Daniel Barnes

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    Daniel Barnes
  1. OK, so Kelly explains why Ellen still don't seem to have grasped the point he is making. http://www.criticalrationalism.net/2013/07/07/the-quest-for-doubt/comment-page-1/#comment-17754 I will try as well. There are two things: 1) What is true and 2) What I believe (sometimes with a feeling of unassailable certainty) is true. Ironically, her arguments for certainty turned out to be wrong in at least one, and quite possibly two, ways that she didn'trealise. The point being that while she was feeling unassailably certain, she was actually wrong without knowing it. This islike a perfect little case study for the benefits of a fallibilist attitude. Understanding this is a very important part of Critical Rationalism. This is why it is clear Ellen hasn't quite grokked Kelly's, and Popper's, point. Popper argues the truth exists, that you can know it but...and this is the important bit...you can never quite know that you know it. As Ellen has found out.
  2. Lee Kelly argues here in some detail that Ellen's criticisms are on the wrong track. For example her argument from "intelligibility" doesn't stand up to scrutiny, and what seems intuitively unassailable turns out to be quite questionable under closer analysis. Further, I would add that the above comment about Kelly "shooting the horse Popper rode in on" suggests it is Ellen's readings of Popper that have missed the point, not Kelly's. Popper's work from "The Logic of Scientific Discovery" onwards is an attempt to answer the problem of "what is the best way to use logic to discover the truth about the world?" And his answer was logic is better used to eliminate what's false, rather than find out what's true. So this other criticism of Kelly also seems on the wrong track. But let's give Ellen's criticisms of Kelly the maximum sympathy, and assume she is right and Kelly is wrong about the statement "S:S doesn't exist". The question then is, what follows from this? What wider point does she think this makes? One can anticipate an obvious larger argument from this point, perhaps following from Rand, and likewise anticipate what is also obviously wrong with that wider argument. But we will not know until she explains her wider point, if indeed she has one.
  3. Once again, I don't really get this blanket hostility to perfectly reasonable suggestions. One of the things reading Popper taught me is to try to check on the problem under discussion as early as possible. Saves people wasting time talking at cross purposes, especially when they might have key issues in common. Often major disagreements turn out to be merely verbal confusions at bottom, and not real issues. While I'm pretty thick skinned, it doesn't seem productive carrying on a discussion with someone who treats everything I say as if it were some dastardly trick, and who doesn't want to clearly state the point they're trying to make anyway.
  4. Well, you can impute what you will into it, but the fact remains this is a principle I believe in, and so act accordingly. If you are one of those folks who loves them a good terminological dispute, well that's your choice. Objectivism is chock-full of such scholasticism, so you're not alone. Following Popper, I don't regard it as productive. As far as "unclarity" goes, I admit I'm not clear as to the more important question of what problem you're trying to solve with this discussion. Particularly as you now seem to be pursuing whatever it is with increasing momentum by posting Lee Kelly's essay in full. What point are you trying to make? Can you summarise it ? For my part, while I don't know Lee, I'm happy to alert him to the fact you're critiquing his essay, in case he wants to come over here and discuss it directly.
  5. Ellen, I'll take that as a "no". PS: If you have read your Popper, you should know that not quibbling over terminology is not a "ploy", but a principle. Of course, there are people that love nothing more than quibbling endlessly over terms. It is an regrettably widespread practice, especially in philosophy. As you know well I am not one of those people. So, following this principle, I avoid getting into lengthy debates over this sort of thing.
  6. Merlin, if you think a mild, qualified criticism like: "I would argue that by Rand not specifying 'primacy of physical existence' it makes her formulation less precise (though I agree that in some passages she hints at a dualism). At any rate, quibbling over who's got the most precise terminology is not that important, so we can agree to disagree over this." ...constitutes a "slam" then clearly you need to spend a little more time in the ring...;-)
  7. Um. I think I don't agree that "primacy of physical reality" is a more precise way of stating what Rand meant by "primacy of existence."For one thing, she and Branden rejected the description "materialist" - and there are hints of at least property dualism in things she said about mind and volition. For another, there's the supposed adopting of Aristotle's views on causality. Also, there's the issue of "Peikoff's puffs," which was a late development (early '70s). Ok, you disagree over the precision of terminology. I would argue that by Rand not specifying "primacy of physical existence" it makes her formulation less precise (though I agree that in some passages she hints at a dualism). At any rate, quibbling over who's got the most precise terminology is not that important, so we can agree to disagree over this. That aside, is there a larger problem that you're trying to solve with this discussion?
  8. Maybe I'll drop Wikipedia a note advising them that the apostrophe shouldn't be in the url I was using, and that it's resulting in a broken link.
  9. That is very strange. However, I will check again. I am nothing if not a fallibilist....;-) I confirm the correct link is here. EDIT: Woah, that's weird. It's the correct link, but for some reason reverts to another link when clicked. I'll just paste it in directly. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popper's_three_worlds EDIT: ah, beginning to see the problem...
  10. This is commonly called a false alternative. I thought I was trying to be reasonable. So what exactly is your point?
  11. He shows how Barnes duelism works. Ellen refers to Barnes' "shell game." He responds as if she said Popper's "shell game." Merlin, that's unfair, not to mention being untrue. In my #67 I offered two options: 1) Popper is playing a shell game or 2) I am doing likewise by misrepresenting him. As my own views follow Popper's views closely, it was entirely possible Ellen really meant 1). Alternatively it is quite possible I've got it wrong and she's right about Popper, or 2), in which case Ellen can test her views against the other Popper experts I suggested.
  12. Yes, Sir! No further "need to know," says the commander. Problem even there: I don't know what the commander means by "the primacy of physical reality." The wording sounds like a causal theory and not what I understand Popper to mean by "realist metaphysics." (A belief that there is a reality which is what it is doesn't commit to a particular causal theory.) Ellen Woah, this seems to be unnecessarily touchy. I'm not "commanding" you to do anything. You said my views were so incoherent you couldn't make sense of them. So I just gave you the top line: I believe in the primacy of physical reality, or what Rand called somewhat less precisely the "primacy of existence". This is something I agree with Rand about, and where Popper and Rand agree too. I can't put it any more plainly than that. If you don't understand what Popper meant by this, well go read some Popper (I command you!...;-)). I would explain myself, but you say my writing is completely incomprehensible. So avoid me and go to the source. I have already provided a link to the Wiki page on the subject. All I can say is that in Popper's 3-world theory there is a reason he called the physical world "World 1"!
  13. If you can't make out my views that's fine. Personally I don't think Popper's views are a "shell game". I think he's a serious thinker. Alternatively if you don't think I'm portraying Critical Rationalism properly you're welcome to take your views - for example The Great Tree Frog Question - to some expert CR commenters and see how you get on. I've offered a few places in the past. Have you ever taken them up? I also offered Lee Kelly's essay just now, who has a similar view to mine. But perhaps you think he's playing a "shell game" too. Re:cosmology, there's no need to be pedantic. Broadly, it just means a view of how the universe is structured. You can have a religious or even mythical cosmology. It's not a strictly scientific term. At any rate, there' no need to make a Federal case out of it. I believe in the primacy of physical reality; that's all you need to know should you feel the need to cite me on the subject in future...:-)
  14. I didn't say anything about cosmology, and I don't know what Popper's cosmology, if he had one, was. Ellen Oh, ok. It looks like this. It's Popper's theory of the metaphysical structure of the universe if you like. I am rather fond of this theory. You will note it is primarily a realist one. I'm not sure what else I need to add. For whatever reason, either through poor explanation on my part or misunderstanding on yours, you've ended up with the wrong opinion as to my views. It's of no great importance, but just so you know I am as committed to a realist view of the world as Popper or any other epistemological fallibilist is. (And yes, I agree that fallibilism too might be a mistake.) As luck would have it, over at criticalrationalism.net Lee Kelly has just written a short essay on this very question. By coincidence Lee was one of the participants in your Great Tree Frog Question over at the ARCHNblog. Hopefully that will give you an idea of the CR view.
  15. From what I have read, The Best Living Philosopher seems to contend that few if any understand Rand and Popper as well as he does. This is hardly surprising, given that he is The Best Living Philosopher.