• Rich
    3.2k
    There is chaos but this chaos is subsumed to order. I think that Perice said something along the linesMagnus Anderson

    Peirce said: 1) there was Chance Tychism and from this came 2) Mind and from this came 3) Matter, matter being effete Mind.

    Now compare this to Daoism:

    First came 1) The Dao (Mind) then came 2) Opposites as waves (Yin/Yang) as a manifestation of the Dao then came 3) Creative energy (Qi) as a inner manifestation of the waves.

    What so both have common? The Mind. And was does the Mind do? It explores and learns. Induction, as some may call it is fundamental to experienced life. It is not a question of logical validity.It is what life does.
  • SophistiCat
    348
    So you are saying that the problem of induction doesn’t hinge on the metaphysical assumption that causality may not be invariant?apokrisis

    No, I am pretty sure that's not what I was saying. I am not even sure what that means.

    And so I simply say go with that same assumption. Permit nature to vary. And then understand it’s apparent invariance in terms of the self organisation of limits.

    After all, that is the world as science has found it to be, if you’ve been keeping up.
    apokrisis

    Right, circular reasoning again. Induction -> Science -> Fanciful metaphysics -> Induction.
  • apokrisis
    3.7k
    Right, circular reasoning again. Induction -> Science -> Fanciful metaphysics -> Induction.SophistiCat

    What's wrong with a circular argument if it takes the form of the scientific method?

    The circle is that of abduction, deduction and inductive confirmation. So "induction" gets split into the assuming of some hypothesis and then the assessing of the evidence in favour of that hypothesis (or the lack of good reason to doubt it).

    The metaphysics is then informed by that. In Peirce's case, it led him to challenge the prevailing ontic determinism of his day. He argued that the logic of how we reason is in fact the logic of how nature itself must develop its regular habits. So that revised metaphysics - one that sees probability and chance as fundamental in nature - becomes then the new hypothesis.

    And what do you know? Shortly after, quantum mechanics was born.
  • Janus
    5k
    If by "no alternative" you mean a sort of psychological compulsion then that is just what I was saying.SophistiCat

    No, I just mean that there is no viable alternative method.

    Aaand... we are back to circular reasoning.SophistiCat

    Not really. We have to make assumptions to get started. As I have shown if you make the assumptions explicit inductive reasoning can be framed in deductive forms. Science bases itself on the assumption that there are "laws of nature" that determine the invariances that are observed everywhere. At the most fundamental level we have the Strong Nuclear Force, the Weak Nuclear Force, the Electromagnetic Force and the Gravitational Force. Then there are the laws of thermodynamics.

    Science theory at every level is based on the presumption that these laws hold. Of course there is no merely logical reason why they should hold. But these are the premises of the whole 'argument' of science, and just like the premises of any argument; their soundness cannot be demonstrated by the argument itself, but must be taken on faith. We take these premises on faith simply because there are no viable alternatives; we cannot even begin to imagine what an alternative could look like.
  • SophistiCat
    348
    What's wrong with a circular argument if it takes the form of the scientific method?apokrisis

    Its utter pointlessness? I mean, if you've already helped yourself to induction, what's the point of circling back to "justify" it via one of its purported consequences?
  • apokrisis
    3.7k
    I interpret it to mean that you are in fact a monist. A dialectical monist. Yin-yang philosophy. You want to unite the opposites. Uncontrolled interaction is not enough. There must be a central force, some kind of God, controlling the antagonism.Magnus Anderson

    No controlling hand is needed. The dichotomy or symmetry breaking just goes freely to to its equilibrium balance. It finds its own eventual rest state where it is evenly broken across all scales of being. Hence the final state of a natural system that is just forever freely growing in evenly-paced fashion is going to be fractal. It will have the structure of a scalefree hierarchy.

    Hence your focus on trichotomies, triadic conceptual structures.Magnus Anderson

    Yep. The triadic structure is the balanced hierarchical relation that emerges from the symmetry breaking.

    A hierarchy represents a state of maximum local~global asymmetry. You have opposing limits of scale appearing as a system develops its own history. It becomes a world organised into the general and the particular, the global constraints or laws and the local degrees of freedom.

    You have a center and two extremes. Left, middle and right.Magnus Anderson

    No. The dichotomous extremes are the local and the global. The middle is then the spectrum of scales that span the space (and time) inbetween.

    So for instance, the Universe is bounded at one end by the Planck scale, at the other by the cosmic event horizon. Then we humans sit about exactly middle.

    So in the case of order~chaos dichotomy, you want to subsume the two to a third category which is basically that of order (which explains why you make a distinction between constraints and patterns or regularities which you say are merely observable.)Magnus Anderson

    Well now this is talking about how the whole thing develops.

    So in the beginning - as Peirce describes - it starts with the symmetry of a Firstness or Vagueness. There is just the purest kind of chaos. Unbounded fluctuation.

    Then you get secondness as fluctuations start to collide or react with each other in deterministic fashion. You get local events happening.

    Then, after some time, you get enough local events happening to start to sort things out and create some kind of common history. You get regular patterns or habits emerging. The system develops a memory. A bunch of random local events start to add up in ways that build a general regulating pattern.

    This situation is modelled by scalefree hierarchies. Take a case like the network of world airports. An airport could be freely built anywhere. But as the network starts to grow, it becomes convenient to begin to hub them. You will get certain airports becoming very large as the critical node in larger network. The airport system will develop a clear stratification - a hierarchy of airport sizes that is optimal in terms of achieving a total flow of air-traffic through the system.

    So in the beginning, there are just a random scatter of airports all around the same size. By the end, there is a stratified and organised system that emerges in a random fashion to satisfy the general constraint of needing to maximise the flow.

    No controlling hand is needed. Just a general constraint of having to optimise the dynamics.

    So you're acknowledging the dualism and then reducing it to monism under the guise of trialism. There is chaos but this chaos is subsumed to order.Magnus Anderson

    Nothing is being hidden. But one of the difficult mental changes in gear needed to understand Peirce is that Thirdness is the third stage that incorporates the other two stages. So Thirdness is not monistic but irreducibly triadic. As it says on the box. It is only "monistic" in the sense of being holistic - speaking about the oneness of an irreducibly complex whole.

    Monism is usually a substantialist's ontology. It is all about a metaphysics of a single stuff - whether that be materialist stuff or spiritual stuff. So quite different from a Peircean metaphysics where all stuff is the emergent product of an irreducibly triadic process.

    Likewise, vagueness of Firstness may sound like a monistic stuff, but it ain't. It sounds like some kind of material being, and yet it can't be that. It is just an unformed potential. Substantial being is what it starts to become - once we get to the dyadicity of Secondness, or brute reaction.
  • apokrisis
    3.7k
    Its utter pointlessness? I mean, if you've already helped yourself to induction, what's the point of circling back to "justify" it via one of its purported consequences?SophistiCat

    You are not making sense. How does inquiry even get started unless you are willing to hazard the concrete guess that you are then committed to checking via measurement against the reality you are modelling?

    What is it that you are attacking here? I can hear your angry noises, but the target of your unhappiness is very unclear.

    Even Hume said we reason inductively because that is what is natural to our psychology. So we only "help ourselves to induction" in the sense that we find ourselves already the products of an evolutionary process. We were born to be pragmatically successful at predicting our worlds.

    In Hume's day, there wasn't a lot of science to back up that evolutionary view. But now our best models of neurocognition are explicitly Bayesian. We took the hypothesis and ran with it. The results confirmed the guess.
  • apokrisis
    3.7k
    We take these premises on faith simply because there are no viable alternatives; we cannot even begin to imagine what an alternative could look like.Janus

    I would say not quite. The Newtonian breakthrough involved a metaphysical presumption about invariant laws. And now the modern presumption is that all such invariances must be emergent regularities. All the forces of nature are patterns that emerge in self-organising fashion from collective action.

    So Newton talked of transcendent laws. Modern physics is aiming at a story of immanently self-organising constraints.

    And the two different ontologies map fairly obviously to a generally deductive or computational and deterministic metaphysics, and generally inductive or probabilistic and developmental metaphysics.

    So we do have two alternative metaphysics in play. And each would generate its own particular kinds of hypotheses when it comes down to scientific theory.
  • SophistiCat
    348
    Not really. We have to make assumptions to get started. As I have shown if you make the assumptions explicit inductive reasoning can be framed in deductive forms.Janus

    You cannot replace induction with deduction salva veritate, since induction is plausible reasoning and deduction is certain reasoning. If you assume "invariances of nature" of a certain sort, then you can make a case for the viability of inductive inference in general, but you cannot thereby turn any specific inductive inference into a deduction.

    As for starting assumptions, I think that induction itself makes for the most natural starting assumption (since we are already strongly predisposed to it) - more so than the rather complicated cocktail of assumptions that you are proposing.

    Science bases itself on the assumption that there are "laws of nature" that determine the invariances that are observed everywhere.Janus

    The basic inductive intuition is more local, more restricted than that. Yes, induction implies that we can perceive persistent patterns in nature, but that's it. And that's all the "assumption" that science requires to get going. It does not require us to assume from the start that all of nature is completely subject to laws, much less that these laws form a reductive hierarchy with a fundamental theory of everything at the bottom. Such ideas are viable, but they are not basic, nor are they necessary. Science happily proceeds with local laws and "special" theories.
  • Janus
    5k


    Yes, I acknowledge the differences between a deterministic and a probabilistic explanation for the laws of nature; my point was only that we have no alternative to the laws themselves to focus our investigations; whether we think of them as ultimately transcendent or as immanently emergent.
  • Janus
    5k
    If you assume "invariances of nature" of a certain sort, then you can make a case for the viability of inductive inference in general, but you cannot thereby turn any specific inductive inference into a deduction.SophistiCat

    Firstly that is exactly what I was proposing to do "make a case for the viability of inductive inference in general". Determinism can be framed deductively as:

    1.There are immutable laws which determine every event down to the minutest detail
    2. Therefore every event must occur exactly as it does occur and the immutable laws are its sufficient reason

    You can also put specific inductive inferences into deductive forms by adding extra premises which insure that you must end up with the result that is observed. It doesn't matter how ad hoc these extra premises might be, you can still produce a deductively valid argument. The argument may be wildly wrong, completely unsound; but from the point of view of validity that doesn't matter. All you need is a little imagination; and this is supplied by abductive reasoning.

    Science happily proceeds with local laws and "special" theories.SophistiCat

    Science could do that but it would not be the comprehensive science we have today; which does base itself on the foundation of the four forces and the three laws of thermodynamics. The mistake in your interpretation of what I have been arguing seems to be that you think I am claiming that science must presume these forces and laws to be absolute; I don't say it has to do that; but I do say it needs to take them provisionally; and that is just what the inductive method today consists in. These forces and laws were not the premises in the past, to be sure, but other things were premised in the past that have come to be thought as dis-confirmed, and to have been superceded by current premises. Very few people would argue that no progress has been made in science, surely? And it is all based on inductive and abductive reasoning.
  • SophistiCat
    348
    Even Hume said we reason inductively because that is what is natural to our psychology. So we only "help ourselves to induction" in the sense that we find ourselves already the products of an evolutionary process. We were born to be pragmatically successful at predicting our worlds.apokrisis

    The conclusion that inductive reasoning is a product of our evolutionary development comes at the far end of a long process of inductive inference. So that cannot be the sense in which we help ourselves to induction: we did that long before we had any inkling of such far-reaching conclusions.
  • apokrisis
    3.7k
    my point was only that we have no alternative to the laws themselves to focus our investigations;Janus

    Agreed. We have to identify the invariances as the essential features of the landscape. They start as the surprises in need of an explanation.

    Which again gets back to the fact that brain's operate inductively. For nature's regularity to be such a surprising fact - something we could even notice - we would have had to have been expecting something rather different.
  • apokrisis
    3.7k
    The conclusion that inductive reasoning is a product of our evolutionary development comes at the far end of a long process of inductive inference. So that cannot be the sense in which we help ourselves to induction: we did that long before we had any inkling of such far-reaching conclusions.SophistiCat

    You will have to explain why this "helping ourselves" is some kind of problem. It might be if you believed that deduction is more fundamental than induction or something. But how can it be if it is the other way around?
  • charleton
    1.2k
    "Free Will"??? There is nothing to give up here.
    When I make a decision, or act in any way it is determined by who and what I am; and through my needs, motivation and volition.
    I would rather I determined my own fate than be free of myself, as that makes no sense whatever.
  • charleton
    1.2k
    Not true.

    Here's an inductive argument:

    1. Some Ps are Qs
    2. Therefore, all Ps are Qs
    Magnus Anderson

    Rubbish.
    This is just poor logic. A broken deduction, pretending to be something. Nothing to do with induction at all.


    An inductive argument is more like X happens after Y all the time. So maybe X is caused by Y.
    Post hoc ergo propter hoc is only fallacious if it is wrong.
  • Janus
    5k
    SO are we talking conjectures and refutations - falsification?

    That is, we see f(a), f(b), f(c)..., propose the conjecture that (x)f(x), and actively seek to find an example of E(x)~f(x)?
    Banno

    That could be a way; but I was thinking of conjecture just as the 'creative imagination' part of science which then gets worked into hypotheses that make predictions as to what we would be likely to observe if our conjectures were correct; predictions which can then be tested by further experiment and observation to see whether they actually obtain. I think Pooper was right that no amount of such verification ever absolutely proves a theory. On the other hand could we say that any number of counter examples could ever absolutely refute a theory? This doesn't seem to make sense, because surely to falsify one judgement is to verify another; that the first judgement is wrong, no?
  • Janus
    5k
    For nature's regularity to be such a surprising fact - something we could even notice - we would have had to have been expecting something rather different.apokrisis

    That's an intriguing, yet puzzling, statement: could you flesh it out a bit?
  • charleton
    1.2k

    No one "expects."
    We get born and learn.
    And shit, if that rock was just like the last one. I drop it and it falls!!!
    I hit the cat and it runs away! I fall over and it hurts.
    The sun keeps on appearing every morning.
    That's what a deterministic universe looks like.
    Maybe tomorrow the sun will be shaped like a turnip?
  • Janus
    5k
    You will have to explain why this "helping ourselves" is some kind of problem. It might be if you believed that deduction is more fundamental than induction or something. But how can it be if it is the other way around?apokrisis

    This is a very good point. Deduction being a derivative puristic formalization of inductive reasoning can hardly arrogate to itself such a priority. Without its ancestor it would never have existed in the first place. And without its living relatives, it could tell us nothing whatsoever about the world.
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