• Matias
    42
    When we use evolutionary psychology to understand human behavior there are above all two common logical fallacies that have to be avoided.

    One common pitfall is known as the moralistic fallacy : we assume that undesirable qualities of nature simply cannot be true.
    Political liberals may be more prone to the moralistic fallacy, for example when they argue that gender equality is desirable, therefore any psychological differences observed between men and women must be a priori false; or that war is morally wrong— therefore it cannot be rooted in human nature.

    The second trap is the naturalistic fallacy , (which is the inverse of the moralistic fallacy), which assumes that what is natural must be moral or desired. The naturalistic fallacy is the idea that what is found in nature is good. It was the basis for social Darwinism, the belief that helping the poor and sick would get in the way of evolution,..

    The take-away message of these two fallacies is that there is no logical link of "is" and "ought", the latter can never be deduced from the way things are
  • Frank Apisa
    896
    The so-called moralistic and naturalistic fallacies are not things that "ought to be avoided"...but are observations that should probably be considered when discussing aspects of society and human behavior...especially when considering political activism.

    They are more likely a form of political bias confirmation than actual fallacies.

    In any case, they are overstated. Most people do not argue from either position, but rather use elements of the two as structure to bolster positions they have already taken due to the political bias.
  • I like sushi
    1.1k
    Basically we desire to be better people. Even those that believe there is no ‘better’ deem such a position ‘better’; even if due to ignorance of ignorance.

    A baby can learn to walk. We struggle onward - seems dumb not to doesn’t it? Who am I to say though, a conceit unto myself!
  • Banno
    5.3k
    The second trap is the naturalistic fallacy , (which is the inverse of the moralistic fallacy), which assumes that what is natural must be moral or desired. The naturalistic fallacy is the idea that what is found in nature is good. It was the basis for social Darwinism, the belief that helping the poor and sick would get in the way of evolution,..Matias

    Actually, that's not so. The naturalistic fallacy is far more interesting than just that. See G E Moore.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    Basically we desire to be better people. Even those that believe there is no ‘better’ deem such a position ‘better’; even if due to ignorance of ignorance.

    A baby can learn to walk. We struggle onward - seems dumb not to doesn’t it? Who am I to say though, a conceit unto myself!
    I like sushi

    "The will to POWER!!!"

    :grin:
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    Even those that believe there is no ‘better’ deem such a position ‘better’;I like sushi

    There is no objective "better," but I don't have the opinion that that fact is better than the alternative. There would be many advantages to an objective "better." So that might be better in my opinion. Unfortunately, it's not the case that there's an objective"better."
  • I like sushi
    1.1k
    Congrats on not understanding my point and emphasizing it better than I ever could :D
  • tim wood
    2.5k
    There is no objective "better,"Terrapin Station
    This a but a variation of a theme consistent with many of your posts. I should like you to define your terms so that your claim makes sense. I think it doesn't, and you can't.

    In order for your claim to be true it seems to me it must be that there is no "objective." As to "better," if there is a better, it must have some basis for being better. But I think you deny the basis, and thus the better.

    The only defense of your position that I can see lies in your denying even the possibility of the proposition - which is just smashing the pottery and then claiming there is no pottery.

    In short, your claim is that "there is no objective 'better.'" Please defend it.
  • mcdoodle
    1k
    Your post bears more than a passing resemblance to an 11-year-old blog post, https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200810/two-logical-fallacies-we-must-avoid

    Kanazawa's conclusion is that we can avoid these fallacies by never speaking about 'ought'. I don't think that will do. 'Ought' is easily smuggled in to the most analytic-looking remark. Evolutionary psychology is in my view especially prone to that: it tends to omit the historical situation of the scientific 'fact' it uses in an argument because its exponents have prejudices of their own, as we all do. Essentialism about women and men, for example, easily follows, for who could be more typical of all women and men who ever lived than 23 Columbia University students having a scan for a neuroscience experiment?
  • Sculptor
    41

    EP is a fantasy discipline. It assumes a perfection in evolution by attributing all traits a naturally selected positive.
    As complex bodies we have evolved with hit and miss, carrying along selectively neutral and even selectively negative traits. As long as a trait or behaviour does not result in the failure of reproduction it shall be preserved in any successful progeny.
    In this way EP fails to understand that complexity, and attributes and invented positive to "explain" the trait.
    EP fails since it confuses the difference between

    (1) The claim that evolution is a process in which creatures with adaptive traits are selected and

    (2) the claim that evolution is a process in which creatures are selected for their adaptive traits.”

    1 Is correct, but 2, assumed and fetishized by EP renders EP ridiculous.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    In order for your claim to be true it seems to me it must be that there is no "objective." As to "better," if there is a better, it must have some basis for being better. But I think you deny the basis, and thus the better.

    The only defense of your position that I can see lies in your denying even the possibility of the proposition - which is just smashing the pottery and then claiming there is no pottery.
    tim wood

    I'm not sure what you're saying in any of that.

    It's very simple. "Better" is a judgment of preference, or a valuation of two or more different things being compared, where one (or more) of the different things is valued more than the others.

    That judgment, that valuation (or indeed any judgment or valuation), does not occur in the world outside of minds.
  • tim wood
    2.5k
    It's very simple. "Better" is a judgment of preference, or a valuation of two or more different things being compared, where one (or more) of the different things is valued more than the others.

    That judgment, that valuation (or indeed any judgment or valuation), does not occur in the world outside of minds.
    Terrapin Station

    But do the things judged?

    I acknowledge that inasmuch as a judgment requires a mind, then absent mind there is no judgment. Is that your criteria for "objective," that to be objective it must be absent mind?

    Allow me an absurdity. I go to the hardware store to buy a hammer because I wish to drive some nails. The clerk shows me a hammer nine-feet long and weighing 400 pounds. Admittedly, the judgment that this hammer is not useful is my judgment in my mind, but would you also say there is nothing objective about it?
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    But do the things judged?

    I acknowledge that inasmuch as a judgment requires a mind, then absent mind there is no judgment. Is that your criteria for "objective," that to be objective it must be absent mind?
    tim wood

    Subjective/objective are location terms. Objective things occur in locations other than minds (that is, locations other than brains functioning in mental ways).

    The hammer the clerk shows you is objective. The location of it is not a brain functioning in a mental way. The location is the hardware store). The hammer, all of its properties, etc. are objective. The judgment whether it's useful, whether it's a better tool whatever job you have in mind (than other possible tools), etc. are subjective. The location of those judgments is a brain functioning as a mind.

    The distinction is a lot like saying whether things are inside or outside of a refrigerator, a cabinet, etc.
  • tim wood
    2.5k
    Subjective/objective are location terms. Objective things occur in locations other than minds (that is, locations other than brains functioning in mental ways).

    The hammer the clerk shows you is objective. The location of it is not a brain functioning in a mental way. The location is the hardware store). The hammer, all of its properties, etc. are objective. The judgment whether it's useful, whether it's a better tool whatever job you have in mind (than other possible tools), etc. are subjective. The location of those judgments is a brain functioning as a mind.

    The distinction is a lot like saying whether things are inside or outside of a refrigerator, a cabinet, etc.
    Terrapin Station

    Clarity, like beauty, ought to be appreciated for it's own sake when achieved. Yours is a model of clarity, in my opinion. It provides solid ground to work from.

    Perhaps we should discriminate between the activity of judging and the content/substance of the judgment. The activity in every case belongs to and comes from the mind that makes it - the actor. But the judgment as judgment - even the word is suggestive - judges. What does it mean to judge? I offer, to assess according to some appropriate criteria. Even "appropriate" suggests something "outside."

    Maybe less absurdly and more simply, 2+2=4, as a judgment, is always already in the mind that thinks it. But, it is not true just because it is thought; rather, as a theorem of a system of reasoning, arithmetic, it is true in virtue of the criteria of that system. The mind that judges, then, merely records what is an objective fact. The fact objective, the recording subjective. So far so good?
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    Perhaps we should discriminate between the activity of judging and the content/substance of the judgment. The activity in every case belongs to and comes from the mind that makes it - the actor. But the judgment as judgment - even the word is suggestive - judges. What does it mean to judge? I offer, to assess according to some appropriate criteria. Even "appropriate" suggests something "outside."

    Maybe less absurdly and more simply, 2+2=4, as a judgment, is always already in the mind that thinks it. But, it is not true just because it is thought; rather, as a theorem of a system of reasoning, arithmetic, it is true in virtue of the criteria of that system. The mind that judges, then, merely records what is an objective fact. The fact objective, the recording subjective. So far so good?
    tim wood

    If you're merely recording an objective fact, then there needs to be an objective judgment, right? Otherwise you're not merely recording an objective fact, but you're doing something unique, something not found in the extramental world with respect to objective facts.

    (There are other things to address in your comment, but I want to go one step at a time, and keep things as simple as we can while doing that, partially to make sure we don't overlook anything.)
  • tim wood
    2.5k
    If you're merely recording an objective fact, then there needs to be an objective judgment, right? Otherwise you're not merely recording an objective fact, but you're doing something unique, something not found in the extramental world with respect to objective facts.Terrapin Station

    I agree. If you and I and a bunch of other folks agree on something, then either there's something "out there" we agree upon, or there's a coincidence. Too many agreements for coincidence.

    Kant comes in here when he argues that our minds in certain ways create the reality we perceive, But it's still founded on a reality out there.

    Let's acknowledge that some care in language can make a difference. I agree there are no objective judgments (that is, notwithstanding whether or not there might be, for the moment i agree with you), but there are judgments that are objective.

    Quick example. Write down a number on a piece of paper and ask a bunch of people to come and look at it and copy it down on their own piece of paper. Then compare papers. The agreement argues something "out there."

    In fact, "paper," "writing down," pretty much all of the transaction - indeed, most transactions - argue, depend on, objectivity.

    With that in mind, perhaps I can ask you to clarify "subjective" and to set out it's boundaries with respect to objective. That seems not-so-easy: the best I can do right now is offer subjectivity as the black box within which occurs the creative impulse with respect to objectivity. Objects in, objects out - the subjectivity implied but inaccessible.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    I agree. If you and I and a bunch of other folks agree on something, then either there's something "out there" we agree upon, or there's a coincidence. Too many agreements for coincidence.tim wood

    So if you believe there are objective judgments, what is any evidence for them?

    Er wait, later on you're saying that you agree there are no objective judgments. So what are you agreeing on above? What is "there's something out there" about in the context of a discussion about whether there are objective judgments?

    Let's solve one issue at a time. Keep things simple so we can solve things and move on.
  • tim wood
    2.5k
    So if you believe there are objective judgments, what is any evidence for them?Terrapin Station

    No-no. I'm for the moment on your side. No objective judgments. Meaning that the judgment itself occurs in a mind. Hmm. Maybe I can force you into the corner where the fact of the judgment is objective. But also, the content, I'm arguing, is objective - perhaps better, is about something objective.

    We're whittling this down to where we'll need some precision in terminology and meaning. Before we go there, consider whether it may become a disagreement over how this or that is defined or understood: are you interested in digging through that layer?
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    Before we go there, consider whether it may become a disagreement over how this or that is defined or understood: are you interested in digging through that layer?tim wood

    If you think we need to, sure.

    Re the content being objective, the content of a judgment such as "Frank Zappa is a better composer than Haydn" is that the work of one is better than the other, no? How is that content objective? Isn't it just that Frank Zappa and Haydn and their work is objective?
  • tim wood
    2.5k
    Would accept that the act of judging, of pointed to or pointed out, is objective? You wrote something about Zappa and Haydn. We're calling it a judgment. That is, it is a judgment. Whether good or bad or right or wrong or smart or stupid another judgment, yes?

    I sense that we're moving towards everything being objective in some sense, even the brain's electro-chemical activity - that there is some urgency, then, in your clarifying "subjective, lest it disappear.

    If you mean that there is an aesthetic aspect that is usually called subjective because the objective judgments concerned therewith can be incompatible, then I buy that, but note that this use of subjective is a term of art in aesthetics.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k


    I use "subjective" to refer to mental phenomena (which again, in my view is a brain functioning in mental ways).

    "Objective" is the complement of that ("complement" in the set theory sense). So everything that's not in the set of mental phenomena (that is, in the set of brains functioning in mental ways).

    Again, just to reiterate, I see these primarily as terms of physical location.

    So the act of judging is something we do mentally. Hence, by the definitions above, it's subjective, not objective.

    The content of "x is better than y" is a judgment that x is better than y, of course. That "better" judgment only occurs mentally. Nowhere that we look outside of brains functioning in mental ways amounts to a "better" property or judgment or whatever we'd want to call it.

    You mentioned reasoning above. On my view, then, reasoning is subjective. It's a mental activity.
  • tim wood
    2.5k
    I use "subjective" to refer to mental phenomena (which again, in my view is a brain functioning in mental ways).
    "Objective" is the complement of that ("complement" in the set theory sense). So everything that's not in the set of mental phenomena (that is, in the set of brains functioning in mental ways).
    Terrapin Station

    I accept. Clear enough. (And I appreciate the excluded middle.) But very problematic, imo, and entirely outside ordinary usage (again, imo). Allow me to attack it: How do you know the difference between subjective and objective? The brick is out there and the idea of the brick is a mental phenomenon? I'm pretty sure you know enough to know that this ground is by no means as solid as it appears. On your definition, then, everything is subjective?

    So far in play is that everything is subjective, everything is objective, and some are and some aren't. I actually think that's progress!
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    Allow me to attack it: How do you know the difference between subjective and objective?tim wood

    On philosophy of perception I'm a direct realist. I don't buy representationalism.

    You observe the external brick. There's no good reason to believe that what you're observing is your mind as such, with some mysterious connection to some "possibly-external-who-knows-what," which is the alternative view amounts to.
  • Banno
    5.3k
    There is no objective "better,"Terrapin Station

    If you like - but it does not follow that one thing is not better than another.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    If you like - but it does not follow that one thing is not better than another.Banno

    Sure. Things are subjectively better or worse to particular individuals.
  • Future Roman Empire II
    6
    love the assigned meanings that influence our interactions
  • Banno
    5.3k
    You really are stuck on that objective - subjective hangup.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    You really are stuck on that objective - subjective hangup.Banno

    Just when people say wonky things in relation to it. And they often do. It's one of the more common confusions.
  • tim wood
    2.5k
    You observe the external brick.Terrapin Station

    Let's pause at the mouth of this rabbit hole, acknowledge it, and attempt not to get sucked into it. You have been admirably clear in delimiting subjective and objective. But now you "observe" a brick. I don't know what that means, here.

    I suppose the brick is objective. There is a brick. And our perception of the brick, so far as it goes, is accurate with respect to the brick. I think we agree so far. But all we have got of the brick is the perception of the brick. I think you say that's subjective. Do you divide as to perception as subjective, and referent of the perception as objective? I think you must. And the brick-as-perception? I think that's objective-like. And the judgment you make that it is a brick: I argue that must be analogously divided as subjective in "form," for lack of a better word, but objective as to content. On the same path so far?

    It seems clear we're moving towards the status of ideas....
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k


    Are you not familiar with direct (aka "naive") realism?

    I'm not saying I'll agree with every sentence of the following, but these provide some basics on direct/naive realism if you're not familiar with it (rather than me having to explain all of this a la reinventing the wheel):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Na%C3%AFve_realism
    https://www.iep.utm.edu/perc-obj/#H1
  • Banno
    5.3k
    Just when people say wonky things in relation to it. And they often do. It's one of the more common confusions.Terrapin Station

    "It" being the object-subject distinction. Yes, I agree.

    It makes sense to talk of my preference for Darjeeling as being subjective, and it makes sense to talk of rising global average temperatures as being objective.

    It's very common for folk, often with a philosophical intent, to take this distinction further than might be sensible.

    Would you agree?
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