tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post8905819035242052402..comments2017-04-26T14:21:27.260-07:00Comments on Edward Feser: The problem of Hume’s problem of inductionEdward Feserhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13643921537838616224noreply@blogger.comBlogger70125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-71958624799463885382017-04-25T06:51:20.101-07:002017-04-25T06:51:20.101-07:00Just read this guy's refutation of Hume:
http...Just read this guy's refutation of Hume:<br /><br />https://philosophynow.org/issues/119/How_I_Solved_Humes_Problem_and_Why_Nobody_Will_Believe_Me<br /><br />Author says:<br />"So if Hume’s problem was solved seventy years ago, why doesn’t anybody know or care? Well, one might conclude that there is some flaw with my and Stove and Williams arguments".<br /><br />Er . . his argument seems to me to be utter twaddle, or perhaps I'm just not getting it...Ian Wardellhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05999029760897196102noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-40436899239849886072017-04-25T06:48:21.819-07:002017-04-25T06:48:21.819-07:00:)
Friday evenings of Eucharistic adoration!:) <br />Friday evenings of Eucharistic adoration!Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-64093474586086505002017-04-21T12:27:35.259-07:002017-04-21T12:27:35.259-07:00This is the sort of thing that could not be said b...This is the sort of thing that could not be said by anyone with serious exposure to either scholastic metaphysics or criticisms of it; since it adapts its approach to the topic, and draws on a massive legacy of philosophical concepts, it has literally been regularly attacked for not being neat and tidy for the past three or four centuries at least.Brandonhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06698839146562734910noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-65425915386991603122017-04-20T21:02:07.547-07:002017-04-20T21:02:07.547-07:00Scholastic metaphysics tries to make existence all...Scholastic metaphysics tries to make existence all neat and tidy, but those metaphysical assumptions about the ultimate nature of reality will always remain mere assumptions.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-80733758564061814042017-04-18T16:13:07.237-07:002017-04-18T16:13:07.237-07:00Huh. So induction is not deduction. Whoda thunk it...Huh. So induction is not deduction. Whoda thunk it?Jim S.http://www.blogger.com/profile/15538540873375357030noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-81666936880913258212017-04-17T10:57:02.949-07:002017-04-17T10:57:02.949-07:00@timocrates, a Humean doesn't have the resourc...@timocrates, a Humean doesn't have the resources for a rich definition of "bus" or the like. Anarchy is all he has. So while you're right that it's radically anarchistic, anarchy is what Humeanism entails. Which is the point.SMackhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/01338187284189211266noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-58562599610837501372017-04-17T10:54:44.277-07:002017-04-17T10:54:44.277-07:00I don't have much time to continue this discus...I don't have much time to continue this discussion, alas. Only let me point out that I wasn't introducing a new definition of practical. I was pointing out that YOU are equivocating by using two radically different definitions of "practical" and then assuming them to be the same at a key step in your argument.<br /><br />As to the rest, I should perhaps re-emphasize that I'm not arguing that Hume's argument is successful against induction, full stop; it's not. I'm arguing that it's successful against induction *for anybody who shares his metaphysical assumptions,* or a wide range of similar assumptions. You keep saying things that make it unclear to me that you actually disagree with this. If you say that Hume is led to his position by his erroneous metaphysical assumptions, for example, then you're in essence saying that, for somebody with those metaphysical assumptions, his argument works, which is what I have myself been maintaining.<br /><br />I do think induction can be justified if one is willing to adopt a significantly thicker metaphysics, such as theism or even Christian theism (which I am). But that doesn't mean Hume's arguments aren't devastating to a materialist.SMackhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/01338187284189211266noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-22819588501078762732017-04-17T03:51:23.261-07:002017-04-17T03:51:23.261-07:00[continues from above]
Given the above, shouldn&#...[continues from above]<br /><br />Given the above, shouldn't we worry about perhaps finding reasons that defeat any empirical seeming? Shouldn't we actively search for such reasons? Yes, indeed we should, and it is excellent practice to try to find defeaters for one's own beliefs. But the Humean is *not* searching for positive reasons to doubt the principle of induction (indeed has not offered the slightest such reason), but instead argues that there is no reason to trust in it. Thus, the Humean takes the unreasonable alternative epistemic path I discussed above, namely to think that truth (including epistemological truth) must built from the ground up by supporting each truth on other truths. There is a chicken-and-egg kind of problem between epistemology and metaphysics, but I think it is probable that Hume's naturalistic metaphysical commitments (basically that reality is a mechanism), has pushed him into serious epistemological error. <br /><br />Finally I have earlier argued for the principle of induction not because I hold that such argument is necessary but in order to show how to doubt in the principle of induction is to doubt in all reasoning about order. The thrust of my argument is to show that it is virtually certain that we will never really find any defeater for the principle of induction, and thus that in this case it is not wise to invest one's time in trying to find such a defeater. <br /><br />“<i>There are two possible relevant definitions for "practical" that I can imagine. One is "what's established by practice." The other is "useful for future practice.</i>”<br /><br />I dislike the philosophical fashion of making distinctions within distinctions of concepts. I say words have a common meaning: that of the folk. If when thinking about that meaning the philosopher finds it lacking for her purpose the reasonable thing to do is to coin an new word defining its meaning the way she needs. Trying to maintain a connection to the original word is entirely superfluous and may easily lead to confusion. Words have a way to move philosophers, like the tail wagging the dog (a great example here is the concept of “compatibilist freedom”). So, to come back to our subject matter, “practical” in the folk sense entails “relevant for the future”. So when one observes that philosophy is a practical business one means it's useful for our future life. <br /><br />“<i>Perhaps, then, we agree?</i>”<br /><br />I kind of hope we don't :-) Discussions tend to be much more fruitful when characterized by disagreement. In our current discussion I feel I have greatly profited from our disagreement. I sometimes have the sense that the deepest truths are such that one embraces them moved by value judgments. Thus in a dialogue agreement should not always be expected, even under the best circumstances. <br /><br />“<i>So in your example, I don't doubt that a sufficiently sophisticated mathematical culture, even if not used to geometry, would eventually find three in triangles.</i>”<br /><br />Interesting that you should feel so certain. I feel quite certain for the opposite, but do have my doubts. The interesting thing here is that it might be possible to experimentally resolve our disagreement. Whereas the question of the knowledge of colors analyzed in Frank Jackson's argument does not appear to be thus amenable. Given that my claim about the impossibility of knowledge concerns a quantitative matter it is a much stronger one than his. Should my claim be proven experimentally then we'd have strong reason to believe that qualitative knowledge such as the experience of color is impossible at the absence of particular experience. <br /><br />“<i>As for the question of how I find math and physics different: math follows by rational argument from definitions and axioms, and physics does not, but relies as well on observation.</i>”<br /><br />I find that's a remarkably interesting issue. I think I can make a very strong case that physics is a sub-field of math. God willing I will post some thoughts about this later. <br />Dianelos Georgoudishttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09925591703967774000noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-68278141209227664662017-04-17T03:49:10.304-07:002017-04-17T03:49:10.304-07:00@ SMack,
“you posted a lot”
Such dialogues help ...@ SMack,<br /><br />“<i>you posted a lot</i>”<br /><br />Such dialogues help me think. I hope the size of the texts does not hide the simplicity of my position which is that to claim a truth about an order entails the assumption that that order will be there next time one looks. Thus one cannot reason about order without assuming the principle of induction. Any epistemic trouble one may see in this state of affairs is useful only for clarifying what one means by “true belief” or by “I believe in”. <br /><br />“<i>the question I'm interested in is, "Does the Humean have any reason to believe that induction is useful in forming true beliefs?" The answer, I maintain, is no.</i>”<br /><br />Consider the absurdity the Humean's position when he says the following: “I take this medicine because I believe that it is more probable that it will cure me than kill me. That medicine was made on the assumption that scientific beliefs are true. The truth of scientific beliefs is based on the principle of induction. I have no reason to believe that induction is useful in forming true beliefs. Thus I have no reason to believe that the medicine I am taking will more probably cure me than kill me. Nevertheless I take the medicine.” <br /><br />“<i>You say that we can't find useful truths without using the principle of induction</i>”<br /><br />No, I say that we can't find useful truths *about order* without using the principle of induction. <br /><br />The error I find in Hume's reasoning is not about his fork being self-refuting. (I have serious doubts about self-refutation being a valid tool when reasoning about epistemology.) The error I find is that he misreads a basic fact of the human condition, and thus about the relevance of one branch of his fork. So empirical facts – facts we know by direct and immediate experience without the need for any reasoning – are not only the deliverances of the senses about the environment we find ourselves in, but also facts about the huge range of the qualities of our experience of life. Our experience of beauty, of the moral good, of justice, of freedom, of love, of desire – are all empirical facts. So is our experience of rationality, and in it of the reasonableness of the principle of induction. I claim that the truth of the principle of induction is an empirical fact and is thus entirely accounted for by Hume's fork. <br /><br />Feser discusses this idea in the OP but I think commits the same error when he speaks it entails a circular inference. I say it's not an inference at all. A fact of the human condition – a direct and immediate experience present in the human condition – is the visual-like sense of the reasonableness of induction. Now all our experiences may lead to error, and often do lead to error. Rationality proceed by assuming that all the factual deliverances of our experience of life are how they seem, and correcting particular beliefs only when there is reason to do so. The alternative position that rationality proceeds by carefully justifying each belief not only leads to infinite regressions but also to much waste of time. I have the impression that the success of formal systems as tools for discovering truths has misled many a philosopher to fixate only on mechanistic ways of epistemology and also on mechanistic metaphysical views. It's seems to me a wonder to see philosophers who live in a place mainly of qualitative facts focusing mainly on the far less significant quantitative facts. <br /><br />[continues below]<br />Dianelos Georgoudishttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09925591703967774000noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-78965252713909394442017-04-16T20:29:51.733-07:002017-04-16T20:29:51.733-07:00I'm pretty sure math is based on induction. We...I'm pretty sure math is based on induction. We have to believe that one is one and always will be one. Identity and induction seem pretty closely related. <br /><br />Your bus argument is rather radically anarchistic. I think it only works if you allow redefinition. timocratesnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-83489794830406484652017-04-16T20:10:00.137-07:002017-04-16T20:10:00.137-07:00What's wrong with the argument from motion? It...What's wrong with the argument from motion? It's pretty intuitively obvious. Things are moved by either force or desire. timocratesnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-29124690037739656502017-04-16T19:02:08.052-07:002017-04-16T19:02:08.052-07:00And I certainly have to agree with you, Professor,...And I certainly have to agree with you, Professor, that Hume's objection basically rests on a falsified definition. timocratesnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-89341731191984474252017-04-16T09:53:29.736-07:002017-04-16T09:53:29.736-07:00So because we know that not always some things wil...So because we know that not always some things will produce their usual effect we reason as a rule to not expect of necessity things to occur of necessity that are not necessary: but certainly we did not come to this conclusion by experience and induction. timocratesnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-16098451314954770752017-04-16T09:29:25.493-07:002017-04-16T09:29:25.493-07:00"All bachelors are unmarried is true by a rel..."All bachelors are unmarried is true by a relation of ideas."<br /><br />Oh I am a laughin'! Thank you Mr Hume for reducing my being single to a mere idea.timocratesnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-84525031855051056982017-04-15T14:22:28.902-07:002017-04-15T14:22:28.902-07:00Hi,
This will be only a partial reply for now (so...Hi,<br /><br />This will be only a partial reply for now (sorry -- but you posted a lot).<br /><br />First, you distinguish between the rationality of induction and its adequacy. I can see that that can be a useful distinction. We're being imprecise about our definitions in a sense, but the question I'm interested in is, "Does the Humean have any reason to believe that induction is useful in forming true beliefs?" The answer, I maintain, is no. This remains so if you replace "reason" by "cause," or the entire phrase by "to believe that induction is adequate to form true beliefs?"<br /><br />You say that we can't find useful truths without using the principle of induction. But that is a separate question from whether we can find useful truths WITH using the principle of induction. If your ONLY basis for using the principle of induction is that without it we can't find useful truths, then that's not really true anymore. There are other fiat assumptions we can make that will yield claims which, if true, will also be useful. For example, my bus example.<br /><br />You write: "Ah, but [that induction is practical] can be established. By definition, what's practical is established by practice. And by our practice in the fields of logic, math, physical sciences – it is established that using induction is practical for a huge range of truths."<br /><br />There are two possible relevant definitions for "practical" that I can imagine. One is "what's established by practice." The other is "useful for future practice." The whole problem here is building a bridge between the two. If you want to choose the former definition, then fine -- I'll grant you that induction is practical. But I won't let you equivocate and slip in the other definition, for example by saying that we're interested in "practical truths" only. Why? We're interested in USEFUL truths, but it's no longer clear (for a Humean) that practical and useful are the same. Or if you choose the second definition, then no, what's established by practice is not necessarily practical.<br /><br />You then allow that the Humean's worry perhaps IS something worth worrying about. Perhaps, then, we agree?<br /><br />On to your example about multi-dimensional spheres, finding numbers, etc. Here I disagree once again. Mathematicians have found simple unifying numbers characterizing incredibly abstract spaces that bear no virtually no relationship to anything we experience in the world. So in your example, I don't doubt that a sufficiently sophisticated mathematical culture, even if not used to geometry, would eventually find three in triangles.<br /><br />As for the question of how I find math and physics different: math follows by rational argument from definitions and axioms, and physics does not, but relies as well on observation. We do not know the results of the observations a priori. Pretty easy, right?SMackhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/01338187284189211266noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-18967239814751286042017-04-15T12:03:30.340-07:002017-04-15T12:03:30.340-07:00[continues from above]
”we can't test the uni...[continues from above]<br /><br /><i>”we can't test the universality of reason even today. It is a presupposition of there being any knowledge.”</i><br /><br />This sounds close to what I've been saying. For surely a big part of knowledge we get through reason entails the use of induction. The remaining question is whether there is knowledge about any order which does not entail the use of induction. You seem to think that mathematical knowledge is such a case. <br /><br />I wonder: How do you imagine the world is that would make mathematical truths and physical truths to be different in kind? After all, at first sight finding out truths about math looks similar to finding truths about math – in both cases we use symbolic manipulation, we empirically check results to guide our efforts, we easily communicate such results, and so on. Physics can (and should) be considered as a mathematical problem, namely the problem of discovering mathematical patterns present in the large set of physical phenomena. That after finding such a pattern (say Newton's mechanics) it is always possible to find a better pattern (say general relativity) does not mean anything in particular. Perhaps similarly there are very powerful theorems about Euclidean shapes which we haven't discovered yet. Given gravitational phenomena, Newton's mechanics and general relativity are as much necessary as any mathematical truth. What I am trying to say is really simple: Just consider the entire set of physical phenomena as a mathematical object. <br /><br />So, to come back to our discussion, the same inductive faith in the immutability of the order present in physical phenomena which underlines discovery in physics, that same inductive faith in the immutability of the order present in formal systems (or symbolic games) underlines discovery in math. To think that the apparently absolute immutability of both realms is accidental in the case of physics but necessary in the case of math only makes sense if one commits oneself to certain metaphysical assumptions, such as the reality of Plato's realm of ideal forms and moreover that the human intellect has direct access to that realm. But, metaphysically speaking, such rather fantastic commitments look more implausible, or weird, or far removed from what we actually know of the human condition – than theism. Why then not embrace theistic metaphysics instead? On theism the order of both mathematical phenomena (in the realm of the experience of counting, or more generally of manipulating symbols on a piece of paper) and of physical phenomena (in the larger realm of interacting with our mechanistically ordered (aka “physical”) environment – they both are grounded on God's creative will and rational mind. Whether “necessary” or “accidental” becomes a non-issue. There, necessarily as far as we are concerned, they are. <br /><br />“<i>But if reason has the properties we suppose, then the theorems of geometry do not depend in any way, shape, or form on the principle of induction (although our own ability to understand them correctly might collapse if our brains started working very differently).</i>”<br /><br />At first sight it feels inconceivable that starting tomorrow 2+2=4 will stop checking out. But using Descartes's idea of the evil demiurge, or the more modern hypothesis that we live in a computer simulation (which some naturalists take seriously indeed since the possibility seems to follow from assumptions they have already committed to) – don't you agree that it may be the case that we have been cognitively fooled all along and that 2+2=5?<br />Dianelos Georgoudishttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09925591703967774000noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-2998831554758718432017-04-15T12:02:03.303-07:002017-04-15T12:02:03.303-07:00@ SMack,
“but it would not completely fail to un...@ SMack, <br /><br />“<i>but it would not completely fail to understand triangles anymore than we completely fail to understand 7-spheres</i>”<br /><br />But we can only understand multidimensional spheres because we have the particular experiences of the neighborhood we are talking about. We know what a point is, what a distance is, what a surface is, what multiple dimensions are, and so on. The intellect who did not have any particular experience of shapes would not know what it is talking about. I suppose it's the same question discussed in the argument about Mary living in a black-and-white room. No matter how much abstract knowledge you learn, if you don't experience the particular thing you won't know it. <br /><br />Actually the question we are discussing may be open to experimental verification. We can formalize euclidean geometry as a set of axioms and production rules so that each theorem is represented by a string of characters. Suppose now we collect a large a large number of theorems about triangles (including perhaps the respective proofs) to somebody and ask her to find out the single digit number that is hidden in all of them. Or even better to an intelligent computer. It is conceivable that they should correctly discover that that digit is three, but I think in reality they won't. I doubt any intelligence, no matter how great, could (unless it had stored a large set of mathematical theorems and used pattern matching to discover the solution, a possibility one could work around by picking not the common triangle but some random mathematical object). I wonder if one could mathematically prove what I assume is true. The point is that if such a representation is not sufficient for abstracting the number 3, surely no intelligence would be able to form the abstract idea of triangle. <br /><br />[continues below]<br />Dianelos Georgoudishttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09925591703967774000noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-84432398813491928392017-04-15T07:55:18.281-07:002017-04-15T07:55:18.281-07:00@ SMack,
“I have not been arguing that induction...@ SMack, <br /><br />“<i>I have not been arguing that induction actually *isn't* reliable. Of course it is. I'm arguing that a Humean has no rational warrant for using it.”</i><br /><br />Right. Actually nobody has a rational warrant for using the principle of induction. So what? Neither do we have a rational warrant for using reason. Epistemology is justified by how well it works, not by its having rational warrant. To ask for rational warrant in the context of epistemology would lead to an infinite regression, wouldn't it? <br /><br />“<i>But if reason is not a tool for finding out the truth about anything at all, then it's not even a good tool for finding out about useful things.</i>”<br /><br />As a tool reason serves for finding truths. Still our purpose when using this tool is to find useful truths. My argument was that one can't use reason to find useful truths without assuming the principle of induction. But perhaps there useful truths one cannot find out using reason. <br /><br />“<i>You say "philosophy is a practical business," as if that is some kind of answer. Getting from the premise "Philosophy is a practical business" to "We should use induction" has a missing premise: "Using induction is practical." For a Humean, that's a premise that can not be established.</i>”<br /><br />Ah, but it can be established. By definition, what's practical is established by practice. And by our practice in the fields of logic, math, physical sciences – it is established that using induction is practical for a huge range of truths. <br /><br />“<i>The point is, for the Humean, EVERY case is like that beforehand.</i>”<br /><br />Right, but is that a reasonable worry? As I have argued, all reasoning is inductive since it requires some ordered ground to stand. Should we worry about things that we cannot reason about? <br /><br />Actually, on second thoughts perhaps we should. Perhaps through reason we can discover its limits, and that's a useful truth to know. My worry here is not the reasonableness of the principle of induction, but its adequacy. Dianelos Georgoudishttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09925591703967774000noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-36709486194514430892017-04-14T18:20:16.697-07:002017-04-14T18:20:16.697-07:00No, I don't agree that your hypothetical mind ...No, I don't agree that your hypothetical mind would not understand triangles. I agree that it would have a very different sense of them than we have, but it would not completely fail to understand triangles anymore than we completely fail to understand 7-spheres (which are something we've never seen and cannot picture).<br /><br />It's of course true that we have to believe that reason is universal and unchanging, and that our minds have access to it, in order to do (and believe in) mathematics. That isn't really an inductive result, though: we can't test the universality of reason even today. It is a presupposition of there being any knowledge. But if reason has the properties we suppose, then the theorems of geometry do not depend in any way, shape, or form on the principle of induction (although our own ability to understand them correctly might collapse if our brains started working very differently).SMackhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/01338187284189211266noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-82854311313868627682017-04-14T11:33:51.237-07:002017-04-14T11:33:51.237-07:00@ SMack,
“your argument about induction being nee...@ SMack,<br /><br />“<i>your argument about induction being needed for mathematical reasoning is completely wrong</i>”<br /><br />I am happy you bring that up, for I think the case of mathematical truths can help us clarify what we are talking about. <br /><br /><br />“<i>A triangle, as treated in mathematics, is a *completely* abstract object. It's true that our definition of it was originally motivated by our experiencing triangles in the real world. But a triangle at this point is perfectly abstractly defined.</i>”<br /><br />Perfectly defined, yes. But even then our understanding of the abstract triangle cannot be separated from the particular experiences that led us to it. You cannot cut the umbilical cord between the abstraction and the particulars it is derived from. Now it is true that once defined as a formal system the whole of Euclidean geometry could by developed by an intellect which has never experienced anything like shapes (imagine a world with intellects which only experience sounds; they will have the particular experience of counting and thus will understand algebra, but not of shapes). No matter how advanced geometry that intellect would do by using our formal system, it would never understand what a triangle is – indeed would not have the slightest idea. Notwithstanding the fact that it would know a great many sophisticated theorems about triangles. Don't you agree? <br /><br />(I would appreciate an answer here. I have recently had a discussion with a participant in this blog who insisted that Berkeley denied the possibility of abstract knowledge. But it is implausible to believe that Berkeley denied the possibility of knowing that 2+2=4. Even without giving any quotes, I think that Berkeley meant what I describe above.)<br /><br />“<i>Euclidean geometry would all still be true no matter what happened to the universe tomorrow; it just might not be applicable to our universe (even as much as it is now).</i>”<br /><br />Right, but truth has meaning only when it means something. Any formal system will produce theorems that are true in that system. Separated from particular experiences the meaning of these truths concerns only the game of shifting symbols around following particular rules. Which by the way is perfectly OK. Mastering games has again and again proven to be quite useful. <br /><br />“<i>I invite you to go read a mathematical proof and show me just what part of it depends on inductive reasoning (in the sense used here).</i>”<br /><br />All abstract truths can be checked even if only as truths concerning a game of symbols. (If it were in principle impossible to in some way check a mathematical truth, then that truth would be completely irrelevant in our life and thus completely useless.) Now that checking need not be exhaustive – for example we can check the truth about there being an infinite number of prime numbers by picking a few largish numbers and constructing a larger prime. <br /><br />To answer your question: In math we assume the principle of induction when we assume that next time we check some mathematical truth things will come out as expected. (The same by the way also goes for the truths of logic which we use in mathematical proofs.) <br /><br />Now I am perfectly aware that it seems inconceivable to us that we might check tomorrow for the truth of the theorem 2+2=4 and find out that it is false (you check that theorem by writing on a piece of paper two dots which symbolize the number 2, then another two dots, and then counting the resulting lot – you should count up to 4). But inconceivability does not imply impossibility. God could give us tomorrow the experience of checking and failing to find that 2+2=4. As could the programmer of our world in the case we live in a computer simulation. <br /><br />Order exists to the degree that the principle of induction holds. Should the principle of induction fail, that order fails, some truths derived through reasoning about that order fail, and thus the reasoning by which we derived those truths fails. Dianelos Georgoudishttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09925591703967774000noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-29579813711114286702017-04-14T09:52:01.795-07:002017-04-14T09:52:01.795-07:00Nathan,
(1) Your claim that you are not conflati...Nathan,<br /><br />(1) Your claim that you are not conflating is nonsense; the companionship in guilt argument is a made-up fiction in your head that ignores identifiable logical differences between the distinctions that are immediately relevant (e.g., the fact that the language/meta-language distinction has no possible analogue for Hume's distinction) and pretends that they logically work in similar ways when they manifestly do not. The relationship between the two is not adequate for any kind of argument of the sort that you are trying to make; nor have you done anything but lazy hand-waving to back your assertions that it is. <br /><br />In fact, the two logically cannot be conflated for exactly the reasons I indicated: they are differently structured as distinctions, they are used for different kinds of analysis, and they are drawn in completely different kinds of inquiry, all of which are essential in assessing distinctions, and therefore what is true of one cannot be carried over without proof to the other; Carnap's distinction is relativized and Hume's can't be; Carnap's distinction is confined to language and Hume's must be completely general; and so forth.<br /><br />(2) As everyone can read, Ed's argument does not in any way appeal to Ayer or to Carnap; nor does it claim at any point to be dealing with anyone but Hume. It is you, and you alone, who are generalizing it.Brandonhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06698839146562734910noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-62581567285235358162017-04-14T06:27:21.316-07:002017-04-14T06:27:21.316-07:00Should have been
relation of ideas or matters of...Should have been <br /><br /><i>relation of ideas or matters of fact</i>. Tonynoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-57352544152369539292017-04-14T06:24:44.407-07:002017-04-14T06:24:44.407-07:00Nathan, are you aware that there a number of assum...Nathan, are you aware that there a number of assumptions built into the claimed distinction variously listed as <i>analytic vs synthetic</i> or <i>matters of fact</i>. <br /><br />As an example, it is very obvious that a child of 4 can have a clear <i>idea</i> of a cone. Later, the child can be taught truths about conic sections, such as asymptotes of hyperbolae, which can be said to be "included in" the child-of-4's concept of cone only in a way that relies on lots and lots of additional claims that are hotly debated and not at all obviously true. More importantly, the "included in" almost certainly <i>cannot</i> be adequately accounted as a linguistic feature. <br /><br />The whole underpinning of the treatment (by Hume, and later attempts to fix his problems) assumes things about epistemology that are not necessarily true, and if his assumptions don't pan out his whole approach is undermined. Tonynoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-34262867595906800382017-04-14T00:45:29.110-07:002017-04-14T00:45:29.110-07:00Oh, and incidentally, your argument about inductio...Oh, and incidentally, your argument about induction being needed for mathematical reasoning is completely wrong, as well.<br /><br />A triangle, as treated in mathematics, is a *completely* abstract object. It's true that our definition of it was originally motivated by our experiencing triangles in the real world. But a triangle at this point is perfectly abstractly defined. All the triangles in the world could turn into wavy ellipses tomorrow, and it wouldn't change a dang thing about the properties of triangles. It might just mean that none of them existed in our actual world. Euclidean geometry would all still be true no matter what happened to the universe tomorrow; it just might not be applicable to our universe (even as much as it is now).<br />I invite you to go read a mathematical proof and show me just what part of it depends on inductive reasoning (in the sense used here).SMackhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/01338187284189211266noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8954608646904080796.post-43808766750632004042017-04-13T20:38:23.741-07:002017-04-13T20:38:23.741-07:00ConorApril 13, 2017 at 9:44 AM
After laughing my.....<br />ConorApril 13, 2017 at 9:44 AM<br />After laughing my... posterior off after seeing this post's accompanying photo, I have to wonder: what are Dr. Feser's lecture slides like?<br /><br />Go to www.ratemyprofessor.com and read reviews by his students at Pasadena College. Dr Feser is a "softie" when it comes to teaching.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com