• Bartricks
    1.4k
    We are not getting anywhere. You are not challenging my argument, you are just failing to understand what the premises mean and failing to provide valid arguments that have the negations of any of my premises as their conclusions.

    Again, provide a valid argument that has the negation of one of my premises as its conclusion so that I can inspect your premises and see if they have any probative force at all.
  • creativesoul
    6.9k


    We're getting somewhere...

    There are several different criticisms being leveled here at the same time. It would serve us best to focus upon them one at a time. Right now, I'm granting your premisses, and objecting to the change in the terminology between them and the conclusion. That is an invalid move.
  • Possibility
    787
    What is the 'no true Scotsman fallacy' and how have I committed it. Remember, I'm a dumbo so I not be understanding this stuff.Bartricks

    There’s no need to get passive-aggressive, I made no assumption about your intelligence, only your capacity to see reasoning as more inclusive than simply appeals to Reason.

    Excuse my appeal to Wikipedia:

    “No true Scotsman, or appeal to purity, is an informal fallacy in which one attempts to protect a universal generalization from counterexamples by changing the definition in an ad hoc fashion to exclude the counterexample. Rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule ("no true Scotsman would do such a thing"; i.e., those who perform that action are not part of our group and thus criticism of that action is not criticism of the group).”

    You attempt to protect the generalisation ‘truth is an appeal only to Reason’ from counterexamples (such as that truth extends beyond reason) by changing it to ‘all reasonable people would agree that truth is an appeal only to Reason’, which excludes claims by anyone who (by your definition of ‘reasonable person’) fails to appeal only to Reason, or to make a formal argument. This is the circular reasoning that everyone else is trying to point out to you. You have modified the subject of your assertion (what truth is) to exclude any and all reasonable claims of truth that extend beyond your definition of Reason, without reference to a specific objective rule; ie. those who appeal to anything beyond Reason are not part of the group known as ‘reasonable persons’, and thus disagreeing with the assertion that ‘truth is an appeal only to reason’ is not disagreeing with the assertion that ‘all reasonable people would agree that truth is an appeal only to Reason’ - and so, in your mind, your argument is flawless.

    My counter argument (and I may not have made this clear enough for you) has been to point out that if my subjective experience of truth extends beyond appeals to Reason, and includes empirical evidence that other subjective experiences of truth do the same, then it is reasonable to at least consider the possibility that an appeal to Reason is insufficient for an inclusive and objective understanding of what truth is.

    Your response has been to exclude me from the group known as ‘reasonable persons’, because I didn’t use the formal language of argument - which necessarily reduces any meaning of truth to an appeal only to Reason - in order to make my case.
  • Bartricks
    1.4k
    No, persons refers to individual persons, not groups - so you're just being tedious. But to remove any ambiguity, here:

    1. Reason makes assertions
    2. A person and only a person can make an assertion
    3. Therefore Reason is a person

    Same argument, and it is valid and sound.
  • creativesoul
    6.9k
    No, persons refers to individual persons, not groups - so you're just being tedious.Bartricks

    No, "persons" refers to more than one person. That's what the term followed by the letter "s" is doing there. Denoting a plurality...



    But to remove any ambiguity, here:

    1. Reason makes assertions
    2. A person and only a person can make an assertion
    3. Therefore Reason is a person

    Same argument, and it is valid and sound.

    Different argument. Both premisses are false.

    It's also an invalid conclusion. Again you've changed the terms between the premisses and the conclusion. A valid conclusion would read...

    Therefore Reason is a person and only a person.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.6k
    If we weren't ignorant we wouldn't ask questions because we'd already have all the facts.
    — Harry Hindu
    Where do you have them, and how do you know? You're claiming no questioning. What summons them, then?
    tim wood

    How is this any different than saying that the universe is filled with information/facts that is the answer to some question?
    — Harry Hindu
    The Universe is not filled with facts. Facts are constructs of the mind. And they can only be considered 'Facts" if they contain 'truths. And 'truths' solve problems or answer questions.
    ovdtogt

    I don't have facts in my mind. I have knowledge in my mind - knowledge of the facts.

    I recall the facts I know. I ask questions to get at facts that I don't know.

    A fact is a state-of-affairs. Truth is accurate knowledge of the facts - like knowing the fact, or state-of-affairs, that Donald Trump is president of the United States.
  • creativesoul
    6.9k
    The second premiss is false.

    Many people make assertions.
  • creativesoul
    6.9k
    All assertions are made by language users.
    Reason is not a language user.
    Reason does not make assertions.

    Sound. Refutation of the primary premiss.
  • Bartricks
    1.4k
    It is not a different argument, you're just not a native English speaker (yes?). Only persons can assert things does not mean that only pluralities of people can assert things - it means that only a person can assert something.

    So, once more, it is the same argument.

    It is valid.

    A conclusion can't be valid or invalid. Arguments are valid or invalid.

    the conclusion follows.

    the premises are true.

    The argument is sound.

    Therefore the conclusion is 'true'.


    Now let's go through the looking glass and take a peer at your bizzaro argument, shall we -

    All assertions are made by language users.
    Reason is not a language user.
    Reason does not make assertions.
    creativesoul

    Your second premise is just an assertion rather than a self-evident truth of reason.

    Compare it to:

    "Reason makes assertions".

    That's self-evidently true. If you think it isn't, then tell me what this is, if not an assertion of Reason:
    "If an argument is sound, believe its conclusion".

    Here's another: "if a proposition is true, do not believe it is also false"

    Here's another: "be kind"

    Here's another: "if an act is in your interests, do it - unless doing it would be unkind"

    And so on.

    there's plenty of disagreement about what, exactly, Reason asserts about this or that matter. But that we are dealing with assertions is beyond doubt. If you think otherwise, tell me what they are?

    Just to reiterate: you are denying that Reason prescribes, asserts, values, commands (for my same argument can be run for all of those).

    Your denial is not based on any evidence, it is just based on your desire to refute me.
  • Bartricks
    1.4k
    I made no assumption about your intelligence, only your capacity to see reasoning as more inclusive than simply appeals to Reason.Possibility

    Can you provide an example of this, for at the moment what you have just said seems conceptually confused.

    How on earth can one reason without appealing to reason?
  • Bartricks
    1.4k
    “No true Scotsman, or appeal to purity, is an informal fallacy in which one attempts to protect a universal generalization from counterexamples by changing the definition in an ad hoc fashion to exclude the counterexamplePossibility

    And can you then point out where I have done this?

    I mean, for starters, locate for me the putative counterexample - that is, provide me with the example of someone who reasons without appealing to reason. You haven't done that above.

    It seems to me that you are committing a fallacy known as 'the idiot's veto'. I will let the philosopher Michael Huemer, who coined that term for it, explain:

    "The Idiot's Veto is the principle that one can bar any (would be) fact from the realm of objectivity merely by failing to apprehend it. In effect, the premise grans individuals with limited cognitive abilities or stubbornly sceptical dispositions a veto power over any would-be objective truth. Thus, suppose a physics teacher encounters a student who refuses to accept the Second Law of Thermodynamics (such individuals are the source of the perennial efforts to design 'perpectual motion machines'). According to the Idiots Veto, this wold rule out the objectivity of the Second Law of Thermodynamics"

    Now, it seems to me that you are thinking that if some people of limited cognitive abilities and/or a stubborn conviction that I am wrong about anything and everything, object to some argument I have made, then that shows that the argument is not sound, or not valid, or that I am not reasonable in rejecting or ignoring what they have said.
  • Bartricks
    1.4k
    My counter argument (and I may not have made this clear enough for you) has been to point out that if my subjective experience of truth extends beyond appeals to Reason, and includes empirical evidence that other subjective experiences of truth do the same, then it is reasonable to at least consider the possibility that an appeal to Reason is insufficient for an inclusive and objective understanding of what truth is.Possibility

    Can you also explain to me what you mean by 'evidence'. For example, how can any sensation constitute evidence without an appeal being made to Reason?

    It is by reason that I infer from the fact I am subject to certain sensations, that there are external objects responsible for those sensations.

    So, explain to me on what grounds you think you know something, if it is not by appeal to reason. (Even 'justified basic beliefs' - beliefs that have not been acquired via some reasoning process - are still beliefs for which there are reasons, and thus are still beliefs that are endorsed by Reason)

    It seems to me that you are not remotely reasonable. But of course, that's not a vice, is it, by your book?

    You just know that some things are true, and furthermore if the reason of you and others seems to contradict you, that - for you - is not evidence that you are wrong.

    There's a name for that: it is called 'dogmatism' and it is the precise opposite of philosophy.
  • Andrew M
    773
    No, Reason would have to be a person - a mind - because Reason asserts things (and values things, and prescribes things) and minds and only minds can assert things (and value things, and prescribe things).Bartricks

    Mind isn't a person. Mind is an abstraction that refers to a person's ability to think and reason. Only a person can assert things.

    What could the solution to world peace be if not whatever Reason asserts it to be? I mean, when we try and figure out what the solution to world violence is, what are we doing? Consulting our reason, surely?Bartricks

    You seem to be treating reason as a homunculus. But consulting your reason is not like consulting your lawyer. It is instead a metaphor for thinking intelligently about something.

    Note too that an analysis of truth is not going to give you the answer to substantial questions about what's true.Bartricks

    Agreed. But in this case, an analysis of truth has yet to be made. Positing Reason as a person who asserts truth just pushes that analysis back a step (like the homunculus) while creating the illusion of having provided it.
  • Bartricks
    1.4k
    Mind isn't a person. Mind is an abstraction that refers to a person's ability to think and reason. Only a person can assert things.Andrew M

    An abstraction is an abstraction. Minds think. Abstractions don't think. So I don't know why you're confidently asserting such things, given they're neither self-evident truths of reason or follow from any.

    Minds - or persons, or 'subjects of experiences' the terms can be used interchangeably (I certainly use them interchangeably) - are the only kinds of thing that can make assertions, or value anything, or command anything, or hope, or desire, or prescribe.

    I am a mind, and I can do all of those things. You are a mind and you can. Some minds can't, but nothing that isn't a mind can. And we literally consider insane those who think otherwise and lock them in padded cells.

    Reason too, does all of those things. And thus Reason is a mind - something she herself tells us, via asserting that minds and minds alone assert things.

    You seem to be treating reason as a homunculus.Andrew M

    I have argued that Reason is a person, a mind, a subject of experiences and I am talking about her accordingly. You can't refute a view by simply describing it in disparaging terms.

    But in this case, an analysis of truth has yet to be made.Andrew M

    Yes it has. All rational disputants will agree that a theory X is the true theory of truth if and only if they are agreed that Reason asserts it to be true. After all, what more could any rational searcher after truth want? Now, I have then argued that as that's what will satisfy everyone that they have the true theory of truth on their hands, our working hypothesis should be that truth itself is constituted by that property - that is, the property of being asserted by Reason.

    That's an analysis. What is truth? Truth is the assertions of Reason. Water is H2o. That's an analysis of water. Truth is the assertions of Reason.

    Positing Reason as a person who asserts truth just pushes that analysis back a stepAndrew M

    How? First, we know what assertive activity is, for we ourselves assert things all the time. We also know - for it is self-evident to our reason that this is the case - that what we assert to be the case and what is true are not necessarily the same.

    Now, if you assert something to be the case, you are claiming it is true. That is, you are representing it to be true. But no matter how sincerely one does that, it remains the case that what is actually true, and what we represent to be true, are not necessarily the same. There's a gap. So, truth is not plausibly constituted by my assertions - and my evidence that it is not, is that Reason asserts it not to be.

    But now apply that to Reason herself. Is there a gap between what she asserts to be the case and what is true?

    I do not think so, for we can never have better evidence that something is true than that Reason asserts it to be the case. Hence why truth itself can plausibly be identified with that property. I do not say that it has to be that property, only that it is the best working hypothesis given that we can never be more satisfied that we have truth on our hands than when Reason seems to be asserting that something is the case.

    Perhaps your point is that to be asserting something is, in effect, to be saying that it is 'true'. And thus I am saying that a proposition is true when Reason asserts it to be true. And this, one might then say, leaves 'truth' itself unanalysed.

    But that too is false, I think. I have said in various places above that truth can be considered a 'performative' of Reason.

    Normally, saying something does not make it so. If I say "I am 9ft tall" that will not make it the case that I am 9ft tall. But there are well known exceptions.

    For example: "I promise to be there". Now, if I say that, then I have promised to be there. My saying it - so long as I have said it sincerely - makes it the case.

    Sometimes, then, saying something can make it so.

    Another example, that is perhaps better for my purposes: "meeting adjourned".

    If I am the chair of a meeting and I say "meeting adjourned" then my saying it adjourns the meeting. My saying it makes it the case that the meeting has been adjourned. Meeting adjournments are created by meeting chairs saying "meeting adjourned".

    That's a performative. Meeting adjournments are performatives of meeting chairs.

    If you are not the chair of a meeting and you say "meeting adjourned" then although what you say could be true - the meeting might be adjourned - your saying it does not make it so.

    But if I am the chair and I say it, then the meeting is adjourned.

    My view is that 'truth' is to Reason what meeting adjournments are to meeting chairs. When I say "X is true" that does not make it true. But when Reason does, her saying it makes it so.

    Now, that does not push anything back anymore than pointing out that meeting adjournments are created by meeting chairs saying "meeting adjourned" pushes anything back.
  • BrianW
    890
    What you’re doing here is reducing potential energy to energy and energy to vibration, by stating that it is “only potential with respect to the work it is directed towards”. This is a common move for physicists/physicalists (not assuming either), where the ‘potential’ or ‘potentiality’ is only considered relative to the actual, rather than the other way around. This error of correlation (in my opinion) is why quantum mechanics is so difficult for many to understand outside of the calculations.Possibility

    No, you seem to misunderstand me. I'm not saying that potential energy is not actual energy; it is. Potential energy is actual energy. However, its potentiality is relative. For example, both kinetic and potential energy are energies; but the difference is with respect to the state in which they are manifest. 'Potential' and 'kinetic' are expressions of the conditioning of the energy, and thus potential energy can translate to kinetic and vice-versa. In both cases, it is impossible to negate the aspect of them as being 'energy' even when the conditioning changes. My point is, the perspective of reality as energy is all-inclusive, because it can be applied to all components of reality.
  • Possibility
    787
    How on earth can one reason without appealing to reason?Bartricks

    I’m glad you asked. There is a common presumption that thinking and making sense of reality (ie. reasoning) necessarily requires a purely rational or logical structuring of that reality, but in my experience I find this to be neither true nor entirely helpful. Human behaviour, for instance, cannot be effectively structured according to logic, because not everyone reasons - thinks and makes sense of reality - in precisely the same way. To structure our social reality in a purely logical way would ensure prediction error with almost every human interaction. I imagine this is what autism might feel like.

    While it’s possible to formulate a logically structured reality (from the perspective you refer to as Reason herself), one cannot be certain that this structure is entirely objective - that is, inclusive of all possible perspectives of reality. It is reasonable to assume that not everyone’s perspective of reality is identical to this logical structure of reality we refer to as Reason. The only way to assert the truth of Reason’s perspective with any confidence, then, is to exclude or ignore any perspective that doesn’t conform to it.

    So it’s reasonable to suggest that perhaps Reason may not be as certain as to the inclusive truth of her logically structured reality as you are. How would you know without appealing to Reason herself? And how could she inform you either way?
  • Possibility
    787
    No, you seem to misunderstand me. I'm not saying that potential energy is not actual energy; it is. Potential energy is actual energy. However, its potentiality is relative. For example, both kinetic and potential energy are energies; but the difference is with respect to the state in which they are manifest. 'Potential' and 'kinetic' are expressions of the conditioning of the energy, and thus potential energy can translate to kinetic and vice-versa. In both cases, it is impossible to negate the aspect of them as being 'energy' even when the conditioning changes. My point is, the perspective of reality as energy is all-inclusive, because it can be applied to all components of reality.BrianW

    How is potential energy manifest?
  • Possibility
    787
    Can you also explain to me what you mean by 'evidence'. For example, how can any sensation constitute evidence without an appeal being made to Reason?Bartricks

    The ‘evidence’ I was referring to is the written testimony of others who express a subjective experience of truth that extends beyond appeals to Reason. I’m not sure what ‘sensations’ you’re referring to...

    So, explain to me on what grounds you think you know something, if it is not by appeal to reason.

    It seems to me that you are not remotely reasonable. But of course, that's not a vice, is it, by your book?

    You just know that some things are true, and furthermore if the reason of you and others seems to contradict you, that - for you - is not evidence that you are wrong.

    There's a name for that: it is called 'dogmatism'.
    Bartricks

    I have made no assertions here - I haven’t claimed to know anything. You can cast dispersions on how ‘reasonable’ you think I am, but it only verifies the limitations of your argument.
  • Possibility
    787
    Now, it seems to me that you are thinking that if some people of limited cognitive abilities and/or a stubborn conviction that I am wrong about anything and everything, object to some argument I have made, then that shows that the argument is not sound, or not valid, or that I am not reasonable in rejecting or ignoring what they have said.Bartricks

    Don’t get me wrong - your argument appears to make sense from a logical perspective. But that alone does not make it true. Truth is not bound by logic, and any description of truth from a logical perspective is necessarily limited. You may be willing to assert that Reason knows exactly what truth is, but I’m not convinced. I have reason to suspect that truth extends beyond appeals to Reason. That doesn’t mean I know what truth is better than Reason does, or that I think Reason has no clue at all - only that she cannot possibly have the full picture. Nobody does, that’s the point.
  • creativesoul
    6.9k


    You've reached incoherence my friend. You're equivocating the terms "Reason" and "truth". You've also changed the terms between the premisses and the conclusion on multiple occasions. Not to mention all the other problems you've shrugged off.

    Not much more I can do here. The astute reader will be served.
  • Bartricks
    1.4k
    You've reached incoherence my friendcreativesoul

    Evidence?

    You're equivocating the terms "Reason" and "truth"creativesoul

    er, evidence?

    You've changed the terms between the premisses and the conclusion on multiple occasions.creativesoul

    Evidence?

    Not much more I can do here. The astute reader will be served.creativesoul

    Oh, they've been served by you, don't you worry, but not for the reasons you think.
  • Bartricks
    1.4k
    Don’t get me wrong - your argument appears to make sense from a logical perspective.Possibility

    That's the only one that matters. Everything else is ego and posturing.
  • Possibility
    787
    That's the only one that matters. Everything else is ego and posturing.Bartricks

    Well then, I’ll leave you to your delusions...
  • Wittgenstein
    207
    One of the simplest yet conclusive definition of truth comes from Tarski.

    This statement is true if and only if it is true

    Based on this definition, we can tell the truth conditions for all statements that involve existential quantifier, universal quantifier and all other logical operators including negation. We can extend this system to natural languages too.

    The controversial matter is whether the definition involves truth correspondence theory or not.
  • Bartricks
    1.4k
    er no, you'll be leaving me for your delusions. Remember, I think we find out about the nature of things by listening to Reason, whereas you listen to yourself.
  • Possibility
    787
    You really haven’t taken notice of anything I’ve said, have you?

    I guess some people can’t be helped...
  • ovdtogt
    465
    I think this forum would benefit from a 2 sentence maximum rule.
  • Possibility
    787
    I think this forum would benefit from a 2 sentence maximum rule.ovdtogt

    That would count me out - I’m rarely brief.
  • ovdtogt
    465
    I am simple person. Can't think beyond a single concept.
  • Possibility
    787
    I’ll keep that in mind - my reply to your recent OP would have been an overkill, then. :grimace:
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