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The Peikovian Doctrine of the Arbitrary Assertion


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#181 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 01:29 PM

A declarative sentence follows the rules of grammar not logic.  If it is meaningful then it is either true or false.  True/False are predicates of a meaningful  declarative sentence.  Valid/invalid are predicates of a logical argument.

 

Bob,

There's the fudge under a different name: "meaningful."

What makes it meaningful so it can be true of false? In other words, what makes its meaningfulness true--with certainty?

 

What are the rules in your system?

 

Michael

It means the subject,  predicate and object in the sentence refer to -somethings-  in the world.

 

One can map the sentence into a world-state which is either the case or not.

 

What you are asking is how do we understand language.  I don't know,  but we do understand the languages we use.

 

Ba'al Chatzaf


אויב מיין באָבע האט בייצים זי וואָלט זיין מיין זיידע

#182 Leonid

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 01:32 PM

Hellen:"Also puzzling is your citing as evidence for your claim an article that appeared three days after you made the claim. Did you know in advance that the Principia Scientific article was going to be published?"

 

No, this is a pure coincident. I've seen the critique of the article as well. It confirms my position that we are dealing with not scientific  but political problem,  for the reason that on the basis of such a controversial factual evidence politicians make decisions which affect lives of billions. The global warming is simply a disguise for the quest for global political domination. 



#183 Ellen Stuttle

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 02:18 PM

I've seen the critique of the article as well. It confirms my position that we are dealing with not scientific but political problem, for the reason that on the basis of such a controversial factual evidence politicians make decisions which affect lives of billions. The global warming is simply a disguise for the quest for global political domination.



I'd hardly disagree that the global warming issue is used as a ploy by persons seeking political domination. And by scientists seeking big grant monies. And by "green industries" seeking subsidizing. And by persons looking for a religion. And by people wanting to feel morally smug. And for other reasons, too.

However, Anthony Watts is no friend of global-warming alarmism. He's one of the biggest critics, and is the person who patiently went across the country documenting the problems with the weather-record stations. Watts isn't buying into alarmism. He's objecting to the science in the Principia Scientific report.

Irresponsible claims put forth as science are no help to people trying to address the actual scientific issues. They only give credence to "kook" smears.

Ellen

PS: Although I'm accustomed to people calling me "Helen" until they eventually get that my name is "Ellen" and I'm not prone to being irritated by the error, I think it is time you noticed the correct spelling of my name.

#184 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 02:26 PM

What you are asking is how do we understand language.  I don't know,  but we do understand the languages we use.

 

Bob,

 

Actually, I'm asking what the connection between propositions and reality is in your system, but you just expressed the fudge quite clearly right there.

 

The basis of this connection for your system is, "I don't know, but we do understand..."

 

Think about it for a minute.

 

Is that a scientific approach?

 

Michael


Know thyself...


#185 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 08:01 AM

What you are asking is how do we understand language.  I don't know,  but we do understand the languages we use.

 

Bob,

 

Actually, I'm asking what the connection between propositions and reality is in your system, but you just expressed the fudge quite clearly right there.

 

The basis of this connection for your system is, "I don't know, but we do understand..."

 

Think about it for a minute.

 

Is that a scientific approach?

 

Michael

Yes.  I stated a fact.   Did you understand what I said.  If you didn't their is no point talking any further on this matter.  If you did then you agree with me and their is no point talking further on this matter.

 

Ba'al Chatzaf 


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#186 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 09:04 AM

Bob,

 

In other words, for those who understand, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't, none is possible.

 

Now that sounds scientific.

 

But it seems I've heard that in another context...

 

:)

 

For readers, the size and nature of this fudge is now clearly displayed. Let them make their own conclusions.

 

Michael


Know thyself...


#187 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 05:12 AM

Bob,

 

In other words, for those who understand, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't, none is possible.

 

Now that sounds scientific.

 

But it seems I've heard that in another context...

 

:smile:

 

For readers, the size and nature of this fudge is now clearly displayed. Let them make their own conclusions.

 

Michael

The truth is there is currently no complete scientific explanation for how we come to have and understand language.  Anymore than there is an explanation for gravitation.  But language,  understanding and gravitation exist whether we can explain it  or not.  Nature does not care what we can explain or can not explain.

 

As a result meaningful particular  (with no universal quantifiers) declarative sentences will continue to be either true or false.  That is the way it is.


אויב מיין באָבע האט בייצים זי וואָלט זיין מיין זיידע

#188 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 06:47 AM

Bob,

 

In other words, for those who understand, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't, none is possible.

 

Now that sounds scientific.

 

But it seems I've heard that in another context...

 

:smile:

 

For readers, the size and nature of this fudge is now clearly displayed. Let them make their own conclusions.

 

Michael

Read Plato's -Theaetetus-.  You are trying to channel Socrates.


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#189 Ellen Stuttle

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 07:19 PM

I've been looking farther into Principia Scientific International.

My curiosity was aroused because of something my husband told me when I asked him, last Sunday, if he'd ever heard of PSI. He had, but only that same week.

He said that he'd received an invitation to become a member and that he hadn't looked at the site yet but was considering just saying no on the grounds of already having more climate-related correspondence than he can keep up with. He added that he'd been told that Tim Ball is one of the founding members of PSI.

I was astonished. What's a smart guy like Tim Ball doing in a kook-house? I wondered -- not exactly in those words but approximately in that sentiment.

So I decided to look further at the site, which up to then -- because of the silly claims and misrepresentations in the article Leonid had linked to -- here -- and other stuff on the front page -- I'd thought wasn't of interest.

Turns out that the parent organization has the goal of providing an alternate publishing venue to the "peer-reviewed" journals which have mostly become a PC closed society on climate issues -- direct link to the "Mission Statement."

Though I don't think it's true, as the statement claims, that Popper's idea of how science proceeds is how traditional science was done (meaning by "traditional science" from approximately Newton through partway into the 20th century), I am in favor of attempts to break the stranglehold of the "establishment" journals.

On the other hand, I don't think I'd rate substituting kook science for PC science as an improvement.

I'm wondering if better stuff than I've seen yet on the site is residing in the members-only sections, so I'm considering joining in order to take a look. Currently, membership is being made open to all comers, free (though with payment requested), in case others reading the thread are curious too.

See the "Home" page for information on joining.

Ellen

#190 Mark

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 08:46 PM

I must state, incidentally, that I am not a student of biology and am, therefore, neither an advocate nor an opponent of the theory of evolution. But I have read a lot of valid evidence to support it, and it is the only scientific theory in the field. The issue, however, is not the theory of evolution: this theory serves merely as a rabble-rousing excuse for attacking science, for attacking reason, for attacking man's mind.


What is Rand's evidence for the "psychologizing" (by her own definition) claim in the last sentence? How would she know that the reasons given by people who want creationist accounts of species origins to be included in school curricula aren't sincere reasons? She provides no indication. 

 

The man-hatred of some evolutionists is so stark it hardly requires analysis but there’s a recently published book that does analyzes it in detail: Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity by Raymond Tallis – a British neurologist and retired physician. I read the book cover to cover. He gave a talk on the subject, videotaped here:

 

2011 Holyoake Lecture

 

Q&A



#191 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 09:01 PM

I am my brain.  I have no idea of what you are.

 

I am meat.  I don't know what you are.

 

I do not have a mind,  I have a well functioning brain.

 

I have had some of the most advanced scans that technology offers performed on me.  Not the least sign of a mind.  

 

I live in the physical natural universe and I am part of it.  I don't know where you live or what you are a part of.

 

Ba'al Chatzaf


אויב מיין באָבע האט בייצים זי וואָלט זיין מיין זיידע

#192 Ellen Stuttle

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 09:40 PM

Software isn't working.

#193 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 10:34 PM

Mark,

 

I looked at part of Tallis's lecture and set the "watch later" button on YouTube to finish it later. I wish he had better speaking skills, but oh well... At least I am fascinated by this topic so that keeps me going instead of yawning.

 

I like the fact that Tallis balances people like Geoffrey Miller. Ditto for the current orgy of interpretations of fMRI scans.

 

But I easily get value from all sides.This is because I apply to them the same standard I have applied to Rand--that they represent truth within the topics they analyze, but mess up with they try to chunk up their positions to the standing of being universal for all (and debunking any and all other theories as a result). Obviously, I mean this to refer to a lot of their stuff, not all of it. Some things, like certain fundamental principles, actually are universal in just about any science or religion.

 

Here's an example (one that our own dear Bob likes to repeat like a parrot): They study the effect of neural activity on consciousness, then conclude that human beings actually do not possess a mind at all, that consciousness is merely an illusion hosted in their skulls. And things like that.

 

When these folks chunk up from where they are to invade areas they do not promote, they get weird like that. I don't care, though. I try to ignore the noise and hone in on the signal.

 

Frankly, I like Miller, but he's the only evolutionary psychologist I have studied so far. I think some of his findings are a hoot. In marketing, he certainly hit the nail on the head for a lot of things that other marketing and psychological theories do not satisfactorily address (like the billions constantly spent in cosmetics, for just one example).

 

So, from what I have heard so far, Tallis has not debunked him. How could he, anyway, if you adjust the scope like I do? Isn't it possible that each man possesses a part of the truth in the big picture? I think so.

 

But I need to become more familiar with Tallis to be able to comment intelligently on details. I do admit that when a person drones on and on and on about the difference between Darwinism and Darwinitis like he did in the lecture so far, then beams as if he were most clever every time he did that, I start getting bored real quick and my ornery muscle twitches. Who gives a crap about labels like that?

 

But Tallis looks like he has some very interesting things to say, so I certainly will look deeper.

 

Michael


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#194 Ellen Stuttle

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 10:44 PM


I must state, incidentally, that I am not a student of biology and am, therefore, neither an advocate nor an opponent of the theory of evolution. But I have read a lot of valid evidence to support it, and it is the only scientific theory in the field. The issue, however, is not the theory of evolution: this theory serves merely as a rabble-rousing excuse for attacking science, for attacking reason, for attacking man's mind.


What is Rand's evidence for the "psychologizing" (by her own definition) claim in the last sentence? How would she know that the reasons given by people who want creationist accounts of species origins to be included in school curricula aren't sincere reasons? She provides no indication.


The man-hatred of some evolutionists is so stark it hardly requires analysis [...].



Mark,

Did you misinterpret Rand as meaning evolutionists in her statement that "this theory serves merely as a rabble-rousing excuse [...]"?

She was talking about creationists who want creationism taught in biology curricula as an alternative to the theory of evolution.

(Thanks, however, for the book reference.)

Ellen

#195 Mark

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 09:29 AM

Did you misinterpret Rand as meaning evolutionists in her statement that "this theory serves merely as a rabble-rousing excuse [...]"?

 

Ellen,

 

Yes. (And aren't you a tactful little thing for asking me instead of telling me, LOL.)

 

The "rabble-rousers" are not the evolutionists but those who oppose evolution. She is saying that those who oppose evolution – some of them at least – do so because they are anti-reason.

 

If she had emphasized some opponents of the evolution theory that would be true. But it's easy to infer that she meant all, and if so she's wrong.

 

Some people mistake a perversion of evolution, what Raymond Tallis calls Darwinitis, for evolution and consequently try to defend the dignity of man by opposing evolution. At least their motivation ought to be respected.

 

I like to think that Rand meant "some" in her all too brief comment on evolution. In any case she should have written more clearly.



#196 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 09:33 AM


.

 

Some people mistake a perversion of evolution, what Raymond Tallis calls Darwinitis, for evolution and consequently try to defend the dignity of man by opposing evolution. At least their motivation ought to be respected.

Not if they ignore tons and tons of solid evidence.

 

Whatever we are is the result of billions of years of chance variation and natural selection.

 

We are as nature made us.


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#197 Ellen Stuttle

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 11:57 AM

If she had emphasized some opponents of the evolution theory that would be true. But it's easy to infer that she meant all, and if so she's wrong.



I think in context she can be taken to have meant some. The title of the talk was "The Age of Mediocrity" and if I recall right the context indicates she was talking about the court cases mounted by various groups of fundamentalists -- haven't time to check the whole text just now.

However, I do think that she was speaking beyond what she could possibly know about those people's motives.

Some people mistake a perversion of evolution, what Raymond Tallis calls Darwinitis, for evolution and consequently try to defend the dignity of man by opposing evolution. At least their motivation ought to be respected.



I don't know specifically what Tallis calls "Darwinitis," though I can imagine, and suspect I might agree. Definitely some prominent evolutionists -- for instance, Dawkins -- are determinists.

As to Rand's attitude toward people who believe in God, in person she wasn't so negative as she might seem to have been from her "the soul of the mystic" segment in Galt's Speech. (I very much dislike that segment, and at times have felt angered by its sweeping condemnation, even though I myself came to the conclusion when I was twelve that there was no need for the idea of "God.")

Her housekeeper Eloise was a Christian, and says that Rand never hassled her about her Christianity.

Joan Kennedy Taylor, in her Full Context interview, tells how Rand surprised her by telling her to leave her father, composer Deems Taylor, alone about his religious beliefs. He's an old man and it comforts him, something like that, Rand told Joan.

Also there was the incident in one of her TV appearances where the interviewer -- was it Phil Donahue? -- said to her, "God bless you," and she graciously accepted this and said "God bless you" back.

Ellen

PS to Bob: The Catholic Church accepts evolution as fact but adds that God intervened to give humans the divine spark of reason.

I think that the theory of evolution will always arouse cavils unless and until a naturalist explanation for volition is developed. I do not think that Rand has done the job of providing that explanation, I'll add.

#198 PDS

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:08 PM

I am my brain.  I have no idea of what you are.

 

I am meat.  I don't know what you are.

 

I do not have a mind,  I have a well functioning brain.

 

I have had some of the most advanced scans that technology offers performed on me.  Not the least sign of a mind.  

 

I live in the physical natural universe and I am part of it.  I don't know where you live or what you are a part of.

 

Ba'al Chatzaf

 

You are hitting about 50% here.    Usually, that is a pretty good average, but the topics you claim to be addressing are serious.  

 

Not good enough, Bob. 






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