Dglgmut

Two Points of View

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1 hour ago, Dglgmut said:

Animals can make inferences from what the see and experience. I don't know how much more automatic it could be...

 

I will say there is a quality component to induction in that the amount of information you seek out is important, and that part is not automatic.

I think you are quite wrong there. Higher mammals ( my dogs) make ~associations~ from their experiences, not "inferences". He hears your keys rattle, he gets morose (you are going out). He sees you pick up his leash, he gets excited (he's going with you). And so on. That's what Rand called the "perceptual level which men share with animals".

Linking one's observations coherently and deliberately, is the hallmark of induction, I think. Obversely, at its most extreme, David Humean skepticism will hold that all entities and causations are "discreet".

One offs, so to speak.

E.g. My teacup rests upon the table - this time - but how do I KNOW from induction it will do so again? (Another - um, observation, of his).

Or - I have one head - but whose to say the next human I come across won't have TWO? And the next, and the next, ad infinitum.

Do you see what you are up against in debates with skeptics (about capitalism, or any topic?)

"How can you be so certain about anything?", they would scoff.

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52 minutes ago, Dglgmut said:

Well, at least I explained myself.

D,

But you explained my thinking all wrong.

I suggest reading what I wrote rather than making a bunch of presuppositions, then arguing against them.

Michael

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1 hour ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

D,

But you explained my thinking all wrong.

I suggest reading what I wrote rather than making a bunch of presuppositions, then arguing against them.

Michael

I read what you wrote, now what?

Tyranny "can even sponsor progress?" Really? People progress... tyranny doesn't help the situation. That's like an abusive father taking credit for his son's accomplishments because he "made him tough." What are you comparing this progress to? A free nation?

I explained myself and gave you the opportunity to reply with one word. I think that's more productive than trying to be rhetorical.

What's you're response to the issue of the Civil Rights Act? That's as clear and out in the open as my whole point has been. The top-down answer is to force people to take down the "no blacks" signs... Solves the problem quickly without those pesky principles. Is that your answer?

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

Linking one's observations coherently and deliberately, is the hallmark of induction, I think.

I don't know what this means. How do you link your observations deliberately?? Induction means looking at the disparity in average wages between men and women and concluding that sexism is a rampant problem. Your dog is not far from this level of cognition...

 

And yes, I agree with the rest of what you said. People put too much weight on induction. Using it as the only tool for reasoning cannot work. It must be used, but with restraint.

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1 hour ago, Dglgmut said:

Is that your answer?

D,

You don't understand, yet.

Just like what I said about progressives demanding you choose between A and B, and I say neither, this is what I am saying to you now.

You have left out too much.

In fact, your posted positions are what I call deducing reality from principles, which means ignoring the relevant parts of reality that don't fit your pre-formed conclusions. (Another way I say this is placing the normative before the cognitive, that is, judging something when you done't know what it is because you have identified it incorrectly.) And then, according to what you write, you boil the discussion down to either-or choices and demand other people accept those as the only frame. In fact, you don't show interest in what they write, just in opinions you wish to assign to them (and, in my case, opinions that are not in the words I have written and certainly do not think). Then you start getting emotional.

At that point, I say who cares?

I don't.

So I'm not discussing this anymore with you because I disagree with the way you think (assuming your written words reflect what you think). I don't find you are discussing reality. My position for bowing out is epistemological, not political, and from everything you have written so far, you don't show signs of understanding that.

But I do think you have a good mind and will get there eventually. Also, I like your spunk. I'm not being sarcastic, either.

Michael

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1 hour ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

In fact, your posted positions are what I call deducing reality from principles, which means ignoring the relevant parts of reality that don't fit your pre-formed conclusions. (Another way I say this is placing the normative before the cognitive, that is, judging something when you done't know what it is because you have identified it incorrectly.) And then, according to what you write, you boil the discussion down to either-or choices and demand other people accept those as the only frame.

You can do what you want, but don't act like I made up some hypothetical question that doesn't reflect reality... I used a real example with a choice that real people had to make. I don't think it's unfair for a leftist to ask that question.

From their perspective it's a good litmus test for how far you're willing to let principles determine your choices. They might believe you're not racist, but that you're "autistic," in the pejorative sense. What you accuse me of doing, "deducing reality from principles," is the best judgment you can hope to receive from a leftist... but they'd shorten that to "reductionist."

The reason I'm focusing in on this question is precisely because it's one of the hardest to answer. I was not impressed by Ron Paul's answer, which was basically that, "if someone did that today, they'd go out of business." Okay, but if they did it back when racism was more prevalent and they'd have enough customers to keep them in business?

 

I would LOVE to get deductive, but right now I'm trying to figure out what the principles are when it comes the difference between these opposite political views... Maybe I'll just read A Conflict of Visions again.

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11 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

I don't know what this means. How do you link your observations deliberately?? Induction means looking at the disparity in average wages between men and women and concluding that sexism is a rampant problem. Your dog is not far from this level of cognition...

 

And yes, I agree with the rest of what you said. People put too much weight on induction. Using it as the only tool for reasoning cannot work. It must be used, but with restraint.

We need to get on the same page, I'm finding your idea of induction very odd.

Here, from a quick search:

"Many aspects of problem solving involve inductive reasoning, or induction. Simply put, induction is a means of reasoning from a part to a whole, from particulars to generals, from the past to the future, or from the observed to the unobserved".

A statement I like to use is - "One does not need to taste every ocean to know that seas are salty". From a single taste to the general, yes?

The grand scale of induction, I brought up, would be stated: "All these existents I observe are a part of general Existence". I.e.: I don't need to observe every single existent to know this is valid (Existence exists).

You see that induction is not "automatic"? Nor instinctual. One needs to abstract. And induction is definitely out of favor among some intellectuals most of whom tend to concreteness and anti-conceptualism it appears to me. 

Use "with restraint", I don't think so. With rigorous conscientiousness, rather.

Very simply, deduction is the reverse process. From "the whole" to "a part". (Application from the general to a new instance or particular).

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Neither induction nor deduction is a logical fallacy. Nor any variable ratio between them. You can't get to a fallacy from there.

In the 1930s tourists lost on a rural road in Georgia came upon a farmer standing next to his mailbox. "Can you tell us how to get to Chicago?" The farmer looked them up and down and took the straw out of his mouth. "You can't get there from here," he drawled.

--Brant

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2 hours ago, anthony said:

A statement I like to use is - "One does not need to taste every ocean to know that seas are salty". From a single taste to the general, yes?

Your dog should be capable of this... and we agree that it's induction?

What's not automatic is the question, "Why aren't all natural sources of water salty?" Not just identifying the distinction, but deliberately searching for an explanation. This requires that oscillation you brought up, using deduction and induction together, each to check the accuracy of the other.

The reason I say induction should be used with restraint is because the broad rules uncovered must be as simple as possible in order to deduce effectively. Instead of inducing from the wage gap that sexism keeps women down in the workforce, the restrained approach would be to induce nothing. What you want is to induce something so simple you can easily test its validity through deduction, and further induction. A better starting point would be to induce that men and women are different, not just physically. Now you can check this by deducing that if men and women are naturally different, they will choose different paths in life even if they have the same starting point. Now you use induction again to check if this is true by seeking out examples of differences in children, infants, and even animals of opposite sexes... and these checks can be done infinitely, including inversions where disconfirming evidence is looked for and only negative answers will allow your original conclusion to stand.

Induction is always the start and end point, but it is just a point.

 

However, bottom-up thinking is when the final point of induction doesn't exist yet. Austrian economics focuses on principles because there is no way to know how those principles would affect society... the idea being that they are a foundation for a system that works on its own. Same with a natural diet, avoiding pharmaceuticals, it is a foundation for the system that is the human body to work. We can come up with lots of examples of how a capitalist economy would work, how the body can work, but there can be no induction from something in the future. This is creativity, ingenuity, discovery.

 

Top-down thinking can involve deduction, but not necessarily... but the deduction is not part of the conclusion. The conclusion is the starting point, where deduction is used to "solve" the problem. If the deduction fails, the conclusion still stands... only the solution needs to be adjusted. This is why socialism keeps being repeated and defended... I don't think I can give a better example than that. Top-down thinking works in situations where growth is not the goal, or not possible... like I said before, acute health problems. Top-down is for eliminating problems--productive destruction.

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11 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

... don't act like I made up some hypothetical question that doesn't reflect reality..

D,

There you go again.

Who said you made it up? Not me. Yet you attribute that to me.

You're actually mired in a pretty common false dichotomy in our subcommunity.

Like I keep saying, you (and others) blank out a lot of reality.

Instead of making something up--hypothetical or otherwise, you're leaving stuff out that anyone can observe.

🙂 

Michael

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1 hour ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

D,

There you go again.

Who said you made it up? Not me. Yet you attribute that to me.

You're actually mired in a pretty common false dichotomy in our subcommunity.

Like I keep saying, you (and others) blank out a lot of reality.

Instead of making something up--hypothetical or otherwise, you're leaving stuff out that anyone can observe.

🙂 

Michael

More rhetoric. Why don't you just say what I'm leaving out in this specific example? There's two possible ways you can vote on this bill... you can explain your choice in an infinite amount of ways, and you could accuse me of not seeing the whole picture in your explanation, but to say that I'm not seeing reality because I acknowledge there are only two choices here?? Oh.. is the third choice to not vote at all? Well, then we're back to morality being the real issue.

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5 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

"You can't get there from here," he drawled.

The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense. 

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4 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

Why don't you just say what I'm leaving out in this specific example?

D,

Because you don't stay on topic and keep shifting your standards without acknowledging the changes.

4 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

... accuse me...

You keep using this phrase.

That's not how I discuss ideas.

But there are people who like to accuse each other all the time. That's the tone they live in and use for interacting with others. They are probably a better fit for what you seem to be seeking right now.

Michael

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8 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

Your dog should be capable of this... and we agree that it's induction?

 

Ha.

A dog - anyway, my dogs - know "water".

I will ask them if they understand "salty" and "ocean"...

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On 5/28/2020 at 3:52 PM, Dglgmut said:

Your dog should be capable of this... and we agree that it's induction?

What's not automatic is the question, "Why aren't all natural sources of water salty?" Not just identifying the distinction, but deliberately searching for an explanation. This requires that oscillation you brought up, using deduction and induction together, each to check the accuracy of the other.

The reason I say induction should be used with restraint is because the broad rules uncovered must be as simple as possible in order to deduce effectively. Instead of inducing from the wage gap that sexism keeps women down in the workforce, the restrained approach would be to induce nothing. What you want is to induce something so simple you can easily test its validity through deduction, and further induction. A better starting point would be to induce that men and women are different, not just physically. Now you can check this by deducing that if men and women are naturally different, they will choose different paths in life even if they have the same starting point. Now you use induction again to check if this is true by seeking out examples of differences in children, infants, and even animals of opposite sexes... and these checks can be done infinitely, including inversions where disconfirming evidence is looked for and only negative answers will allow your original conclusion to stand.

Induction is always the start and end point, but it is just a point.

 

However, bottom-up thinking is when the final point of induction doesn't exist yet. Austrian economics focuses on principles because there is no way to know how those principles would affect society... the idea being that they are a foundation for a system that works on its own. Same with a natural diet, avoiding pharmaceuticals, it is a foundation for the system that is the human body to work. We can come up with lots of examples of how a capitalist economy would work, how the body can work, but there can be no induction from something in the future. This is creativity, ingenuity, discovery.

 

Top-down thinking can involve deduction, but not necessarily... but the deduction is not part of the conclusion. The conclusion is the starting point, where deduction is used to "solve" the problem. If the deduction fails, the conclusion still stands... only the solution needs to be adjusted. This is why socialism keeps being repeated and defended... I don't think I can give a better example than that. Top-down thinking works in situations where growth is not the goal, or not possible... like I said before, acute health problems. Top-down is for eliminating problems--productive destruction.

Take the point of view that -everything- by the nature of his mind onto his rights, begins and ends with the individual. An individual. Then you see that everything has to be devised "bottom-up".

How does one INDUCE free market capitalism - from the individual standpoint?

Simple basics - he (you) makes a transaction with another individual. His need or want is 'X' (some product or service or luxury good) derived from his basic needs: shelter, food, clothing. Another individual makes or owns the product. They meet. They willingly make an exchange of resources (money for goods). The deal satisfies both parties and they both walk away content with their gain. Each observes that the trade was "good" and in their mutual self-interest. Put another way, individual choices by virtue of individual volitional, rational minds. 

You'll see where this is going?

Back to the definition. "Induction is... reasoning from a part to the whole, from particulars to generals, from the past to the future, or from the observed to the unobserved".

Therefore this individual induces/generalizes that that specific transaction must be identically beneficial for all individuals. For the billions he doesn't know and all their daily transactions involving an unlimited quantity of products in the mass market.

I.e. "good" also to the unobserved, the general, the "whole" and into the future, for all time and all mankind, capitalism validated through induction alone. Followed and confirmed by the theoretical principles of Laissez-faire which are top-down and been extensively written out.

 

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6 hours ago, anthony said:

Take the point of view that -everything- by the nature of his mind onto his rights, begins and ends with the individual. An individual. Then you see that everything has to be devised "bottom-up".

How does one INDUCE free market capitalism - from the individual standpoint?

Simple basics - he (you) makes a transaction with another individual. His need or want is 'X' (some product or service or luxury good) derived from his basic needs: shelter, food, clothing. Another individual makes or owns the product. They meet. They willingly make an exchange of resources (money for goods). The deal satisfies both parties and they both walk away content with their gain. Each observes that the trade was "good" and in their mutual self-interest. Put another way, individual choices by virtue of individual volitional, rational minds. 

You'll see where this is going?

Back to the definition. "Induction is... reasoning from a part to the whole, from particulars to generals, from the past to the future, or from the observed to the unobserved".

Therefore this individual induces/generalizes that that specific transaction must be identically beneficial for all individuals. For the billions he doesn't know and all their daily transactions involving an unlimited quantity of products in the mass market.

I.e. "good" also to the unobserved, the general, the "whole" and into the future, for all time and all mankind, capitalism validated through induction alone. Followed and confirmed by the theoretical principles of Laissez-faire which are top-down and been extensively written out.

Of course induction is happening all the time, like in your example of personal experiences creating little points of truth in someone's mind (which, by the way, happened automatically--he didn't have to put in any effort to "observe that the trade was good"). But to conclude that capitalism is good would be DEDUCED from those broader truths.

 

Going to a Wal-Mart or Target, and seeing how much wealth is out there, and how corporations have so much power over the market leads normal people to INDUCE that capitalism has failed. You won't be able to figure out the truth unless you can use deduction... because there is no great capitalist society to refer to... they're already in America and they think socialism sounds better. Deduction will help validate or discredit your induced theories. If property rights are bad, how would things work without property rights? (This is deduction... you deduce the outcome of applying your principles, then induce from that outcome whether it is good or not.)

 

It's funny you're talking about induction when your defense of top-down thinking is reductionist and very bottom-up. I'm surrounded by liberals, and I get the sense that there are people here who have little to no interactions with them.

 

This "from the part to the whole" definition you're using is not useful. The "whole" is the "top," from which you break "down" the elements... not the other way around. Sea water being salty is not a "whole," it's one abstract element of seaness...

 

If you look at capitalism from the top-down, the first problem you'll have is you won't know what capitalism is. This is a huge problem right now. People think of America as capitalist and have created a scapegoat for every issue they see. If you are a capitalist, you are thinking bottom up... like you said, "from the individual" up. You are saying that these simple truths you have INDUCED are more important than the assumptions made by UNRESTRAINED INDUCTION from people who think they can look at the WHOLE (the whole economy) and pinpoint problems without seeking out any disconfirming evidence or even testing their theories with DEDUCTION.

 

The whole reason I wanted to talk about this was Rothbard's "America's Great Depression," and Austrian economics in general being bottom-up, and while seemingly an oversimplification to modern economists, it is the complexity of the system that is held as the fundamental truth at the core.

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3 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

Of course induction is happening all the time, like in your example of personal experiences creating little points of truth in someone's mind (which, by the way, happened automatically--he didn't have to put in any effort to "observe that the trade was good"). But to conclude that capitalism is good would be DEDUCED from those broader truths.

 

Going to a Wal-Mart or Target, and seeing how much wealth is out there, and how corporations have so much power over the market leads normal people to INDUCE that capitalism has failed. You won't be able to figure out the truth unless you can use deduction... because there is no great capitalist society to refer to... they're already in America and they think socialism sounds better. Deduction will help validate or discredit your induced theories. If property rights are bad, how would things work without property rights? (This is deduction... you deduce the outcome of applying your principles, then induce from that outcome whether it is good or not.)

 

It's funny you're talking about induction when your defense of top-down thinking is reductionist and very bottom-up. I'm surrounded by liberals, and I get the sense that there are people here who have little to no interactions with them.

 

This "from the part to the whole" definition you're using is not useful. The "whole" is the "top," from which you break "down" the elements... not the other way around. Sea water being salty is not a "whole," it's one abstract element of seaness...

 

If you look at capitalism from the top-down, the first problem you'll have is you won't know what capitalism is. This is a huge problem right now. People think of America as capitalist and have created a scapegoat for every issue they see. If you are a capitalist, you are thinking bottom up... like you said, "from the individual" up. You are saying that these simple truths you have INDUCED are more important than the assumptions made by UNRESTRAINED INDUCTION from people who think they can look at the WHOLE (the whole economy) and pinpoint problems without seeking out any disconfirming evidence or even testing their theories with DEDUCTION.

 

The whole reason I wanted to talk about this was Rothbard's "America's Great Depression," and Austrian economics in general being bottom-up, and while seemingly an oversimplification to modern economists, it is the complexity of the system that is held as the fundamental truth at the core.

From "the particular" (this trade, today's sunrise, this water, etc.etc). to "the general" (all trades, all sunrises, all oceans) IS induction.

And it requires cognitive effort to avoid drawing false propositions. You don't conclude that Capitalism is moral, initially: (for the moment let's assume this individual has no idea of "capitalism") - you observed that THIS deal was good and proper and moral - and this one, and the next - and then generalized. You have seen the philosophical definition of induction, do you not accept it?

The reason people think that Capitalism "has failed" is from FAULTY induction. They see and hear of a single amoral/immoral aspect in this compromised "mixed economy" and generalize that the whole "Capitalist system" is rotten. Usually evasively. Always a straw man.

Socialism only appears good and "sounds better" to those pampered dreamers who have and have implicitly enjoyed the benefits of Capitalism (or a large modicum of it). (The Stolen Concept fallacy, right?)

If they were transported to a country to live under the real thing they'd run home in a jiffy.

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6 hours ago, anthony said:

From "the particular" (this trade, today's sunrise, this water, etc.etc). to "the general" (all trades, all sunrises, all oceans) IS induction.

Sure. This wording is fine. From the "part" to the "whole," not so much.

Quote

And it requires cognitive effort to avoid drawing false propositions. You don't conclude that Capitalism is moral, initially: (for the moment let's assume this individual has no idea of "capitalism") - you observed that THIS deal was good and proper and moral - and this one, and the next - and then generalized. You have seen the philosophical definition of induction, do you not accept it?

I accept the definition of induction, and part of that is "derivation of general principles from specific observations." If this defines an approach to an issue, it is top-down, and principles come second. None of this contradicts what I've been saying. Deduction doesn't mean you're "deducing reality," as Michael said, it's necessary to check the validity of your induced principles. If all seas are salty, therefore... and you can check that "therefore" to see if your principle works.

Quote

The reason people think that Capitalism "has failed" is from FAULTY induction.

Sure... but if there was no faulty induction we wouldn't need deduction...

Quote

They see and hear of a single amoral/immoral aspect in this compromised "mixed economy" and generalize that the whole "Capitalist system" is rotten. Usually evasively. Always a straw man.

I don't think the straw-man is deliberate. They're starting point is a fantasy. Again, top-down. They don't think, "Let's see where these principles will take us." They know where they want to go... they think, "These are the principles that will get us there." And if it doesn't work out, then we'll have to try again... because the end goal is good (a society where everyone cares for each other and there is no competition).

Quote

Socialism only appears good and "sounds better" to those pampered dreamers who have and have implicitly enjoyed the benefits of Capitalism (or a large modicum of it). (The Stolen Concept fallacy, right?)

If they were transported to a country to live under the real thing they'd run home in a jiffy.

They'd run home, but they wouldn't necessarily learn anything.

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Here's a question to ponder.

Janio Quadros was a former president of Brazil. He was super smart and had a command of the Portuguese language that few had. But he liked his booze. Someone once asked him, "Why do you drink alcohol so much?" He answered, "Because it is liquid. If it were solid, I would eat it."

Sigmund Freud once said, "Sometime a cigar is just a cigar."

Were these men using induction or deduction?

And a bonus question. Were they thinking top-down or bottom-up?

Second bonus question. Were they talking about seeing the whole from the parts, or seeing the parts from the whole?

:evil:  🙂

Michael

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10 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

Sure. This wording is fine. From the "part" to the "whole," not so much.

I accept the definition of induction, and part of that is "derivation of general principles from specific observations." If this defines an approach to an issue, it is top-down, and principles come second. None of this contradicts what I've been saying. Deduction doesn't mean you're "deducing reality," as Michael said, it's necessary to check the validity of your induced principles. If all seas are salty, therefore... and you can check that "therefore" to see if your principle works.

Sure... but if there was no faulty induction we wouldn't need deduction...

I don't think the straw-man is deliberate. They're starting point is a fantasy. Again, top-down. They don't think, "Let's see where these principles will take us." They know where they want to go... they think, "These are the principles that will get us there." And if it doesn't work out, then we'll have to try again... because the end goal is good (a society where everyone cares for each other and there is no competition).

They'd run home, but they wouldn't necessarily learn anything.

When someone ~exclusively~ refers to and takes as THE authority the theory or principles laid out by an intellectual, you can be sure he will make mistakes and poor value-judgments.  (Hey, that goes as much for we Objectivists with O'ism, despite that this cognitive error is the antithesis of the Objectivist method and independent mind).

Theories need to be induced for oneself, bottom up (and I think we have opposite notions on top down and bottom up). Subsequently to be carried out in practice and "reduced" to actuality.

In such a case one can say the person is mis-applying actual facts to principles, the reversal of the order. In effect one is insisting: This particular MUST fit my preconceived idea of the general.

Not so, this observed particular or "part" has to be objectively identified in isolation - first - before one knows where (or if) it 'fits'.

(Which all relates to a huge subject, the traditional battle between philosophers who took the a priori -or- the a posteriori stance - labeled rationalism v. empiricism. Simplistically, concepts/principles without accounting for facts vs. facts alone without concepts. A dichotomy-battle which Rand blew away).

The budding socialist makes the same rationalistic mistake it seems clear, before even getting round to the immorality. I.e. Here is this grand plan for mankind, and men and women must fit into it. Emotionally and subjectively: people should "fit" into and accommodate the 'good' feelings I/we have for them (or be made to). And who cares about "the facts"? Of human nature; of who will provide and suffer for the greater good; of the glaring examples of past inevitable collapses of Socialism? We need simply to block out those (induced and inescapable ) realities in favor of a "principle".

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Here are a couple examples of how people use "bottom-up" and "top-down," because it's a useful concept and we should use it consistently:

 

  • In its most general definition, a top-down system is one in which one or more agents fully understand the system. These agents are capable of representing the whole system in a blueprint that they can store in their mind. Depending on their position in the system, they can use this blueprint to take command or to optimise their own private welfare. An example of such a top-down system is a building that can be represented by a blueprint and fully understood by the architect.
  • Bottom-up systems are very different in nature. These are systems in which no individual understands the whole picture. Each individual understands only a very small part of the whole. These systems function as a result of the application of simple rules by the individuals populating the system. Most living systems follow this bottom-up logic (see the beautiful description of the growth of the embryo by Dawkins 2009).

https://voxeu.org/article/top-down-versus-bottom-macroeconomics

 

And here is another example:

The top-down (holistic) compared with bottom-up (reductionist) approaches to research (from Fardet and Rock with permission of the American Society for Nutrition © (10)). 

The "whole" is the starting point when you are working top-down... the parts are what you induce... they are the "unseen," they are abstractions (saltiness of the sea).

 

Induction and deduction are used for both approaches, and induction is always the first step because all information starts with an experience. The difference is that a top-down approach will "reduce" their abstractions to a singular and pure level, so they can use them to combine like ingredients to create a THEORY. The goal of bottom-up is the theory that can be tested with induction (capitalism).

The top-down approach uses induction to create a theory all in one step... it's generally reckless, but it works on simple problems, particularly when time is an issue. A broken leg is solved top-down, because the problem is already simple... all the information is available (the leg is broken). When someone is sick, that is a problem with the SYSTEM and a top-down approach, like medication, may seem to work, but all the information will never be available. The goal of top-down is results (utopia), socialism is just the way to get there.

That last line actually highlights the problem with the capitalism vs socialism debate. Capitalism is the end point, while socialism is a way of getting to the end point (utopia). So the real debate is actually individual rights vs socialism, or capitalism vs utopia. Even a socialist would likely admit they would prefer if everything could be achieved voluntarily, but they don't believe it's possible. While a capitalist would admit that they'd prefer utopia, but they don't believe it's possible.

 

So just to be clear, bottom-up, top-down,  rationalism, empiricism, reductionist, holistic... these things are not true opposites. They all involve a series of induction and deduction. It is where the emphasis is placed. And it's all about the fact that we have very limited information. If there was no "unknown" everything would be top-down, because we'd be capable of immediately arriving at correct conclusions. Bottom-up and theorizing are a way for us to accumulate more of that unseen information... without which our empirical data is insufficient. So Rand did not blow away any dichotomy, her philosophy is very much bottom-up, starting from metaphysics/epistemology and progressing in a linear way up to politics and aesthetics.

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7 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Sigmund Freud once said, "Sometime a cigar is just a cigar."

I may have mentioned this but I will put the thought here too. I was watching the History Channels, "Grant" and he told a reporter during the civil war, he liked a good cigar, and 8000 cigars were sent to him by his northern admirers. He died of throat cancer.

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19 hours ago, anthony said:

You have seen the philosophical definition of induction, do you not accept it?

I have to apologize because there is a contradiction between the more conventional use of top-down vs bottom-up, as I have made references to in my last post, and the more specific to logic definition where top-down = deduction and bottom-up = induction.

 

You have been properly using them in that context, where the conclusion is the "bottom" and the principles/theory are the "top."

 

I think of deduction as starting at the "root," and therefore working upwards. But that apparently is wrong. I wish it wasn't this way because capitalism is a bottom-up system, but logically the justification for capitalism is top-down (as you said)... seems like a cumbersome way to communicate...

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