## On Logical Fictions

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• 4.3k
Just because there are other ways of communicating meaning in language does not negate this view of propositions.

Well, it places the claim that propositions and/or the meaning they 'contain' exist independently of language in direct question... along with the reasoning and/or argumentative support you've supplied here.

It does not follow from the fact that "The sun is red" can be expressed in two different languages that the proposition and/or it's meaning is not existentially dependent upon language.

Two languages are not no language. In order for a proposition or propositional meaning to exist independently of language, neither can be existentially dependent upon language.

All of them are.
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Propositional truth is most certainly propositional in content. Denying that much is rather silly.

It's a core tenet of truth in analytic philosophy, at least, that truth is a relation between a proposition and something else. The relation isn't itself propositional. Propositions and the relation of a proposition to something else are two different things.

So, for example "The cat is on the mat," a proposition, is true because of the fact that a cat is on the mat, per correspondence theory (the proposition corresponds to the state of affairs). Truth in that case is the correspondent relation of the proposition "The cat is on the mat" to the fact that the cat is on the mat. Truth is not the proposition "The cat is on the mat" itself.
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Perhaps...

Let's suppose that "the cat is on the mat" corresponds to fact/reality/states of affairs. Is that proposition a truth? Many call true propositions "truths". The content of those truths is propositional.
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Saying "this proposition is true" is saying that it has the right relation to whatever one takes to be the "truthmaker" ( facts/states of affairs if correspondence theory, other propositions if coherence, etc.)
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If I see a syllogism manufactured with a false major premise, I have a tendency to disregard the conclusion. Sorry.....just the way Mama tol’ me.

On the other hand, because a statement can be a fiction even if not part of a syllogism, it then becomes just a matter of understanding the subject/predicate relation, in order to determine how the fiction/illusion arises, if it does.

I gave examples of necessary truths, the certainty of which I know without ever saying a word, or even thinking any. Although I might bellow OHHHH CRAPPP on the way down. But you wouldn’t ever hear it, and it’s not a logically fictional proposition anyway, so who cares.

The principle of inductive reasoning is linguistic, as are each and every "test of truth"...

How is that not a logical fiction? If you think principles are linguistic.....how do you do arithmetic in your head? How can logical absolutes be possible? Just because we don’t consciously invoke a principle in order to arrive at a logical, consistent truth, we aren’t using one? It only becomes a principle after having been written down? We don’t operate by deducing our primary principles then see if our observations conform to them, which is blatantly circular and potentially self-contradictory; we reason from observation, then deduce the principles under which our reasoning should conform in order to be trusted as observation demands.
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Saying "this proposition is true" is saying that it has the right relation to whatever one takes to be the "truthmaker" ( facts/states of affairs if correspondence theory, other propositions if coherence, etc.)

For some folk. That all depends upon one's framework, but that side-stepped the point. Some call true propositions/statements "truths". Such a framework must admit that the content of those truths is propositional.
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If I see a syllogism manufactured with a false major premise, I have a tendency to disregard the conclusion. Sorry.....just the way Mama tol’ me.Mww

Mama's advice, if taken to heart, may cause one to disregard true conclusions... lucky, invalid, but true none-the-less...

However, in this particular instance, the conclusion is a logical fiction, but that premiss holds good by my lights...

Hand-waving won't do here. A true proposition is called "a truth" in some circles. The content of those truths is propositional. Are you objecting to that? If so, upon what grounds exactly?
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I gave examples of necessary truths, the certainty of which I know without ever saying a word, or even thinking any.Mww

This seems patently false on it's face.

It presupposes that one can be certain that some statement or other is true without ever having been involved in linguistic practices...

Nah. That cannot be right.
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This presupposes that there are such things as "necessary truths" that evidently exist independently of language. Otherwise, it would make no sense to say that a statement can 'represent' such a thing.

:yikes:

I'm a bit puzzled here...

What exactly do these necessary truths consist in/of if not statements/propositions?

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The principle of inductive reasoning is linguistic, as are each and every "test of truth"...
— creativesoul

How is that not a logical fiction?
Mww

Because it's true, that's how. Fictions aren't true.

If you think principles are linguistic...

Mww

Solely by virtue of knowing the rules of the language. Before that, it cannot be done 'in one's head'.

How can logical absolutes be possible? Just because we don’t consciously invoke a principle in order to arrive at a logical, consistent truth, we aren’t using one? It only becomes a principle after having been written down? We don’t operate by deducing our primary principles then see if our observations conform to them, which is blatantly circular and potentially self-contradictory; we reason from observation, then deduce the principles under which our reasoning should conform in order to be trusted as observation demands.Mww

There's a saying about forests and trees...

All of the things you're talking about here are metacognitive. Metacognition is existentially dependent upon fairly complex written language replete with naming practices that begin taking account of that which existed in it's entirety prior to our account of it. Thought/belief is one such thing, amongst many others as well. Those are the things that we can get wrong on and/or at a basic elementary level. Seeing how our thought life grows in complexity over time with sufficient effort, if we take account of the basic stuff wrongly there's no hope of getting the more complex stuff right.

The notion that all belief is propositional in content is a logical fiction based upon conflating what our report of thought/belief is existentially dependent upon with what thought/belief is existentially dependent upon. It stems from a crevasse in academic epistemology; neglecting to draw and maintain the actual distinction between our thought and belief and thinking about thought and belief. I think it was an honest oversight.

We operate, in the beginning of our thought life, by virtue of much simpler means. We do not begin thinking in propositional terms nor structure. Knowledge of pre-lingual thought/belief trumps logical rules when it comes to being forced to accept one or the other. You're opting for higher value and/or greater importance being placed upon the rules we determined, and I'm opting for what we've discovered to be true about those rules and what underwrites them all.

Logic takes account of pre-existing thought/belief. It presupposes truth as correspondence solely by virtue of our assuming it in premisses. Logic is the rules of correct inference, with "correct" meaning something alone the lines of being 'mistake-free'. They are metacognitive 'rules'. They are the rules deemed worthy of use for arriving at true conclusions. The rules of logic are not without flaw. It would behoove us all to remember that they are meant to preserve truth.

Ahem...

Gettier and 'logical' entailment show that one can follow the rules of logic and arrive at different truth conditions. Case A is a prima facie example of this mistake when Gettier moves to "the man" after beginning with "I". Some may not understand that brief summary, for it is not a commonly taken approach to Gettier. Nonetheless, The point being that we are well advised to take extreme caution in overvaluing a product of our own imagination - the rules of correct inference are one such thing.

At conception, there is no such thing as the thought/belief of the creature.

Thought/belief begins simply and grows in it's complexity. Human knowledge shows this nicely. All knowledge is thought/belief. All. It is only after we've named our own mental ongoings with terms like "reason", "understanding", "thought", "belief", and all of the others used daily that we begin to think about our own thought and belief(that we begin metacognitive endeavors).

You're offering products thereof, and neglecting the fact that that's not how it begins. Knowing how it begins provides the standard by which to 'measure' metacognitive assertions about human thought/belief. That includes, but is not limited to, all notions meant to take account of our reasoning processes.

The principles you speak of were arrived at - via written language - as a means to reduce the likelihood of error in thought/belief. Thought/belief had long since been being formed. You've opted to place great importance upon the rules of correct inference, and other products of metacognition. I've opted to use knowledge of what all metacognition is existentially dependent upon. Seems that the justificatory power is not at all equal here. One makes a much stronger basis than the other.

2+2 always equals 4 quite simply because we won't let it be(mean) anything else. Numbers are names of quantities. Those have the most rigid meaning by virtue of our not allowing the name(number) to pick out any other referent(to pick out any other quantity;to have any other accepted meaning/use).
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We don’t operate by deducing our primary principles then see if our observations conform to them, which is blatantly circular and potentially self-contradictoryMww

:yikes:
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We 'operate' solely by virtue of drawing meaningful correlations between different things.
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The notion that all truth is existentially dependent upon propositions(language) is a logical fiction.
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Correspondence isn't.

Coherence is.
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We deduce what is true of each and every particular example solely by virtue of taking proper account of the universally extant common denominators.

We then "test" our 'models' by virtue of observational applicability and explanatory power. Done right, prediction is improved automatically.

All of that "truth testing" is existentially dependent upon language. Being existentially dependent upon language is exactly what being called "linguistic" means here.

All logical principles and all truth-testing are linguistic. Not all thought/belief are. Some pre-linguistic thought/belief are true by virtue of correctly presupposing their own correspondence to fact/reality. Correspondence is prior to language or true belief does not need truth. Take your pick.
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true conclusions
But not true conclusions, merely true propositions.
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Mama's advice, if taken to heart, may cause one to disregard true conclusions... lucky, invalid, but true none-the-less...
This context
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Premisses could be rightfully called "propositions" but not "conclusions". If I wrote "conclusion" I was talking about conclusions, not premisses. I've no idea what you're getting at?

The point was that just because an argument has a false major premiss it does not follow that the conclusion isn't worth considering... differently of course. Mama's advice neglected to take that into proper consideration. Following such advice could lead one to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
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It only becomes a principle after having been written down?Mww

Well... yup. Exactly. It becomes a principle when we name it such.
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We don’t operate by deducing our primary principles then see if our observations conform to them, which is blatantly circular and potentially self-contradictory; we reason from observation, then deduce the principles under which our reasoning should conform in order to be trusted as observation demands.Mww

So, we don't deduce and observe. Rather, we observe, then deduce and observe with the former being blatantly circular and potentially self-contradictory, but the latter is not?

:roll:

Clear as mud.
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Anyone care to discuss why and/or how these are logical fictions, or propose another?

Validity is about the truth preserving form of an argument. Once we have the correct form, all substitution instances of the form, whether fiction or real, are valid arguments.
• 295

Different perspectives are always good, so.....thanks.

“...preoccupation with questions about methods tends to distract us from prosecuting the methods themselves. We run as a rule, worse, not better, if we think a lot about our feet....”
(Ryle, 1929, in Hutchinson 1971)
• 6.9k
Some call true propositions/statements "truths".

I agree with that, but it would take some work (and it might not be possible) for them to try to make much sense out of that if you were to press them just what truth amounts to in those cases.
• 4.3k
Different perspectives are always good, so.....thanks.

“...preoccupation with questions about methods tends to distract us from prosecuting the methods themselves. We run as a rule, worse, not better, if we think a lot about our feet....”
(Ryle, 1929, in Hutchinson 1971)
Mww

Perspective, if it amounts to bald assertion, isn't always good in my book.

Prosecuting fallacious reasoning like false analogies isn't good either, and will continue to happen if we neglect to consider method. That is not something to aspire towards.
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It only becomes a principle after having been written down?
— Mww

Well... yup. Exactly. It becomes a principle when we name it such.

Not all things we call "principles" are on equal footing. We cannot parse them solely as a result of the namesake, however. Some principles have been found wanting and/or lacking. Others, it seems to me, have yet to have been 'found' by the reasoning processes in common use.
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Where there is no language, there can be no thought/belief.

Where there is no language there can be no truth.

Where there is no language there can be no meaning.

So, these are commonly held statements of belief. Another is that propositions exist independently of language. Yet one more is that the content of belief is propositional. All are logical fictions.
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