• Michael Ossipoff
    1.7k


    Maybe metaphysical disagreement is often about believing different premises. But I don't think that fully explains it.

    My metaphysics, (at least a version of) Eliminative Ontic Structural Anti-Realism (EOSAR) has, as its premise merely that there are abstract logical facts, and systems of inter-referring abstract logical facts. ...and that the "reality or existence" of each of those systems, in is own local inter-referring context, isn't in question, and isn't subject some global permission that there can be abstract facts.

    So sometimes we can agree on a premise and logic, but still disagree. I think it's because philosophy allows unlimited verbal scope for talking past eachtoher. ...talking actually about different subjects (philosophers can make up as many as they want to), but nevertheless fallaciously claiming that what we've said has bearing on what the other person has said.

    Michael Ossipoff
  • TheMadFool
    7.2k
    One can be as rational as possible, even though the information is fuzzy.Jake Tarragon

    That's exactly what has been unproductive, assuming productivity is a worthile pursuit in the first place.
  • TheMadFool
    7.2k
    I don’t think philosophy ought to be productive - the wish to make it so, is part of the whole instrumentalisation of reason. It can be a waste of time, but that depends on whether it is achieving its intended aim - which in traditional philosophy, is the ‘pursuit of practical wisdom’, ‘the contemplation of truth’ and so on. They’re not productive concerns but nor are they intended as such.Wayfarer

    Hmmm...I'll chew on that for a while. Is this a case for Foucaultian criticism? Language, words like ''productivity'', for instance, influencing us - changing the way we think? Perhaps the word ''productivity'' is loaded - it seems to ''burden'' philosophy and other domains with a benefit condition for existence. In short, no benefit, no existence.

    On a practical level, though, I find philosophy has helped my in my professional life (as a technical writer). Certainly helps with comprehension, problem-solving, and abstract thinking.Wayfarer

    I've learned a lot too. Not as much as I want but I have made some progress.
  • Wayfarer
    10.1k
    Hmmm...I'll chew on that for a while. Is this a case for Foucaultian criticism? Language, words like ''productivity'', for instance, influencing us - changing the way we think?TheMadFool

    I'm not into Foucault (or many other modern philosophers). All I meant is, the desire to make philosophy 'useful' or 'practical' misunderstands its aim. It's only aim is that it might help you understand something really important about the mere fact of existence. There are lots of really important disciplines to study for practical purposes - too many to even begin to mention. But the attempt to make philosophy (or the arts generally) 'useful', is simply more economic rationalism, the subordination of intellectual life to the demands of commerce. That's what I meant.

    I've learned a lot too.TheMadFool

    Actually, I think the quality of your input has increased considerably during 2017, if you don't mind me saying.
  • t0m
    319
    But the attempt to make philosophy (or the arts generally) 'useful', is simply more economic rationalism, the subordination of intellectual life to the demands of commerce.Wayfarer

    Well said. Reminds me of a great scene in Dead Poet's Society.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS1esgRV4Rc
  • TheMadFool
    7.2k
    Actually, I think the quality of your input has increased considerably during 2017, if you don't mind me saying.Wayfarer

    LOL...thanks and (Y)
  • MathematicalPhysicist
    45
    Yes, mad Fool life is a contradiction...
    and what a cool contradiction it is, is it not?
  • TheMadFool
    7.2k
    Yes, mad Fool life is a contradiction...
    and what a cool contradiction it is, is it not?
    MathematicalPhysicist

    I don't know. Can you explain why it's a "cool" contradiction?
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    Initial assumptions are supposed to be ''obvious'' truths that need no arguments to prove.TheMadFool

    The reason why you cannot prove premises within the formal system is because it would merely lead to infinite regress. Furthermore, as far as I am concerned, expecting premises to be "obvious" is unreasonable. There is no such requirement. There are lots of interesting formal systems of which the axioms are not obvious at all.

    Take for example the SKI combinator calculus. It has three basic rules that define S, K, and I:

    (1) Ix = x
    (2) Kxy = x
    (3) Sxyz = xz(yz)

    What exactly would there be obvious about the axioms of the SKI combinator calculus?

    Still, the SKI system is a very interesting and even intriguing formal system of logic. I would never reject it on grounds that its axioms are not "obvious". That very liberal view is, in fact, the core of the formalist philosophy in mathematics:

    Formalism holds that mathematical statements may be thought of as statements about the consequences of certain string manipulation rules. According to formalism, mathematical truths are not about numbers and sets and triangles and the like—in fact, they are not "about" anything at all. Formalists, such as Rudolf Carnap, Alfred Tarski, and Haskell Curry, considered mathematics to be the investigation of formal axiom systems. Formalists are relatively tolerant and inviting to new approaches to logic, non-standard number systems, new set theories etc. The more games we study, the better. Formalism is thus silent on the question of which axiom systems ought to be studied, as none is more meaningful than another from a formalistic point of view.Wikipedia on formalism

    When talking about moral belief systems, the difference between religion and atheism is not that I would prefer the premises of the one or the of the other. That would be more like choosing between Christianity and Islam.

    The problem with atheism is that it does not have any premises at all.

    Formalism does not allow for that.

    You may pick any arbitrary set of premises and start reasoning from there. However, if you refuse to pick premises, then you are not creating a formal system, and then you have adopted a position from which you cannot conclude anything at all.

    Formalism is very, very open minded, but atheism fails to comply with even the very few and very liberal rules of the formalist view on logic.
  • MathematicalPhysicist
    45
    Well, think about it.
    Existence is quite puzzling, I mean you wouldn't think there should exist something in the first place; but here it is we exist.
    And no matter how do you face the existence problem it's always there.

    For me this is cool, otherwise non-existence would be quite boring... nothing to do all day, not even existing. :-)
  • TheMadFool
    7.2k
    Well, think about it.
    Existence is quite puzzling, I mean you wouldn't think there should exist something in the first place; but here it is we exist.
    And no matter how do you face the existence problem it's always there.

    For me this is cool, otherwise non-existence would be quite boring... nothing to do all day, not even existing. :-)
    MathematicalPhysicist

    :smile: Well, I'm not sure I understand you but being "cool" is somewhere in between cold and hot; closer to cold but that doesn't matter since cool is an in-between phenomenon. I wonder why people say "that's cool" referencing the awesomeness of something. Could it be that people have an intuitive understanding of life being a "contradiction".
  • MathematicalPhysicist
    45
    You want the dictionary meaning of the word "cool", then google for it.
    ;-)
  • Harry Hindu
    3.4k
    Logic isn't to blame because most arguments tend to cite learned thinkers and the arguments that follow are good ones. So, in a very simplistic sense, the problem lies with the premises, the initial assumptions, the starting point of our reasoning.TheMadFool
    Life is not a contradiction.

    Citing learned thinkers is a logical fallacy called pleading to authority.

    The problem generally lies in some emotional attachment to what is being argued.

    Most irreconcilable differences occur in the domains of ethics, politics and religion because these are the domains of subjectivity being portrayed as if they were objective.
  • TheMadFool
    7.2k
    You want the dictionary meaning of the word "cool", then google for it.MathematicalPhysicist
    @Harry Hindu

    Thanks for the tip and also reminding me how helpful lexicons have been to me. Also, as you may already know, the dictionary is the smoking gun, the key piece of evidence, in the mystery of whether life is a contradiction or not for it is the repository of all meanings that have referents in our world and the fact that one can find for every word with a given meaning, another word with the opposite meaning, strongly implies the world has a yin-yang structure.

    Initially, I was under the impression that no, yin-yang as I understand it, are not contradictory but are in fact contrary and that raises the possibility of a third alternative - the golden mean or the middle path. This maybe true of the physical world where there exists the so-called goldilocks zone but this wonderful comfort zone can't be found in the realm of ideas for propositions can only be either true or false but never both and there isn't much value in the world between true and false, the no-man's land of uncertainty, for knowledge necessarily consists of truths. To be uncertain, by the accepted definition of knowledge, is maybe as ignorant as believing falsehoods. Therefore, if we are ever to claim knowledge we must choose a side between a thesis and its antithesis for only then is it possible to assign the truth value true to beliefs and that, my dear friend, always must lead to contradictions. My knowledge of philosophy being limited, the only example that comes to mind is the familiar contradiction theism-atheism.

    An interesting observation, to me at least, is that there is a middle ground between theism and atheism and that's agnosticism - the suspension of belief, the refusal to assign a truth value to either theism or atheism. Ergo, agnosticism is technically not knowledge because it is essentially a position of uncertainty on the truth of whether god exists or not. It is at its heart a claim of ignorance. This reminds me of Socrates and how the Oracle of Delphi declared him to be the wisest person in the world while he went about declaring his ignorance with the words "I know that I know nothing". It seems then that the contradictory nature of the world, the world of ideas, must be dealt in Socratic fashion - to reject both sides of a position and confess uncertainty and make our home in the no-man's land of ignorance. Perhaps the Oracles of Delphi will speak a word or two in our favor if we do what Socrates did a long long time ago. Tne world is contradictory precisely because we don't know the truth and to choose a side between opposing ideas is to fall into error although there's a random chance that you may have betted on not the wrong horse but the right one.
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