• InPitzotl
    125
    Not if there is no other way to justify it.Samuel Lacrampe
    So, let me clarify. You're going with: "'X is self evident because it begs the question' does not beg the question if I cannot justify X"?
    A claim is self-evident if (1) it cannot be evidenced (i.e. justified) by anything else, and (2) if everyone believes it to be true by defaultSamuel Lacrampe
    (1) is a red herring; not being evidenced in no way suggests self-evident. (2) is an appeal to popularity.
    Now can you think of a way to justify the PoSR without begging the question?Samuel Lacrampe
    Me? Absolutely! It would go something like this. QM is well evidenced. A popular theory that grants indeterminism, on analysis, really only becomes indeterministic per application of the BR. But said application is strange. When Schrodinger has his cat in a box, per this story, we're supposed to use a particular rule to describe the box contents... the cat is in superposition. But when Schrodinger opens the box, we use a different rule... the box's wavefunction collapsed. That seems wrong... introduce Everett. Let's say we put Schrodinger and his cat-box in a bigger box now, shut the lid, and have Everett describe this system. How is he supposed to describe it? According to the rules he should describe it the same way Schrodinger describes the cat in the box contents... Schrodinger is in superposition. But Schrodinger, inside this box, describes the same thing differently... well, sort of. There's a portion of the wavefunction where Schrodinger describes seeing the live cat, and another where he describes seeing the dead cat, and these two are in superposition. But each of these reports a collapse of the wavefunction. So is something really collapsing? BR seems redundant and unreal; it introduced bigger issues. So let's just toss it out; instead of thinking that us "Everett's" are part of "the world", imagine we're just parts of a bigger universal wavefunction. Now SE is all that really happens; the rest is just what that wave function looks like to Schrodinger, and to Everett. Given that only the SE is real, since there's no indeterminism in the SE, the universe must be deterministic. Maybe there's a deeper principle like this, where everything happens for a reason.

    This is an example justification of PoSR. I don't think it helps you.
    So what?Samuel Lacrampe
    You're responding to the so what.
    Why should we not believe in the PoE or that 2=5, if not because it violates the law of non-contradiction?Samuel Lacrampe
    What use would that have? By contrast, embracing LNC and denying PoSR would have the use:
    (1) There are only 3 possible explanations for all events: determinism, free will, and randomness, as so:Samuel Lacrampe
    ...of modeling the randomness possibility. I've asked this as a question, now I'll rephrase this. You should be interested in all of the possible ways you can be wrong. It is suspicious for you to propose to be interested in truth but not be interested in such things.
    This is not how I interpret sufficiency. E.g. Observing that a floor can support a 10 kg weight is sufficient to conclude that it can support 10 kg or less; but it could also support more. But maybe you can give me an example of what you mean by [sufficiency?]?Samuel Lacrampe
    That's not a problem but it doesn't help you. A floor that can support 20kg ipso facto can support 10kg; these two things are not alternates, they are counterfactuals. Note that both can be true for the same floor at the same time, regardless of whether there's a 20kg weight on it, a 10kg weight on it, or neither. But a man who poaches an egg cannot scramble that egg and vice versa. So if this man does poach an egg, but "could have" scrambled it, it's not true that the egg was scrambled. Those are alternates. If that man's free will does lead to poaching the egg, but could have led to scrambling it, then we can't say the man's free will is sufficient to poach the egg. (Unless you want free will possibilities that are counterfactual; but such being consistent with determinism, that implies compatibilist free will, which stops dead steps before your soul conclusoin).

    From implication, if P=>Q, then P is sufficient for Q. That means that if P holds, Q absolutely must hold. So P is sufficient for Q. By contrast, Q is not sufficient for P (though we can say it's necessary; if Q doesn't hold, P cannot hold). To use your example with counterfactuals, if the floor can hold 10kg then it can hold 5kg. If it cannot hold 10kg, it cannot hold 20kg. So for it to be able to hold 20kg, it has to be able to hold 10kg; but it still can be true that it can hold 10kg and not hold 20kg. So the fact that it can hold 10kg is necessary for the fact that it can hold 20kg to be true (same reason as in implication; were it not to support 10kg, it cannot support 20kg), but is not sufficient (same reason as in implication; that it can hold 10kg does not imply that it can hold 20kg). Again, back to alternates, if a man's free will is a sufficient cause for the egg to be poached, that egg will get poached; it's impossible for it to be scrambled, because "free will is sufficient" is like saying "free will => egg is poached". And if that's the case, the egg cannot be scrambled, which conflicts with the possibility of the alternate.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    861
    So, let me clarify. You're going with: "'X is self evident because it begs the question' does not beg the question if I cannot justify X"?InPitzotl
    I don't understand your statement; can you rephrase it another way? Otherwise if it helps, begging the question to defend a claim does not entail that the claim is false. It actually means the claim is not a self-contradiction, which is a good thing.

    (1) is a red herring; not being evidenced in no way suggests self-evident. (2) is an appeal to popularity.InPitzotl
    (1) The term "self-evident" literally means "evidenced by itself". You don't see it? Similar to how the term "Triangle" has the words "tri" (three) and "angle" in it.
    (2) When a claim cannot be evidenced any other way, then the appeal to popularity is sufficient to tip the scale in its favour. We could also use a reductio ad absurdum too instead.

    Me? Absolutely! [...]InPitzotl
    Your lengthy paragraph seems to be an attempt at giving an adequate reason to justify the PoSR. Now if that reason is inadequate, then it fails to justify the claim; and if it is adequate (or in other words sufficient), then it presupposes the PoSR, that is, it begs the question.

    What use would that have?InPitzotl
    To claim that the alternative to the LNC has no use that you see, does not prove the LNC to be true.

    You should be interested in all of the possible ways you can be wrong.InPitzotl
    I am. You just haven't shown how I was wrong yet, since we are still arguing about the PoSR. Of course, I trust your comment applies to you too.

    So if this man does poach an egg, but "could have" scrambled it, it's not true that the egg was scrambled.InPitzotl
    Sure; but so what? Free will means that before the choice is made, there are numerous possibilities, like poaching and scrambling. As you wrote, before choosing to poach an egg, the man "could have" scrambled it.
  • InPitzotl
    125
    I don't understand your statement; can you rephrase it another way?Samuel Lacrampe
    Follow the quotes back.
    The term "self-evident" literally means "evidenced by itself".Samuel Lacrampe
    Self evident means something that does not need to be demonstrated.
    You don't see it?Samuel Lacrampe
    I see a perfectly rational way to deny PoSR.
    When a claim cannot be evidenced any other way, then the appeal to popularity is sufficient to tip the scale in its favour.Samuel Lacrampe
    While I can appreciate the meta-ness of argumentum ad populum defenses of argumentum ad populum, it does nothing for me. The popular opinion was wrong in the past... there's no reason to believe it has any unique access to truth. "If a million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing." Ambrose Bierce.
    Your lengthy paragraph seems to be an attempt at giving an adequate reason to justify the PoSR.Samuel Lacrampe
    Who said anything about adequate, except for you just now?
    Now if that reason is inadequate, then it fails to justify the claim
    I'm perfectly okay with that. So it's inadequate. But it's a justification.

    I apparently have to remind you again; I have no particular opinions on PoSR, except that you're flat wrong about it not needing justification.

    Might I remind you... justification does not entail truth. Justifications aren't proof; they're just good reasons to think something is true.
    To claim that the alternative to the LNC has no use that you see, does not prove the LNC to be true.Samuel Lacrampe
    But you're the one bringing up proving that LNC is true, not me. For me, it's enough that it's useful. Paraconsistent logics may also be useful. A system with PoE isn't "bad" because it lacks LNC; it's "bad" because everything is both true and false, which suggests that truth and falsity have no meaning. That's good enough for me; if it's not good enough for you, fine. Demonstrate a (non-vacuous) use for a system with PoE in play.
    I am. You just haven't shown how I was wrong yet,Samuel Lacrampe
    But you're not. You just changed "possibly wrong" to "shown how I was wrong". Those are entirely different things.
    Of course, I trust your comment applies to you too.Samuel Lacrampe
    Ways you have established that I can be wrong, so far:
    (a) Denying PoSR is not logically consistent (with a system in which you presume PoSR)
    (b) You personally believe PoSR is a law of logic
    (c) If we assume PoSR and someone else doesn't, they made an error
    (d) PoSR is self-evident because asking for a justification for it begs the question
    Regarding (a), that's not compelling because it begs the question. (b) is testimonial. (c) presumes personal inerrancy. (d) one need not appeal to PoSR to justify it, and even if one did that does not suggest it needs no justification. Also, it's possible PoSR is wrong (in the case of random mechanics), therefore, it's not necessarily true that it's correct. Since it's not necessarily true, that it holds requires justification. IOW, all of your claims of PoSR being self evident are trivially refuted by the mere possibility of considering random mechanics.
    Free will means that before the choice is made, there are numerous possibilitiesSamuel Lacrampe
    Free will being a sufficient reason for any of those possibilities means that's the only possibility. Go back to randomness... if a collapsing wave function (CWF) causes the photon to go left, as a result of Born Rule application which specifies a 50% probability of doing so, it still factually goes left. I might incorrectly say, if it goes left, then the CWF was a sufficient reason for it to go left; but if it goes right, then the CWF was a sufficient reason for it to go right. That would be incorrect because it would be a redefinition of sufficiency to the degree that it becomes meaningless. But under such redefinitions, randomness would follow PoSR. See how that works?

    Again, it's really, really simple. It boils down to a single question... how many things can your free will decision possibly result in? If you say one, it's a sufficient reason for that thing, but you can't prove we have a soul. If you say more than one, it's not a sufficient reason for whatever happens, and you can't say it follows PoSR. That should be enough, but I understand why it's not. It's inconvenient for you.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    861
    Self evident means something that does not need to be demonstrated.InPitzotl
    But everything needs to be demonstrated ... as per that one principle called PoSR :joke:.
    But if you are serious with that claim, then how do we determine what needs and does not need to be demonstrated?

    So it's inadequate. But it's a justification.InPitzotl
    A justification is defined as "showing a claim to be right" (source). So it cannot be inadequate.

    "If a million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing." Ambrose Bierce.InPitzotl
    True, but I see no better way to pick one first principle (or axiom) vs its opposite. E.g. some people may not believe in the LNC, and be very consistent in their beliefs (ie they contradict themselves), and I see no way to refute them other than to show it's a very unpopular belief.

    I have no particular opinions on PoSR, except that you're flat wrong about it not needing justification.InPitzotl
    I have provided a justification for the PoSR, namely, that it is a self-evident principle.
    Also, you are appealing to the PoSR for demanding a reason to justify it. From this link, "The principle of sufficient reason states that everything must have a reason or a cause."

    But you're the one bringing up proving that LNC is true, not me. For me, it's enough that it's useful.InPitzotl
    Recall that you denied that "the LNC is self-evident because it cannot be evidenced by anything else", by attempting to justify it in another way. Since this has not been accomplished, my position on the matter stands, namely that the LNC is self-evident, in a similar manner as it is for the PoSR.

    (d) one need not appeal to PoSR to justify it.InPitzotl
    You may give it a try. Just remember that "The principle of sufficient reason states that everything must have a reason or a cause", and to justify is to give a good reason.

    IOW, all of your claims of PoSR being self evident are trivially refuted by the mere possibility of considering random mechanics.InPitzotl
    What is this random mechanics, and what's your justification to claim it exists?

    Again, it's really, really simple. It boils down to a single question... how many things can your free will decision possibly result in? If you say one, it's a sufficient reason for that thing, but you can't prove we have a soul. If you say more than one, it's not a sufficient reason for whatever happens, and you can't say it follows PoSR.InPitzotl
    As per underlined, why is that the case? I suspect you have a wrong grasp of the term "sufficiency". Just because A is sufficient to cause B, it does not follow that A will necessarily cause B every time.
  • InPitzotl
    125
    But if you are serious with that claimSamuel Lacrampe
    No, that was a correction, not a claim. I responded to your definition of self-evident, which was based on armchair lexicography (some misguided "definition-by-literal" theory you invented), with the accepted definition. By the way, atom literally means indivisible; awful literally means full of awe; pompous literally means having magnificence.
    A justification is defined as "showing a claim to be right" (source). So it cannot be inadequate.Samuel Lacrampe
    At least you're using a dictionary now, but you're over-interpreting "show". Also a dictionary isn't a great source for this (dictionaries document how words are commonly used; we're discussing terms in philosophy, which isn't a lay subject... though I could defend my definition this way anyway). What you need is a philosophy based reference that discusses this particular usage, like IEP:
    Further still, true belief may not even be necessary for justification. If I understand Newtonian physics, and if Newton’s arguments seem right to me, and if all contemporary physicists testify that Newtonian physics is true, it is plausible to think that my belief that it is true is justified, even if Einstein will eventually show that Newton and I are wrong. We can imagine this was the situation of many physicists in the late 1700s. — Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    True, but I see no better way to pick one first principle (or axiom) vs its opposite.Samuel Lacrampe
    No method is better than a bad one.
    E.g. some people may not believe in the LNC, and be very consistent in their beliefs (ie they contradict themselves), and I see no way to refute them other than to show it's a very unpopular belief.Samuel Lacrampe
    Might I suggest it more rational to give up your view that winning debates is a metric of truth than it is to embrace logical fallacies as a method of winning debates?
    Recall that you denied that "the LNC is self-evident because it cannot be evidenced by anything else", by attempting to justify it in another way.Samuel Lacrampe
    I don't recall that because it never happened. First off, begging the question isn't wrong on the condition that I provide an alternative ("by attempting"...); it's wrong on the face of it. To say "LNC is self evident because it cannot be evidenced by anything else" is to say "X is self evident when X cannot be evidenced by anything else", and if that were true for X=LNC, it would have to be true for X=an invisible massless cow is eating invisible massless grass in the middle of the sun. Second, I didn't justify the LNC being "true"; in fact, I explicitly pointed out a case where it wasn't "true" (paraconsistent logic). Third, it's not my rule that I should be able to prove things are self-evident; it's your rule. My rule is simply that things aren't self evident just because you wish them up to be by committing logical fallacies out of desperation to win arguments against hypothetical deniers. But I do have an applicable rule; one I've mentioned before. Any referential claim (by which I mean something about the properties of or behaviors of an object to which you refer) requires justification (i.e., the don't-tell-God-what-to-do principle). PoSR falls into this camp.
    Since this has not been accomplished, my position on the matter stands, namely that the LNC is self-evident, in a similar manner as it is for the PoSR.Samuel Lacrampe
    By that criteria, both LNC and PoSR are not self-evident, because you commit three logical fallacies when debating a hypothetical denier of both. Your logical fallacies are invalid defenses of these things being self-evident, since they are, well, logical fallacies. So since you failed to refute the denier's position, the denier's position stands...namely, that neither LNC nor PoSR are self-evident. Not quite a checkmate, but definitely a stalemate. I mentioned this before, too; debates cannot be criteria for truth because I can easily construct conflicting irrefutable arguments. Only here, you actually provided the conflicting irrefutable argument (well, mostly; I just tweaked it slightly).
    What is this random mechanics, and what's your justification to claim it exists?Samuel Lacrampe
    That's the wrong question, with the wrong burden. Random mechanics involves a process whereby an event happens as a stochastic selection among a set of possibilities, such as by application of the Born Rule. Your claim is that PoSR is logically self-evident. Logic implies necessity. If random mechanics were possible, that would suffice to refute necessity. Random mechanics is possible. Therefore PoSR isn't necessarily true. O/c, this is insufficient to disprove PoSR; PoSR still could be true. It's just that, if it is true, it's contingently true.
    As per underlined, why is that the case?Samuel Lacrampe
    By definition of sufficiency.
    I suspect you have a wrong grasp of the term "sufficiency".Samuel Lacrampe
    Then you're wasting your words... "proof by suspicion" is not valid.
    Just because A is sufficient to cause B, it does not follow that A will necessarily cause B every time.Samuel Lacrampe
    If A can cause B, but B doesn't always happen, then in those cases where B does in fact happen, A is (maybe) a reason for B. For example, if a car swerves into my path while I'm driving, and as a result we have an accident, then the car swerving into my path is a reason for the accident. But cars swerving into my path don't necessarily cause accidents every time; I may see the car swerving and swerve to avoid it. But because it doesn't necessarily cause accidents every time, that reason is not sufficient to cause an accident. That's what you have here... A that causes B, but only sometimes. Such, given B, can be a reason for B, but cannot be a sufficient reason, because B doesn't always follow.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    861
    definition of self-evidentInPitzotl
    You are using the common use definition as opposed to the philosophical definition. Better reference is here. But this doesn't matter. Let's use the term "First Principle" or "Axiom" if it makes things clearer.

    true belief may not even be necessary for justification. If I understand Newtonian physics, and if Newton’s arguments seem right to me, and if all contemporary physicists testify that Newtonian physics is true, it is plausible to think that my belief that it is true is justified, even if Einstein will eventually show that Newton and I are wrong. We can imagine this was the situation of many physicists in the late 1700s. — Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    This does not invalidate my point that justification means "showing a claim to be right". Before Einstein, that belief was justified because Newton's demonstrations were believed to be right. Once Newton's demonstrations were no longer believed to be right after Einstein, then we would no longer have a justification for them. To loop back, you cannot have an "inadequate justification".

    No method is better than a bad one.InPitzotl
    The method is not "bad" but "weak-yet-valid". In a situation where we cannot remain agnostic, then it is more reasonable to side with the popular belief than against it. So a weak-yet-valid method is better than no method.

    Might I suggest it more rational to give up your view that winning debates is a metric of truth than it is to embrace logical fallacies as a method of winning debates?InPitzotl
    I give you an equally non-rational and rhetorical response: I suspect you deny the PoSR, and the effectiveness of debates, and the criteria for first principles because believing in the soul is an inconvenience. :halo:

    it would have to be true for X=an invisible massless cow is eating invisible massless grass in the middle of the sun.InPitzotl
    You forget that "self-evidence" (or first principle if you will) has 2 criteria. (1) cannot be evidenced by anything else, and (2) is the popular belief, or its opposite is absurd. You are missing criteria (2).

    Second, I didn't justify the LNC being "true"; in fact, I explicitly pointed out a case where it wasn't "true" (paraconsistent logic).InPitzotl
    Your argument is valid IF paraconsistent logic is true, that is, we observe that some objects behave in a way that does not follow classical logic but paraconsistent logic. Otherwise, this paraconsistent logic is merely a thought experiment.

    Third, it's not my rule that I should be able to prove things are self-evident; it's your rule.InPitzotl
    It is indeed my position, that I have defended with an argument, and it stands until the argument is refuted.

    Any referential claim (by which I mean something about the properties of or behaviors of an object to which you refer) requires justificationInPitzotl
    Is this different from the PoSR?

    By that criteria, both LNC and PoSR are not self-evident, because you commit three logical fallacies when debating a hypothetical denier of both. [...]InPitzotl
    What three logical fallacies?

    If random mechanics were possible, that would suffice to refute necessity. Random mechanics is possible. Therefore PoSR isn't necessarily true.InPitzotl
    Why do you claim random mechanics is possible?

    that would suffice to refute necessity [...] O/c, this is insufficient to disprove PoSRInPitzotl
    Do you not see yourself appealing to the PoSR every time we enquire about what is true?

    But because it doesn't necessarily cause accidents every time, that reason is not sufficient to cause an accident.InPitzotl
    Are you perhaps conflating the terms "sufficient" with "necessary"? Otherwise, what is the difference between the two terms for you?
  • InPitzotl
    125
    You are usingSamuel Lacrampe
    Nice try, but the definition I use aligns well with the definition given by your source, and poorly with your linked to "common" definition. And your definition-by-literal definition doesn't seem to fit at all.
    Let's use the term "First Principle" or "Axiom" if it makes things clearer.Samuel Lacrampe
    Not much of a difference; axioms (in philosophy) are statements presumed to be self-evident.
    This does not invalidate my point that justification means "showing a claim to be right".Samuel Lacrampe
    It invalidates this point:
    justified" means you have sound argument for why it is trueSamuel Lacrampe

    Before Einstein, that belief was justified because Newton's demonstrations were believed to be right.Samuel Lacrampe
    But Newton's equations weren't "true"; they were just close. So Newtonian physics wasn't "sound", it was just justified. But the beliefs weren't justified because the demonstrations were believed (this isn't a chicken-and-egg game); they were believed because they were justified by being demonstrated.
    Once Newton's demonstrations were no longer believed to be right after Einstein, then we would no longer have a justification for them.Samuel Lacrampe
    Einstein predicted the location of a star in the famous 1919 eclipse. Once the eclipse happened the star was observed to be in the predicted spot. That justified belief in relativity.
    To loop back, you cannot have an "inadequate justification".Samuel Lacrampe
    But that's superfluous, since all "adequate" means is enough to convince you. That one star observation was enough to convince a lot of people. Some people wanted more. To this day there's doubt that relativity is "true", since QM and GR haven't been melded together yet (and since in addition there are singularities).
    I give you anSamuel Lacrampe
    To me that looks like an argument from ridicule with a tu quoque fallacy thrown in for good measure. That's quite a great distraction from, you know, actually defending the point in question... which, here, is, how is committing three fallacies to argue that a thing is self-evident going to help in your goal to convince the LNC denier that he shouldn't deny the LNC?
    What three logical fallacies?Samuel Lacrampe
    Begging the question, appeal to personal incredulity ("I see no better way to..."), appeal to popularity.
    Is this different from the PoSR?Samuel Lacrampe
    Can you point to, or write, a philosophical paper that adequately justifies the belief that wavefunction collapse is unreal?
    You forget that "self-evidence" (or first principle if you will) has 2 criteria.Samuel Lacrampe
    No, just dealing with question begging separately. The appeal to popularity doesn't help; miasma theory, phlogiston, vitalism, spontaneous generation, all were popularly believed. We know people spread urban legends, because we have inventories of them. Cult personalities and propaganda run rampant; group think is a thing, Milgram is a thing, Dunning-Kruger is a thing, cultural differences is a thing. The only situations where popular opinion is trustworthy are those in which you have some other justification (at a minimal, the specific situations in which you have good reason to believe the populace itself is justified); in such cases, you have a valid justification other than "everybody else thinks its true". Two wrongs just make two wrongs.
    or its opposite is absurdSamuel Lacrampe
    In this "productive" debate, that tiny little phrase is actually rational. Begging the question, appeal to personal incredulity, and appeal to popularity are just as garbage as they ever were, and will always be as garbage as they always were. But reductio ad absurdum? That can actually be a valid argumentation technique. This is a glimmer of actual rationality that I welcome. Do you think you can attempt a reductio on PoSR (without meaninglessly just "opining" the absurdity)?
    Your argument is valid IF paraconsistent logic is true, that is, we observe that some objectsSamuel Lacrampe
    All humans are capable of reasoning about conflicting information without concluding that 2=5.
    It is indeed my positionSamuel Lacrampe
    If it's your position that you can prove self evident things, and it's your position that PoSR is self evident, then why all the fuss? Just prove PoSR, like I asked you to several posts before.
    Why do you claim random mechanics is possible?Samuel Lacrampe
    Because there's no inconsistency in a model including it. And since this is about reality, the most accurate authority of what reality is like is... reality itself. Instead of telling God what to do, you should just ask him what he's doing. So far, in the randomness camp, the ball could land either way... maybe it's MWI-like, maybe it's CI-with-BR-like.
    Do you not see yourself appealing to the PoSR every time we enquire about what is true?Samuel Lacrampe
    If inquiring about what is true is equivalent to appealing to the PoSR, then you should be able to drop the PoSR postulate and replace it with a simple inquiry about what is true. So, if you're serious, do that... and derive that wavefunction collapse is unreal.
    Are you perhaps conflating the terms "sufficient" with "necessary"? Otherwise, what is the difference between the two terms for you?Samuel Lacrampe
    No; and you would know that if you knew what necessary and sufficient means (i.e., you're bluffing again). But, okay, let's do this. A is sufficient for B means that if you have A, you definitely have B. A is necessary for B means that in order to have B, you have to have A. These are related but not the same; you can have mere reasons, necessary reasons, sufficient reasons, and necessary and sufficient reasons. The car swerving was a reason for the crash (but not necessary; I could have a crash by running into a telephone pole... and not sufficient; I could swerve to avoid such a car). For Pat to be a bride, it is necessary that Pat is female (but not sufficient; simply being a female doesn't make you a bride). If you ate a bowl of cereal this morning, that's sufficient to say that you had breakfast this morning (but not necessary; eating pancakes this morning would also be having breakfast this morning). For a computer to be Turing Complete, it is both necessary and sufficient that it be capable of simulating a Turing machine (a computer that cannot simulate a Turing machine is never Turing Complete; a computer that can is always Turing Complete).
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    861
    Nice try, but the definition I use aligns well with the definition given by your source, and poorly with your linked to "common" definition. And your definition-by-literal definition doesn't seem to fit at all.InPitzotl
    From the same link: "In informal speech, self-evident often merely means obvious, but the epistemological definition is more strict." And also "A logical argument for a self-evident conclusion would demonstrate only an ignorance of the purpose of persuasively arguing for the conclusion based on one or more premises that differ from it (see [...] begging the question)."

    It invalidates this point: [...]InPitzotl
    It does not. We believe a claim was justified because we believe the argument was sound. One cannot say that a claim was justified even though the argument was not sound. Hopefully that helps with your Newton objection too.

    But that's superfluous, since all "adequate" means is enough to convince you.InPitzotl
    Inadequate in this context means "no rational error"; that is, the argument cannot be refuted given the currently available set of evidence. Note that it could be refuted at a later date, once further evidence is available. This is what happened with Newton and Einstein. Note also that a flawless argument can still fail to convince some people; but that doesn't make the justification itself "inadequate".

    how is committing three fallacies to argue that a thing is self-evident going to help in your goal to convince the LNC denier that he shouldn't deny the LNC?InPitzotl
    We are definitely not on the same page; because my point is that not being able to prove the LNC is part of what makes the LNC self-evident.

    Begging the question, appeal to personal incredulity ("I see no better way to..."), appeal to popularity.InPitzotl
    Begging the question: Showing that one cannot avoid begging the question to demonstrate self-evidence is not a fallacy.
    "I see no better way ...": Do you see a better way to dismiss the opposite of a first principle like the LNC? If not, then it stands that my way is the best one available. No fallacies there either.
    Appeal to popularity: See the explanation below regarding reductio ad absurdum.

    No, just dealing with question begging separately. The appeal to popularity doesn't help; miasma theory, phlogiston, vitalism, spontaneous generation, all were popularly believed.InPitzotl
    That's the problem. Your counter-examples fail to deal with criteria (1) and (2) at the same time. Dealing with criteria (1) or (2) separately is ... insufficient. :wink:

    But reductio ad absurdum? That can actually be a valid argumentation technique.InPitzotl
    You seem to fail to realize that a reductio ad absurdum is effective only when most of the population believes the alternative claim is absurd. In other words, reductio ad absurdum and appeal to popularity are both sides of the same coin.

    Do you think you can attempt a reductio on PoSR (without meaninglessly just "opining" the absurdity)?InPitzotl
    Sure thing; although note that it is not much different than my first attempt.
    A claim is self-evident if (1) it cannot be evidenced by anything else, and (2) choosing the contradictory claim is absurd. PoSR: (1) To justify it is to provide a sufficient reason to believe in it. (2) Its contradictory (ie "not everything must have a reason or a cause") is absurd, because it invalidates the demand to justify any claims ever. E.g. the soul exists. Much shorter OP.

    All humans are capable of reasoning about conflicting information without concluding that 2=5.InPitzotl
    If that's all you mean by paraconsistent logic, then it does not conflict with classical logic, and so we are done with this topic I suppose.

    you can prove self evident thingsInPitzotl
    Correction: I can prove claims to be self-evident, not self-evident claims to be true. By definition, self-evident claims cannot be proven.

    Because there's no inconsistency in a model including it.InPitzotl
    What kind of model do you speak of? A computer model? But generating truly random numbers from computers is not possible. A model in your mind? But none of your thoughts are random or uncaused. There is a difference between the perception of randomness (ie we lack information to predict an effect) and real randomness.

    Can you point to, or write, a philosophical paper that adequately justifies the belief that wavefunction collapse is unreal?InPitzotl
    So, if you're serious, do that... and derive that wavefunction collapse is unreal.InPitzotl
    Are you saying that the wavefunction thing and the PoSR are incompatible? If so, I would just say that the wavefunction may be real, but that it has a cause, even if that cause may not be observable.

    If you ate a bowl of cereal this morning, that's sufficient to say that you had breakfast this morning (but not necessary; eating pancakes this morning would also be having breakfast this morning)InPitzotl
    I agree with you on the definitions of sufficient and necessary in logic. But I see 2 errors. First, as per the original link you sent, "This article is about the formal terminology in logic. For causal meanings of the terms, see Causality." and free will is about causality, not identity (logic). Second, if we must stretch the example to speak about cause and effect, then what causes you to eat cereals is the intent to have breakfast. So "intending to have breakfast" is the cause, and "eating cereals" is the effect. And like you said, the cause can also have the effect of "eating pancakes". So the PoSR does not remove the possibility of many options.


    Side note: the posts are getting long. Good to consider dropping a few side topics to better focus on the main ones? We'll call it a draw on the topics we drop haha.
  • InPitzotl
    125
    From the same link:Samuel Lacrampe
    Sure, that's the "common" one... "it's obvious". But also, in the common one, it simply says the epistemological definition is more strict. So my definition was: "Self evident means something that does not need to be demonstrated.". And the "philosophical" one, from the link: "a self-evident proposition is a proposition that is known to be true by understanding its meaning without proof". And your definition-from-literal:
    The term "self-evident" literally means "evidenced by itself". You don't see it?Samuel Lacrampe
    You're quibbling over some interpreted "strictness" of my definition, but mine still aligns with the philosophical one, and yours is still nowhere close.
    And alsoSamuel Lacrampe
    ...okay, but that doesn't quite fit, because far from being ignorant of begging the question, you're literally embracing it. Your source seems to treat it as a bad thing. Also, you have this theory that debates lead to truth; so there must be something you can debate me with that would convince me.
    We believe a claim was justified because we believe the argument was soundSamuel Lacrampe
    No, because we believe Newtonian mechanics was justified pre-Einstein, yet we don't believe it's sound. And belief that an argument is sound is not the same thing as an argument being sound.
    One cannot say that a claim was justified even though the argument was not sound.
    IEP did.
    Inadequate in this context means "no rational error"; that is, the argument cannot be refuted given the currently available set of evidence.Samuel Lacrampe
    Okay, let's go with that one then. In the current knowledge base of physics, best I understand, randomness cannot be refuted given the currently available set of evidence, nor can determinism be refuted given the currently available set of evidence. So neither conclusion is a rational error.
    We are definitely not on the same page; because my point is that not being able to prove the LNC is part of what makes the LNC self-evident.Samuel Lacrampe
    And that's ridiculous. Not being able to prove massless cows are eating massless grass in the center of the sun doesn't make it self evident. You can't prove something is self evident by begging the question. And you can't prove it by begging the question and appealing to popularity.
    Begging the question: Showing that one cannot avoid begging the question to demonstrate self-evidence is not a fallacy.Samuel Lacrampe
    I agree. But using the fact that something begs the question to "prove" that something is self evident is a fallacy.
    That's the problem.Samuel Lacrampe
    No, that's not the problem. The problem is that you're using logical fallacies to justify that claims are self evident, not that I'm not using enough of them.
    You seem to fail to realize that a reductio ad absurdum is effective only whenSamuel Lacrampe
    The problem isn't that I "fail to realize" this; the problem is that it's flat out wrong and you're just making it up. Since when did reductio have to do with popular opinion? Wiki gives this example of a reductio:
    There is no smallest positive rational number because, if there were, then it could be divided by two to get a smaller one.
    ...how is this even related to people's beliefs in smallest positive rationals?
    (1) it cannot be evidenced by anything else ... (2) Its contradictory (ie "not everything must have a reason or a cause") is absurd, because it invalidates the demand to justify any claims ever. E.g. the soul exists. Much shorter OP.Samuel Lacrampe
    As for (1), you're confusing justification with proof; I don't hold PoSR to be self evident; and you're trying to prove PoSR anyway. As for (2), nonsense; denial of PoSR does not require invalidating the demand to justify all claims. In fact, Quantum Indeterminism itself is even a thing because it can be justified. Real experiments show QM works. Born Inequalities provide a way to show the difference between application of BR according to QM and hidden variables. Real experiments bear BI out. Add some aesthetics, such as presumptions like that classical physics is real (by presuming that QM is just a calculation trick for example), and you get justified randomness.
    What kind of model do you speak of?Samuel Lacrampe
    A conceptual model; a Copenhagen Interpretation of QM with WFC realism. It's conceivably possible WFC is real.
    But none of your thoughts are random or uncaused.Samuel Lacrampe
    How do you know? They could be. But even if they aren't, that's irrelevant. None of my thoughts grow leaves either, but I can think of trees. And even if my thoughts are all caused and non-random, I can think of the word "random". There are thoughts like Bell Inequalities, and thoughts like "let's find out"; as agents we can interact with the world and, say, perform experiments confirming Bell's Theorem. Ask God what he's doing.
    There is a difference between the perception of randomness (ie we lack information to predict an effect) and real randomness.Samuel Lacrampe
    And?
    Are you saying that the wavefunction thing and the PoSR are incompatible?Samuel Lacrampe
    Yes; "real" WFC and PoSR are incompatible ("real" meaning a WFC theory that treats it as real rather than merely MWI or QD or something).
    If so, I would just say that the wavefunction may be real, but that it has a cause, even if that cause may not be observable.Samuel Lacrampe
    Ironic... you're right on both fronts, but in being right you demonstrate you have no idea what you're talking about. Lucky you for being right. Wavefunction realism is what MWI posits. The wavefunction evolves according to the Schrodinger Equation, and that's completely deterministic. It's also, coincidentally, not observable. But that's not where quantum indeterminism comes in. Quantum indeterminism comes in when the Born Rule applies; the Born Rule is entirely stochastic in nature. The Born Rule results in a wave function collapse (WFC). Wave function collapses take the quantum wavefunction and bring them into a classical result, when it's observed. WFC realism would posit that the collapse is real... that pieces of the wavefunction actually disappear into classical measurements. That implies quantum indeterminacy, and that is incompatible with PoSR.
    But I see 2 errors.Samuel Lacrampe
    Funny, because you didn't show any error in what you typed. You just had two comments:
    "This article is about the formal terminology in logic. For causal meanings of the terms, see Causality."Samuel Lacrampe
    ...so go to that link.

    Incidentally, remember when you said this?:
    Just because A is sufficient to cause B, it does not follow that A will necessarily cause B every time.Samuel Lacrampe
    ...well, that link phrased it thusly:
    If x is a sufficient cause of y, then the presence of x necessarily implies the subsequent occurrence of y. — Causality
    if we must stretch the example to speak about cause and effect, then what causes you to eat cereals is the intent to have breakfast.Samuel Lacrampe
    Doesn't matter. PoSR states that everything has a sufficient reason. That includes "eating breakfast", but it also includes "eating cereal for breakfast". Ignoring the latter is simply cherry picking; the rule, if it applies, applies to everything (because that's what the rule says it applies to). Besides, if we can just clump alternatives and ignore the specifics and that "counts", then PoSR doesn't rule out randomness, because Banno's photon went through "a slit".

    We'll call it a draw on the topics we drop haha.Samuel Lacrampe
    But we're playing the debate game... isn't that what you wanted? After all, isn't that how truth is demonstrated... by spinning wheels trying to convince people your points don't need justified because by committing the right two fallacies you prove it's self evident?

    If you want an alternative, we could just have a discussion about ways in which you could be wrong.
  • Chester
    321
    There's an even easier argument than the OP regarding the soul and free will.

    A physical , interlocked, universe of causation does not exist.

    The Universe exists as an Idea in a greater mind than our own, a Universe of correlation that builds reality rather than causation building reality.

    We are a sub-set of the greater mind given a degree of autonomy from it , by it. Its thoughts are the boundary of our lives so it can give us autonomy if it so wills.
  • EnPassant
    230
    Maybe there's a deeper principle like this, where everything happens for a reason.InPitzotl

    I don't think Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle undermines determinism. What humans can or can't measure don't say much. Likewise with radioactive decay. It is a function in quantum spacetime but we measure it in physical spacetime. What is 'random' in physical space time does not need to be random at its source. It is very easy to create mathematical functions that generate seemingly random results where the input is perfectly ordered*. So these are not arguments against determinism. What human beings can determine or measure does not have any bearing on whether events are truly deterministic.

    If the physical universe is deterministic and mind is non physical then mind can create a non deterministic event. Say a rock rolls down a hill. That, the determinists would argue, is purely deterministic. But if a person, with a mind, decides to put his foot out and stop the rock, that is not physical determinism. If mind/soul are non physical then non deterministic events can be possible.

    *eg. X3 modulo p where p is prime and X = 1, 2, 3...
    Here are the results for p = 43 with input 1, 2, 3...Input is regular but output is random.
    The function calculates the remainder when X3 is divided by 43

    1
    8
    27
    21
    39
    1
    42
    39
    41
    11
    41
    8
    4
    35
    21
    11
    11
    27
    22
    2
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    861
    my definition was: "Self evident means something that does not need to be demonstrated."InPitzotl
    But if a claim does not need to but can be demonstrated, then it means it could be demonstrated without begging the question, which the statement in the wiki disallows. Or leaving the wiki aside, we agreed we could also call a self-evident claim a "first principle". But we demonstrate a claim by appealing to a principle prior to that claim, which cannot exist for first principles, by definition.

    that doesn't quite fit, because far from being ignorant of begging the question, you're literally embracing it.InPitzotl
    ?? My point is the same as that of the wiki, namely that any attempt to demonstrate a self-evident claim to be true would be committing the fallacy of begging the question.

    No, because we believe Newtonian mechanics was justified pre-Einstein, yet we don't believe it's sound. And belief that an argument is sound is not the same thing as an argument being sound.InPitzotl
    It was justified. It no longer is. Similarly, we believed it was sound, we no longer do.

    In the current knowledge base of physics, best I understand, randomness cannot be refuted given the currently available set of evidence, nor can determinism be refuted given the currently available set of evidence. So neither conclusion is a rational error.InPitzotl
    But randomness and determinism are contradictory, aren't they? If so, then how can the currently available set of data lead to two contradictory conclusions?

    Not being able to prove massless cows are eating massless grass in the center of the sun doesn't make it self evident. You can't prove something is self evident by begging the question. And you can't prove it by begging the question and appealing to popularity.InPitzotl
    Why do you say the "massless cows" claim cannot be demonstrated true or false without begging the question? And why do you say the claim is popularly believed?

    But using the fact that something begs the question to "prove" that something is self evident is a fallacy.InPitzotl
    Why is that a fallacy? Also I suspect you do not understand the statement in the Wiki link, because it supports my claim.

    There is no smallest positive rational number because, if there were, then it could be divided by two to get a smaller one.
    The Wiki states the reductio ad absurdum "attempts to establish a claim by showing that the opposite scenario would lead to absurdity or contradiction." Your example is an example of contradiction, not absurdity. Admittedly, I did not know we would also call it "reductio as absurdum" in that case. Anyways, back to the self-evident criteria, I mean it to say "absurd", not "contradiction". And "absurd" means "away from common sense".

    (1), you're confusing justification with proof; I don't hold PoSR to be self evident; and you're trying to prove PoSR anyway.InPitzotl
    A proof is a justification that gives certainty. And I honestly don't understand the rest of your claim.

    Quantum Indeterminism itself is even a thing because it can be justified.InPitzotl
    You seem to appeal to the PoSR to support these theories, and then conclude that the PoSR is false. Is this not like sawing off the branch you are sitting on? I offer a better explanation that preserves the PoSR all the way through: these theories don't exclude the possibility of a non-physical cause.

    I can think of the word "random"InPitzotl
    We can imagine the literal word "random" made of letters, we cannot imagine randomness; because we have never perceived randomness, and we cannot imagine something we have not perceived, inasmuch as a blind man born blind cannot imagine a colour. At best, we can imagine "unpredictability". Similarly, it is useful to talk about "infinity" in math, but we cannot imagine it.

    If x is a sufficient cause of y, then the presence of x necessarily implies the subsequent occurrence of y. — Causality
    Interesting. I did not know that was what "sufficient cause" means. Alright.
    But... that is not what "sufficient" means in the PoSR. The PoSR states: "For every event E, if E occurs, then there is a sufficient explanation for why E occurs." This should be interpreted as "the cause has enough 'power' to produce the effect", or "an effect cannot be greater than its causes". For example, if a lightbulb is on, then there must exist a power source sufficiently large to light it up. That power source of course could also be used for other things.
  • InPitzotl
    125
    But if a claim does not need to but can be demonstrated, then it means it could be demonstrated without begging the question, which the statement in the wiki disallows.Samuel Lacrampe
    You keep treating demonstrate/justify and logical proof as the same thing. All three are different things. You demonstrate something by just doing a thing and showing that a principle is working, for that one event. You justify something by giving a good reason to believe it. You prove something logically by applying logical axioms and/or theorems.
    Or leaving the wiki aside, we agreed we could also call a self-evident claim a "first principle". But we demonstrate a claim by appealing to a principle prior to that claim, which cannot exist for first principles, by definition.Samuel Lacrampe
    We're not agreeing on what is self evident. But you're trying to prove something is self evident, and at the same time, trying to say that you cannot prove it.
    My point is the same as that of the wikiSamuel Lacrampe
    No it's not; you've confused yourself into thinking it's the same. The wiki says exactly this:
    A logical argument for a self-evident conclusion would demonstrate only an ignorance of the purpose of persuasively arguing for the conclusion based on one or more premises that differ from it (see ignoratio elenchi and begging the question).
    ...what you're not grasping is that this is a direct criticism of your attempts to logically argue for a self evident conclusion. This wiki is saying that you by doing so are demonstrating an ignorance of the purpose of persuasively arguing for the conclusion... that you're begging the question. That's supposed to be a bad thing, but you're doing it.
    It was justified. It no longer is.Samuel Lacrampe
    It was justified but it was never sound. Relativity didn't become true when Einstein proposed it; to the degree that it's "truer" than Newton, it was "truer" dating back to the Big Bang singularity.
    Why is that a fallacy? Also I suspect you do not understand the statement in the Wiki link, because it supports my claim.Samuel Lacrampe
    No, you suspect I don't understand the Wiki link because you do not understand it. See the quote above? Who is offering a logical argument that PoSR is self evident? That's not me, that's you. So who is being demonstrated ignorant of the purpose of persuasively arguing that position? If anyone that would be you, not me; I'm the attempted persuadee, you're the persuader. I'm the one doubting the PoSR is self evident. And who is begging the question by proposing that logical argument? Not me; that's you. I'm unconvinced PoSR is self evident, so I'm asking, not for a logical argument, but for a justification. Because... whose opinion is it that debates lead to truth? Not mine; that's yours.
    And "absurd" means "away from common sense".Samuel Lacrampe
    ...according to Einstein (apocryphally but believably), common sense is the set of prejudices learned by the age of 18.
    You seem to appeal to the PoSR to support these theories,Samuel Lacrampe
    How?
    and then conclude that the PoSR is false.
    Wrong; I conclude PoSR isn't necessarily true. It's just a simple modal logic exercise. Maybe instead of bluffing you should read up on modal logic.
    We can imagine the literal word "random" made of letters,Samuel Lacrampe
    It's trivially false that I cannot imagine something I don't perceive. I can imagine that there's a kidney underneath my skin somewhere; I can imagine the pipe running to my property delivering water. I can imagine uncomputable numbers, incompressible numbers, Godel numbers, and TM's that UTM's cannot decide are halting or not. I can imagine dependence and independence. You're fishing.
    Similarly, it is useful to talk about "infinity" in math, but we cannot imagine it.Samuel Lacrampe
    Unless you're prepared to argue that there are a finite number of counting numbers because PoSR, I don't think you want to go there.
    Interesting. I did not know that was what "sufficient cause" means. Alright.Samuel Lacrampe
    Sufficient has meant that since before you started your post. And I've been telling you what it means. I linked to an article even; you obviously didn't read it. Not until I spoon fed it did you agree. So what made you think you were qualified to lecture me on what sufficient means if you had no idea?
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    861
    Sufficient has meant that since before you started your post.InPitzotl
    Not in the context of the PoSR; which is what matters for this post. To confirm, in the statement about the PoSR "For every event E, if E occurs, then there is a sufficient explanation for why E occurs", "sufficient" means that the effect cannot be greater than its causes. And it is in that sense that I use the term "sufficient" for this post.

    I'm the one doubing the PoSR is self evident.InPitzotl
    I'll try one more time, but I'm running out of ways to explain the same thing. To demonstrate that a claim is self-evident is not the same as to demonstrate that a self-evident claim is true. The latter is a fallacy; the former is not. My aim is to show that the PoSR is self-evident, not that it is necessarily true.

    Replace PoSR with LNC in your above statement, and similarly, I could show the LNC is self-evident, but not necessarily true. A denier of the LNC cannot be persuaded to be wrong with arguments that presuppose the LNC. As it is with the LNC, so it is with the PoSR.

    It was justified but it was never sound.[...]InPitzotl
    Sounds like we are in agreement here. Let's close this topic.

    How [am I appealing to the PoSR]?InPitzotl
    By saying that "Quantum Indeterminism itself is even a thing because it can be justified", it is appealing to the PoSR in the form of "For every proposition P, if P is true, then there is a sufficient explanation for why P is true." So QI theory is believed to be true because there is a sufficient explanation in support of it. Likewise, if there was not a sufficient explanation in support of it, then QI would not be believed to be true.

    It's trivially false that I cannot imagine something I don't perceive.InPitzotl
    That's not quite what I meant, but that's okay because I have changed my mind on this. We can after all imagine an event without imagining a cause for that event. That's fine; it just means that the PoSR is not derived from logical necessity (which is what we'd expect from a self-evident principle).

    Wrong; I conclude PoSR isn't necessarily true. [...]InPitzotl
    It is indeed not "necessarily true" in the sense that it is not derived from logical necessity, as per above, but I clam it is nevertheless true for all cases, similar to how logic cannot itself be derived from logical necessity, and yet is believed to be true for all cases.
  • Gregory
    983
    Thomas Aquinas was already talking about this back then (but I cannot find the source of this anymore).Samuel Lacrampe

    it's everywhere in his writings on the soul
  • InPitzotl
    125
    Not in the context of the PoSRSamuel Lacrampe
    That sounds like special pleading to me. But, okay.
    "sufficient" means that the effect cannot be greater than its causes.Samuel Lacrampe
    And what does greater mean? Surely snowflakes can cause avalanches, and hurricanes can result from a butterfly flapping its wings. Is a rock greater than a stick? Is elasticity greater than magnetism? Are you just saying that if something requires x amount of energy then you need at least x amount of energy? Greater has to actually mean something you can use if you're going to define PoSR this way, and if it does, I'd like to know what that meaning is.

    But whatever greater means, that has to be the thing you use to rule out Born Rule application of wave function collapse, because that's precisely what you're ruling out when you rule out the randomness Banno was talking about. (But even this would not be too convincing, because even if you ruled this out, the theory Banno described would do perfectly well as a physical theory... it just wouldn't apply to our world).
    My aim is to show that the PoSR is self-evident, not that it is necessarily true.Samuel Lacrampe
    Okay, I'll attack this differently too... let's start here. Do you mean that PoSR is "obvious" (the common definition)? Because it's not so obvious to me. Or do you mean that PoSR "is known to be true without justification"? Because that would entail that I know it to be true, and I can find reasonable doubt of it being true (WFC realism). Because I can reasonably doubt it, you have to justify it to me. That's what this stuff really means. And what you're really trying to do is futile on top of futile... you're trying to prove to me that you don't have to justify PoSR to me.

    Well, what about my reasonable doubt... the possibility that WFC is real?
    By saying that "Quantum Indeterminism itself is even a thing because it can be justified", it is appealing to the PoSR in the form of "For every proposition P, if P is true, then there is a sufficient explanation for why P is true."Samuel Lacrampe
    It's not even related to the that claim; it's appealing only to the fact that a belief is justified if there's justification for it, which is kind of tautological. In fact, "For every proposition P, if P is true, then there is a sufficient explanation for why P is true" is not even true! If your version of PoSR entails that it is, then I straight out disbelieve it; Godel's First Incompleteness Theorem's much better justified.
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