than Naielis will probably think, so I will expand.

The problem of induction, as I said, is the simple observation that inductive reasoning cannot ever produce absolute certainty in its results. This is in contrast to deductive reasoning, which can prove its conclusion absolutely.

This is because deduction deals with definitions, while induction deals with observations. A deductive argument is something like "all ducks are yellow, and this bird is a duck, so therefore this bird is yellow", while an inductive argument would be "we've seen something like five hundred ducks today, and they were all yellow, so at this point I'm feeling pretty confident that all ducks are yellow."

As has already been explained, science does not deal in absolute certainties, but it can get as close as it is possible to be - and, in science, it usually does, to the point that most people are more than happy to treat scientifically-established conclusions as absolutely proven.

Think of it like this:

[Image: 10_4_1_11.jpg]

If the y-axis is a measure of our certainty in something (with y = 1 being "absolute certainty"), and the x-axis represents the amount of inductive support there is for that thing, then, as x approaches infinity, our y-value will get so close to one as to make no difference. It's not technically certain, but it's close enough that the vast, vast majority of people would be more than happy to treat it as such, and the likelihood of it ever being overturned approaches zero.

This is why the concept of the burden of proof exists. While we can never reach actual, absolute certainty with induction, we can get so close as to make no difference, until there is no rational reason to deny that something is true.

And, despite Naielis' mischaracterization and misunderstanding of the term, this is the whole point of skepticism. Question everything. Examine everything. And then, once it has actually been established, accept it.

Skepticism is not mindless denial and rejection. It is the position that we should accept as true only those things that are supported by the evidence.

The theory of gravity has more than enough.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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10-02-2017, 02:30 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(10-02-2017 11:40 AM)Naielis Wrote:  
(10-02-2017 11:33 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Yeah, everyday pragmatism isn't about claiming things are true. You're talking past your audience here. I agree it is very problematic to claim such truth, it's just a bad position altogether. Absolute truth is a worthless concept in reality.

It's useful to assume or even "pretend" they are true. That's normal pragmatism.

But that's exactly my point. This is the philosophy section of the forum. We aren't here to discuss everyday pragmatism or skepticism. We're talking about epistemological systems. Skepticism as a system is incompatible with Pragmatism.

More of your black and white positioning. We are here to discuss whatever the fuck we want to discuss.

People are doing practical philosophy here. I can be pragmatic without being Pragmatic® and skeptical without being a Skeptic®.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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