syrakusos

Is Objectivism Falsifiable or Merely Explanatory?

Recommended Posts

. . .

Not a single mathematical object exists in the physical world. Not a point, not line, not a circle etc. Math can only be used in physics when the mathematical object is mapped by a man-made rule into a physical operation of measurement.

. . .

The final sentence rings true, but the first two are incorrect insofar as they are not tautologous.

It is fallacious to conclude that since we can comprehend something only abstractly it cannot obtain concretely. That no human hand is both fully five-fingered and less than fully five-fingered is comprehended only abstractly, yet it will be true concretely that every human hand will satisfy that pattern. Similarly, it is illicit to conclude from the circumstance that a point of space in a geometry (Euclidean, Hyperbolic, Elliptic, . . .) is comprehended only abstractly there can be no point-particles in physical space. Physics says the leptons are such particles, and it should be left to physics (integrating experimental physics and mathematical physics) to establish the case of concrete point-particles one way or the other. Moreover, it should be left to future physics to determine whether (as Newton thought) our abstract lines, planes, and spaces are concretely realized in physical space (spacetime, really) or (as Plato thought) they are not.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Concerning #52, Bob, that was your tautologous part mathematical of "Not a single mathematical object exists in the physical world." The tautological sense of the statement is quite true, for it is an objectively meaningful tautology.* That sets are not to be confused with concretes is consistent with the possibility that the lines of some abstract geometries are objects realized in physical space or even in occasions of mass-energy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. . .

Not a single mathematical object exists in the physical world. Not a point, not line, not a circle etc. Math can only be used in physics when the mathematical object is mapped by a man-made rule into a physical operation of measurement.

. . .

The final sentence rings true, but the first two are incorrect insofar as they are not tautologous.

It is fallacious to conclude that since we can comprehend something only abstractly it cannot obtain concretely. That no human hand is both fully five-fingered and less than fully five-fingered is comprehended only abstractly, yet it will be true concretely that every human hand will satisfy that pattern. Similarly, it is illicit to conclude from the circumstance that a point of space in a geometry (Euclidean, Hyperbolic, Elliptic, . . .) is comprehended only abstractly there can be no point-particles in physical space. Physics says the leptons are such particles, and it should be left to physics (integrating experimental physics and mathematical physics) to establish the case of concrete point-particles one way or the other. Moreover, it should be left to future physics to determine whether (as Newton thought) our abstract lines, planes, and spaces are concretely realized in physical space (spacetime, really) or (as Plato thought) they are not.

O.K. Stephen. Produce in the real physical world the number two which is the class of all sets which can be put in one to one correspondence with {a, b}. I await with bated breath.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is why Plato likes mathematics (i.e. geometry) so much.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I've been reading Penrose lately and it seems like he falls squarely into the Platonist camp at least as this relates to mathematics. I find his argument for deterministic non-algorithmic consciousness very interesting and convincing. If he's right, A.I. is kinda doomed before it really starts. If he's right, consciousness is stranger and more complex than we think it is.

Have you read "The Emperor's New Mind" ?

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is why Plato likes mathematics (i.e. geometry) so much.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I've been reading Penrose lately and it seems like he falls squarely into the Platonist camp at least as this relates to mathematics. I find his argument for deterministic non-algorithmic consciousness very interesting and convincing. If he's right, A.I. is kinda doomed before it really starts. If he's right, consciousness is stranger and more complex than we think it is.

Have you read "The Emperor's New Mind" ?

Bob

Part way through it. I will comment on it when I am finished.

My Spider Sense tells me Penrose is off and away in some Plantonic ideal dream land. I am a great believe in rocks and water and shit, not in non-embodied Ideas.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guess who was interested in psychology as a profession when she wrote that article? One who she knew would be more than glad to step in and save the "young science" of psychology from the ravages of bad philosophy? And guess where he would get his philosophy from?

:smile:

Did Rand write that article after her break with NB?

A set of philosophical beliefs can't be tested by the scientific method.

It depends on the nature of the philosophical beliefs.

Take the pantha rhei principle for example, a philosophical belief expressed millenia ago, which contends that everything in the cosmos is in permanent motion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A set of philosophical beliefs can't be tested by the scientific method. The scientific method is based on certain epistemological propositions in the first place... this means that using the scientific method to prove or disprove philosophy will either be Stolen Concept or Circular Reasoning.

That is because philosophy does not produce empirically testable hypotheses which could possibly be false.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Still, humans will continue to philosophize regardless of whether or not their thoughts produce empirically testable hypotheses which could possibly be false. :smile:

Philosophizing is a creative and dynamic process; philosophy evolves as we evolve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O.K. Stephen. Produce in the real physical world the number two which is the class of all sets which can be put in one to one correspondence with {a, b}. I await with bated breath.

By what authority do you or the ghost of Bertrand Russell declare that to be the one and only meaning of "two"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why would you want to apply the falsifiability nonsense of a skeptical modernist fool like Karl Popper to Objectivism? Popper rejected empirical induction as a scientific method and argued that all human knowledge is irreducibly conjectural. He denied that anything could ever be proven and upheld a totally irrational view of what qualifies as “truth.” You cannot get farther away from Objectivism than the “theories” of Karl Popper.

I would apply them for the same reason that I gave consideration to the liberal, progressive, Marxist claims of my professors: truth is where you find it. F. A. Hayek shared Popper's general framework. We accept Hayek because he wrote well about economic freedom. We like the sound of his poetry. But at root, Hayek offers the Popperian program applied to economics. And I find that it has value in understanding. Ayn Rand endorsed von Mises, who was a Kantian, though she disliked Hayek. I am not so interested in rubberstamping her opinions as I am in understanding, applying, and perhaps extending her philosophy.

You might argue that happiness would invariably be part of one’s rational self-interest, but prosperity and material success are concrete values that a self-interested person might well regard as unimportant. Devotion to some artistic ambition, for example, might take priority over both. But the fact that someone might follow a code of rational self-interest and not achieve happiness shows only that human beings are fallible. Nothing more. No moral code can guarantee a successful life.

So, would that apply to Buddhism, also? I agree that the choices of an individual as perceived from the outside may remain intractable and irreducible. Granted that, we accept that it is not possible to predict the path of a single molecule, but possible to design the combustion chamber of an engine. So, too, with philosophies (including religions). Rand had an essay denouncing psychologists who suggested that native Witch Doctors could be helpful. But they can. I learned a kind of "rule of seventeen" in a psychology class: any mode of therapy is about 17% successful. Understand, of course, what is meant by "successful." Everyone feels good after a session. What happens ten years later is a different question, entirely. So, some therapies may well be more than 17% successful. And some 17% of the Objectivists, Buddhists, Scientologists, and Logical Positivist, might be millionaires... or hopeless reprobates... and the broad middle plus and minus 1s from the mean might be indistinguishable from any other sample of any other belief system.

That is a falsifiable claim.

I only know what makes me happy... and apparenly appeals to some millions of others, as well... But popularity polls are not science.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the United States, about 47% each of Jews and Hindus earn more than $100,000 per year. Most everyone else, it is about 17% - see the Rule of Seventeen above - except for Jehovah's Witnesses and traditional Black churches.

See here: http://awesome.good....ollar/flat.html

They apparently got their data from this recent Pew Forum poll:

http://www.pewforum....ous-Groups.aspx

However scan down Wikiipedia on the Demographics of Singapore to Religion to see that in Singapore "No Religion" is the third largest group (magically 17%) behind Christianity and Buddhism and ahead of Islam.

On the other other hand, from a 2007 article in The Atlantic:

Rather, as Gellman puts it "overall we see a positive correlation between income and religiosity in poor states and a negative correlation in rich states." Basically, if you live in a poor state, then the richer you are the more likely you are to go to church, whereas if you live in a rich state it's the reverse. I wonder to what extent that finding might just reflect a U-shaped distribution of church attendance with people in the middle more likely to be observant than those at either extreme. I also wonder how this would look if we used educational attainment instead of income.

Here: http://www.theatlant...d-income/46869/

We have seen this, also with politics. Make what you will of these numbers:

http://secularright....tion-2004-2008/

The bottom line is that so-called "practical" or arguably "empirical" consequences of a philosophy (or religion) are not a predictor. I believe that other factors - intervening varaibles - exist. I think that Dierdre McCloskey in Bourgeois Virtues came close to describing the importance of reputation among co-religionists or co-ethnics. That is part of it.

Also, Hindus in the United States are largely an immigrant community, so the immigrant factor applies. However, it does not apply to Hispanics, who are and remain statistically impoverished immigrants over the course of generations. Therefore, I look to culture. What matters most in the choices you make is the general expectation of your immediate surroundings because that defines the choices you perceive. Not that a Jew or Hindu could not walk away from $100,000 a year and become a beachcomber or performance artist, but that it is statistically unlikely. Objectivism does not have generations of data. We have to wait and see...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O.K. Stephen. Produce in the real physical world the number two which is the class of all sets which can be put in one to one correspondence with {a, b}. I await with bated breath.

By what authority do you or the ghost of Bertrand Russell declare that to be the one and only meaning of "two"?

The authority is that it leads to mathematically valid results. Now if you have another and better definition, let us see it.

O.K. You define two. Two the number. Not two socks or two shoes.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O.K. Stephen. Produce in the real physical world the number two which is the class of all sets which can be put in one to one correspondence with {a, b}. I await with bated breath.

By what authority do you or the ghost of Bertrand Russell declare that to be the one and only meaning of "two"?

The authority is that it leads to mathematically valid results. Now if you have another and better definition, let us see it.

O.K. You define two. Two the number. Not two socks or two shoes.

Ba'al Chatzaf

This is silly. A "2" with no referents is only a bridge to another number with referrents or it's nothing. Purely abstract mathematics is circular and worthless until a real space comes along to stick it into.

--Brant

two is one more than one and one is one more than zero. Zero is a placemarker--no?--therefore, two is nothing unto itself

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O.K. Stephen. Produce in the real physical world the number two which is the class of all sets which can be put in one to one correspondence with {a, b}. I await with bated breath.

By what authority do you or the ghost of Bertrand Russell declare that to be the one and only meaning of "two"?

The authority is that it leads to mathematically valid results. Now if you have another and better definition, let us see it.

O.K. You define two. Two the number. Not two socks or two shoes.

Ba'al Chatzaf

This is silly. A "2" with no referents is only a bridge to another number with referrents or it's nothing. Purely abstract mathematics is circular and worthless until a real space comes along to stick it into.

--Brant

two is one more than one and one is one more than zero. Zero is a placemarker--no?--therefore, two is nothing unto itself

Worthless Reimannian Tensors. Totally Useless until Einstein found a use for them. Now we have GPS.

Abstract mathematics is not circular. It is abstract. Some people just like puttering around with rootless, groundless ideas and it is a good thing for the rest of us that they do.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now if you have another and better definition, let us see it.

O.K. You define two. Two the number. Not two socks or two shoes.

The least countable quantity greater than one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now if you have another and better definition, let us see it.

O.K. You define two. Two the number. Not two socks or two shoes.

The least countable quantity greater than one.

Define countable as a generality. Is the set of integers countable? If so, tell us where in the physical world to find the set of integers.

Define quantity as a generality. Clearly we cannot find all the finite quantities in the physical world. Why? No matter what we find we can always add one more.

Also show us how you definition leads us to the general operation of integer addition.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O.K. Stephen. Produce in the real physical world the number two which is the class of all sets which can be put in one to one correspondence with {a, b}. I await with bated breath.

By what authority do you or the ghost of Bertrand Russell declare that to be the one and only meaning of "two"?

The authority is that it leads to mathematically valid results. Now if you have another and better definition, let us see it.

O.K. You define two. Two the number. Not two socks or two shoes.

Ba'al Chatzaf

This is silly. A "2" with no referents is only a bridge to another number with referrents or it's nothing. Purely abstract mathematics is circular and worthless until a real space comes along to stick it into.

--Brant

two is one more than one and one is one more than zero. Zero is a placemarker--no?--therefore, two is nothing unto itself

Zero is the additive identity of the ring of integers. Zero along with the operation of successor (i.e. adding one more) gives the set of integers and all of arithmetic by way of in inductive definition. Look up Peano Axioms sometimes. No circles there.

Abstract mathematics is NOT circular (in the logical sense). It starts with postulates and produces theorems using the rules of logic and substitution for variables. No logical circles there.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Define countable as a generality. Is the set of integers countable? If so, tell us where in the physical world to find the set of integers.

Define quantity as a generality. Clearly we cannot find all the finite quantities in the physical world. Why? No matter what we find we can always add one more.

Also show us how you definition leads us to the general operation of integer addition.

Your definition is subject to the same or similar questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But, perhaps, falsification does not apply to philosophy. But if not, why not?

If for example, what a philopher states is more a personal value judgement than a statement of empirical fact, it cannot be falsified by the scientific method. Like for example "Man is a heroic being".

It is true that individuals can committed acts that one would label as heroic, but they can also commit acts that one would label as the opposite.

"Man is a heroic being" is thereore to be understood as a philosopher's personal ideal.

Personal ideals and preferences are not subject to falsification.

What can be falsified are the alleged facts on which the philosophical edifice is built.

If for example it is claimed that man can be programmed to do anything because he is tabula rasa, the tabula rasa premise can be tested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One glaring difference between an Objectivist and an anti-Objectivist is that the first

admits honestly where the chips are in the edifice, discusses them openly in the confidence that the edifice is solid, whereas the other disingenuously seizes this opportunity to attempt to turn every chip into a chasm.

(And you don't understand "heroic being", or "tabula rasa", Xray.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One glaring difference between an Objectivist and an anti-Objectivist is that the first

admits honestly where the chips are in the edifice, discusses them openly in the confidence that the edifice is solid, whereas the other disingenuously seizes this opportunity to attempt to turn every chip into a chasm.

(And you don't understand "heroic being", or "tabula rasa", Xray.)

Rand:

"At birth, a child’s mind is tabula rasa; he has the potential of awareness—the mechanism of a human consciousness—but no content."

If we can equate content with knowledge then she defines this content as:

"“Knowledge” is . . . a mental grasp of a fact(s) of reality, reached either by perceptual observation or by a process of reason based on perceptual observation."

This is as fallacious as fallacious can be. Logic 101. Clear textbook fallacy.

The conclusion of the first statement (no content) is ASSUMED in the premise (of definition) of that content because the newborn child has no observations yet. This is not a "chip", this is inexcusable nonsense. Objectivism is rife with this kind of crap on core, foundational issues. The "chip" dwarfs the Grand Canyon.

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rand: "At birth, a child’s mind is tabula rasa; he has the potential of awareness—the mechanism of a human consciousness—but no content."

If we can equate content with knowledge then she defines this content as:

"“Knowledge” is . . . a mental grasp of a fact(s) of reality, reached either by perceptual observation or by a process of reason based on perceptual observation."

This is as fallacious as fallacious can be. Logic 101. Clear textbook fallacy.

The conclusion of the first statement (no content) is ASSUMED in the premise (of definition) of that content because the newborn child has no observations yet. This is not a "chip", this is inexcusable nonsense. Objectivism is rife with this kind of crap on core, foundational issues. The "chip" dwarfs the Grand Canyon.

How do you know what a newborn knows? What "chip"? Tabula rasa means blank slate, not no slate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Life as the standard of value is similarly fallacious. Don't get me wrong I like many of the questions and ideas that Objectivism addresses and I find it interesting. But as a philosophy, I dismissed it long ago, and these reasons are only part of the whole reason.

It is interesting, but as a coherent philosophy I can only conclude it is hopelessly weak.

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rand: "At birth, a child’s mind is tabula rasa; he has the potential of awareness—the mechanism of a human consciousness—but no content."

If we can equate content with knowledge then she defines this content as:

"“Knowledge” is . . . a mental grasp of a fact(s) of reality, reached either by perceptual observation or by a process of reason based on perceptual observation."

This is as fallacious as fallacious can be. Logic 101. Clear textbook fallacy.

The conclusion of the first statement (no content) is ASSUMED in the premise (of definition) of that content because the newborn child has no observations yet. This is not a "chip", this is inexcusable nonsense. Objectivism is rife with this kind of crap on core, foundational issues. The "chip" dwarfs the Grand Canyon.

How do you know what a newborn knows? What "chip"? Tabula rasa means blank slate, not no slate.

Yes, blank. No knowledge. That's what makes the reasoning fallacious. It doesn't matter what a newborn knows or doesn't know. The form of the argument is a fallacy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, blank. No knowledge. That's what makes the reasoning fallacious. It doesn't matter what a newborn knows or doesn't know. The form of the argument is a fallacy.

Nonsense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, blank. No knowledge. That's what makes the reasoning fallacious. It doesn't matter what a newborn knows or doesn't know. The form of the argument is a fallacy.

Nonsense.

Just look up "begging the question" fallacy, you'll see.

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...