Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
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10-02-2017, 10:54 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(10-02-2017 10:32 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(10-02-2017 03:20 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Okay. N. failed to answer my "Who have you studied?" question.

I have come to the conclusion. None.

Now you guys know what I go through teaching teenagers to drum who only love heavy metal. Big Grin

Didn't see it. I've studied Pyrrho, Descartes, Kant, Russel, Aquinas, David Armstrong, Kuhn, and a little of Plato and Aristotle. I'm still working on Armstrong right now.

I don't consider Aquinas a philosopher.

What are you searching for? I may be able to help.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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11-02-2017, 12:06 AM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2017 12:18 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
Okay so...

The versions of pragmatism and scepticism being put forward by the OP are ones no one here probably uses, as far as I can tell. Neither do scientists. In fact, I've never seen anyone use them. So he's arguing with no one. I don't know what the point of that is.

Practical pragmatism is about doing what works, not about making truth claims. Practical scepticism is about apportioning beliefs to evidence. Not about refusing to believe anything.

Science doesn't make truth claims. It makes models, and it tests them. It shows that they work, beyond reasonable doubt. It tests further and further, to see how far the models apply. It can extrapolate, predict, and test. If this continues to work, then it's reasonable to assume the model works in the area you've extrapolated to. I'm not sure the OP understands science either. It doesn't need to claim it absolutely does work in all of reality. It only needs to work as far as we can test, so that we can produce useful results. And as always, we test the models first to make sure the results are reliable.

If you require your belief system to make statements of absolute truth regarding reality, you're asking for the impossible.

Remember, science is about producing practical results. And it does. They work. Ironically, to use an earlier example, we wouldn't be having this conversation if science didn't work. If you have a system that is better at producing practical results than science, then you will win some sort of worldwide prize. But since science is the result of a continually honed process accommodating all our knowledge and techniques, I don't fancy your chances. By all means though, present your system and show what practical results it can produce that out-performs science. Have you produced any actual results? Beware replacing evidence with arguments. Arguments require assumptions, and assumptions applied wholesale is exactly the problem you're accusing science of... And coming up with vague statements about "first causes" is not practical results. It's just over-extending past science with philosophy, which does not work.

We return to the word "knowledge". You seem unsatisfied that scientific knowledge isn't absolute knowledge. I agree, it isn't. But this isn't a failing of science. Again, you're asking for the impossible. Absolute knowledge only exists within abstract systems of our own making. Reality itself, we can only model. And at no point can we impose our models or statements on reality. It doesn't matter what system you come up with. If you're trying to tell reality how it behaves with certainty, you have lost the plot. And if you need to do that for your beliefs to make sense, you need to have a big rethink.

Here is my video explaining why evidence is extremely important, and logical arguments alone are not enough to tackle reality.




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11-02-2017, 12:14 AM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(11-02-2017 12:06 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Science doesn't make truth claims. It makes models, and it tests them. It shows that they work, beyond reasonable doubt.

To even make and test models you have to assume certain things to be true. We aren't talking about the results of science here. We're talking about the foundation of science.

"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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11-02-2017, 12:27 AM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
I don't know if the OP is actually prepared to watch any of my videos, but just in case...

Here's my analysis of practical scepticism, as applied to life in general.

It's a good idea to argue with points of view people actually hold.








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11-02-2017, 12:30 AM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(11-02-2017 12:14 AM)Naielis Wrote:  
(11-02-2017 12:06 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Science doesn't make truth claims. It makes models, and it tests them. It shows that they work, beyond reasonable doubt.

To even make and test models you have to assume certain things to be true. We aren't talking about the results of science here. We're talking about the foundation of science.

What do you have to assume to be true?

You don't care about results? So... you've pretty much tipped your hand there.

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11-02-2017, 01:09 AM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
You're going to talk about induction, aren't you. I covered that in the rest of the paragraph you started quoting.

Why are you more concerned with the foundation than the results? Science is about results. If we can accurately predict, we understand. We can use.

What foundation are you proposing to use instead? You've been vague but not specific.

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11-02-2017, 01:46 AM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
The thing you have to remember about science...

Anyone can test it, anytime, any place. And there are huge incentives for people to prove any scientific theory wrong.

So if it's significantly wrong, there is every chance this is going to become apparent. It has to be fucking strong as you like to survive the constant barrage of people trying to find holes in it. Not infinitely strong, that's asking for the impossible. But strong enough.

If the foundations were shaky, the results wouldn't work. That's what evidence is about. If your fundamental assumptions are screwed, this will become apparent when you model and test. It wouldn't work.

Honestly, I think you're only interested in statements of certainty. And by your own admission, such a thing does not exist regarding reality. So you're chasing a ghost.

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11-02-2017, 02:36 AM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2017 02:39 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
One more... (Are you guys sick of me yet?)

You seem to dislike the fact that science cannot say with certainty that gravity will work tomorrow.

Of course it can't. This, again, isn't a failing of science. This is just an honest acceptance of the limitations of our abilities to understand and predict reality. It is (as far as I can see) impossible to ever be able to predict anything about tomorrow with absolute certainty, no matter what "foundation" you use.

You can of course just say stuff about tomorrow, claiming absolute certainty, based on whatever system you have come up with. But you can't prescribe reality. Tomorrow can come along, and prove you wrong.

You appear to be setting the bar infinitely high. And I really don't know why. Science is (by definition) our best understanding of reality, using the most accurate models available. If you want Science+ which is 100% accurate, then you're just pipe dreaming. Retreating into philosophy and using only logical arguments isn't going to give you more accuracy. It will give you less, because you require assumptions which you're refusing to test in reality. And no matter how much you do test them, if you do at all, you can't extrapolate them to all of reality any more than science can. That's why arguments such as "first cause" fail.

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11-02-2017, 02:40 AM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(11-02-2017 12:30 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  
(11-02-2017 12:14 AM)Naielis Wrote:  To even make and test models you have to assume certain things to be true. We aren't talking about the results of science here. We're talking about the foundation of science.

What do you have to assume to be true?

You don't care about results? So... you've pretty much tipped your hand there.

I already stated what you have to assume in a previous post.

"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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11-02-2017, 02:42 AM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(11-02-2017 01:09 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  You're going to talk about induction, aren't you. I covered that in the rest of the paragraph you started quoting.

Why are you more concerned with the foundation than the results? Science is about results. If we can accurately predict, we understand. We can use.

What foundation are you proposing to use instead? You've been vague but not specific.

The results are meaningless if the foundation is flawed. Remember the skyscraper.

"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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