• Philosophim
    1.2k
    Good discussion Bob, lets see if we can come to common ground here.

    First off, potentiality is an abstract consideration. You seemed to be trying to apply potentiality distinctively and applicably (and finding issues with it): abstract considerations are always applications to reality. I don't think that "application to reality" is limited to empirical verifications: abstract considerations are perfectly reasonable (I think)Bob Ross

    I think the notion of something abstract is it is a concept of the mind. Math is abstract thinking, and we discussed earlier how "1" represents "an identity". We really can't apply an abstract to reality without greater specifics. I need to apply 1 brick, or 1 stone. The idea of applying 1 is simply discretely experiencing a one.

    Anything that "isn't contradicted in the abstract" (assuming it isn't directly experienced as the contrary) is something that got applied to reality without contradiction. I might just be misremembering what "distinctive knowledge" is, but I am thinking of the differentiation within my head (my thoughts which haven't been applied yet to see if the contents hold). If that is the case, then potentiality can never be distinctive knowledge, it is the application of that distinctive knowledge in the abstract.Bob Ross

    I am not sure what you mean by applying distinctive knowledge in the abstract. All this seems to be doing is sorting out the different ideas within my head to be consistent with what I know. Math again is the perfect example. I know that 1 + 1 make 2. Could I add another 1 to that 2 and get 3? Yes. But when its time to apply that to reality, what specifically is the 1, the 1, and the 2?

    I've realized that, although your epistemology is great so far, it doesn't really address the bulk of what epistemologies address. This is because your epistemology, thus far, has addressed some glasses of water (possibility, probability, and irrational inductions), but yet simply defined the whole ocean as "plausibility". Even with a separation of "inapplicable" and "applicable", I find that this still doesn't address a vast majority of "knowledge".Bob Ross

    Plausibilities are not deductions though. They are inductions. And inductions, are not knowledge. Now can we further study inductions now that we have a basis of knowledge to work with, and possibly refine and come up with new outlooks? Sure! You have to realize, that without a solid foundation of what knowledge is, the study and breakdown of inductions has been largely a failure. I wouldn't say that not yet going into a deep dive of a particular induction is a weakness of the epistemology, it just hasn't gotten there yet.

    Now, let's dive into your example you gave about the coins:

    "Smith thinks Jones potentially has 5 coins in his pocket, but we the audience knows, that he does not (thus this is not an applicable potential).
    Bob Ross

    But at a deeper level, imagine Smith has never experienced 5 coins in a pocket, but he's experienced coins before. Therefore, Smith cannot claim that it is "possible" for there to be 5 coins in Jones' pocket.Bob Ross

    Correct. And I see nothing wrong with that. Once he slides the coins into a pocket, then he'll know its possible for 5 coins to fit in a pocket of that size.

    He can claim "it is potentially the case that Jones' has 5 coins in his pocket".Bob Ross

    Again, I'm not seeing how we need the word potential when stating, "Smith speculates that Jones has 5 coins in his pocket."

    But this can get weirder. Imagine Smith has experienced 5 coins in his own pocket, but not 5 coins in Jones' pocket: then he hasn't experienced it before. Therefore, it is still not a possibility, it just has the potential to occur.Bob Ross

    We have to clarify the claim a bit. Does Smith know that Jones' pocket is the correct size to fit five coins? Further, Smith knows it is possible if Jones' pocket is that big that 5 coins could fit into that pocket. But as to whether there are five coins in there at this time? Smith has never seen Jones put the five coins in his pocket. Its plausible, not possible.

    So Smith can know that its possible five coins can fit into a pocket of X size.
    What is it Smith is saying is possible vs his speculation?
    Is he saying he knows Jones' pocket is big enough to where it is possible to fit 5 coins? Is he speculating that there are 5 coins in Jones' pocket right now, even though there is no evidence? Is he trying to claim it is possible that Jones' slipped five coins into his pocket earlier when Smith wasn't looking?

    Again, the term possible vs. speculation/plausible all results in the specific claims of what are being stated. I see nothing wrong with noting very clear states of Smith's limited knowledge and inductions.

    If we allow Smith to decide what a context is, then it seems as though the epistemology is simply telling him to do whatever he wants (as long as he doesn't contradict himself).Bob Ross

    The epistemology is not telling Smith to do what he wants. The epistemology recognizes the reality that Smith can do whatever he wants. Of course if Smith does whatever he wants, he'll likely end up doing the wrong thing, and we can give a host of reasons to Smith to use certain contexts over others.

    Imagine Smith has experienced 5 coins in Jones' pocket yesterday, but he hasn't today. Well, if the context revolves around time, then Smith still can't claim it is possible.Bob Ross

    Correct. What you're running into is what happens if you consider every context that a person could be in. The problem isn't the reality that anyone can choose any context they want. The problem is that certain contexts aren't very helpful. Thus I think the problem is demonstrating how certain contexts aren't very useful.

    Also, I would like to point out, it wouldn't really make sense for Smith, although it is a speculation, to just merely answer the question with "I speculate he has 5 coins in his pocket", because Smith isn't necessarily claiming that Jones does have 5 coins, he is merely assessing the potentiality. Again, at a bare minimum, he would have to had experienced 5 coins in Jones' pocket before in order to claim it is possible.Bob Ross

    If Smith isn't claiming that Jones has 5 coins in his pocket, then he's speculating Jones could, or could not have 5 coins in his pocket. And if Smith had experienced that Jones had 5 coins in his pocket at least once, depending on the context, Smith could say it was possible that Jones had 5 coins, or did not have 5 coins in his pocket.

    Most of the time we don't have that kind of oddly specific knowledge, therefore potentiality was born: it is a less strong form of possibility.Bob Ross

    Once again, this is describing speculation/plausibility. I'm still not seeing "potentiality" used any differently.

    To sum it up, I think we need to clearly and concisely define "context", "possibility", "impossibility", and "potentiality". If I can make up whatever I want for "context", I could be so literally specific that there is no such thing as a repetitive context, or I could be so ambiguous that everything is possible. Then we are relying on "meaningfulness", or some other principle not described in your epistemology, to deter them from this. If so, then why not include it clearly in the epistemology?Bob Ross

    No disagreement in formulating what contexts would be useful, and not be useful to individuals and societies. The purpose of the original paper was simply to establish how knowledge worked. Now that we have this, we can definitely refine it. Since you have your own ideas on proposals for contexts that work, lets start with that.

    Which leads me to my next question: when you say "unable to apply", what do you mean?Bob Ross

    When you think of something in your head that you distinctively know is not able to be applied. For example, if I invent a unicorn that is not a material being. The definition has been formulated in such a manner that it can never be applied, because we can never interact with it.

    For example, let us say that a man uses a stick and shadows to determine the Earth is round, and calculate the approximate circumference. The only way to applicably know, is to travel the world and measure your journey.

    I disagree.
    Bob Ross

    In your opinion you do, but can you disagree in application? Based purely on this experiment, its plausible that the Earth is round, and its plausible that the distance calculated is the size of the Earth. The actual reality of the diameter of the Earth must be measured to applicably know it. You have to applicably show how the experiment shows the Earth is round and that exact size. The experiment was close, but it was not the actual size of the Earth once it was measured.

    I think one of the issues you might have with speculations, is that they are less cogent than the other inductions. That does not make them useless, or irrational. Recall that it is a hierarchy of induction. In the case of measuring the Earth with the experiment, at that that time, that was all they had to work with. While it was a speculation, it was the most reasonable induction that a person could work with at the time.

    Perhaps one issue you have with the epistemology, is it puts humans into situations where they are powerless to know. That is an uncomfortable reality, but one that I cannot mitigate if I am to be consistent. We like to imagine we have a reasonable assessment of reality, and that we are reasonable people. We really aren't unless we train to be. Even then, there are limits.

    However, I do have my worries, like you, about even calling them "speculations": a lot of enormously backed scientific theories would be a "credible speculative potential", which seems to undermine it quite significantly.Bob Ross

    It only undermines them if there are other alternatives in the hierarchy. If for example a scientific experiment speculates something that is not possible, it is more rational to continue to hold what is possible. That doesn't mean you can't explore the speculation to see if it does revoke what is currently known to be possible. It just means until you've seen the speculation through to its end, holding to the inductions of what is possible is more rational.

    I believe irrational inductions should remain a contradiction with what is applicably known

    I disagree, if what you mean by "application" is empirical evidence. I am claiming potentiality is applicably known (always). I can applicably know, in the abstract, that a logically unobtainable idea is irrational to hold. For example, take an undetectable unicorn:
    Bob Ross

    No, you can distinctively know that a logically unobtainable idea is irrational to hold. A logic puzzle must be reasoned before it can be distinctively known. Only applying the rules in a logical manner gets you a result. While we could invent a result in our heads to be anything, it fails when the rules of the logic puzzle are applied. Perhaps we're missing an identity, and this is where abstraction comes in. You'll recall that context was defined both distinctively, and applicably. Distinctive contexts could be called abstractions. To have distinctive knowledge, one must hold ideas that are non-contradictory within a particular context. Logic, is a context. So within the abstraction (distinctive context) of logic, we can conclude a correct and incorrect solution to a puzzle.

    For a color blind person, I think they will be more than happy to accept that what is objective for them, isn't objective for other people.Bob Ross

    On the notion of objective, a color blind person would hold it to be objective would also be consistent within another color blind person. The subjective difference would be seeing the world color blind, versus with color. This is applicable context. What one can applicably know is based off of what one is applicably capable of. Applicable context can be subjective, or by a group of people. While I agree we cannot define "objective" as "true", I think it needs to remain in the realm of "Remaining uncontradicted by most contexts".

    For me, "rationality" is a inter-subjectively defined concept. Therefore, we are not all rational beings (like Kant thought), but we are all reasoning beings. My goal, in terms of epistemology, is to attempt to make the arguments based off of reasoning, so as to make it virtually impossible for someone to deny it (if they have the capacity to understand the arguments). I agree that people don't have to be rational, but they are "reasonable" (just meaning "reasoning").Bob Ross

    Can I clarify that I agree, but people have the capacity to reason with varying levels? Some people aren't very good at reasoning. Some people can reason, but follow emotions or whims more. The epistemology I've presented here is formed with reason. It can convince a person who uses reason. But it cannot convince a person who does not want to reason, or is swayed by emotion. All I am stating is you can't force a person to use reason, or be persuaded by reason if they don't want to be. I think on this you and I might agree.

    Another good round of conversation! I will try to respond again this Saturday morning, but I will be gone for the rest of the weekend after.
  • Bob Ross
    98
    Hello @Philosophim,

    I think the notion of something abstract is it is a concept of the mind. Math is abstract thinking, and we discussed earlier how "1" represents "an identity". We really can't apply an abstract to reality without greater specifics. I need to apply 1 brick, or 1 stone. The idea of applying 1 is simply discretely experiencing a one.

    I am not sure what you mean by applying distinctive knowledge in the abstract. All this seems to be doing is sorting out the different ideas within my head to be consistent with what I know. Math again is the perfect example. I know that 1 + 1 make 2. Could I add another 1 to that 2 and get 3? Yes. But when its time to apply that to reality, what specifically is the 1, the 1, and the 2?

    So I think I have identified our fundamental difference: you seem to be only allowing what is empirically known to be what can be "known", whereas I am allowing for knowledge that can, along with what is empirical, arise from the mind. I think that the flaw in taking your approach here, assuming I have accurately depicted your position, is that certain aspects of knowledge precede empirical observation. For example, try applying without contradiction (in the sense that you seem to be using it--empirically) the principle of noncontradiction. I don't think you can: it is apodictically true by means of reason alone. Likewise, try to empirically prove the principle of sufficient reason (which can be posited equally as "causation") by applying it to reality without contradiction (in the sense you are using it): I don't think you can. The principle of sufficient reason and causality are both presupposed in any empirical observation. Furthermore, try proving space empirically: I don't think you can. Space, in one unison, is proven apodictically (by means of the principle of noncontradiction) with reason alone. Moreover, try to prove time without appealing to causation, which in turn cannot be empirically proven, without appealing to reason. Maybe we are just using the term "reality" differently? I mean the totality of existence: not just the "external" world. Again, just as another example, try creating a logical system, which is utilized by everyone (whether they realize it or not) every day, without appealing strictly to reason.

    To take your example of mathematics, there are two completely separate propositions that I think you are combining into one in your example. The abstract consideration of mathematics, regardless of whether it is instantiated in the "external" world, is still known (which I think you admit just fine): this is an abstract consideration (meaning within the mind). I find your example a bit confusing as I think you are agreeing with me, but yet arguing against me. If you say that "I know that 1 + 1 make 2", that seems like you are agreeing you can know things without "applying them to reality" (as you use that term), but yet then you attempt to use a (completely valid I must say) argument for why abstract numbers don't necessary map to real quantities in the external world to prove we must apply things without contradiction to reality to "know" them. If we have a mathematical formula, we can "know" it will work in relation to the "external" world regardless of whether it actually is instantiated in it. As we have previously discussed, mathematical inductions aren't really inductions, they are true with an if condition: but that if condition doesn't mean I can't claim to know that N + M abides by certain rules regardless. This is done with reason, which is what I mean by abstract consideration.

    That leads me to what I think is our second fundamental disagreement: whether inductions are knowledge or not. Initially, I was inclined to adamantly claim it is, but upon further contemplation I actually really enjoy the idea of degrading inductions to beliefs with different credence levels (and not knowledge). However, I think there may be dangers in this kind of approach, without some means of determining something "known", in terms of inductions, vs what is merely a belief, I am not sure how practical this will be for the laymen--I can envision everyone shouting "everything is just a belief!". Likewise, it isn't just about what is more cogent, it is about what we claim to have passed a threshold to be considered "true". Although I'm not particularly fond of that, it is an obvious distinction between a rigorously tested scientific theory and any other speculation.

    Plausibilities are not deductions though. They are inductions. And inductions, are not knowledge. Now can we further study inductions now that we have a basis of knowledge to work with, and possibly refine and come up with new outlooks? Sure! You have to realize, that without a solid foundation of what knowledge is, the study and breakdown of inductions has been largely a failure. I wouldn't say that not yet going into a deep dive of a particular induction is a weakness of the epistemology, it just hasn't gotten there yet.

    This the aforementioned in mind, when I stated your epistemology hasn't quite addressed the pressing matters, I was claiming that without the full understanding that you are claiming inductions are not knowledge: therefore, your epistemology does cover what "knowledge" is holistically. However, I don't think this fully addresses the issue, as it can be posited just the same now in terms of "belief". I find myself in the same dilemma where the theory of evolution and there being a teapot floating around Jupiter are both speculations. What bothers me about this is not that they both are speculations, but, rather, that there is no distinction made between them: this is what I mean by the epistemology isn't quite addressing the most pressing matters (most people will agree that which they immediately see--even in the case that they don't even know what a deduction is--but the real disputes arise around inductions). This isn't meant as a devastating blow to your epistemology, it is just an observation that much needs to be addressed before I can confidently state that it is a functional theory (no offense meant). I think we agree on this, in terms of the underlying meaning we are both trying to convey.

    Correct. And I see nothing wrong with that. Once he slides the coins into a pocket, then he'll know its possible for 5 coins to fit in a pocket of that size.

    Although I understand what you are saying, and kind of like it, I think this is much more problematic than you are realizing. Firstly, he most likely won't know the size of Jones' pockets. Even if he did take the time to measure them, then even with the consideration that he has witnessed 5 coins in Johns' pockets for size L * W * D, he cannot claim it is possible for those 5 coins to fit in a pocket of (> L) * (> W) * (> D). He could abstractly reason that if he experienced 5 coins in a pocket of some size, that, considering mathematics in the abstract, it is possible for 5 coins to fit in a pocket that is greater than that size (assuming the pocket is empty): but he didn't experience it for the greater sized pocket. To me, it seems wrong to think that I cannot reason conditionally that, regardless of whether the pocket of greater size is instantiated in the external world, it is possible to fit 5 coins into that greater sized pocket. Likewise, if I have experienced 1 coin, know the dimensions of that coin, and know the dimensions of Johns' pocket, I can claim it is possible to fit 5 coins in Johns' pocket with the consideration of math in the abstract. The only way I can fathom countering this is to deny the universality of mathematics, which seems obviously wrong to me.

    Again, I'm not seeing how we need the word potential when stating, "Smith speculates that Jones has 5 coins in his pocket."

    Firstly, claiming "smith speculates that Jones has 5 coins in his pocket" is completely different from claiming "smith thinks it is possible for 5 coins to be in Jones' pocket". One is claiming there actually are 5 coins, whereas the other is claiming merely that 5 coins could be in his pocket. These are not the same claims. But notice that, within your terminology, Smith cannot claim it is "possible", "probable", or "irrational". Therefore, by process of elimination he is forced to use "speculation"; however, as I previously just explained, this does not represent what he is trying to claim: he is not necessarily claiming Jones' actually has 5 coins in his pocket. Likewise, stating it as "smith speculates that there could be 5 coins in Jones' pocket" is just to claim "possibility" in wordier terminology. Speculations are not just claims about "what could", as "could" is purely abstract consideration: speculations pertain to positive or negative claims with respect to what actually is (not what could be). That is why potentiality is a prerequisite to speculation: you must not be able to contradict your claim about what is in the abstract, as that would negate it, but, thereafter, you are necessarily making a claim about "reality".

    We have to clarify the claim a bit. Does Smith know that Jones' pocket is the correct size to fit five coins?

    Again, empirically speaking, he cannot claim "possibility" based off of a pure abstract consideration of sizes unless that pocket is the exact same size as that which has been experienced before.

    Is he saying he knows Jones' pocket is big enough to where it is possible to fit 5 coins?

    Again, this is only considered possible if pocket size X = Jones' pocket size, not if pocket size X > Jones' pocket size. But clearly (I think) we can still claim it is possible (just not under your terminology, therefore it has the potential).

    The epistemology is not telling Smith to do what he wants. The epistemology recognizes the reality that Smith can do whatever he wants.

    He can only do whatever he wants in so far as he doesn't contradict himself. If I can provide an argument that leads Smith realize he is holding a contradiction, then he will not be able to do it unless he uncontradicts it with some other reasoning. Therefore, if we can come up with a logical definition of "contexts", then I think we ought to. This is really the root of the problem with possibility and contexts: they are not clearly defined (as in, the subject gets to do whatever they want).

    We can somewhat resolve this if we consider "possibility", in the sense of "experiencing it once before", as "a deductively defined concept, with consideration to solely its essential properties, that has been experienced at least once before". That way, it is logically pinned to the essential properties of that concept. I may have the choice of deductively deciding concepts (terms), but I will not have as much free reign to choose what I've experienced before. To counter this would require the subject to come up with an alternative method that identifies equivalent objects in time (which cannot be logically done unless they consider the essential properties).

    Although I am not entirely certain about contexts yet, I think I have distinguished two types: mereological context and temporal context. The former is what the subject typically deciphers as contextual structures of objects, whereas the latter is the summation of time up to present. Therefore, in terms of temporal contexts, I can claim that I am in a particular context now, which is the summation of my knowledge up to the present moment, which influences my judgements. Therefrom, I can also posit the charity of considering temporal contexts in relation to people (including myself). For example, this is my justification for claiming I may contradict what was considered "true" today by new knowledge that is acquired tomorrow (and, likewise, to people who came historically before me). In terms of mereological contexts, there is an aspect of contexts that has no relation to temporal frameworks: the structures of objects. I can equally claim that what is known now in terms of an object in relation to what is immediately seen does not in any way contradict that which is supposed in terms of an underlying structure of that thing now (i.e. it can be a table and be much less distinctly a table at the atomic level). In summary, I can claim that contradictions do not arise in terms of time as well as structural levels. These are the only two aspects of contexts and, therefore, as of now, this is what I consider "context" to be. It is important to emphasize that I am not just merely trying to advocate for my own interpretation of "context": I am trying to derive that which can not be contradicted in terms of "context"--that which all subjects would be obliged to (in terms of underlying meaning, of course they could semantically refurbish it).

    The problem isn't the reality that anyone can choose any context they want.

    I think they can do whatever they want as long as they are not aware of a contradiction. Therefore, if I propose "context" as relating to temporal and mereological contexts, then they either are obliged to it or must be able to contradict my notion. My goal is to make it incredibly hard, assuming they grasp the argument, to deny it (if not impossible). Obviously they could simply not grasp it properly, but that doesn't negate the strength of the argument itself.

    The problem is that certain contexts aren't very helpful. Thus I think the problem is demonstrating how certain contexts aren't very useful.

    I agree: but what in the epistemology explicates "usefulness"?

    If Smith isn't claiming that Jones has 5 coins in his pocket, then he's speculating Jones could, or could not have 5 coins in his pocket.

    To say "speculate could" is to say it is "possible" in the colloquial sense of the term. Therefore, if we are using it that way, you have only semantically eradicated the ambiguity from "possibility". Otherwise, speculation cannot refer to "could", but what is.

    The purpose of the original paper was simply to establish how knowledge worked.

    Again, since you are defining "knowledge" strictly in the deductive sense (which I partly think is correct), then technically you have achieved your goal here. But, for the reader, I don't think it is quite accurate to say that the epistemology holistically covers all it should: we've merely semantically shifted the concern from "speculative knowledge" to "speculative beliefs".

    When you think of something in your head that you distinctively know is not able to be applied. For example, if I invent a unicorn that is not a material being. The definition has been formulated in such a manner that it can never be applied, because we can never interact with it.

    But you can apply the fact that you distinctively know that it cannot be applied without ever empirically applying it (nor could you). So you aren't wrong here, but that's not holistically what I mean by "apply to reality".

    In your opinion you do, but can you disagree in application? Based purely on this experiment, its plausible that the Earth is round, and its plausible that the distance calculated is the size of the Earth. The actual reality of the diameter of the Earth must be measured to applicably know it. You have to applicably show how the experiment shows the Earth is round and that exact size. The experiment was close, but it was not the actual size of the Earth once it was measured.

    I think you are conflated two completely separate claims: the spherical nature of the earth and the size of the earth. The stick and shadow experiment does not prove the size of the earth, it proves the spherical shape of the earth. You do not need to travel the whole planet to know the earth is a spherical shape: the fact that sticks of the same length can throw different shadows contradicts the notion that the earth is flat. It cannot be the case that the earth is flat given that.

    It only undermines them if there are other alternatives in the hierarchy. If for example a scientific experiment speculates something that is not possible, it is more rational to continue to hold what is possible. That doesn't mean you can't explore the speculation to see if it does revoke what is currently known to be possible. It just means until you've seen the speculation through to its end, holding to the inductions of what is possible is more rational.

    I sort of agree, but am hesitant to say the least. Scientific theories are not simply that which is the most cogent, it is that which has been vigorously tested and thereby passed a certain threshold to be considered "true". I think there is a difference (a vital one).

    No, you can distinctively know that a logically unobtainable idea is irrational to hold. A logic puzzle must be reasoned before it can be distinctively known. Only applying the rules in a logical manner gets you a result.

    I disagree. You do not need to empirically apply rules in a logical manner to get a result. I obtain knowledge that never leaves my head: principle of noncontradiction, principle of sufficient reason, consideration of mathematics, space, time, causality, logical systems (such as classical logic), etc. What I think you are referring to is claims about what actually is vs what actually can be: both are obtained knowledge. Likewise, not all is claims are proved empirically. Again, try to prove space without presupposing it in an empirical application.

    While we could invent a result in our heads to be anything

    This is not true, we are subjected to certain rules which are apodictically true for us. However, I do see your point that we don't "know" what is by what can be. Also, somethings aren't just determined to be abstractly something that "can be", we also determine things as necessary. I abstractly conclude the concept of space itself from its apodictic nature: this is not something that can be empirically tested--"tests" presuppose such.

    it fails when the rules of the logic puzzle are applied

    I agree in the sense that what is applied to the external world may end up exposing contradictions that we hadn't thought of, but this doesn't negate the fact that there is such a thing as non-empirically verified knowledge (abstractly determined knowledge).

    Can I clarify that I agree, but people have the capacity to reason with varying levels?

    I agree, but when you say:

    Some people aren't very good at reasoning.

    I don't think we are using the term in the same sense. I don't mean what is rational, which is what we define inter-subjectively as a coherent form of reasoning. I am referring to that which necessarily occurs in all subjects, lest they not be a subject anything related to me. To put it in a sentence (admittedly from Kant, although I don't holistically agree with him at all): I can believe whatever I want as long as I don't contradict myself. This is the grounding I am trying to subject epistemology to (to the best of my ability). You absolutely right that people aren't very good at rationalizing, but when I refer to reason: we all have it.

    But it cannot convince a person who does not want to reason, or is swayed by emotion.

    The ability to act on emotion first must be decided by reason. Not to say it is rational, but it is always necessarily routed in a reasoning. I agree with you though, in terms of underlying meaning, but I am trying to emphasize that, once it is realized we are all reasoning beings, there is at least something to work with: something to ground in. That's all I am trying to say. But I think we are in agreement.

    Also, no worries! Enjoy your weekend!

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Bob
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    So I think I have identified our fundamental difference: you seem to be only allowing what is empirically known to be what can be "known", whereas I am allowing for knowledge that can, along with what is empirical, arise from the mind.Bob Ross

    No, not at all! There are two types of knowledge. Applicable knowledge, and distinctive knowledge. What you have been trying to do, is state that distinctive knowledge can be applicable knowledge without the act of application. This is understandable, as "knowledge" in general use does not have this distinction. But here, it does. And in the study of epistemology, I have found it to be absolutely necessary.

    For example, try applying without contradiction (in the sense that you seem to be using it--empirically) the principle of noncontradiction. I don't think you can: it is apodictically true by means of reason alone.Bob Ross

    As an abstract, you can distinctively know the principle of non-contradiction. To apply it, you must create a specific example. For example, if I stated, this color red, is both the color red, and blue at the same time, I can test it. I look at the color, find it is red, and that it is not blue. Therefore that color right there, cannot be both red and blue at the same time.

    Distinctively, I can imagine the color red, then the color blue, and determine that the color I am envisioning in my head cannot both be the color red I am envisioning, and the color blue I am envisioning. This is known to me, as I am contradicted by my inability to do it.

    But, what if I smell a color? For example, I smell a flower whenever I envision purple in my head. I distinctively know this. However, if I point out a purple object and I don't smell flowers, then I cannot say I applicably know that the color purple in reality smells like flowers. Does this make sense? I can distinctively know that when I envision a color, I also imagine a smell. But that doesn't mean that happens if I apply that to reality.

    Furthermore, try proving space empirically: I don't think you can. Space, in one unison, is proven apodictically (by means of the principle of noncontradiction) with reason alone.Bob Ross

    No, space in application, is not proven by distinctive knowledge alone. I can imagine a whole set of rules and regulations about something called space in my head, that within this abstract context, are perfectly rational and valid. But, when I take my theory and apply it to a square inch cube of reality, I find a contradiction. I can distinctively have a theory in my head that I know, but one that I cannot apply to reality.

    The notions of space that we use in application today, such as the idea of an "inch", have all been applied to reality without contradiction. There are many distinctively known ideas of space that have not been applied. String theory, field theory, and multiverse theory are all theories of space you can distinctively know in the abstract. But they cannot be currently known in application.

    Recall that I can distinctively know 1 and 1 are two. But what is that in application? 1 what? 1 potato and 1 potato can be applicably known as two potatoes. That is the key I think you are missing.

    If we have a mathematical formula, we can "know" it will work in relation to the "external" world regardless of whether it actually is instantiated in it.Bob Ross

    What I am saying is you can distinctively know that if you have an identity of 1, and an identity of 1, that it will make an identity of two. But if you've never added two potatos before, you don't applicably know if you can. While this may seem silly, lets take it to something less silly now. I have two Hydrogen atoms and 1 Oxygen atom together. What do I mean by this in application? Are they in orbit to make a molecule of water? Are the electrons orbiting slowly to be ice? Are they simply in a certain proximity? It it just Hydrogen and Oxygen in the air together? We can imagine all of these abstractly and know in our context of logic and the rules of chemistry the answers. But when we test actual Hydrogen and oxygen, our abstract rules must be applied to applicably know the answers for those specific atoms in reality.

    I was inclined to adamantly claim it(inductions are knowledge) is, but upon further contemplation I actually really enjoy the idea of degrading inductions to beliefs with different credence levels (and not knowledge).Bob Ross

    Understandable! Yes, inductions are essentially beliefs of different credence levels.

    However, I think there may be dangers in this kind of approach, without some means of determining something "known"Bob Ross

    And that is why there must be a declaration of what can be known first. I establish distinctive and applicable knowledge, and only after those are concluded, can we use the rules learned to establish the cogency of inductions. Without distinctive and applicable knowledge first, the hierarchy of inductions has no legs to stand on.

    I am not sure how practical this will be for the laymen--I can envision everyone shouting "everything is just a belief!".Bob Ross

    The layman already misuses the idea of knowledge, and there is no rational or objective measure to counter them. But I can. I can teach a layperson. I can have a consistent and logical foundation that can be shown to be useful. People's decision to misuse or reject something simply because they can, is not an argument against the functionality and usefulness of the tool. A person can use a hammer for a screw, and that's their choice, not an argument for the ineffectiveness of a hammer as a tool for a nail!

    Likewise, it isn't just about what is more cogent, it is about what we claim to have passed a threshold to be considered "true".Bob Ross

    I want to emphasize again, the epistemology I am proposing is not saying knowledge is truth. That is very important. A common mistake people make in approaching epistemology (I have done the same) is conflating truth with knowledge. I have defined earlier what "truth" would be in this epistemology, and it is outside of being able to be applicably known. I can distinctively know it, but I cannot applicably know it.

    To note it again, distinctive and applicable truth would be the application of all possible contexts to a situation, and what would remain without contradiction after it was over. Considering one human being, or even all human beings could experience all possible contexts and apply them, it is outside of our capability. But what we can do is take as many contexts as we can, apply them to reality, and run with what hasn't been contradicted yet. While what is conclude may not be true, it is the closest we can rationally get.

    I find myself in the same dilemma where the theory of evolution and there being a teapot floating around Jupiter are both speculations. What bothers me about this is not that they both are speculations, but, rather, that there is no distinction made between them: this is what I mean by the epistemology isn't quite addressing the most pressing matters (most people will agree that which they immediately see--even in the case that they don't even know what a deduction is--but the real disputes arise around inductions). This isn't meant as a devastating blow to your epistemology, it is just an observation that much needs to be addressed before I can confidently state that it is a functional theory (no offense meant). I think we agree on this, in terms of the underlying meaning we are both trying to convey.Bob Ross

    I fully understand and respect this! I believe this is because you may not have understood or forgotten a couple of tenants.

    1. Inductions are evaluated by hierarchies.
    2. Inductions also have a chain of reasoning, and that chain also follows the hierarchy.
    3. Hierarchies can only be related to by the conclusions they reach about a subject. Comparing the inductions about two completely different subjects is useless.

    To simplify, if I have a possibility vs a plausibility when I am rationally considering what to pursue, I can conclude it is more rational to pursue what I already know is possible. That doesn't mean being rational results in asserting what is true. Inductions are, by definition, uncertainties. The conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises. Sometimes people defy what is possible, pursue what is plausible, and result in a new discovery which erases what was previously applicably known.

    Of course, when the person decided to pursue what was only seen as plausible, and against what was possible, society would quite rightly claim that the pursuit of what is plausible is not rational. Rationality is incredibly powerful. But depending on a person's context, and the limits of what they already known, it is not the only tool a person needs. Sometimes, it is important to defy and test what is rational. Sometimes, in fact, many times, we are simply in a position where we are certain that the outcome is uncertain, and must sometimes make that leap into the next second of life.

    But, making that leap without some type of guideline, would be chaos and randomness. So we can use the hierarchy and the chain of reasoning to give us some type of guide that more often than not, might result in less chaos and more order.

    So, I can first know that the hierarchy is used in one subject. For example, we take the subject of evolution. We do not compare inductions about evolution, to the inductions about Saturn. That would be like comparing our knowledge of an apple to the knowledge of a horse, and saying that the knowledge of a horse should have any impact on the knowledge of this apple we are currently eating.

    So we pick evolution. I speculate that because certain dinosaurs had a particular bone structure, had feathers, and DNA structure, that birds evolved from those dinosaurs. This is based on our previously known possibilities in how DNA evolves, and how bone structure relates to other creatures. To make this simple, this plausibility is based on other possibilities.

    I have another theory. Space aliens zapped a plants with a ray gun that evolved certain plants into birds. The problem is, this is not based on any applicable knowledge, much less possibilities. It is also a speculation, but its chain of reasoning is far less cogent than the first theory, so it is more rational to pursue the first.

    When plausibilities are extremely close in hierarchy through their chain of reasoning, it is more palatable to take the less rational gamble. So for example, lets say we take the first theory, and change it to, "Perhaps our current understanding of how bones evolve among species is false." And the reason we say this, is because we found a new mammal, and it might contradict our previous findings.

    This plausibility is essentially only one step away from the the first theory, and most would say it is viable to pursue. However, if a person did not have the time or interest to pursue this speculation, it would still be rational to hold onto the possibilities that our current understanding of bone structure until the speculation is fully explored.

    Your coins problem is extremely good!
    He could abstractly reason that if he experienced 5 coins in a pocket of some size, that, considering mathematics in the abstract, it is possible for 5 coins to fit in a pocket that is greater than that size (assuming the pocket is empty): but he didn't experience it for the greater sized pocket.Bob Ross

    You have it correct. He can distinctively know that five coins should be able to fit into a pocket of LWD. He can measure the pocket from the outside and see that it is greater than LWD. But until he applies and attempts to put the five coins into that specific pocket, Smith doesn't applicably know if they can fit. Why? What if there is something in the pocket Smith wasn't aware of? What if part of it is sewn shut, or caught?

    To sum it up, application is when we apply to a specific situation that is outside of our distinctive knowledge. We can make a thought experiment, but that is not an application experiment. Smith can have abstract distinctive knowledge about coins, pocket, dimenstions, and even Jones. Smith could conclude its probable, possible, speculate, or even irrationally believe that Jones has five coins in that specific pocket. But none of those are applicable knowledge. He can only applicably know, if he's confirmed that there are five coins in Jones pocket without contradiction from reality.

    But notice that, within your terminology, Smith cannot claim it is "possible", "probable", or "irrational". Therefore, by process of elimination he is forced to use "speculation"Bob Ross

    Within the context you set up, you may be correct. But in another context, he can claim it is possible or probable. For example, Smith sees Jones slip five coins into his pocket. Smith leaves the room for five minutes and comes back. Is it possible Jones could fit five coins in his pocket? Yes. Is it possible that Jones did not remove those five coins in the five minutes he was gone? Yes. We know Jones left those coins in his pocket for a while, therefore it is possible that Jones could continue to leave those coins in his pocket.

    The epistemology is not telling Smith to do what he wants. The epistemology recognizes the reality that Smith can do whatever he wants.

    He can only do whatever he wants in so far as he doesn't contradict himself. If I can provide an argument that leads Smith realize he is holding a contradiction, then he will not be able to do it unless he uncontradicts it with some other reasoning.
    Bob Ross

    I really wish this was the case. People do things while contradicting their own rationality all the time. People do not have to be rational, or respect rationality in any way. You can conclude he Smith would be irrational using rationality. You could even explain it to Smith. Smith could decide not to care at all. There is absolutely nothing anyone can do about it.

    We can somewhat resolve this if we consider "possibility", in the sense of "experiencing it once before", as "a deductively defined concept, with consideration to solely its essential properties, that has been experienced at least once before". That way, it is logically pinned to the essential properties of that concept. I may have the choice of deductively deciding concepts (terms), but I will not have as much free reign to choose what I've experienced before. To counter this would require the subject to come up with an alternative method that identifies equivalent objects in time (which cannot be logically done unless they consider the essential properties).Bob Ross

    Correct. But this is only if a person chooses to think and act logically. So to clarify, I can convince someone to do something rational, if they are using rationality (and of course, I'm actually being rational as well). But my being rational does not preclude they must be rational. And if they decide to not be rational, no amount of rationality will persuade them.

    In summary, I can claim that contradictions do not arise in terms of time as well as structural levels. These are the only two aspects of contexts and, therefore, as of now, this is what I consider "context" to be. It is important to emphasize that I am not just merely trying to advocate for my own interpretation of "context": I am trying to derive that which can not be contradicted in terms of "context"--that which all subjects would be obliged to (in terms of underlying meaning, of course they could semantically refurbish it).Bob Ross

    I think you're getting the idea of contexts now. The next step is to realize that your contexts that you defined are abstractions, or distinctive knowledge rules in your own head. If we can apply those contexts to reality without contradiction, then they can be applicably known, and useful to us. But there is no one "Temporal context". There is your personal context of "Temporal". I could make my own. We could agree on a context together. In another society, perhaps they have no idea of time, just change.

    To answer your next question, "What is useful", is when we create a context that can be applied to reality, and it helps us live, be healthy, or live an optimal life. Of course, that's what I consider useful. Perhaps someone considers what is useful is, "What makes me feel like I'm correct in what I believe." Religions for example. There are people who will sacrifice their life, health, etc for a particular context.

    Convincing others to change their contexts was not part of the original paper. That is a daunting enough challenge as its own topic. In passing, as a very loose starting point, I believe we must appeal to what a person feels adds value to their lives, and demonstrate how an alternative context serves that better than their current context. This of course changes for every individual. A context of extreme rationality may appeal to certain people, but if it does not serve other people's values, they will reject it for others.

    I think they can do whatever they want as long as they are not aware of a contradiction. Therefore, if I propose "context" as relating to temporal and mereological contexts, then they either are obliged to it or must be able to contradict my notion. My goal is to make it incredibly hard, assuming they grasp the argument, to deny it (if not impossible). Obviously they could simply not grasp it properly, but that doesn't negate the strength of the argument itself.Bob Ross

    I think you're getting it. Others decision to accept or reject your context has no bearing on whether that context serves yourself optimally for your own life. (Unless of course that rejection results in potential harm to yourself!) Further, a person's rejection of your context, is not a rejection of the rationality of the context. That stands on its own regardless of others input. Others input can introduce you to distinctive and applicable knowledge you may not have known prior, which can cause you to question and expand what you know. But there may be people who do not care, who are happy with their own little world as it gets them through their day. Perhaps they would be happier or more successful if they embraced a more rational or worldly context, but plenty of people are willing to embrace the devil they know instead of the angels they don't.

    But with this, I also defend my epistemology. People's decisions not to use it, does not make it irrational or useless to other people who would like a rational approach to knowledge. For the epistemology to not be rational, it must contradict itself in application. So far, I don't think it has. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying to!

    When you think of something in your head that you distinctively know is not able to be applied. For example, if I invent a unicorn that is not a material being. The definition has been formulated in such a manner that it can never be applied, because we can never interact with it.

    But you can apply the fact that you distinctively know that it cannot be applied without ever empirically applying it (nor could you). So you aren't wrong here, but that's not holistically what I mean by "apply to reality".
    Bob Ross

    My inability to apply something, is the application to reality. When I try to apply what I distinctively know cannot be applied to reality, reality contradicts my attempt at application. If I were to apply what I distinctively know cannot be applied to reality, and yet reality showed I could apply it to reality, then my distinctive knowledge would be wrong in application. But when you lack any distinctive knowledge of how to apply it to reality, there is nothing you can, or cannot apply to reality. So by default, it is inapplicable, and therefore cannot be applicably known.

    I think you are conflated two completely separate claims: the spherical nature of the earth and the size of the earth. The stick and shadow experiment does not prove the size of the earth, it proves the spherical shape of the earth.Bob Ross

    No, it at best proves the possibility that the Earth is round. If you take small spherical objects and show that shadows will function a particular way, then demonstrate the Earth's shadows also function that way, then it is possible the Earth is spherical. But until you actually measure the Earth, you cannot applicably know if it is spherical. Again, perhaps there was some other shape in reality that had its shadows function like a sphere? For example, a sphere cut in half. Wouldn't the shadows on a very small portion of the rounded sphere act the same as a full sphere? If you are to state reality is a particular way, it must be applied without contradiction to applicably know it.

    It only undermines them if there are other alternatives in the hierarchy. If for example a scientific experiment speculates something that is not possible, it is more rational to continue to hold what is possible. That doesn't mean you can't explore the speculation to see if it does revoke what is currently known to be possible. It just means until you've seen the speculation through to its end, holding to the inductions of what is possible is more rational.

    I sort of agree, but am hesitant to say the least. Scientific theories are not simply that which is the most cogent, it is that which has been vigorously tested and thereby passed a certain threshold to be considered "true". I think there is a difference (a vital one).
    Bob Ross

    Science does not deal in truth. Science deals in falsification. When a theory is proposed, its affirmation is not what is tested. It is the attempt at its negation that is tested. Once it withstands all attempts at its negation, then it is considered viable to use for now. But nothing is science is ever considered as certain and is always open to be challenged.

    I think the rest of your post has been covered, and I would be repeating what has already been stated. Fantastic post again! Keen questions and great insights. I hope I'm adequately answering your points, and what I'm trying to point out is starting to come into view.
  • Bob Ross
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    Hello @Philosophim,

    First of all, an apology is due: I misunderstood (slash completely forgot) that you are claiming that abstract reasoning is knowledge (as you define it, “distinctive knowledge”). Our dispute actually lies, contrary to what I previously claimed, in whether both types of knowledge are applied.

    For starters, this may very well merely be a semantical dispute: only time will tell.

    When you state:
    What you have been trying to do, is state that distinctive knowledge can be applicable knowledge without the act of application.

    I think you are simply semantically defining your way into an obvious contradiction. As you are probably already well aware, if it is true that there is no act of application, then it logically follows that there is no application. I am claiming the contrary: distinctive knowledge is applied. However, using that terminology (distinctive) may be causing some issues (I’m not sure), so let me try to explicate my position more proficiently. First of all, I don’t think we are using the term “reality” equivocally: you seem to be referring to what I would deem “the external world” (to be more precise: “that which is object”--which includes the body to an extent), whereas I refer to “reality” as holistically the totality of existence (which includes the subject and object). Therefore, when you state “applicable knowledge”, I interpret that as “that which refers to the external world and is thusly applied to it for validity”. When you state “distinctive knowledge”, I am implicitly interpreting it as “that which refers to the mind, or that which resides in it, and thusly is applied to it for validity”. Please note that I am using “subject” and “object” incredibly, purposely loosely: simply for explication purposes of two major distinctions I think you are making. So when you talk about how what I reason in my mind doesn’t grant me knowledge about how that thing truly is in “reality” (i.e. your hydrogen + oxygen example), I proclaim “that is true!”. But why is this? It is because, I would say, the reasoning is pertaining to objects specifically. Therefore, the application necessarily cannot be merely from the mind. There are three types I would like to expose hereinafter:

    1. That which is in relation to a specific object
    2. That which is in relation to an object, but pertains to the general form of all or some objects
    3. That which is in relation purely to the subject

    Everything is derived from reason (or at least that is the position I take) and, consequently, the distinction between the external world and the internal world (so to speak, very loosely) is blended together (in to those three aforemented types). Certain aspects that do not directly pertain to an object can, and potentially must, be derived purely from reason. For example, when you say:

    What I am saying is you can distinctively know that if you have an identity of 1, and an identity of 1, that it will make an identity of two. But if you've never added two potatos before, you don't applicably know if you can

    The deductive assertion of “two potatoes” (as conceptualized without refurbishment from the standard definitions) necessitates the operation of addition: regardless of whether (1) the operation has been applied in the external world or (2) potatoes even exist in the external world. If we are utilizing distinction (which is implied with “potatoes” in “two potatoes”, as well as multiplicity in terms of “two”), then pure reason can derive knowledge that “one” potatoe + “one” potatoe = “two” potatoes. This is, as you are already inferring, simply the exact same thing as your first sentence (in the quote): 1 + 1 = 2. As far as I understand your example here, you are referring specifically to the addition operation and not the existence of potatoes (“you’ve never added two potatos before, you don’t applicably know if you can”): but, as I’m hopefully demonstrating, you definitely can know that. In simpler terms, math applies before any application to the empirical world because it is what the external world is contingent on: differentiation. This application, although it can be better understood with the use of objects, can be solely derived from reason (1 thought + 1 thought = 2 thoughts, this abstractly applies to everything). Therefore, if I distinctively define a potato in a particular way where it implies “multiplicity” and “quantity”, then the operation of addition must follow. The only way I can fathom that this could be negated is if the universality of mathematics is denied: which would entail the rejection of differentiation (“discrete experience” itself). Notice that 1 + 1 = 2 is of type #3, but, due to the intertwining nature of subject-object, is also utilized in #2 without any application to the external world. The object presupposes mathematics (differentiation): without it, there is no object in the first place. Differentiation is a universal, necessarily so, form of experience: thusly, mathematical operations (to go back to your example) applied in the abstract are, thereby, also applied (if you will) to the external world.

    Likewise, consider shapes: these are universal forms (not in the sense of Universals in philosophy, they can be, and I think they are, particulars in that sense) of experience derived solely from reason. I can know, in the abstract, that a circle can fit in a square. I do not need to physically see (empirically observe) a circle inscribed in a square to know this. Not only can I know, applied via reason in the abstract, this in relation to subject, but, since it abides by type #2, also in relation to object. Again, the universality of differentiation would have to be refuted for this not to hold for both subject (that which is conjured) and object (that which isn’t).

    Moreover, consider mathematical equations. If I have x + y = 1, I can, purely with reason, solve for x to see what x = ? is. Prior to this abstract application of the process of thoughts, I did not “know” what x = ? entails; afterwards, without any external application, I figured it out: this was abstractly obtained, not given.

    Now, the consideration of whether a “potatoe” exists in the external world, just like your hydrogen-oxygen example, requires empirical observation and, therefore, pertains to type #1 only. The mere form of the instantiation of objects will not get you to knowledge about a particular object you have the ability to imagine. But this does not negate the fact that we are able to apply in the abstract. I would also like to note that this also entails that you do know, by application, that your best guess, from reasoning abstractly, is whatever you deemed your best guess.

    To quickly cover #3, the knowledge that I did imagine a unicorn in my head, regardless of it is or isn’t instantiated in the external world, was applied strictly by reason (no empirical observation). It was not given, it was obtained. No matter how swift the conclusion was, I had to reason my way, which is the application of the principle of noncontradiction (along with other principles), into knowing such.

    With this in mind, I am not referring to objects when I assert space is purely apodictically true. Nor is it in relation to other spatial frameworks we can hold within the uniform spatial plane (like string theory, etc): I am referring to that which reason will always apodictically find true of all of its thoughts and, subsequently, all of its experience holistically—the inevitable spatial reference. Yes, we can conceive of multiple spatial frameworks, but they are necessarily within space. Nothing I can conceive of nor can I claim will ever not be within a spatial reference. Although this is slightly off topic, this is why I reject the notion of non-spatial claims: it is merely the fusion of absence (as noted under the spatial reference), linguistic capability (we can combine the words together to make the claim), and the holistic spatial reference (i.e. “non-” + “spatial”). This is, in my eyes, no different than saying “square circle”. So when you say:

    No, space in application, is not proven by distinctive knowledge alone. I can imagine a whole set of rules and regulations about something called space in my head, that within this abstract context, are perfectly rational and valid. But, when I take my theory and apply it to a square inch cube of reality, I find a contradiction. I can distinctively have a theory in my head that I know, but one that I cannot apply to reality.

    I am not referring to what we induce is under our inevitable spatial references (such as the makeup of “outer space” or the mereological composition of the space), but, rather, the holistic, unescapable, spatial captivity we are both subjected to: we cannot conceive of anything else. Does that make sense?

    The layman already misuses the idea of knowledge, and there is no rational or objective measure to counter them. But I can. I can teach a layperson. I can have a consistent and logical foundation that can be shown to be useful. People's decision to misuse or reject something simply because they can, is not an argument against the functionality and usefulness of the tool. A person can use a hammer for a screw, and that's their choice, not an argument for the ineffectiveness of a hammer as a tool for a nail!

    Fair enough.

    I want to emphasize again, the epistemology I am proposing is not saying knowledge is truth. That is very important. A common mistake people make in approaching epistemology (I have done the same) is conflating truth with knowledge. I have defined earlier what "truth" would be in this epistemology, and it is outside of being able to be applicably known. I can distinctively know it, but I cannot applicably know it.

    Completely understandable. I would also like to add that even “truth” in terms of distinctively known is merely in relation to the subject: it is still not absolute “truth”--only absolute, paradoxically, relative to the subject.

    To note it again, distinctive and applicable truth would be the application of all possible contexts to a situation, and what would remain without contradiction after it was over.

    I am a bit confused by this quote: you conceded that “distinctive..applicable truth is the application of all possible contexts to a situation”, which concedes that it is applied. I am presuming this is not what you meant.

    1. Inductions are evaluated by hierarchies.
    2. Inductions also have a chain of reasoning, and that chain also follows the hierarchy.
    3. Hierarchies can only be related to by the conclusions they reach about a subject. Comparing the inductions about two completely different subjects is useless.

    I am still hesitant about #3, but I will refrain for now (and let you respond to the rest first).

    So, I can first know that the hierarchy is used in one subject. For example, we take the subject of evolution. We do not compare inductions about evolution, to the inductions about Saturn. That would be like comparing our knowledge of an apple to the knowledge of a horse, and saying that the knowledge of a horse should have any impact on the knowledge of this apple we are currently eating.

    I think for now, I will refurbish my initial analogy to your other one (because I think mine was deviating from the main purpose):

    So we pick evolution. I speculate that because certain dinosaurs had a particular bone structure, had feathers, and DNA structure, that birds evolved from those dinosaurs. This is based on our previously known possibilities in how DNA evolves, and how bone structure relates to other creatures. To make this simple, this plausibility is based on other possibilities.

    I have another theory. Space aliens zapped a plants with a ray gun that evolved certain plants into birds. The problem is, this is not based on any applicable knowledge, much less possibilities. It is also a speculation, but its chain of reasoning is far less cogent than the first theory, so it is more rational to pursue the first.

    This is more in line with the main point I am trying to convey: theories are not what is most cogent, they are what has passed a threshold. Whether either of us like it, we do not claim “theory”, scientifically, to the most cogent induction out of what we know: that is a hypothesis at best. Even in relation to the same exact claim (so forget the saturn comparing to a horse for now—although we can definitely talk about that too), we hold uncertainty in most fields of study until it is considered worthy of the title “theory” or “true” or “fact” (etc). It isn’t necessarily bad that your epistemology erodes this aspect, if, and only if, it addresses it properly (I would say). As another example, historians do not deem what is historically known based off of what is the most cogent induction (currently), it has to pass a threshold. We don’t take the knowledge of one reference to a guy named “bob” and go with best speculation we can rationally come up with. As of now, your epistemology doesn’t seem to account for this. We do not accept all contextually “most cogent” inductive beliefs, we are typically selective. Are you claiming we should just accept all of the most cogent beliefs (with respect to each hierarchical context)?

    Within the context you set up, you may be correct. But in another context, he can claim it is possible or probable. For example, Smith sees Jones slip five coins into his pocket. Smith leaves the room for five minutes and comes back. Is it possible Jones could fit five coins in his pocket? Yes. Is it possible that Jones did not remove those five coins in the five minutes he was gone? Yes. We know Jones left those coins in his pocket for a while, therefore it is possible that Jones could continue to leave those coins in his pocket.

    I don’t think you really address my issue (I probably just didn’t explicate it properly). In my scenario with Smith, he isn’t speculating that Jones has 5 coins in his pocket: he is claiming it has the potential to occur. The dilemma is this:

    1. He can’t claim possibility (in my scenario)
    2. He can’t claim probability (in my scenario)
    3. He can’t claim irrationality
    4. He can’t claim speculation

    So what does he claim in your terminology? They are all exhausted. If he claims that he speculates it could be the case that Jones has 5 coins in his pocket, then he is literally claiming the colloquial use of the term possibility. I am salvaging this with “could” referring to potentiality. I am not quite following how you are reconciling this dilemma?

    Again, to keep this relatively short, I will address the rationality vs reason parts later. I would just like to point out that I agree, but you were referring to rationality, not reason. But more on that at a later time (I think we need to resolve the previous disputes first).

    I think you're getting the idea of contexts now. The next step is to realize that your contexts that you defined are abstractions, or distinctive knowledge rules in your own head. If we can apply those contexts to reality without contradiction, then they can be applicably known, and useful to us. But there is no one "Temporal context". There is your personal context of "Temporal". I could make my own. We could agree on a context together. In another society, perhaps they have no idea of time, just change.

    Time is change. What you are referring to is our abstraction of time into clocks (I presuming), which is most definitely correct. However, assuming I can converse with them (or communicate somehow somewhat properly), they will not be able to contradict the notion of space and time. You are right that they may reject any further extrapolation of mereological structures other than what they immediately see, but that would have any effect on my definition of “context” since any mereological consideration would thereby be omitted anyways. I’m not quite following how you can create a different “temporal context” than me, other than semantically refurbishing the underlying meaning. You can surely deny abstract clocks, but not causality.

    To answer your next question, "What is useful", is when we create a context that can be applied to reality, and it helps us live, be healthy, or live an optimal life. Of course, that's what I consider useful. Perhaps someone considers what is useful is, "What makes me feel like I'm correct in what I believe." Religions for example. There are people who will sacrifice their life, health, etc for a particular context.

    Convincing others to change their contexts was not part of the original paper. That is a daunting enough challenge as its own topic. In passing, as a very loose starting point, I believe we must appeal to what a person feels adds value to their lives, and demonstrate how an alternative context serves that better than their current context. This of course changes for every individual. A context of extreme rationality may appeal to certain people, but if it does not serve other people's values, they will reject it for others.

    This is feels like “context” is truly ambiguous. The term context needs to have some sort of reasoning behind it that people abide by: otherwise it is pure chaos. I think the main focus of epistemology is to provide a clear derivation of what “knowledge” is and how to obtain it (in our case, including inductive beliefs). Therefore, I don’t think we can, without contradiction, define things purposely ambiguously.

    My inability to apply something, is the application to reality. When I try to apply what I distinctively know cannot be applied to reality, reality contradicts my attempt at application

    This is an application in the abstract. You didn’t observe any contradiction with respect to objects, you reasoned that, in this case, that the term “non-” + “material” + “being” cannot exist in what is deemed a “material” + “world”. This is a contradiction that did not get applied to any objects.

    If I were to apply what I distinctively know cannot be applied to reality, and yet reality showed I could apply it to reality, then my distinctive knowledge would be wrong in application.

    In your example, specifically as you outlined it, this impossible. You defined your way into a contradiction, which means you are abiding by type #3: pure reason. Saying there is a non-material unicorn in a strictly material world is just like the consideration of a square circle. Now, to claim that a material unicorn, as imagined, cannot exist in the material world would be something that abides by the quote here (that you said), because there’s no pure reason that can be applied (at least not without further context): empirical observation is required.


    No, it at best proves the possibility that the Earth is round. If you take small spherical objects and show that shadows will function a particular way, then demonstrate the Earth's shadows also function that way, then it is possible the Earth is spherical. But until you actually measure the Earth, you cannot applicably know if it is spherical. Again, perhaps there was some other shape in reality that had its shadows function like a sphere? For example, a sphere cut in half. Wouldn't the shadows on a very small portion of the rounded sphere act the same as a full sphere? If you are to state reality is a particular way, it must be applied without contradiction to applicably know it.

    It is true that it does not prove that the earth is completely a sphere, but it does prove it is spherical (round and not flat). It isn’t merely a possibility, it cannot, even under what you described, be a flat plane. Sure it could be even 3/4ths a sphere, but it is nevertheless spherically shaped. Maybe that is what you were getting at, in that case we agree.

    Science does not deal in truth. Science deals in falsification. When a theory is proposed, its affirmation is not what is tested. It is the attempt at its negation that is tested. Once it withstands all attempts at its negation, then it is considered viable to use for now. But nothing is science is ever considered as certain and is always open to be challenged.

    This is not true. What you have described in a really vigorous form of the appeal to ignorance fallacy. Science does not deal with solely falsification; however, it does holistically deal with falsifiability (which is not equivocal). It is necessary that something that is claimed is falsifiable, but we do not assert “theories” as that which hasn’t been falsified in tests. We not only try to falsify the hypothesis, but we all verify that what should be expected is the results. We confirm, not by simply saying we can’t negate it in terms of this piece of evidence directly contradicts the idea of it. It pertains to “truth” relative to objects, which are relative to subjects.

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Bob
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    First of all, an apology is due: I misunderstood (slash completely forgot) that you are claiming that abstract reasoning is knowledge (as you define it, “distinctive knowledge”).Bob Ross

    No apology needed! We've been discussing this some time, and have not addressed the beginning in a while. I'll re-explain if something is forgotten without any issue or negative viewpoint on my part.

    Our dispute actually lies, contrary to what I previously claimed, in whether both types of knowledge are applied.Bob Ross

    They are both obtained in the same way. Knowledge in both cases boils down to "Deductions that are not contradicted by reality." Distinctive knowledge is just an incredibly quick test, because we can instantly know that we discretely experience, so what we discretely experience is known. Applicable knowledge is distinctive knowledge that claims knowledge of something that is apart from immediate discrete experience. Perhaps the word choice of "Application" is poor or confusing, because we are applying to reality in either case. Your discrete experience is just as much a reality as its attempts to claim something beyond them.

    It is why I avoided the inevitable comparison to apriori and aposteriori. Apriori claims there are innate things we know that are formed without analysis. This is incorrect. All knowledge requires analysis. You can have beliefs that are concurrent with what could be known, but it doesn't mean you actually know them until you reason through them. Perhaps there is a better word phrase then "applicable knowledge" that describes the concept. Feel free to suggest one!

    As I've noted many times, there is nothing wrong with digging in and refining the words or definitions. Its not the words that matter, its the ideas behind those words. I feel that it might be helpful to break down distinctive knowledge further so I can effectively communicate what concepts are, abstractions, and how knowing them distinctively does not mean you know them applicably.

    Distinctive awareness - Our discrete experiences themselves are things we know.

    Contextual logical awareness - The construction of our discrete experiences into a logical set of rules and regulations.

    A contextual logical viewpoint holds onto discrete experiences that are non-contradictory with each other. When thinking in a logical context, to hold things which would contradictory, we invent different contexts. For example, "Gandolf is a good person, therefore he would fight to save a hobbit's life if it were easy for him to win." Perfectly logical within his character, because we've made a fictional character. But we could create another context. "Gandolf is sometimes not a good person, therefore we can't know if he would fight to save a hobbit's life if it would be easy for him to win."

    We distinctively know both of these contexts. Within our specially made contexts, if Gandolf is a good person, he WILL do X. The only reason Gandolf would not save the hobbit if it was an easy victory for him, is if he wasn't a good person. Here I have a perfectly logical and irrefutable context in my head. And yet, I can change the definitions, and a different logic will form. I can hold two different contexts of Gandolf, two sets of contextual logic, and distinctively know them both with contextual awareness.

    Of course, I could create something illogical as well. "Gandolf is a good person, therefore he would kill all good hobbits in the world." Do I distinctively know this? Yes. But I really don't have contextual logical awareness. I am not using the "context of logic". I could think this way if I really wanted to. Perhaps we would say such a person is insane, especially if such contextual thinking was applied to reality, and not a fantasy of the mind.

    The rational behind thinking logically, is when you apply logical thinking to reality, it has a better chance of your surviving. Of course, this does mean in situations in which harm to ourselves is not an immediately known outcome, we can entertain illogical contexts instead. Philosophy is arguably an exercise of trying to see if the logical contexts we've created in our head actually hold up when discussing with another person.

    You can see plenty of people who hold contexts that do not follow logic, and when they are shown it is not illogical, they insist on believing that context regardless. This is the context they distinctively know. It doesn't work in application to reality, but that is not as important to them as holding the context for their own personal emotional gratification. I do not mean to imply it is "others" that do this. I am willing to bet almost every human in the world does this, and it is only with vigilance, training, and practice that people can minimize holding the emotional value of a context over its rational value.

    So to clarify again, one can hold a distinctive logical or illogical context in their head. They distinctively know whatever those contexts are. It does not mean that those contexts can be applied beyond what is in their mind to reality without contradiction. We can strongly convince ourselves that it "must" be so, but we will never applicably know, until we apply it.

    With that, let me address your points.

    In simpler terms, math applies before any application to the empirical world because it is what the external world is contingent on: differentiation.Bob Ross

    No, that is what our context of the world depends on. The world does not differentiate like we do. The world does not discretely experience. Matter and energy are all composed of electrons, which are composed of things we can break down further. Reality is not aware of this. This is a context of distinctive knowledge that we have applied to reality without contradiction. It is not the reverse.

    I've noted before that math is the logical consequence of being able to discretely experience. 1, is the concept of "a discrete experience." That is entirely of our own making. It is not that the external world is contingent on math, it is that our ability to understand the world, is contingent on our ability to discretely experience, and logically think about what that entails.

    Does this mean that reality is contingent on our observation? Not at all. It means our understanding of the world, our application of our distinctive knowledge to reality, is contingent on our distinctive knowledge.

    Therefore, if I distinctively define a potato in a particular way where it implies “multiplicity” and “quantity”, then the operation of addition must follow. The only way I can fathom that this could be negated is if the universality of mathematics is denied: which would entail the rejection of differentiation (“discrete experience” itself).Bob Ross

    Exactly. If you use a logical context that you distinctively know, there are certain results that must follow from it. But just because it fits in your head, does not mean you can applicably know that your logical context can be known in application to reality, until you apply it to reality by adding two potatoes together. To clarify, I mean the totality of the act, not an abstract.

    When I add these two potatoes together, what happens if one breaks in half? Do I have two potatoes at that point? No, so it turns out I wasn't able to add "these" two potatoes. Since I have added two potatoes in reality before, I know it is possible that two identities I know as potatoes, can be added again. But do I applicably know I can add those other two potatoes before I add them together? No.
    Can I add two potatoes abstractly in my head, and the result will always logically equal two? Yes. Can I imagine that adding "those" two potatoes in my head, and they will not break and everything will perfectly equal two? Yes. Does that mean I applicably know this? No. I hope this clarifies what I'm trying to say.

    I can know, in the abstract, that a circle can fit in a square. I do not need to physically see (empirically observe) a circle inscribed in a square to know this.Bob Ross

    Yes, you can distinctively know this, which is what abstract logical contexts are. But do you applicably know that you can fit this square and circle I give you in that way before you attempt it? No. You measure the square, you measure the circle. Everything points that it should fit perfectly. But applicably unknown to you, I made them magnetized to where they will always repel. As such, they will never actually fit due to the repulsion that you would not applicably know about, until you tried to put them together.

    I am not referring to what we induce is under our inevitable spatial references (such as the makeup of “outer space” or the mereological composition of the space), but, rather, the holistic, unescapable, spatial captivity we are both subjected to: we cannot conceive of anything else.Bob Ross

    I understand. But your inability to conceive of anything else is because that is the distinctive context you have chosen. There are people who conceive of different things. I can make a context of space where gravity does not apply. I can conceive of space as something that can allow warp travel or teleportation. What I cannot do, is applicably know a conception of space that I have never applied without contradiction. That part which is inescapable, is the application of our concepts to reality. Reality does not care about our logical constructs and rational thinking, aka, our distinctive knowledge. If we are unable to create a distinctive context of logical thinking that fits in reality without contradiction, then we lack any applicable knowledge of that reality.

    Although this is slightly off topic, this is why I reject the notion of non-spatial claims: it is merely the fusion of absence (as noted under the spatial reference), linguistic capability (we can combine the words together to make the claim), and the holistic spatial reference (i.e. “non-” + “spatial”). This is, in my eyes, no different than saying “square circle”.Bob Ross

    To hammer home, that is because of our application. When you define a logical context of space that cannot be applied and contradicts the very moment of your occupation of space, it is immediately contradicted by reality. A distinctively known logical context that is rationally perfect in our heads cannot be claimed to be an accurate representation of reality, until it is applied to reality.

    Whether either of us like it, we do not claim “theory”, scientifically, to the most cogent induction out of what we know: that is a hypothesis at best.Bob Ross

    I think you misunderstood what I was trying to state. I was not stating a scientific theory. I was stating a theory. A scientific theory is combination of applicable knowledge for the parts of the theory that have been tested. Any "theories" on scientific theories are speculations based on a hierarchy of logic and inductions.

    As another example, historians do not deem what is historically known based off of what is the most cogent induction (currently), it has to pass a threshold.Bob Ross

    If they are using knowledge correctly, then yes. But with this epistemology, we can re-examine certain knowledge claims about history and determine if they are applicably known, or if they are simply the most cogent inductions we can conclude. Sometimes there are things outside of what can be applicably known. In that case, we only have the best cogent inductions to go on. We may not like that there are things outside of applicable knowledge, or like the idea that many of our constructions of the past are cogent inductions, but our like or dislike of that has nothing to do with the soundness of this epistemological theory.

    In other words, my epistemology is not "not taking into account" these situations. It does. The question is, does the application of the epistemology continue to be the best tool currently available to assess reality rationally?

    Completely understandable. I would also like to add that even “truth” in terms of distinctively known is merely in relation to the subject: it is still not absolute “truth”--only absolute, paradoxically, relative to the subject.Bob Ross

    No, that is not "truth" as I defined it. That is simply applicable knowledge. And applicable knowledge, is not truth. Truth is an inapplicable plausibility. It is the combination of all possible contexts applied to all of reality without a contradiction. It is an impossibility to obtain. It is an extremely common mistake to equate knowledge with truth; as I've noted, I've done it myself.

    To explain, I am limited by my distinctive context. I can take all the possible distinctive contexts I have, and apply them to reality. Whatever is left without contradiction is what I applicably know. But because my distinctive contexts are limited, it cannot encompass all possible distinctive contexts that could be. Not to mention I'm limited in my applicable context as well. I will never applicably know the world as a massive Tyrannosaurus Rex. I will never applicably know the world as someone who is incapable of visualizing in their mind. As such, truth is an applicably unobtainable definition.

    In my scenario with Smith, he isn’t speculating that Jones has 5 coins in his pocket: he is claiming it has the potential to occur.Bob Ross

    If he claims that he speculates it could be the case that Jones has 5 coins in his pocket, then he is literally claiming the colloquial use of the term possibility. I am salvaging this with “could” referring to potentiality.Bob Ross

    The problem here is in your sentence, "he speculates it could be the case". This is just redundancy. "Speculation" means "I believe X to be the case despite not having any experience of applicable knowledge prior". "It could be the case" means, "I believe it to be the case", but you haven't added any reasoning why it could be the case. Is it the case because of applicable knowledge, probability, possiblity, etc? I could just as easily state, "He speculates that its probable", or "He speculates that its possible".

    And this is what I mean by asking for a clear definition of "potential" that serves an indicator of something that cannot be described by the hierarchy. If potential simply means, "it could be the case", its just a generic and unspecified induction. It is a claim of belief, without the clarification of what leads to holding that belief. I don't think this is what you want. I felt I did use your example and successfully point out times we can claim probability and speculation, but that's because I fleshed out the scenario to clarify the specifics. If you do not give the specifics of what the underlying induction is based on, then it is simply an unexamined induction, and at best, a guess.

    This is feels like “context” is truly ambiguous. The term context needs to have some sort of reasoning behind it that people abide by: otherwise it is pure chaos. I think the main focus of epistemology is to provide a clear derivation of what “knowledge” is and how to obtain it (in our case, including inductive beliefs). Therefore, I don’t think we can, without contradiction, define things purposely ambiguously.Bob Ross

    I'm hoping that at this point I've laid out what context is. The term distinctive context is clearly defined as a set of distinctive identities that are held together in the mind. Distinctive contexts can include other contexts, like logic, and we generally consider those more valuable. Rational people ensure that their contexts include the "logical context" which allows us to make rational abstractions.
    Applicable context is the ability of a person to apply their distinctive context to reality. If I have a context of metric measurement, but I do not have a ruler with centimeters, it is outside of my applicable context. If I later go blind in life, I may have visions of what the world looks like in my head, but I can no longer applicably know the world with sight.

    What can be ambiguous, is the context another person holds. Our own conversation is a fine example! We are discussing not only to see if the application of this epistemology context can be applied to reality without contradiction, but to also to convey and see if the distinctive context of our words is understood by each other as we intended, and to see if it fits within a rational and logical context as well.

    Whew! This has already gone on long enough, so let me shorten the rest. I believe I've added enough to address the points on calculating the Earth distinctively versus applicably knowing what the Earth's circumference is, as well as noting what cannot be applicably known. If you still feel my points have not adequately addressed those, let me know.

    A very quick article on science. https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulmsutter/2019/10/27/science-does-not-reveal-truth/?sh=431c861c38c3

    If you still want me to address my claims of science, I will as well next post.
  • Bob Ross
    98
    Hello @Philosophim,

    I think we are still misunderstanding eachother a tad bit, so let's see if I can resolve some of it by focusing on directly responding to your post.

    They are both obtained in the same way. Knowledge in both cases boils down to "Deductions that are not contradicted by reality." Distinctive knowledge is just an incredibly quick test, because we can instantly know that we discretely experience, so what we discretely experience is known. Applicable knowledge is distinctive knowledge that claims knowledge of something that is apart from immediate discrete experience. Perhaps the word choice of "Application" is poor or confusing, because we are applying to reality in either case. Your discrete experience is just as much a reality as its attempts to claim something beyond them.

    This is why I think it may be, at least in part, a semantical difference: when you refer to "application", you seem to be admitting that it is specifically "application to the external world" (and, subsequently, not the totality of reality). In that case, we in agreement here, except that I would advocate for more specific terminology (it is confusing to directly imply one is "application" in its entirety, which implies that the other is not, but yet claim they are both applications).

    The other issue I would have is the ambiguity with such a binary distinction. When you say "Applicable knowledge is distinctive knowledge that claims knowledge of something that is apart from immediate discrete experience", fundamental aspects of the "external world" are necessarily aspects of our experience (as you note later on). This is different (seemingly) to things that solely arise in the mind. My imagination of a unicorn is distinctive knowledge (pertaining to whatever I imagined), but so is the distinction of the cup and the table (which isn't considered solely apart of the mind--it is object). It blends together, which is why certain aspects cross-over into the external world from the mind. But more on that later.

    Likewise, when you state "Your discrete experience is just as much a reality as its attempts to claim something beyond them": the subject cannot rationally claim anything beyond discrete experience, that is all they have. I cannot claim that the table is a thing-in-itself, nor can I claim it is purely the product of the mind: both are equally inapplicable. However, if what you mean by "attempts to claim something beyond them" is simply inductions that pertain to the discrete experience of objects, then I have no quarrel.

    It is why I avoided the inevitable comparison to apriori and aposteriori. Apriori claims there are innate things we know that are formed without analysis. This is incorrect. All knowledge requires analysis. You can have beliefs that are concurrent with what could be known, but it doesn't mean you actually know them until you reason through them.

    This is not how I understood Kant's a priori vs a posteriori distinction: it is not blindly asserted. It is analyzed via reason by means of recursively examining reason upon itself, to extrapolate the apodictic forms it possesses. This is applied and, to an extent, true. A priori actually salvaged the empiricist worldview, as even Hume noted that empiricism is predicated on causality (which is a problem if one is asserting everything must be applied to the external world to know it). Kant, generically speaking, simply provided (although he was against empiricism) what logically is demonstrably true of the form of reason itself (of subjectivity in a sense). We applicably know, via solely reason, that we are within an inescapable spatial & temporal reference. We are constrained to the principle of non contradiction and sufficient reason, and, with the combination of the aforementioned, presuppose causality in any external application. We cannot empirically verify causality itself: it is impossible. Nor pon, etc. I do have to somewhat agree with you that Kant does extrapolate much further than that, and claims things about a priori that cannot possibly be known (like non-spatial, non-temporal, etc), but within the logical constraints that are apodictically true for the subjects reason, it logically follows from the usage of such that there are certain principles that must exist for any observation to occur in the first place. Obviously there's the issue that we can't escape the apodictic rules of our reason, which is being utilized reflexively to even postulate this in the first place, and therefore it is only something that logically follows. But this applies to literally everything. To say that it makes the most sense (by a long shot) that we are derived from a brain is only something that logically follows (that which also does not escape our apodictic rules of reason).

    Distinctive awareness - Our discrete experiences themselves are things we know.
    Contextual logical awareness - The construction of our discrete experiences into a logical set of rules and regulations.

    To clarify, our discrete experiences themselves are things we know by application via reason. Our awareness of the distinctions is also known by the same sort of application: reason. If that is what you are stating here, then I agree: I am just not finding this sentence very clear at what you are trying to state. It could be that you are claiming they are essentially given, which I don't think you are stating that, which means it logically follows the stemming is from reason. Moreover, I think the problem here is that both are constructions of logical rules and regulations: distinctive awareness is derived from reason and reason is, upon reflexive examination, regulated by necessitous rules, whereas the "logical set of rules" you reference in "contextual logical awareness" is rules that, I think you are claiming, are not necessitious (as in a diversity of contexts can be produced, but it is important to remember that it is derived from those necessitous rules that reason manifests itself, apodictically, in).

    We distinctively know both of these contexts. Within our specially made contexts, if Gandolf is a good person, he WILL do X. The only reason Gandolf would not save the hobbit if it was an easy victory for him, is if he wasn't a good person. Here I have a perfectly logical and irrefutable context in my head. And yet, I can change the definitions, and a different logic will form. I can hold two different contexts of Gandolf, two sets of contextual logic, and distinctively know them both with contextual awareness.

    This is all fine, with the emphasis that this is applicably known via reason. IF conditionals are an apodictic instantiation of our reason: one of the logical regulations, upon recursive reflection, of reason itself. Depending on how you are defining those two conditional claims, it may solely pertain to reason or it may also pertain to the form of objects. If you mean in this example to define logically that a "good Gandolf" directly necessitates him doing X and, logically, if he doesn't do X, then he isn't "good", then is not only known in the mind (via reason pertaining to solely what lies in the mind), but also to all objects (all discrete experience of "objects"). You know, without application to the external world that the logical defining of person P is "good" if they do X and P is not good if not X will hold for all experience (including that which pertains to the external world). This is "applicably known" and "distinctively known" (as you would define it) without "applying" to the external world due it relating to the necessary logical form of discrete experience.

    Of course, I could create something illogical as well. "Gandolf is a good person, therefore he would kill all good hobbits in the world." Do I distinctively know this? Yes. But I really don't have contextual logical awareness. I am not using the "context of logic".

    It depends on what you mean by "logic". If you are referring to an adopted logical system (such as classical logic), which I should emphasis is based off of reason (which everyone has), then you are right. But you did still have a context of "logic" in the sense of the apodictic necessitous forms of the instantiation of reason. Firstly, if you define "good person" in a contradictory why (previously) to killing what is defined as "good hobbits", then you do not know that sentence distinctively--you know the exact contrary (the statement is false). However, one can hold such a contradiction if it is reasoned, no matter how irrational, to no longer be a strict contradiction. Maybe I decide that the end justifies the means: now that sentence is perfectly coherent. However, I could very well accept that sentence as "true", although I know it is contradictory, solely based off of "it makes me sleep better at night thinking it is true": this is still a reason. I could claim to hold it as a lie to annoy you, or just because I like lying: these are all reasons (not rational, but reasons). But my main point is that a person cannot conceive of whatever they want: they cannot hold that they are seeing a circle and a square (pertaining to the same object) at the same time. They can lie, for whatever reason, about it, but I know that they also do not distinctively "know" this. They may distinctively "know" that they want to lie about it for whatever reason, but they do not distinctively actually "know" that they are seeing two completely contradictory things. Likewise, even in the realm strictly pertaining to the mind, they cannot distinctively know a circle as a circle and a rectangle. They can lie about it, or convince themselves it is somehow possible, but they cannot actually distinctively know this (this is not merely my contextual interpretation--unless they are no human).

    The rational behind thinking logically, is when you apply logical thinking to reality, it has a better chance of your surviving.

    In a general sense, I agree that my survival is more likely if I abide by a coherent logical system (such as classical logic or something), but "survival" alone doesn't get you to any sort of altruism.

    You can see plenty of people who hold contexts that do not follow logic

    It doesn't follow a logical system that we have derived from our ability to reason. Everyone reasons. Not everyone is rational. There are apodictically true regulations of reason (which are obtained by analysis of a recursive use of reason on reason).

    and when they are shown it is not illogical, they insist on believing that context regardless. This is the context they distinctively know.

    They do not necessarily distinctively "know" the content of the entirety of the context they hold. Again, they cannot hold they imagined a circle that was also a rectangle that was also a triangle.

    It doesn't work in application to reality, but that is not as important to them as holding the context for their own personal emotional gratification

    I agree, but what you mean by "application to reality" is "application specifically to the external world".

    1. Some things they can know in the mind which is not known in the external world.
    2. Some things they cannot know in the mind nor the external world.
    3. Some things they can know in the mind and the external world (by means of what is known in the mind).
    4. Some things they can know by means of application to the external world.

    I think you are trying to reduce it to simply 2 options: application to the mind, or application to the external world.

    So to clarify again, one can hold a distinctive logical or illogical context in their head. They distinctively know whatever those contexts are. It does not mean that those contexts can be applied beyond what is in their mind to reality without contradiction. We can strongly convince ourselves that it "must" be so, but we will never applicably know, until we apply it.

    You are right in the sense that we cannot claim that my imagination of a unicorn entails there is a unicorn in the external world, but doesn't negate that discrete experience itself is the external world. Therefore, certain forms are apodictically true of the mind and the external world by proxy of the mind. A great example is causality.

    No, that is what our context of the world depends on. The world does not differentiate like we do. The world does not discretely experience. Matter and energy are all composed of electrons, which are composed of things we can break down further. Reality is not aware of this. This is a context of distinctive knowledge that we have applied to reality without contradiction. It is not the reverse.

    Again, discrete experience is the world. We cannot claim that an electron exists as a thing-in-itself (apart from the subject) nor can we claim that it doesn't exist as a thing-in-itself (completely contingent on the subject). We can claim certain aspects of objects, which are apart of discrete experience, are contingent on particular objects that we deem obtained our sensations and produced our perceptions (i.e. color is not an aspect of my keyboard, it is a matter of light wavelength directed through my eyes which are then interpreted by my brain--all of these are objects that are apart of discrete experience). All of it logically follows, but that is just it: logically follows via reason. Without such, which is the consideration of the absence of reason by reason itself, we can only hold indeterminacy. The "external world", object, is simply that which reason has deemed out of its direct control, but those deemed "objects" follow necessary forms (discrete experience) that form from reason.

    I've noted before that math is the logical consequence of being able to discretely experience. 1, is the concept of "a discrete experience." That is entirely of our own making. It is not that the external world is contingent on math, it is that our ability to understand the world, is contingent on our ability to discretely experience, and logically think about what that entails.

    I think, given that discrete experience is the world, that you agree with me (at least partially here). Nothing you said here is incorrect, your positing of a external world that is a thing-in-itself is where you went wrong. Just as someone could equally go wrong by positing the exact opposite.

    Does this mean that reality is contingent on our observation? Not at all. It means our understanding of the world, our application of our distinctive knowledge to reality, is contingent on our distinctive knowledge.

    Again, we cannot claim either. We have reason, and from it stems all else: this doesn't mean that there are no things-in-themselves or that there are. Only that we discretely experience things, which are deemed objects, and all of those objects abide by mathematics because, as you said, discrete experience is what derives multiplicity in the first place. Therefore, certain aspects of the external world are known by reason alone because certain aspects of the external world abide by, necessarily, those regulated forms of reason. This is not to say that you are entirely wrong either, as we can claim "objects", what are out of our control, but with the necessary understanding that mathematics is true of all objects (because it is discrete experience).

    Exactly. If you use a logical context that you distinctively know, there are certain results that must follow from it. But just because it fits in your head, does not mean you can applicably know that your logical context can be known in application to reality, until you apply it to reality by adding two potatoes together. To clarify, I mean the totality of the act, not an abstract.

    I am having a rough time understanding what you mean here.

    When I add these two potatoes together, what happens if one breaks in half? Do I have two potatoes at that point? No, so it turns out I wasn't able to add "these" two potatoes.

    I feel like you aren't referring to mathematical addition, but combination. Are you trying to get at that two potatoes aren't necessarily combinable? Like meshing two potatoes together? That's not mathematical addition (or at least not what I am thinking of). We know that one potatoe and another potatoes make up two potatoes. Even if one breaks in half, one half + one half + one entails two. Combining two potatoes won't give you two distinct potatoes, it will give you one big potatoe (assuming that were even possible) or two potatoes worth of smashed potatoes. If that is what you are referring two, then I would say you are talking about what must be empirically verified about the cohesion of "potatoes" in the external world, which definitely requires an empirical test to "know" it. However, to perform the mathematical addition of one potatoe to another, where two distinct potatoes are the result, is known about the external world by means of the mind via reason.

    But do you applicably know that you can fit this square and circle I give you in that way before you attempt it? No. You measure the square, you measure the circle. Everything points that it should fit perfectly. But applicably unknown to you, I made them magnetized to where they will always repel. As such, they will never actually fit due to the repulsion that you would not applicably know about, until you tried to put them together.

    This is 100% correct. It is pertaining directly to objects themselves, which requires empirical observation. However, that does not negate my claim that the ability to fit a circle in a square is known in the mind. Shape itself is a form of all discrete experience, and therefore can pertain to the external world with merely reason. I know that rectangular shapes take a specific form, and that pertains not only to what I imagine but necessarily objects as well. Think of it this way: I can also "know" what cannot occur in the external world without ever empirically testing it based off of shapes--which encompass the external world as it is discrete experience. Can you fit a square of 5 X 5 inches in a circle of radius 0.5 inches? No. Now, I think what you are trying to get at is that I will not know this about a particular circle and square in the external world until I attempt it--as my calculations (dimensions) may be off and they can fit because they are not the aforementioned dimensions. However, this does not negate the fact that I cannot, in the external world, fit such dimensional shapes into one another as specified. I know this of the external world as well as the mind without application to the external world. However, if the same ruler is utilized in both readings, then I do not need to even apply an attempt to fit them together in the external world because I do know it will not happen. Firstly, if "inches" is consistent (which is implied with using the same ruler), then it doesn't matter if my measured "in" actually is what we would define as an "in". Secondly, the significant digits is a vital consideration with determines whether one actually has to attempt fitting them together to "know" if they can fit. In this case, the significant digits can, with solely reason, be determined to not have an effect that would allow for such a margin of error that would allow it to fit. 5 "whatevers" (inches) by 5 "whatevers", will not fit in 0.5 "whatevers". Even if the significant digit, which would be 5.X and 0.5X (where X is the estimated digit) will not allow for any sort of variance that will allow either of us to claim we could have a large enough margin of error to presume we need to physically test it. If it were that it was a square of 1.X "whatevers" by 1.X "whatevers" and the circle had a radius of 1.Y "whatevers" (where Y is estimated smaller than X), then we now can reason that we could be wrong.

    Now, I like your example of magnets to show that I still wouldn't know, even if I new the dimensions checked out, that they would fit. However, I can "know":

    1. That dimensions that cannot mathematically fit, considering the margin of error as uneffective, cannot fit in the external world (this is a reason consideration within the mind which necessarily translates to the external world, as it is simply discrete experience).

    2. That a square can fit in a circle (this is sole consideration of the mind, but also translates into what cannot happen in the external world). I know, if that is true, that nothing pertaining to the shape of an object will necessitate that an object of shape "square" cannot fit into shape of "circle". As you noted earlier, it is true that to know two particular shapes fit into one another in the external world requires empirical observation, but I still nevertheless know that circularity and squareness, in shape, do not necessitate that they cannot be fit together: this is true of the external world as much as my mind.

    I understand. But your inability to conceive of anything else is because that is the distinctive context you have chosen. There are people who conceive of different things. I can make a context of space where gravity does not apply. I can conceive of space as something that can allow warp travel or teleportation.

    This is not the uniform, holistic, spatial reference I am referring to. Yes, people can conceive of spatial frameworks under the holistic spatial reference that do not abide by the same principles as that which we discover of the external world. My inability to conceive something else is not distinctive context I have chosen. Yes, I could choose to envision a spatial framework under space where I can fly and, yes, this would be a distinctive context. However, distinctive contexts themselves are depending on a regulated unescapable form which is space which cannot be contradicted: it is not chosen, it is always demonstrably true. Even the imagined spatial frameworks abide by space itself. This is not to be confused with it abiding by "outer space" or "string theory" or "my made up gravity free world". A necessary rule of the manifestations of reason is that it is spatial referenced (inevitably). Does that make sense?

    To hammer home, that is because of our application. When you define a logical context of space that cannot be applied and contradicts the very moment of your occupation of space, it is immediately contradicted by reality.

    Again, you are right, but this is not relevant to what I am trying to say. I am not referring to me being able to attempt my an application of my gravity free spatial framework to the external world to be met with gravity. I am referring to that which is discovered, projected, and conceivable--holistically all experience. You don't apply the holistic reference of space to anything (you cannot), it is that which necessarily always utilized by reason, in its manifestations (like thoughts), apply anything in the mind or in the external world. With respect to what you were getting at (or at least what I am understanding you to say), you are right.

    I think you misunderstood what I was trying to state. I was not stating a scientific theory. I was stating a theory. A scientific theory is combination of applicable knowledge for the parts of the theory that have been tested. Any "theories" on scientific theories are speculations based on a hierarchy of logic and inductions.

    I am not following what you are trying to say here. I was under the impression we were discussing science and the theories therein: those are all scientific theories. When you say "I was stating a theory", what do you mean? Colloquially a "theory"? What else is there in science that is a theory besides scientific theories? My point was that we do not simply accept that which is most cogent, it must pass a threshold of cogency in terms of a vast majority of institutions that are in place for developing knowledge. At what point is it cogent enough for me to base my actions off of it? How cogent of an induction does global warming and climate change have to be for me to change my lifestyle? How cogent does evolution need to be for me be base biology off of it? Just simply the most cogent? Scientific theories require much more than that, no?

    If they are using knowledge correctly, then yes. But with this epistemology, we can re-examine certain knowledge claims about history and determine if they are applicably known, or if they are simply the most cogent inductions we can conclude. Sometimes there are things outside of what can be applicably known. In that case, we only have the best cogent inductions to go on. We may not like that there are things outside of applicable knowledge, or like the idea that many of our constructions of the past are cogent inductions, but our like or dislike of that has nothing to do with the soundness of this epistemological theory.

    I think I following what you are saying now. We don't ever, under this epistemology, really state "historical facts" other than that which is deduced. Everything else is simply a hierarchy of inductions, which we should always simply hold the most cogent one. The problem is that there's never a suspension of judgement: we also claim a belief towards whatever is most cogent. Again, when is it cogent enough for me to take action based off of it?

    No, that is not "truth" as I defined it. That is simply applicable knowledge. And applicable knowledge, is not truth. Truth is an inapplicable plausibility. It is the combination of all possible contexts applied to all of reality without a contradiction. It is an impossibility to obtain. It is an extremely common mistake to equate knowledge with truth; as I've noted, I've done it myself.

    Again, this isn't true. "truth" being the "combination of all possible contexts applied to all of reality without contradiction" is the definition of that which is apodictically true for the subject. Again, take space, or causality, or pon: this is true of all reality because I am not just talking about the external world, I am referring to everything, which is discrete experience (as you put it). the world is reason. This doesn't mean that we can obtain "truth" of anything sans reason, but we must understand that we can't even conceive of such a question: without (sans) reason is considered via reason and its necessary form (i.e. without is a spatial reference and the entire question is via reason).

    To explain, I am limited by my distinctive context. I can take all the possible distinctive contexts I have, and apply them to reality. Whatever is left without contradiction is what I applicably know. But because my distinctive contexts are limited, it cannot encompass all possible distinctive contexts that could be. Not to mention I'm limited in my applicable context as well. I will never applicably know the world as a massive Tyrannosaurus Rex. I will never applicably know the world as someone who is incapable of visualizing in their mind. As such, truth is an applicably unobtainable definition.

    I think you are positing an objective world that is a thing-in-itself, where "truth" is if we were essentially omniscient with respect to the understanding of an object via all contexts. In that sense, I agree. But I don't think you can posit such.

    The problem here is in your sentence, "he speculates it could be the case". This is just redundancy. "Speculation" means "I believe X to be the case despite not having any experience of applicable knowledge prior". "It could be the case" means, "I believe it to be the case", but you haven't added any reasoning why it could be the case. Is it the case because of applicable knowledge, probability, possiblity, etc? I could just as easily state, "He speculates that its probable", or "He speculates that its possible".

    I don't think really addresses the issue. I used the terminology "speculates it could" because you used it previously, and I was trying to expose that it is the same thing as possibility (in a colloquial sense). It is redundant: to say "it could" is to say "it is possible" (in the old sense of the term). And, no, "it could be the case" is not equivocal to "I believe it to be the case". If I claim "Jones could have 5 coins in his pocket", I am not stating that I believe he does have 5 coins in his pocket. I am saying nothing contradicts the idea that he has 5 coins in his pocket (e.g. the dimensions dictate otherwise, etc). My reasoning for why "it could be the case" is abstract, but has nothing to do with reasons why he does have 5 coins in his pocket (or that I believe he does). In my scenario, he can't claim it is probable or possible. There's a difference between claiming there is colloquially a possibility that something can occur and that you actually believe that it occurred. Does that make sense? The dilemma is the latter is non-existent in your epistemology. Smith, in the sense that he isn't claiming to believe there are 5 coins in Jones' pocket, is forced to say nothing at all.

    It is a claim of belief, without the clarification of what leads to holding that belief.

    Potentiality is very clear (actually more clear, I would say, than possibility): that which is not contradicted in the abstract which allows that it could occur. Now, I don't like using "could" because it is utilized in colloquial speech in the sense of possibility and potentiality (possibility as something we could colloquially claim has been proven to occur and potentiality being that which simply hasn't been contradicted yet).

    I felt I did use your example and successfully point out times we can claim probability and speculation, but that's because I fleshed out the scenario to clarify the specifics. If you do not give the specifics of what the underlying induction is based on, then it is simply an unexamined induction, and at best, a guess.

    I felt like I made it clear. Smith is not claiming it is probable: there's not denominator there. He isn't claiming possibility: he has not seen 5 coins in Jones' pocket before. He isn't going to claim irrational induction, because he hasn't found any contradictions. He is not claiming speculation that Jones has five coins in his pocket: he is claiming that Jones' could potentially have five coins in his pocket. So what does he claim? As you agreed, saying he "speculates that it could happen" is redundant: either he is claiming that it "could" happen in the sense of possibility (as in he has experienced it once before)(which he is not in this case) or he is claiming that he can't contradict the idea that potentially has five coins in his pocket. He isn't asserting that he does, just that it could be the case (given his current understanding).

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Bob
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    Good response Bob! I can see we're still on different tracks of thought, but I think we're close.

    This is why I think it may be, at least in part, a semantical difference: when you refer to "application", you seem to be admitting that it is specifically "application to the external world" (and, subsequently, not the totality of reality). In that case, we in agreement here, except that I would advocate for more specific terminology (it is confusing to directly imply one is "application" in its entirety, which implies that the other is not, but yet claim they are both applications).Bob Ross

    Yes, I believe the term has brought confusion as noted before. Here's the thing, I can't say "external world" for a foundational theory of knowledge. Perhaps we can conclude there is an external world, but I never did that in the theory. All I noted in the beginning was that there was a will, and that reality sometimes went along with that will, and sometimes contradicted that will.

    The only reason we have a definition of reality, is that there are some things that go against our will. Reality is the totality of existence that is in accordance with our will, and contrary to our will. I have never attempted to define an external world, though my vocabulary has not been careful enough with this in mind.

    All knowledge is "Deduction based on what is not contradicted". The separation of distinctive and applicable is based on its simplicity versus complexity. Also, its general relation to how people speak. It is a model intended to mirror the idea of a proven external world without actually stating "there is an external world".

    So why have I not declared an "external world" as synonymous with applicable knowledge? Because there are things we can do in our own mind that go against our will. Lets say I imagine the word elephant, and say, "I'm not going to think of the word elephant." Despite what I want, it ends up happening that I cant' stop thinking of the word.

    Distinctive knowledge comes about by the realization that what we discretely experience, the act itself, is known. But anytime there is a claim of knowledge that could potentially go beyond our will, that is an attempt at applicable knowledge. So, if I claim, "I will not think of the word elephant 1 second from now," I must apply that to reality. One second must pass, and I must not have thought of the word. If I did, I applicably know that your earlier statement was false.

    Basically, when your distinctive knowledge creates a statement that the act of the discrete experience alone cannot confirm, you need to apply it. I can discretely experience an abstract set of rules and logical conclusions. But if I apply those abstract rules to something which cannot be confirmed by my current discrete experience, I have to apply it.

    So, if I construct a system of logic, then claim, "X functions like this," to know this to be true, I must deduce it and not be contradicted by reality. Once it is formed distinctively, It must be applied, because I cannot deduce my conclusion about the world from the act of discretely experiencing alone. I can discretely experience a pink elephant, but if I claim the elephant's backside is purple, until I discretely experience the elephants backside, I cannot claim to applicably know its backside is purple. This is all in the mind, which is why I do not state applicable knowledge is "the external world".

    My imagination of a unicorn is distinctive knowledge (pertaining to whatever I imagined), but so is the distinction of the cup and the table (which isn't considered solely apart of the mind--it is object).Bob Ross

    Correct. There is no question that when you discretely experience what you are calling a cup and table, you have distinctive knowledge that it is what you are experiencing. But if you claim, "That is a cup and a table", you must apply your distinctive knowledge to the cup and table to ensure reality does not contradict you. You must take the essential properties of the distinctive knowledge of a cup and a table, and test them. Only if you do without contradiction, can you applicably know that is a cup and a table.

    However, if what you mean by "attempts to claim something beyond them" is simply inductions that pertain to the discrete experience of objects, then I have no quarrel.Bob Ross

    So yes, if I claim that what I am discretely experiencing does in fact fit my definition of cup and table, I am inducing that is so. I must then apply my discrete experience to applicably know whether my induction is true or false.

    Addressing Kant, yes, there are aspects of apriori and aposteriori that are good, it is just as a whole, I find their logic and conclusions incorrect. Lets not get into Kant, just know that I did not find the terms logically consistent or useful enough to use, and felt they would lead people away from the concept I'm trying to convey.

    Distinctive awareness - Our discrete experiences themselves are things we know.
    Contextual logical awareness - The construction of our discrete experiences into a logical set of rules and regulations.

    To clarify, our discrete experiences themselves are things we know by application via reason.
    Bob Ross

    I think its necessary at this point that we define "reason". I've never used the word reason in the paper, and with good "reason" :grin: I tried defining as few concepts as I could, and tried to avoid introducing anything that I had not fully defined first. I'm not saying I succeeded, but that was the intent.

    When you say we know our discrete experiences by reason, I've already stated why we know them. We know we discretely experience because it is a deduction that is not contradicted by reality. So, if I am to define reason according to the epistemology I've proposed, reason would be utilizing the distinctive and applicable contexts of deduction, induction, and pon. But that is all I have at this moment (I think).

    However, I've noted that "reason" is an option. It is not a necessary condition of being human. There is nothing that requires a person to have the contexts of deduction, induction, and pon. One may of course act with inductions, deductions, and pon, but not actively have knowledge that is what they are doing. You are a very rational person, likely educated and around like people. It may be difficult to conceive of people who do not utilize this context. I have to deal with an individual on a weekly basis who are not "rational" in the sense that I've defined.

    So I have defined the utilization of reason as having a distinctive and applicable context of deduction, induction, and lets go one further, logic. I have also claimed that there are people who do not hold this context, and in my life, this is applicably known to be true. But, that does not mean that is what you intend by reason. Could you give your own definition and outlook? Until we both agree on the definition, I feel we'll run into semantical issues.

    When I add these two potatoes together, what happens if one breaks in half? Do I have two potatoes at that point? No, so it turns out I wasn't able to add "these" two potatoes.

    I feel like you aren't referring to mathematical addition, but combination.
    Bob Ross

    What is addition in application, versus abstraction? If I add two potatoes together, my first thought is, "I'll put them in proximity." If you just mean counting, then that would be different. In that case, we still have to do something more to applicably know we can add those two potatoes. Very simply put, we need to applicably know if they are actually potatoes. If so, then we can add them. If one was really not a potato, then we wouldn't have applicably added those two potatoes. At best, we can say we applicably added two identities. So lets go with that, as I think this is closer to your intention.

    Lets say I have the abstraction that I can count two identities. This is distinctive knowledge. But to applicably know that I can, I have to actually count two identities. This of course is trivial, but this triviality is the fine point between distinctive and applicable knowledge. One is the formation of a set of definitions and rules. The second, is its application.

    The formulation of definitions and rules in our head may be sound to our minds. We distinctively know what they are. But do we know they will work when applied to a particular situation? Not until we actually apply the rules to the situation itself. The mistake of "generic" knowledge is believing that the construction of definitions and rules means that we know the outcome of their application, even if we have not attempted it before.

    Think of it this way: I can also "know" what cannot occur in the external world without ever empirically testing it based off of shapes--which encompass the external world as it is discrete experience. Can you fit a square of 5 X 5 inches in a circle of radius 0.5 inches? No.Bob Ross

    When you state "know", try to divide it into distinctive versus applicable knowledge. Do you applicably know this, or distinctively know this? Because you are not dividing the knowledge as noted in the epistemology, I think you believe that I am claiming that we don't know math. We distinctively know math. We also have applicably known and used math in the world numerous times. There's no question that in the abstract we can't fit a square of 5X5 into a circle of radius .5 inches. But that does not mean we can applicably know that "that" particular square that we discretely experience cannot fit into "that" circle of radius .5 inches until we actively try, and find we can do so without contradiction.

    (In regards to space) I am referring to that which is discovered, projected, and conceivable--holistically all experience.Bob Ross

    Again, is this distinctive knowledge, or applicable knowledge? Try to fit it into one of those categories. If you are unable to, then perhaps you can demonstrate that the distinction is broken, not useful, or lacking. But if you're not making that distinction, then you're not really discussing in terms of the epistemology, but in the terms of a completely different context that we have not really agreed on. To me, "holistic" means I'm applying my distinctive knowledge, not merely armchairing in my mind. In which case, this means you agree with me that we can applicably know certain distinctive contexts of space by the application of our very existence, but have not applicably known others.

    I think I following what you are saying now. We don't ever, under this epistemology, really state "historical facts" other than that which is deduced. Everything else is simply a hierarchy of inductions, which we should always simply hold the most cogent one. The problem is that there's never a suspension of judgement: we also claim a belief towards whatever is most cogent. Again, when is it cogent enough for me to take action based off of it?Bob Ross

    I'm not sure what you mean by "there's never a suspension of judgement". If I'm judging that one induction is more cogent than another, how am I suspending judgement? In regards to when is something cogent enough to take action, that is a different question from the base epistemology. I supply what is more rational, and that is it. At its most simple, one should simply act based on the best applicable knowledge and inductions you have. That being said, I do have a much broader answer. It is just that your question is not a negation of the epistemology proposed, and I want to make sure we understand that first. If you would like this explored in the next post, let me know and I'll cover it.

    I don't think really addresses the issue. I used the terminology "speculates it could" because you used it previously, and I was trying to expose that it is the same thing as possibility (in a colloquial sense). It is redundant: to say "it could" is to say "it is possible" (in the old sense of the term). And, no, "it could be the case" is not equivocal to "I believe it to be the case"Bob Ross

    I think we're stuck on definitions here. Saying "it could" needs to be specified. While you might say "it could, because it is possible", you could just as easily say, "it could, because I speculate, or its probable, etc." And yes, if you intend "I believe it to be the case" as an affirmation, then it is not equivalent to "it could be the case". The problem is "it could be the case" is too ambiguous. In my mind, I added, "I believe it could be the case".

    If I claim "Jones could have 5 coins in his pocket", I am not stating that I believe he does have 5 coins in his pocket. I am saying nothing contradicts the idea that he has 5 coins in his pocket (e.g. the dimensions dictate otherwise, etc).Bob Ross

    Explicitly, what you are stating is, "I believe Jones could have 5 coins in his pocket." But what is the reasoning of "could have" based on? A probability, possibility, speculation, or irrational induction? Pointing out that "could have" means I can't clearly assert if Jones could have 5 coins in his pocket, is a criticism of the old epistemology that does not have a hierarchy of inductions to clarify such situations. I have a clear breakdown of inductions. Since we are not using those here, we are not using my epistemology, but the old (which has several more problems besides this one!)

    My epistemology simply asks you to clarify what type of induction you are making by saying "could". I provided examples with this epistemology that could give you the answers. While using the epistemological breakdown of the induction of "could", is there some type of scenario you feel the breakdown is missing? The epistemology notes that "could" is simply ambiguous, and a more rational assessment can be obtained by breaking the induction down into the hierarchy. Is this wrong?

    My reasoning for why "it could be the case" is abstract, but has nothing to do with reasons why he does have 5 coins in his pocket (or that I believe he does).Bob Ross

    What do you mean by "abstract"? It seems to me this is just ignoring the hierarchy. Which again, is not a slight on the hierarchy, its just a rejection of its use. If we reject its use, we cannot criticize it for not being used. The hierarchy notes you need to specify which type of induction you are using. If you don't, then you're not using the epistemology, but some other type of system.

    There's a difference between claiming there is colloquially a possibility that something can occur and that you actually believe that it occurred. Does that make sense? The dilemma is the latter is non-existent in your epistemology. Smith, in the sense that he isn't claiming to believe there are 5 coins in Jones' pocket, is forced to say nothing at all.Bob Ross

    Just to ensure the point is clear, both situations exist in the epistemology. I can induce that it is possible that Jones has 5 coins in his pocket based on reasons. Every induction could turn out correct, or incorrect. So I can state, "Its possible that Jones has 5 coins in his pocket, but I'm going to believe he does/does not". My belief that Jones does not have 5 coins in his pocket does not negate the fact that I still think it is possible that he could. I hope in this way, I've used "could" unambiguously. If you are asserting an affirmative, that is not considering whether they "could". Considering a could, and asserting an affirmative are two separate conclusions.

    If your follow up question is, "Which affirmative should we choose when faced with the induction we've concluded is most cogent", I can address that next response for that will be a large topic.

    Potentiality is very clear (actually more clear, I would say, than possibility): that which is not contradicted in the abstract which allows that it could occur.Bob Ross

    Perhaps it is clear to you, but for my purposes, it was not yet. That is not a your fault, but mine. I think the problem here again is the ambiguity of "could occur". I can create abstract knowledge distinctively. And I can attempt to apply it to reality. Essentially, I'm making an induction that my abstract can be applied in X situation without contradiction.

    An induction by definition, is uncertain. For potentially to be meaningful, we also have to consider its negation. If something did not have potential, this translates to, "Distinctive knowledge that cannot be attempted to be applied to reality." This seems to me to be an inapplicable speculation. Which means that any induction that could attempt to be applied would be considered a "potential', even irrational inductions.

    Basically, its a short hand identity that wraps up probability, possibility, speculation, and irrational inductions. It ignores the hierarchy besides inapplicable speculations. And of course, this leads to problems, because its essentially ignoring the valuable differences between the different types of inductions. This is of course the problem with the old knowledge. Without a hierarchy of inductions, you run into massive problems in epistemology when trying to analyze inductions. Again, any criticism against the epistemology you come up with while using the word "potential" is because you're effectively ignoring the epistemological hierarchy, and really criticizing what happens when you don't use that hierarchy.

    He is not claiming speculation that Jones has five coins in his pocket: he is claiming that Jones' could potentially have five coins in his pocket.Bob Ross

    Exactly. So Jones is claiming, "I have an induction but I'm not going to use the hierarchy to break down what type of induction I'm using". Again, not a criticism of the epistemology, it is simply not using the epistemology, then trying to point out that the epistemology cannot handle a case in which it is not used.

    Really fantastic and deep points Bob!
  • Bob Ross
    98
    Hello @Philosophim,

    I am glad you dived into "applicable" vs "distinctive" knowledge, because I think I was fundamentally misunderstanding your epistemic claims. I was never under the impression anything was related to a "will" in your epistemology, albeit I understand the general relation to the principle of noncontradiction.

    I think we have finally come to a point where our fundamental differences (which we previously disregarded) are no longer so trivial. Therefore, as you also stated, it is probably time to dive into "reason", which inevitably brings us back to the general distinction between our fundamentals. Previously, I understood the distinction between our fundamentals like so (as an over-simplification):

    Yours: object <- discrete experiences -> subject
    Mine: object <- discrete experiences <- subject

    However, "subject" was, and still is, a term with vast interpretations, therefore it is more accurate, as of now, to demonstrate mine as:

    object <-discrete experiences <- reason -> subject

    However, now you seem to be invoking "will", which adds some extra consideration on my end to my interpretation of your fundamental (and I am invoking "reason" which probably is confusing you as well). When you say:

    All I noted in the beginning was that there was a will, and that reality sometimes went along with that will, and sometimes contradicted that will.

    I didn't understand this from your essays (unless, and this is completely plausible, I am forgetting): the fundamental was "discrete experience" which was postulated on the principle of noncontradiction. A "will", in my head, has a motive, which is not implied at all (to me) with "discrete experience". I think we are actually starting to converge (ever so slowly), as I would claim that there are "wills" (as in plural) is in relation to reason. I think I would need a bit more explication into your idea of "will" to properly address it.

    The only reason we have a definition of reality, is that there are some things that go against our will.

    Reality is the totality of existence that is in accordance with our will, and contrary to our will.

    I think you aren't using "reality" synonymously throughout your post. The first statement seems to contradict the second. You first claim that we only can define "reality" as that which goes against our "will", yet then, in the second, claim that "reality" is both what goes against and what aligns with our "will"--I don't see how these are reconcilable statements. Your first statement here is only correct if we are talking about the distinction between "object" and "subject", generally speaking, not "reality" in its entirety. The entire "reality" could be aligned with all of my "will" and still be defined as "reality". I sort of get the notion that you may be using "will" synonymously with "principle of noncontradiction"--I don't think they are the same.

    Because there are things we can do in our own mind that go against our will. Lets say I imagine the word elephant, and say, "I'm not going to think of the word elephant." Despite what I want, it ends up happening that I cant' stop thinking of the word.

    I was misunderstanding you: distinctive knowledge is what you are claiming is given because it is simply discrete experience, whereas applicable could be within the mind or the external world.

    First and foremost, I need to define "reason" for you, because it probably is something vague as it currently stands. Reason is "the process of concluded". This is not synonymous with "rationality", which is a subjective and inter-subjective term pertaining to what one or multiple subjects determine to be the most logical positions to hold (or what they deem as the most logically process to follow in terms of derivation): "rationality" is dependent on "reason" as its fundamental. "Reason" is simply that ever continuing process of conclusions, which is the bedrock of all derivation. 1 + 1 = 3 (without refurbishing the underlying meaning) is an exposition of "reason", albeit not determined to be "rational". If, in that moment, the subject legitimately concluded 1 + 1 = 3, then thereby "reason" was invoked. As a matter of fact, "reason" is invoked in everything, and a careful recursive examination of reason by reason can expose the general necessary forms of that reason: it abides by certain inevitable rules. To be brief, principle of noncontradiction, space, time, differentiation, and causality (and debatably principle of sufficient reason). The first and foremost is the principle of noncontradiction, which is utilized to even began the discovery of the others. To claim that I discretely experience, I concluded by means of pon. This was "reason" and, depending thereafter how "rationality" is inter-subjectively defined, may have been "rational". There's definitely more to be said, but I'll leave it there for now.

    Distinctive knowledge comes about by the realization that what we discretely experience, the act itself, is known.

    I think this is false. The act itself is not just known (as in given), it is determined by means of recursive analysis of reason. You and I determined that we discretely experience. And, if I may be so bold, the act of discretely experiencing does not precede reason: it becomes a logical necessity of reason (i.e. reason determines it must be discretely experiencing multiplicity to even determine in the first place--but this is all dependent on reason). When I say logical, am not referring to "rationally" determined logical systems, merely, in this case, principle of noncontradiction (I cannot hold without contradiction that the aforementioned is false).

    Basically, when your distinctive knowledge creates a statement that the act of the discrete experience alone cannot confirm, you need to apply it. I can discretely experience an abstract set of rules and logical conclusions. But if I apply those abstract rules to something which cannot be confirmed by my current discrete experience, I have to apply it.

    I think, as I now understand your epistemology, I simply reject "distinctive knowledge" in literal sense (everything is always applied), but am perfectly fine with it as a meaningful distinction for better understanding for the reader (or as a subset of applied knowledge). Anything we ever do is a concluded, to some degree or another, which utilizes reason, and any conclusion pertaining to reason or discrete experience is application.

    So, if I construct a system of logic, then claim, "X functions like this," to know this to be true, I must deduce it and not be contradicted by reality.

    The only reason this is true is because you have realized that it would be a contradiction to hold that the contents of the thoughts of a mind can suffice pertaining to what the mind deems objects. This is all from reason and, depending on what is considered rationality, rational.

    Once it is formed distinctively, It must be applied, because I cannot deduce my conclusion about the world from the act of discretely experiencing alone. I can discretely experience a pink elephant, but if I claim the elephant's backside is purple, until I discretely experience the elephants backside, I cannot claim to applicably know its backside is purple. This is all in the mind, which is why I do not state applicable knowledge is "the external world".

    I think I understand, and agree, with what you are saying--with the consideration that they are both applied. We can define a meaningful distinction between "distinctive" (that which is discrete experience) and "applicable" (that which isn't), but only if we were able to reason our way into the definitions. No matter how swift, I conclude that I just imagined an elephant--I am not synonymous with the discrete experience of an elephant (I am the reason).

    When you say we know our discrete experiences by reason, I've already stated why we know them.

    We know discrete experience by reason: the principle of noncontradiction--therefrom space & time, then differentiation, then causality.

    We know we discretely experience because it is a deduction that is not contradicted by reality.

    Your using reason here. You applied this to then claim we have distinctive knowledge that is not applied, but there was never anything that wasn't applied. In other words, you, by application, determined some concepts to be unapplied: given. That which you determined was given, was not given to you, it was obtained by you via application. Nothing is given to you without reason.

    However, I've noted that "reason" is an option. It is not a necessary condition of being human.

    For me, reason is a necessary condition of being human. Not "rationality", but reason.

    There is nothing that requires a person to have the contexts of deduction, induction, and pon

    We can most definitely get into this further, but for now I will just state that pon is the fundamental of everything: everyone uses it necessarily.

    You are a very rational person, likely educated and around like people. It may be difficult to conceive of people who do not utilize this context. I have to deal with an individual on a weekly basis who are not "rational" in the sense that I've defined.

    Thank you! I appreciate that, and I can most definitely tell your are highly rational and well educated as well! To be clear, I am not disagreeing with you on how people are not all rational: I am also around many people that shock me at how irrational they are. I am making a distinction between "reason" and "rationality" to get more at what is fundamental for everything else (reason) and what is built off of that as the best course of action (rationality). One is learned (the latter), the other is innate (reason). It may be confusing because being "reasonable" and "rational" are typically colloquially utilized the same: but I am not.

    So I have defined the utilization of reason as having a distinctive and applicable context of deduction, induction, and lets go one further, logic. I have also claimed that there are people who do not hold this context, and in my life, this is applicably known to be true. But, that does not mean that is what you intend by reason. Could you give your own definition and outlook? Until we both agree on the definition, I feel we'll run into semantical issues.

    I agree, I think there is much to discuss. I think that, in terms of logic as derived from rationality (such as classical logic)(which may require the subject to learn it), you are absolutely right. But in terms of logic in the sense of pon, I think everyone necessarily has it. Now I know it's obvious that people hold contradictions (in colloquial speech), but that isn't what pon is at a more fundamental level (I would say).

    What is addition in application, versus abstraction?

    I find nothing wrong with your potatoe analogy anymore, I think I understand what you are saying. The application is the abstraction, which, in your terms, is not "distinctive" knowledge--so we agree on that (I think).

    We distinctively know math.

    I think we applicably know math. Reason derives what is mathematical and what doesn't abide by it. Solving x = y + 1 for y is application, not distinction. Even the understanding that there's one distinct thing and another one is application (of pon). What exactly is purely distinctive about this? Of course, we can applicably know that there's discrete experience and that we could label discrete experience as "distinctive knowledge", but all that is application. There's never a point at which we rest and just simply know something without application. Is there?

    In terms of space, I am not completely against the idea of labeling the holistic space as distinctive, but that was also applied. To know that space is apodictically true is application of reason inwardly on itself in an analysis of its own forms of manifestation. I could rightfully distinguish apodictically true forms of reason as "distinctive knowledge" and that which is derived from them as "applicable knowledge", which I think (from my perspective) is what you are essentially doing. But my point is that they are all applied: when do I ever not apply anything?

    In regards to when is something cogent enough to take action, that is a different question from the base epistemology. I supply what is more rational, and that is it.

    My question essentially pertained to when something is considered a "historical fact", considering most historical facts are speculations, when we are simply determining which induction is most cogent. I think you answer it here: seems that you think that it isn't a base concern of the epistemology. I think this is a major concern people will have with it. Everyone is so used to our current scientific, historic, etc institutions with their thresholds of when something is validated that I envision this eroding pretty much society's fundamental of how knowledge works. It isn't an issue that it erodes the fundamentals of "knowledge" hitherto, but not addressing it is. You don't have to address it now if you don't want to, but feel free to if you want.

    Explicitly, what you are stating is, "I believe Jones could have 5 coins in his pocket." But what is the reasoning of "could have" based on? A probability, possibility, speculation, or irrational induction?

    The point is that it isn't based off of any of them. And it isn't simply using a different epistemology, it is that your epistemology completely lacks the category. The way I see it, "could have" was colloquially "possibility". Now "possibility" is about experiencing it before, which is only half of what possibility used to mean. The other "could have" was not that the person had seen it before, it was that it had potential to occur because they couldn't outright contradict it. This is still a meaningful thing to say in speech: the only affirmation being the affirmation that one cannot contradict the idea outright. However, I think I may be understanding what you are saying now: potentiality isn't really inducing an affirmation. It is more like "I cannot contradict the idea, therefore it may be possible". Maybe it is the possibility of possibility? But that wouldn't really make any sense (in your terminology). For example, mathematics. I could abstractly determine that I could fit that particular 5 foot brick into that particular 100 x 100 foot room, but, as you noted, until I attempt it I won't know. What I am trying to get at, if I haven't experienced it before then it is not possible. If I have no denominator, then it isn't probable. If I can't contradict it, then it is not irrational. I guess it could be called a speculation, but I am not saying that I can fit the brick in the room, just that I can't contradict the idea that it could. In other words, I am thinking of "speculation" as "that brick will fit into that room" (given it is possible, probable, or irrational), but what about "I can't contradict the idea that that brick will fit into that room". Are they the same? Both speculations?

    "There's a difference between claiming there is colloquially a possibility that something can occur and that you actually believe that it occurred." -- Bob

    Just to ensure the point is clear, both situations exist in the epistemology.

    I'm not sure if they both do. You do have "something can occur" in the sense of experienced before, but is "something can occur due to no contradictions" simply a speculation without affirmation?

    If something did not have potential, this translates to, "Distinctive knowledge that cannot be attempted to be applied to reality." This seems to me to be an inapplicable speculation. Which means that any induction that could attempt to be applied would be considered a "potential', even irrational inductions.

    As I have proposed it, inapplicable speculations do not exist: they have been transformed into irrational inductions. Speculations entail that it is applicable. Therefore, this is not an appropriate antonym to potentiality. The antonym is "that which is contradicted".

    Exactly. So Jones is claiming, "I have an induction but I'm not going to use the hierarchy to break down what type of induction I'm using".

    Leaving the individual voiceless in a perfectly valid context is not purposely not using the epistemology: it is the absence of a meaningful distinction that is causing the issue. There is a meaningful distinction, as you noted, between asserting affirmation, and simply asserting that it isn't contradicted. Or is that simply not within the bounds of your epistemology? Or is it also a speculation? I am having a hard time accurately defining it within your terminology.

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Bob
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    Bob, I admit, this tripped me up at first. I had to think a while on your post, to try to get to what felt like was missing. Maybe I'm generalizing too broadly the difference between distinctive and applicable, and need to narrow down more. Lets see if we can figure this out.

    I was never under the impression anything was related to a "will" in your epistemology, albeit I understand the general relation to the principle of noncontradiction.Bob Ross

    Not a worry! Its in the first paragraph of the entire paper which you read one time many months ago at this point.

    I think I would need a bit more explication into your idea of "will" to properly address it.

    The only reason we have a definition of reality, is that there are some things that go against our will.

    Reality is the totality of existence that is in accordance with our will, and contrary to our will.

    I think you aren't using "reality" synonymously throughout your post. The first statement seems to contradict the second. You first claim that we only can define "reality" as that which goes against our "will", yet then, in the second, claim that "reality" is both what goes against and what aligns with our "will"--I don't see how these are reconcilable statements
    Bob Ross

    Certainly, that was poor language on my part. What I meant to convey was the only reason we can have a concept of reality as something separate from ourselves, is because there are things that go against our will. If everything went in accordance to our will, there would be no need for the term "reality". There would just be whatever we willed would happen.

    So no, I am not saying reality is what contradicts our will. Just noting that because everything we will does not come to pass, we realize there is something besides our will. No, I define reality as what is. Sometimes "what is" is when our will happens. Sometimes "what is" is when it does not happen.

    A "will", in my head, has a motive, which is not implied at all (to me) with "discrete experience"Bob Ross

    A "will" like everything really, is a discrete experience. At a very basic level, I think we would both agree it is an intent of action. I will to wave my hand, and reality does not contradict that will. I will to fly by my mind alone, and reality contradicts this.

    I was misunderstanding you: distinctive knowledge is what you are claiming is given because it is simply discrete experience, whereas applicable could be within the mind or the external worldBob Ross

    Yes, this is it. To clarify, distinctive knowledge is the knowledge of the discrete experience itself. Applicable knowledge is when we claim the distinctive knowledge we have applies to something besides its immediate self, and its immediate self is not enough to state with rational certainty that it is not contradicted by reality

    "Reason" is simply that ever continuing process of conclusions, which is the bedrock of all derivation. 1 + 1 = 3 (without refurbishing the underlying meaning) is an exposition of "reason", albeit not determined to be "rational". If, in that moment, the subject legitimately concluded 1 + 1 = 3, then thereby "reason" was invoked.Bob Ross

    I believe I understand a bit. In that case, would every living thing reason? At the most fundamental level, an organism must decide whether X is food, or not food. I'm not saying its advanced reason, but reason at its most fundamental?

    (Philosophim) "Distinctive knowledge comes about by the realization that what we discretely experience, the act itself, is known."

    I think this is false. The act itself is not just known (as in given), it is determined by means of recursive analysis of reason. You and I determined that we discretely experience.
    Bob Ross

    Correct in a way. When I introduced the idea of discrete experience to you, you had to distinctively know what I meant first. Then, you tried to show it could be contradicted through application. I created the abstract with the conclusion that it could not be contradicted. But if it is ever contradicted in application, while we will still have the distinctive knowledge of "distinctive knowledge", we would applicably know that it was contradicted in its application to reality, not contradicted distinctively.

    The line however, is incredibly fine between distinctive, and applicable. More on this later.

    And, if I may be so bold, the act of discretely experiencing does not precede reason: it becomes a logical necessity of reason (i.e. reason determines it must be discretely experiencing multiplicity to even determine in the first place--but this is all dependent on reason).Bob Ross

    Agreed based on my understanding of your definition of reason. I think this is semantical however. By being a logical necessity for reason to exist, this is similar to what I meant by, "Before reason can form".

    Anything we ever do is concluded, to some degree or another, which utilizes reason, and any conclusion pertaining to reason or discrete experience is application.Bob Ross

    If you mean "conclusion pertaining to application" as "application", yes, I think this fits. Do we need application to distinctively know things? No, distinctive knowledge it what we use to find if we can applicably know it. We can reason using distinctive knowledge to create a set of concepts. But distinctively knowing concepts does not mean we can know them in application.

    The only reason this is true is because you have realized that it would be a contradiction to hold that the contents of the thoughts of a mind can suffice pertaining to what the mind deems objects. This is all from reason and, depending on what is considered rationality, rational.Bob Ross

    No disagreement here either. But it is an abstract invention. I have simply shown that to claim I know I do not discretely experience is irrational. That does not mean I could suddenly lose the capability to discretely experience 2 years from now for some time due to something like a disease or death. In such a case, the application that I discretely experience, would be contradicted by reality.

    We can define a meaningful distinction between "distinctive" (that which is discrete experience) and "applicable" (that which isn't),Bob Ross

    Almost, but not quite. A discrete experience is anything that is separate from something else in your viewpoint. That is any identity, and essentially every "thing" that you experience. Distinctive knowledge and applicable knowledge are both discrete experiences as is any "thing". It is the type of knowledge that we are discretely experiencing where the difference comes in.

    No matter how swift, I conclude that I just imagined an elephant--I am not synonymous with the discrete experience of an elephant (I am the reason).Bob Ross

    Considering you have stated that discrete experience is a logically necessary part of reason, I think this follows. I stated "I am the discrete experiencer," and you have stated, "I am the reasoner". If my understanding of reason is something that every being would have, then I can agree.

    We know we discretely experience because it is a deduction that is not contradicted by reality.

    Your using reason here. You applied this to then claim we have distinctive knowledge that is not applied, but there was never anything that wasn't applied. In other words, you, by application, determined some concepts to be unapplied: given. That which you determined was given, was not given to you, it was obtained by you via application. Nothing is given to you without reason.
    Bob Ross

    Yes, I think you have it! But to clarify again, there is a separation between the distinctive obtainment of knowledge, and the applicable obtainment of knowledge. One if the abstract concept and logical rules. The other is the application of those rules to something without contradiction.

    However, I've noted that "reason" is an option. It is not a necessary condition of being human.

    For me, reason is a necessary condition of being human. Not "rationality", but reason.
    Bob Ross

    Yes, with your definition as I understand it, I agree. But, I will add again based on your definition that reason at its most fundamental is a necessary condition for any living being, not confined to humanity.

    I think we applicably know math. Reason derives what is mathematical and what doesn't abide by it. Solving x = y + 1 for y is application, not distinction. Even the understanding that there's one distinct thing and another one is application (of pon). What exactly is purely distinctive about this? Of course, we can applicably know that there's discrete experience and that we could label discrete experience as "distinctive knowledge", but all that is application. There's never a point at which we rest and just simply know something without application. Is there?Bob Ross

    There is never a point that you applicably know math without application. Distinctive and applicable knowledge are simply subdivisions of "Deductions that do not lead to contradiction by reality. We can applicably know math, and distinctively know math. Keeping it simple, I can distinctively know that 1 is an identity. Then I encounter an identity, and say, "that is 1 identity". But I could just distinctively know that 1+1=2 purely as a set of symbols. If later I see that set of symbols and state, "Ah yes, that is 1+1=2", then I applicably know that math if my claim is not contradicted.

    Perhaps a better way to break down the distinction is by what is implied by our discrete experiences. Distinctive is simply knowing we have every logical reason to believe that we are experiencing the discrete experience itself. If however, the discrete experience implies something beyond the act of having the experience itself, this is when application occurs.

    Of course, how do we have the knowledge that what we are discretely experiencing, is what we are discretely experiencing? At first, it is because we claim it is a contradiction. So is this an application? Or is this what is needed before one can apply? Essentially, distinctive knowledge is the rational conclusion that what we experience, is what we experience. And we conclude that because logically, any other alternative is inapplicable. It is when we apply this distinctive knowledge to something else, for example "I distinctively know 1 banana +1 banana =2 bananas, and I'm going to apply it to those two bananas over there," you can see this dividing line.

    when do I ever not apply anything?Bob Ross

    If I conclude that I discretely experience, it is not by application to something beyond itself. Because it is not a question that it can be contradicted by reality. It is a logical conclusion. And logic on its own, is a set of rules we construct. If we apply it and its not contradicted, then we applicably know it. But that doesn't deny the distinctive knowledge of it before the application. So we are not applying discrete experiences, when we are recognizing that we know we have discrete experiences in themselves. When we are trying to assert more than the experience itself, such as applying the experience to another that we say results in X, we are applying.

    A question for you Bob, is can you see this dividing line? Do you think there are better words for it?
    Do you think there is a better way to explain it?

    My question essentially pertained to when something is considered a "historical fact", considering most historical facts are speculations, when we are simply determining which induction is most cogent. I think you answer it here: seems that you think that it isn't a base concern of the epistemology. I think this is a major concern people will have with it. Everyone is so used to our current scientific, historic, etc institutions with their thresholds of when something is validated that I envision this eroding pretty much society's fundamental of how knowledge works. It isn't an issue that it erodes the fundamentals of "knowledge" hitherto, but not addressing it is. You don't have to address it now if you don't want to, but feel free to if you want.Bob Ross

    People used to think the Earth was the center of the universe. From their perspective, it was understandable. Some people didn't like it when it was pointed out that the Sun was the center. "How could that be possible? Its obvious the Sun circles us!" People's uncomfortableness with something new isn't an argument against proposing something new.

    I think the emotional problem you are noting, is that people will be uncomfortable with the idea that many of the things we purport to know are inductions. Given the idea that inductions have been seen as "irrational", I can see this dislike. But what I am trying to show is that certain inductions are more rational than others. Inductions can be a rational tool of the mind when it reaches limitations. I originally had a few pages added to the induction hierarchy demonstrating when each type of induction was actually very invaluable, even irrational inductions. I can go into that, but I feel like I should address these other points first.

    Explicitly, what you are stating is, "I believe Jones could have 5 coins in his pocket." But what is the reasoning of "could have" based on? A probability, possibility, speculation, or irrational induction?

    The point is that it isn't based off of any of them. And it isn't simply using a different epistemology, it is that your epistemology completely lacks the category.
    Bob Ross

    I believe it does. What you term the "colloquial" use of possible is what I divided into possible and plausible(speculation as we've been calling it now).

    However, I think I may be understanding what you are saying now: potentiality isn't really inducing an affirmation. It is more like "I cannot contradict the idea, therefore it may be possible".Bob Ross

    What I'm claiming is that potentiality is simply an induction without the distinction of the hierarchy. An induction is not inducing affirmation. An induction is always a prediction, and we can never know if a prediction is correct until we apply that prediction. The hierarchy recognizes this, but also recognizes that some inductions are more rational than others. Without the hierarchy, how could you tell which induction is more useful Bob? How can we tell if something has actual potential if there is no subdivision of inductions? Perhaps this will help us resolve the issue of potentiality, and why you believe it to be more useful.

    "There's a difference between claiming there is colloquially a possibility that something can occur and that you actually believe that it occurred." -- Bob

    Just to ensure the point is clear, both situations exist in the epistemology.

    I'm not sure if they both do. You do have "something can occur" in the sense of experienced before, but is "something can occur due to no contradictions" simply a speculation without affirmation?
    Bob Ross

    Lets really break down what you mean by this sentence. "Something can occur due to no contradictions". I think this lacks clarity, and a lack of clarity is not something we should consider. What type of contradictions is this referencing? Is it referencing contradictions of an abstract logic? Or is it the contradiction of reality against my will?

    For example, I can construct a set of abstract rules that work by allowing an object to appear at two places at once. I distinctively know this. In my set of rules of the discrete experiences themselves, there is no contradiction if a thing can be in two places at once. In your terms, this would be potential. In my terms, this would be an abstraction, or a context of distinctive knowledge.

    Now, if we apply that set to reality, we find that an object cannot be in two places at once, no matter how much we try. This is a contradiction of the context when applied to reality, but not a contradiction within the context itself. Just because the person cannot prove that two things can exist in one spot, it does not mean their entire system of logic based on two things existing at once suddenly had contradictions within it. If his assumption was true, the logic would hold. But something being logical within the abstract does not necessarily hold true when applied.

    To put it in terms of logic
    A -> B
    A exists.
    Therefore B

    But what if A does not exist? A -> B is a distinctive knowledge, a logic. But it is not applied to anything in particular. If I say, "If Santa exists, it will rain" for A and B, I have to apply this logic and show that Santa exists for the logic to be true in application. If I find there is no Santa, I can still distinctively know the logical statement I just made, I just cannot know that it applies without contradiction.

    As I have proposed it, inapplicable speculations do not exist: they have been transformed into irrational inductions. Speculations entail that it is applicable. Therefore, this is not an appropriate antonym to potentiality. The antonym is "that which is contradicted".Bob Ross

    Again, contradicted based on one's own distinctive context, or contradicted based on application? It seemed to me potentiality was an induction. Is that induction free of contradictions distinctively, or applicably. An irrational induction in this case, is a distinctive contradiction, not an applicable contradiction. An induction is not an assertion of certainty. Even irrational inductions have the potential of being contradicted in application. They are simply the least rational induction a person can make distinctively, not an assertion of applicable knowledge.

    Exactly. So Jones is claiming, "I have an induction but I'm not going to use the hierarchy to break down what type of induction I'm using".

    Leaving the individual voiceless in a perfectly valid context is not purposely not using the epistemology: it is the absence of a meaningful distinction that is causing the issue.
    Bob Ross

    You can have a perfectly valid context that does not use the epistemology. If you don't want to use the hierarchy in your distinctive context, you don't have to. I'm just trying to point out it is more beneficial to.

    There is a meaningful distinction, as you noted, between asserting affirmation, and simply asserting that it isn't contradicted.Bob Ross

    I think this is where you've missed what I've been stating. There are distinctive and applicable views. You can be contradicted distinctively, and you can be contradicted applicably. They aren't the same thing. When you use "contradiction" without clarifying what type of contradiction, distinctive or applicable, then you aren't using the epistemology.

    That was one heck of a write up! Fantastic points which made me really dig deep and make sure I was being consistent, and conveying my intentions correctly. Let me know what you think Bob.
  • Bob Ross
    98
    @Philosophim,

    Bob, I admit, this tripped me up at first. I had to think a while on your post, to try to get to what felt like was missing.

    I am glad that my responses are thought-provoking (and I assure you that I find yours equally so)! I would hate for our conversation to not be fruitful for us both.

    I think I am still not quite able to pin point what you are conveying with "will" or the dividing line for distinctive vs applicable, so let me try to explain my position on the topic.

    What I meant to convey was the only reason we can have a concept of reality as something separate from ourselves, is because there are things that go against our will. If everything went in accordance to our will, there would be no need for the term "reality".

    If I am understanding you correctly, I think you are claiming that something being a member of "reality" must have at least gone against our will once before, which means that something that is apart of "reality" can go in accordance with our will but as long as it has gone against our will once before then it is a member of "reality". If that is not what you are claiming, then I am not quite following. Because you then stated:

    No, I define reality as what is. Sometimes "what is" is when our will happens. Sometimes "what is" is when it does not happen.

    This makes me believe the aforementioned is what you are claiming because, otherwise, "what is" that is in accordance with our will would not be a member of "reality" (but, rather, a member of ourselves). I'm thinking you are claiming that it is a member of "reality" regardless of whether it was in accordance with our will as long as it went against our will previously (at least once): am I correct here?

    Moreover, I am also trying to hone in on what you mean by "will". When you say:

    I will to wave my hand, and reality does not contradict that will. I will to fly by my mind alone, and reality contradicts this.

    This makes me think you may be using "will" as one shared will between the mind and the body, but, given that the body doesn't have to abide by the will of the mind, I don't think this is what you are saying. I think you are trying to keep this a bit more high level, conceptually, than I am.

    I make a distinction between the body's will and reason's will. The latter is that which manifests in the head in relation to reason (obtained by recursively analyzing reason on its previous manifestations), and the former is the will of the body extrapolated from its actions by reason. I think it was Nietzsche that first exposed me to a preposterous claim pertaining to "free will" being like that of a man who awoke in the morning, stepped outside, and "willed" the sun to rise. Seeing it rise, he determined it was from his will. Taking that example seriously, I honestly don't see how we can know whether any given object's (including the body) actions were from reason's will or whether it was simply assumed due to continual repetition. If the sun always rose every time I freely willed it to, would I thereby know that the sun actually abides by my will? Or is it that the action happened to correlate purely consistently with my will. Likewise, imagine two people who act in accordance to the exact same intentions, without any deviation. Do we really "know" whether they act in accordance to a shared will or simply two separate identical wills? In terms of inductions (and cogency therein), my best inductive belief is to side with the repetition (but I definitely still need to think about it more). So, on a daily basis, I believe that when I think "I should lift my right arm" and my arm actually lifts, that it was from my will (reason's will) even though I do not, in fact, "know" that. Likewise, there's actually, as you are well aware, incidents where my body doesn't abide at all to what I willed. Therefore, I separate them as two wills (body and reason) while holding the belief that most of the time, whether by repetitive happenstance or by actual accordance, my body's will aligns with my own (reason's).

    Now, I think that you are getting at (correct me if I am wrong) is that I won't conceptually separate something else from myself if it abides by whatever I will (regardless of whether it is happenstance or in actual accordance). Honestly I am not convinced of this either. Let's take the two people acting in the exact same manner (intentions) (without deviation) example: if I were to claim that they are actually of the same will, then I would still identify them as separate objects with a shared subjective will (i.e. "those two objects are of the same will"--I would not refer to them both as one object). Likewise, if I were not analyzing two separate wills from me (to determine, like in the previous example, whether they are one or two wills), but, rather, analyzing this in accordance to mine, I would still distinguish the objects regardless of their connection to my will. If my intentions always align with my body's and some other body's, then, at best, i would connect them to my will but as two objects connected to one will. I don't see how the separation really, at a physical-objective level, dissipates. I only see that, at best, it dissipates at the level of the subject (or, to be more specific, reason). If there were two body's that abided repetitively to my will, my wanting to investigate the inner workings of those bodies would be abided by both, but I will still be acknowledging thereby (in wanting an investigation) that there's a separation of parts within the bodies (and the separation of me from those bodies).

    Just to really hone in on this. Imagine I am walking on a concrete sidewalk and will that it become concrete. Is it now concrete because it already was or because I willed it to be? It was going to be concrete either way, but how could I "know" or "not know" that it didn't abide by my will? I think the same is true of bodily actions. I think "lift arm", arm lifts. Was the arm going to lift anyways or is it lifting because I willed it? How do I "know" or "not know" whether it did abide by my will? I separate them as two wills because I do think there is evidence that the body doesn't abide by my will, but can coincide with it most of the time. But the real question is whether or not I would be able to claim either way if the body always, without any deviation, coincided with my wants. If every time I command "lift the arm", the arm lifts, then would I claim that they are of the same will? Either way, the separation of arm and thoughts (object and reason) would be intact, wouldn't it?

    Maybe, on the contrary, you are referring to everything having my reason? Everything concluding thoughts as if they are from me? I am presuming you mean is that my will from my reason as is were to always coincide with what happens in what we call "reality".

    I think this could also derail into omnipotence dilemmas as well, but don't think that is the main focus of this discussion. But there's a level to this where the logical contradiction of "I want a square circle" is what I think you are referring to as "reality" going against my will. However, I don't think that reason's will (as manifestations in thoughts) has any provable bearing on the relation between objects. Again, how would I distinguish that which is repetitive coincidence and that which actually abides by my will. Reason is the aboutness, which pertains to conclusions about the objects and its relations. I can conclude a "belief" that my arm, when it lifted, actually abided by my will by accepting repetition as a more cogent belief than coincidence, but that's all just reason making connections pertaining to objects, not it actually doing anything in the physical world. I observe that my arm moved, I now try to analyze the connections to gather an explanation of that physical action. Does that make any sense? I'm not sure if I am explaining this very well.

    I believe I understand a bit. In that case, would every living thing reason? At the most fundamental level, an organism must decide whether X is food, or not food. I'm not saying its advanced reason, but reason at its most fundamental?

    Although I haven't pondered it nearly enough yet, I think this is fair and plausible. If an animal (or even plant maybe) decides whether X is Y, or is not, then it thereby used the principle of noncontradiction--which would entail some level of reason I would presume. This would get into solipsism though, as I would hold that reason can never verify other reason, only obtain an inductive belief that there are other "reasons" by means of analyzing it's body's actions in relation to another body's actions (to see if it makes sense that it has reason). Does that make sense? Just like how there is no distinction between repetitive coincidence and actual accordance, I cannot distinguish the two in other people or animals or plants either. I just believe it is the case.

    When I introduced the idea of discrete experience to you, you had to distinctively know what I meant first... But if it is ever contradicted in application, while we will still have the distinctive knowledge of "distinctive knowledge", we would applicably know that it was contradicted in its application to reality, not contradicted distinctively.

    I am not entirely sure what you mean here. I conclude that I must have differentiation, that distinctiveness, before I could even conclude anything in the first place. If the converse was concluded (legitimately), the closest thing I can conceive of would be oneness. If we concluded the converse with respect how even reason itself operates now, which is not unified into oneness, then we would simply be mistaken (probably haven't realized that the very thinking process requires differentiation). Is that what you mean? Distinctive knowledge would still be there even if we concluded it wasn't there because we are simply mistaken?

    Do we need application to distinctively know things? No, distinctive knowledge it what we use to find if we can applicably know it.

    I think I am following, and I agree. But that was also concluded. I can distinctively think that I should envision an elephant, but it turns out I envision a lion instead. But by application, I know that my reason manifested a thought which introduced a will to envision an elephant and I know that the object that appeared in my mind was not an elephant. Even to claim that I initially had to use that distinctive knowledge of wanting to envision an elephant requires, thereafter, application (consideration of that previous manifestation by reason). I don't hold that what is "in the mind" is equivocal to reason. I don't think that what "I" envision (or imagine) is apart of reason, it is, just like any other object, what is concluding about that envisioning that is reason. I think what you are trying to get at is that I hold this on principle to the fact that I don't control those images (or that they have gone against my will at least once previously). I think that even if what I want to will (in reference to visions) always repetitively comes to pass, there's still a distinction between the object (the about) and what is asserting the aboutness.

    Distinctive knowledge and applicable knowledge are both discrete experiences as is any "thing".

    I apologize, I should have used my words more carefully. I think that you are making a meaningful distinction, but it is still, in my eyes, all application. I think that you are saying I distinctively know the words you right, but don't applicably know the contents of those words until I apply them to "reality" without contradiction: is that right?

    But I could just distinctively know that 1+1=2 purely as a set of symbols. If later I see that set of symbols and state, "Ah yes, that is 1+1=2", then I applicably know that math if my claim is not contradicted.

    I understand, and it is a meaningful distinction. But to claim to know a set of symbols purely as distinctive knowledge is application of reason. I have no problem with this distinction you are making though. I would also say that the abstract consideration of the operation of addition is applicable knowledge (in your terms)(and identifying the shapes again, like you said), but the recognition of the shapes of "1" "+" "1" "=" "2" is distinctive knowledge: is that correct?

    The problem I have is that it seems as though you are claiming distinctive knowledge is not "application to reality without contradiction". How is it not? How did I not apply the recognition of symbols to reality? "reality" is just the principle of noncontradiction. I contradict the idea that I did distinctively recognize "1", then I didn't distinctively recognize "1". I can't, however, contradict the idea that I distinctively recognized some symbol, therefore I distinctively recognized that symbol. To you, is this all application to reality, with a meaningful subdivision?

    Distinctive is simply knowing we have every logical reason to believe that we are experiencing the discrete experience itself. If however, the discrete experience implies something beyond the act of having the experience itself, this is when application occurs.

    I understand your distinction here, but the claim that "the act of having the experience itself" I see no different than claiming something beyond the act itself. I must not be able to contradict it. Once I've obtained the act of having the experience itself as true, I can meaningfully distinguish that from whatever is utilizing that experience to attempt to derive something else (which I think is what you are getting at ). I am having a hard time distinguishing the two as not really the same thing (fundamentally).

    Essentially, distinctive knowledge is the rational conclusion that what we experience, is what we experience..."I distinctively know 1 banana +1 banana =2 bananas, and I'm going to apply it to those two bananas over there," you can see this dividing line.

    To me it just seems like you applicably know (not in your terms) that you distinctively recognize things, and then anything built off of that is "applied": but both were, no? Don't get me wrong, your distinction is something I distinguish as well (I hold that I distinctly recognize things as well).

    If I conclude that I discretely experience, it is not by application to something beyond itself...
    So we are not applying discrete experiences, when we are recognizing that we know we have discrete experiences in themselves.

    I think this is the difference: you are making a subdivision in application in terms of what recursively refers to itself vs what refers beyond itself. I am pointing out that it is still application, albeit meaningful distinctions. And nothing ever refers to itself in a literal sense. The distinctive knowledge of 1+1=2 was analyzed by reference in a subsequent thought.

    And logic on its own, is a set of rules we construct

    I think there are fundamental rules of logic we do not construct.

    When we are trying to assert more than the experience itself, such as applying the experience to another that we say results in X, we are applying.

    Then applicable knowledge is always inductive then? I believe applying one experience to another will hold, but it may not.

    A question for you Bob, is can you see this dividing line? Do you think there are better words for it?Do you think there is a better way to explain it?

    I think some further elaboration would be useful: I don't think I am still quite understanding you.

    Is it referencing contradictions of an abstract logic? Or is it the contradiction of reality against my will?

    I think to properly address your elaboration into potentiality, I need to hear your feedback on what you mean by "will". I hold that there is one kind of "contradiction" and it is pon. There's no difference between a contradiction in abstract logic vs against my will. Is there?

    Firstly, I don't think you can construct a distinctive context where something is at two places at once: it would be two identical things, which I don't think is the same thing. But let's say that I could imagine the same chair in two different places (and they weren't identical clones), then I would applicably know that my imagination can hold the same thing in two different locations and, when applied to objects outside of imagination, that there cannot be the same thing in two different locations in non-imagination.

    A -> B
    A exists.
    Therefore B

    It's more like:

    A -> B
    A is not contradicted, thereby true
    Therefore B

    The same thing in two different locations is not contradicted in imagination (hypothetically), but is in what you call "reality" (what I would call non-imagination to be precise). It would be a contradiction to transport the conclusion pertaining to the imagination to non-imagination because they don't hold the same identity in terms of essential properties (hence "non"-imagination). To hold that they are the same, would be contradicted by reason (potentially, someone may not ever realize it). Even if I could apply the same thing in two different locations as true in non-imagination and imagination, I would still have to deal with the contradiction that I they, by definition, are not correlated to one another: they share an unessential property.

    It terms of your santa example, you know by application that modal statements like IF...THEN are true in terms of their form, but not necessarily that the IF conditional is automatically true. You and I had to conclude that we both implicitly utilize IF...THEN style logic even prior to us realizing it: that is application. I don't think we are ever knowing anything without applying to "reality" because reason recursively analyzes itself in the exact same manner.

    I'll stop here for now: this is getting long!

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Bob
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    Wonderful analysis Bob. I think you're seeing the distinction, but also the underlying sameness that runs through them both. This is because at their core, both types of knowledge are solved the same way; they are both deductions that are concluded without contradiction. However, there is a mix up of language here. I think you've been stating the only way to conclude anything is not a contradiction, is to "apply" it. This is not the same meaning as "Applicable knowledge". Since the vocabulary is confusing, a better way would be to state the phrase, "use reason" instead of "apply it". I'll flesh this out more through this response.

    The distinction between Distinctive and Applicable is really more of a differentiation of steps in knowledge. Distinctive knowledge is obtained, and only after, can applicable knowledge be obtained. Perhaps the difficulty comes from defining "reality". As a foundational argument, I am restricted in what I can claim in my building blocks. So I will start with your question about "will".

    As this is foundational, I'm trying to embrace definitions that any person could come to on their own. So in the beginning, reality is simple. If everything went according to my will, there would be no need for the identity of "reality". Everything I willed would happen. But, there is an existence which can counter my will. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it does not. Regardless, it has the capability to deny my will. Reality is the existence that can, or does not counter my will. That's all there is to it.

    Moreover, I am also trying to hone in on what you mean by "will". When you say:

    I will to wave my hand, and reality does not contradict that will. I will to fly by my mind alone, and reality contradicts this.

    This makes me think you may be using "will" as one shared will between the mind and the body, but, given that the body doesn't have to abide by the will of the mind, I don't think this is what you are saying. I think you are trying to keep this a bit more high level, conceptually, than I am.
    Bob Ross

    To understand this fundamental definition of will, there is no mind or body initially considered. Will is intention, and that outcome is decided by reality. I have not fundamentally defined the body vs the mind at this point. If that is important to you, I will, but I don't want to add in things that should be unimportant to understanding what will and reality is.

    Hopefully this will allow us greater clarity between distinctive and applicable knowledge. First, understand that we are currently not including social context. That changes things. In a solo context, I conclude that knowledge is what is deduced and what reality does not contradict. This is entirely to my will, and reality cannot deny that I made it. Is this distinctive, or applicable? This is distinctive. I formulated it, therefore its there. A = A, because I have defined it as such. I could just as easily have stated, A=B. I would distinctively know that A=B, but I could not apply it in any meaningful way.

    But if I say, "That letter A is equivalent to that letter A over there", I need to carefully craft my context to ensure I'm not contradicted by reality. If I say, "I deduce that these two objects that I perceive by sight to be tomatoes, I must carefully check that they really do fit all of my essential properties of what a tomato is. I think what I'm finally realizing as I've seriously thought about this, is all applicable knowledge were initially beliefs that needed to be confirmed before they could be considered deduced conclusions.

    A claim that needs needs to go through the process to determine if it can be applicably known, is always an induction, or a belief. Honestly, its a relief to finally smack my forehead and realize this clearly. I can claim A=A, but can I claim those two A's over there are equivalent before going over them closely? No. That's an induction. I suppose an induction which has a deductively concluded outcome is applicable knowledge.

    And logic on its own, is a set of rules we construct

    I think there are fundamental rules of logic we do not construct.
    Bob Ross

    There are fundamental rules that we construct, and are not valid as applicable knowledge. There are fundamental rules of logic we construct, and are valid as applicable knowledge. The application of reason, or "Deductions which are not contradicted by reality" runs through both. Abstract logic is something you create. You will that a particular definition means X. To hold the definition of X, Y is entailed. In other words, you've created a deduction. Now, you could create another definition Z, that entails Y does not exist, but X does exist. At this point, there is a contradiction from reality, but the reality that your will can create and modify. I can change the definition Z and what it entails. Same with X and Y. The contradiction exists only because I choose to hold definitions that contradict. In other words, no inductions are created and tested. This is distinctive knowledge.

    If that abstract logic is applied to anything but other distinctive identities, then it is no longer an deduction, but an induction. And at that point, steps must be set out to determine a deduced conclusion. Once that conclusion is deduced, I call that "applicable knowledge".

    Is application a good word to describe this though? Does it lend confusion? It appears it does. I don't know of a word that describes the process of finding the deduced result of an induction. Perhaps there is no word yet. Perhaps instead of actions I should be thinking in steps or tiers. Like tier 1 knowledge is distinctive while tier 2 is applicable. Instead of 'applicable', maybe another word? Processed? Gleaned? I'm open to suggestions!

    But to claim to know a set of symbols purely as distinctive knowledge is application of reason.Bob Ross

    Right, recall again that both distinctive and applicable knowledge are both concluded exactly the same way. "A deduction with a conclusion that is not contradicted by reality". Reason can be said to be "applied", but it is not the same as taking what is deduced to be an induction, and taking the steps necessary to confirm its result.

    There's no difference between a contradiction in abstract logic vs against my will. Is there?Bob Ross

    A good question. There may be. If you construct your abstract logic, (within a solo context) you are the one defining your terms and rules. You are deciding to hold onto them when a contradiction is met. This is not the same thing as using your logical set to induce an outcome that you must then confirm. By this I mean you are holding onto your definitions of logic, but cannot decide the outcome. When you can hold onto your definitions of logic, and decide your outcome, this would be considered distinctive knowledge.

    It terms of your santa example, you know by application that modal statements like IF...THEN are true in terms of their form, but not necessarily that the IF conditional is automatically true.Bob Ross

    I think with this clarified, I know by distinction that IF THEN statements are true of their form. But if I am going to apply that if conditional to something that I do not yet know the outcome of, and its outcome is not something I can decide, then it would need to undergo the knowledge process to see which applicable knowledge I would learn from this application.

    Bob, I can't thank you enough for your keen and pointed comments on this. I always knew distinctive and applicable knowledge worked, but I always felt it lacked refinement or a clear way to explain and demarcate it. I think I've found that now thanks to you. I hope this clarifies this issue for you as well!
  • Bob Ross
    98
    Hello @Philosophim,

    I really appreciate your elaboration, as I think I am starting to grasp the "distinctive" vs "applicable" distinction you are making. Your uncovering of inductions vs inductions verified via deductions is marvelous (and not to mention, helped me understand your viewpoint better)! However, sadly, I am still having troubles truly concurring with you. Let me try to explain (slash simply ask you questions).

    Firstly, I am not finding it self-apparent that your definitions of "distinctive knowledge" and "applicable knowledge" are mutually exclusive:

    When you can hold onto your definitions of logic, and decide your outcome, this would be considered distinctive knowledge.
    I suppose an induction which has a deductively concluded outcome is applicable knowledge.

    Let me give you an example where I am finding these definitions problematic (and you tell me where I am getting it wrong, because I am fairly confident it is probably just me misunderstanding). Imagine I am contemplating the square root of 25. Let's say I immediately (without performing the math) assert that it is 6 (because I memorized the square roots of certain numbers previously and, albeit incorrect, associated my memory of one particular square root problem as being answered by 6 with it being the square root of 25). My assertion here is a belief (that it is 6), and is therefore an induction (my premises do not necessarily constitute the conclusion). To determine my assertions validity, I perform the necessary mathematical operations, which is how I am able to deduce that my inductive belief was incorrect (5 * 5 = 25, 6 * 6). Since this example abides by the form you have defined for "applicable knowledge", it was "application" (all of which was pure, abstract reason).

    However, if I had never asserted anything (i.e. that it was 6), then it would have been "distinctive knowledge" because it was a pure deduction (which is entirely within my control, as it is abstract).

    But in either case the belief (or lack thereof) was irrelevant. If I say 1 + 1 probably equals 2, and then perform addition to determine (deductively) that it actually is, then technically that is "applicable knowledge". If I merely hadn't guessed anything prior to the deduction of mathematical principles, then it would have been distinctive knowledge.

    Furthermore, I think you are claiming that distinctive knowledge precedes (always) applicable knowledge, but in this case (depending on whether a belief is conjured) applicable knowledge could be obtained without using any prior distinctive knowledge (e.g. without asserting a preliminary belief, the deductive application of addition to 1 + 1 would produce distinctive knowledge, but with a preliminary belief it would have produced applicable knowledge without any preceding distinctive knowledge).

    I think, if I am understanding you correctly, what you are more trying to convey is abstract vs non-abstract knowledge, and you seem to be arguing that line is drawn by what you do or do not control. But abstract knowledge under your definitions would not be exclusively distinctive.

    Likewise, an induction that is verified via a deduction is not a "deduction which is not contradicted by reality": it an induction which is not contradicted by reality, but is distinguished from other inductions by the manner in which is confirmed (deduction). So it seems like distinctive and applicable knowledge do not, after all, utilize the same method (but nevertheless utilize pon). To make it more confusing on my end, it also doesn't seem like you are strictly claiming an abstract divide either, because the coining of a term in reference to an object in front of me would be a pure deduction (which pertains to something non-abstract) and, thusly, would be distinctive knowledge. Whereas my belief that some object that isn't in front of me is the same as the one that is would be merely an induction (that happens to be verified/unverified by means of a deduction), therefore applicable knowledge. And, moreover, when I go verify that that other object is indeed like the other one that I previously saw (thereby using deduction), that would be distinctive knowledge in the sense that it is a pure deduction. And my consideration of that object, grounded in a pure deduction, being that of the same as the previous object would be a purely abstract consideration (i.e. I am comparing the properties of this object, gathered deductively, to the previous properties I deductively found of the other object--none of this is non-abstract). It is almost like a pure deduction is always distinctive, regardless to what it pertains, and applicable is really the attempt to verify inductions. Don't get me wrong, I share many examples with you where this dividing line seems clear, but upon deeper reflection I am left with nothing but confusion. Did you not also distinctively know the two A's over there when you verified your inductive belief about them? Then didn't you abstractly compare those properties to the A's you conjured up in your mind (which is still within the realm of "distinctive knowledge")? When they abstractly matched (in essential properties) you thereby asserted it valid (wouldn't that be distinctive knowledge?). So really "applicable knowledge" is inductions which you distinctively know to be true, no?

    As this is foundational, I'm trying to embrace definitions that any person could come to on their own. So in the beginning, reality is simple. If everything went according to my will, there would be no need for the identity of "reality". Everything I willed would happen. But, there is an existence which can counter my will. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it does not. Regardless, it has the capability to deny my will. Reality is the existence that can, or does not counter my will. That's all there is to it.

    I admire your desire to keep it fundamentally easier to comprehend (and honestly that is your prerogative, I respect that), but I find your "will" incredibly ambiguous (I am gathering it might be purposely so?). For example, if "reality" is simply "what I do not control", then my body could very well not be apart of "reality". Moreover, my imagination may be apart of and not apart of reality (depending): what if I can't control my imagination, or maybe only particular aspects? What if I could control my breathing in my dream, but not the my arms movements: are my imaginative arms apart of "reality" but not my imaginative breathing? This also opens the doors to everything being consumed by "reality": if I will that my next thought be a continuation of the subject I am currently contemplating and the very next thought segues into something completely irrelevant, then my thoughts are also "reality", which inevitably begs the question of what isn't "reality"? All I have are thoughts, what is left? I think, like you are saying, at a surface level "control vs no-control" seems intuitive, but upon deeper reflection it isn't that solid (nor clear) of a distinction. Objects, regardless of who is willing their actions, are still objects. Objects are "reality". I am having a hard time seeing (beyond simply trying to keep it intuitive for the layman) how this distinction has any bearing on control? Even if my body always was aligned with my will, it would still be apart of reality. I honestly don't think what you are trying to convey really has any bearing on control either (unless I am just misunderstanding): abstract vs non-abstract knowledge is still a meaningful distinction regardless of who willed what. But at the same time, maybe you aren't making such a distinction (abstract vs non-abstract), because you definitions seem to be implying other things (a deeper divide) than what I am understanding (I think).

    Abstract logic is something you create. You will that a particular definition means X.

    I agree that we can create abstract logic, but it follows from necessary logic. IF X -> THEN Y is logically constructed in the sense that I can choose to reject the relation of X to Y (i.e. Y does not follow from X). In that sense I agree, but the form of IF THEN conditional logic is necessarily already there, and cannot be rejected. I can always innately, whether I like it or not, construct logic which is built off of a conditional (something not asserted as true, but assumed as such for further exposition). To even try to negate IF THEN in terms of its form, I would have to conditionally assume a hypothetical where I don't necessarily utilize IF THEN, which thereby solidifies its necessity. It is easier to see with pon: I can construct logic utilizing pon, but pon is necessarily the bedrock of logic itself. Maybe it should be distinguished as a different kind of logic (but then we might start getting into controversial terminology, such as transcendental logic or something like that, which we both may not agree with). But I see your point and agree: we can make up, built off of the fundamentals of logic, what we conceptualize as "logic".

    In other words, no inductions are created and tested. This is distinctive knowledge.

    Again, this I find problematic (see original examples: it seems, so far, to be a superficial distinction). Sometimes the induction conjured up doesn't matter at all.

    Like tier 1 knowledge is distinctive while tier 2 is applicable. Instead of 'applicable', maybe another word? Processed? Gleaned? I'm open to suggestions!

    Hopefully I've demonstrated that it isn't always tier 1, but application could be tier 1 as well. It really seems like you are distinguishing a deduction from an induction (that can only be verified by deduction--which would be thereby something verified distinctively). I still think, so far, that the only clear distinction here would be reason and everything referred to by it (aboutness vs about).

    This is not the same thing as using your logical set to induce an outcome that you must then confirm. By this I mean you are holding onto your definitions of logic, but cannot decide the outcome

    Again, if it is about being able to decide the outcome, then my original examples are distinctive knowledge, but if it is about whether it is an induction verified by deductions, then it is applicable knowledge. I can have inductions that do not pertain to objects (i.e. are abstract) which I can then thereafter determine whether they are true via abstract deduction.

    Bob, I can't thank you enough for your keen and pointed comments on this. I always knew distinctive and applicable knowledge worked, but I always felt it lacked refinement or a clear way to explain and demarcate it. I think I've found that now thanks to you. I hope this clarifies this issue for you as well!

    I am glad I was of service! However, although it did clear things up a bit, I still am not fully agreeing with it nor do I think it is a clear distinction.

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Bob
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    I am glad I was of service! However, although it did clear things up a bit, I still am not fully agreeing with it nor do I think it is a clear distinction.Bob Ross

    Perfectly fine! For me it gave me a new avenue and way of describing what I've been thinking. Lets see if I can clear up your further issues.

    Firstly, I am not finding it self-apparent that your definitions of "distinctive knowledge" and "applicable knowledge" are mutually exclusiveBob Ross

    Recall that what entails knowledge is a deduction that is not contradicted by reality. But now, I think with my further realization of the difference, I can finally remove "reality". Knowledge ultimately is a deduction. A deduction is a conclusion which necessarily follows from its premises. Adding, "reality" is redundant. Any legitimate contradiction to a deduction, means its not a deduction any longer. "Reality" was a place holder for basically, "legitimate challenges to deductions". If a deduction can hold despite other challenges to it, it is knowledge.

    Knowing that this runs through both applicable and deductive, I've always noted there was a fine dividing line that we craft. The front and back of a piece of grass are different and necessary existences, but it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two without a zero point. A zero point is the origin of an X and Y graph. When you are looking at a line pattern, putting it to the zero point can give clarity on comparing its symmetry and slopes. What we're doing with definitive and applicable knowledge is putting knowledge on a zero point, and noting the X and Y dimensions. It is in essence a drawn line or parabola, but charted in a graph in such a way as to break it down into an easier calculation.

    Honestly, my realization that applicable knowledge is simply the actual result of an induction makes me want to rewrite the entire thing. I believe I can make it so much clearer now. You see, you can have deductions without inductions. You can have inductions without deductions. X and Y. But you can only get certain outcomes when you combine the two. And when you combine the two, that result cannot be obtained without both an induction, and a deduction. 2,3 as a mark on a grid requires both to be. That point exists without a graph of course, but put it on a graph and you can make a breakdown far more useful.

    But I go on. The entire point of the example is to agree with you, that sometimes certain knowledge outcomes are going to bleed into each other without clear definitions. The coordinate 2, 3 are clearly X and Y coordinates, but their existence as a combined coordinate is impossible without each other together. Remember that we can discretely experience whatever we want. We can throw away the grid if we want. But what would we lose if we do? Lets examine your points.

    Imagine I am contemplating the square root of 25. Let's say I immediately (without performing the math) assert that it is 6 (because I memorized the square roots of certain numbers previously and, albeit incorrect, associated my memory of one particular square root problem as being answered by 6 with it being the square root of 25).Bob Ross

    What you are missing here is another ingredient we have not spoken about very much, but is important. Social context as mentioned in part 3. I realized I needed to point it out more last time we spoke. Implicitly, when I am talking about knowledge as a foundation in my head, I am referring to a person without any social context. I need to be pointing that out every time, and it is my fault for not doing so.

    English and the symbols of logic of math, are not solo contexts. They are social contexts. You have an external reference to tell you that you are right or wrong. When you say you're making an induction that the square root of 25 is six, you're making an induction against societies definition of math, not your own. I can create my own math in my head where the square root of 25 is 6. Of course, my underlying essential property of what 25, 6, and all the words involved would need to be non-synonymous with societies. But within my personal context, I can make it whatever I want.

    When you are learning 1+1=2, you are learning a societal definition of math. If you question, "What does 1+1 equal again?" you are asking for a definition that is not your own. You can learn math from other people. But when you are doing a math problem, and you cannot deduce the answer, you are making an induction about what societies rules would conclude the answer should be. Implicitly, you are unsure you have all the rules and process of thinking correct, and you need to check with others. In this way, once you find the answer, you have obtained applicable knowledge of the answer.

    I feel in a self-contained context, the descriptors of distinctive and applicable are clear. It is when societal context enters in, that it can be potentially blurred. If someone tells you 1+1=2, and you clearly remember that, that would seem to be distinctive. If someone then asked you, "What does 1+1 equal"? you would distinctively know 1+1=2, but would you know that will be the accepted answer in this particular question? What separates an induction from a deduction is just a little uncertainty to that person's reaction to your answer.

    Likewise, an induction that is verified via a deduction is not a "deduction which is not contradicted by reality": it an induction which is not contradicted by reality, but is distinguished from other inductions by the manner in which is confirmed (deduction).Bob Ross

    I want to word it more clearly from my end, though this may be semantics at this point. An induction, who's conclusion has been reached deductively, is applicable knowledge. As an example, I make an induction that the next coin flip will be heads. We could use the hierarchy to examine the cogency level of that induction. Whether it flips to heads or tails (or the ridiculous unlikelihood of landing on that knifes edge) we can examine the essential properties of the result, and deduce a conclusion.

    That conclusion, no matter the result, is applicable knowledge. It doesn't mean we didn't make an induction. If for example I guessed heads, and it landed on heads, my induction did not itself become a deduction because I guessed correctly. It is only when the answer to that induction is deduced, that we have applicable knowledge. That knowledge may be, "I guessed heads, but it landed on tails". This differentiates itself from my distinctive knowledge, or definition of the essential properties of "landing on heads or tails" entails.

    Finally, it is essential to note how the induction is concluded. Having an induction that happens to be correct is not the same as knowledge in any epistemological analysis I've ever read. And for good reason. A guess that happens to be right is not knowledge, its just a lucky guess. We can have knowledge that we made a guess, and we can have knowledge of the outcome of that guess, but that is it.

    Furthermore, I think you are claiming that distinctive knowledge precedes (always) applicable knowledge, but in this case (depending on whether a belief is conjured) applicable knowledge could be obtained without using any prior distinctive knowledge (e.g. without asserting a preliminary belief, the deductive application of addition to 1 + 1 would produce distinctive knowledge, but with a preliminary belief it would have produced applicable knowledge without any preceding distinctive knowledge).Bob Ross

    I still believe distinctive knowledge always comes from applicable knowledge. If I experience something for which I have no distinctive knowledge, I first may try to match it to the dictionary in my brain. If I deduce that I cannot, I applicably know what I am seeing does not match what is in my brain. At that point, I create an identity for it. Its the sheep and goat example all over again. To avoid retyping it up again, do a ctrl-f 'goat' on section 2 to re-read the example.

    To sum it up, we can use the deductions we arrive at from our inductions to amend or create new distinctive knowledge (solo context again). But distinctive knowledge is not an induction itself. It is the creation of an identity that can be used in a later induction or deduction. It can be amended, created, and destroyed. But the experience itself is created and thus known by us without any induction involved.

    But abstract knowledge under your definitions would not be exclusively distinctive.Bob Ross

    Again, in a social context, you are somewhat correct. Because in this case, the abstract is something invented by society, something we do not have control over. It is the distinctive knowledge of society, and if we use inductions to say, "Do I understand societies distinctive knowledge correctly?" those deduced solutions are applicable knowledge. I also want to use "distinctive knowledge of society" with care. I think that's not quite clear, and I would very much consider this to be ambiguous and possibly confusing. I might need a new phrase here, which I believe I will think into more. This post is already massive enough as it is. :)

    the coining of a term in reference to an object in front of me would be a pure deduction (which pertains to something non-abstract) and, thusly, would be distinctive knowledge. Whereas my belief that some object that isn't in front of me is the same as the one that is would be merely an induction (that happens to be verified/unverified by means of a deduction), therefore applicable knowledge.Bob Ross

    A fantastic summary.

    And, moreover, when I go verify that that other object is indeed like the other one that I previously saw (thereby using deduction), that would be distinctive knowledge in the sense that it is a pure deduction.

    Let me clarify a little here. The result of a deduced conclusion from an induction would be applicable knowledge. Using a deduction is knowledge. It is the situation that we use the deduction in that determines the classification of knowledge we are receiving.
    Bob Ross
    And my consideration of that object, grounded in a pure deduction, being that of the same as the previous object would be a purely abstract consideration (i.e. I am comparing the properties of this object, gathered deductively, to the previous properties I deductively found of the other object--none of this is non-abstract). It is almost like a pure deduction is always distinctive, regardless to what it pertains, and applicable is really the attempt to verify inductions.Bob Ross

    I would clarify that the applicable is not the attempt to verify inductions, it is the deductive result of an induction. Again, a deduction is a deduction. It is about whether it follows an induction, or another deduction, that determines the classification of knowledge.

    There is another implicit question you're likely asking as well. "Are inductions and deductions classifications of knowledge themselves?

    We can have distinctive knowledge of our inductions and deductions of course. But what of the underlying logic itself of deduction vs induction? That is distinctive. We have created a set of rules and definitions that we use. We have applicable knowledge that both inductions and deductions can be used without contradiction. I can make the induction, "I believe I can use a deduction without contradiction", and applicably know this to be true after its resolution.

    This is the part you might like Bob, as I believe you've been wanting some type of fundamental universal of "reason". This logic of induction and deduction is reached because we are able to think in terms of premises and conclusions. This is founded on an even simpler notion of "predictions" and "outcomes to predictions". Much like our capability to discretely experience, this is an innate capability of living creatures. I believe this coincides with your definition of "reason" earlier as "decisions with expectations".

    Can we define this in a way that is undeniable, like discretely experiencing? If discretely experiencing is an act of "existence" perhaps "action" is the next act needed for an existence to sustain itself. I do not have it well thought out to the point where it is simple, incontrovertible, and self-evident, but an initial proposal is "the act of breathing". I cannot stop discretely experiencing no more than I can cease breathing entirely. From this autonomous action, comes the next evolution, agency; the act of intention with an expected outcome. This is evidenced by eating. A being cannot eat if if it has not intention and action on that intention.

    With intention and expected outcome, and the evolution of imagination and the capability of language, we can arrive at inductive, and deductive thought processes. Premises can either lead to only one outcome, and premises can lead to more than one outcome. In a broad sense, the definitions of inductive and deductive cover these scenarios. The recognition and analysis of these is beneficial to a living being, because a being can figure out when there is higher and lower chances of their intentions arriving at a predicted outcome.. This allows the maximum type of agency afforded to a being, and the greater the agency of intention and outcomes, the more likely what one expects to happen, will come to pass.

    So then, the knowledge of induction and deduction are formed distinctively in the solo context. Of course, if we use either of these in an induction, and deductively determine the outcome, then whatever is determined is applicable knowledge.

    I admire your desire to keep it fundamentally easier to comprehend (and honestly that is your prerogative, I respect that), but I find your "will" incredibly ambiguous (I am gathering it might be purposely so?). For example, if "reality" is simply "what I do not control", then my body could very well not be apart of "reality".Bob Ross

    Perhaps it was how I explained it that made it ambiguous. Will is simply intention of action. That's all. If my intention of action is denied, than that is because of reality. Reality is an ever constant unknown which can deny my will at any time. Essentially reality is the potential my will can be denied. If I will my body to do something, and it does not happen, that is reality that I cannot deny. Whether reality denies me or not, is the outcome I await. I feel the current discussion on it is overcomplicating the issue for what we need at this time. If you want to flesh out will more, perhaps this should be saved for a later post. I don't think its necessary to discuss the current issues of applicable and distinctive knowledge, and I don't want the topic to lose that focus.

    I agree that we can create abstract logic, but it follows from necessary logic.Bob Ross

    I don't know what "necessary logic" is. If you mean we have the innate capability to intend an outcome, no disagreements there. But that is not knowledge, that is action. Just like the ability to discretely experience is not knowledge either. I can distinctively know what I discretely experience, and I can distinctively know what I intend in my outcome. The creation of logic is distinctive, but if I use that logic in an induction, I must deductively conclude that outcome. That result of using that logic is applicable, and not distinctive.

    I still think, so far, that the only clear distinction here would be reason and everything referred to by it (aboutness vs about).Bob Ross

    We have touched upon reason only in a few sentences. It has not undergone the same rigor as the rest of the arguments. I have tried to flesh it out here. Reason, as I initially understood it, doesn't seem to do any more than simply describe that we make actions with intention. I have hopefully broken down how this plays in with the analysis above, but as always, please put your input in and feel free to clarify or add to the initial meaning.

    To even try to negate IF THEN in terms of its form, I would have to conditionally assume a hypothetical where I don't necessarily utilize IF THEN, which thereby solidifies its necessity.Bob Ross

    Its "necessity" is distinctively known. This is a deduction you have made without any other inductions involved.

    Hopefully I've demonstrated that it isn't always tier 1, but application could be tier 1 as well. It really seems like you are distinguishing a deduction from an induction (that can only be verified by deduction--which would be thereby something verified distinctively).Bob Ross

    Application cannot be done prior to distinctive knowledge, because you must first make an induction. Do you distinctively know the induction you are making? Yes. Can you make a deduction without first distinctively knowing premises and rules? No. You can experience something, but experiencing something in itself is not applicable knowledge. Recall, you can experience a "sheep" for the first time, and that is your distinctive knowledge of the experience. If you later make an induction based off of that distinctive knowledge, "That over there is a sheep," the deduced outcome to that induction will be your applicable knowledge.

    I can have inductions that do not pertain to objects (i.e. are abstract) which I can then thereafter determine whether they are true via abstract deduction.Bob Ross

    In a solo context, I do not believe it is possible to make an induction about abstract logic. You create the rules, so everything follows from your premises. You can create a logic that also does not have set outcomes. You distinctively know this, because you created it to be that way. For example, lets note that we conclude when a coin is flipped without knowledge of the force applied, it has a 50/50 chance of landing on either side. Barring all applicable knowledge where's the induction? The induction only happens if we predict a particular outcome by flipping an actual (non-abstract) penny. I can flip an abstract penny in my mind, but I determine the outcome don't I?

    In claiming that we can have abstract inductions that we can then solve deductively, we have to be careful not to sneak in any applicable knowledge. Applicable knowledge is knowledge is the deduced result from an induction we don't have control over. We can create further distinctive knowledge from applicable knowledge, but that is a combination of abstract (distinctive) with non-abstract (applied).

    Whew, major write up here from me. And yet still a lot I'm sure you want covered, such as societal context, and perhaps a further exploration into "will". To focus, I think it would be best if we finish the idea of distinctive and applicable in a solo context, and start bleeding that into societal context next. If you need a refresher on societal context, section 3 is where I went over it. Thanks again Bob, I look forward to your responses!
  • Bob Ross
    98
    @Philosophim,

    I decided to give it a couple days to mow it over in my head, as I didn't feel like I am completely understanding you, and now I think I understand what you are trying to convey. As always, I could be utterly wrong, so I am going to explicate it here (along with some suggestions that presuppose I am correct in my inference).

    Firstly, "distinctive knowledge" is "deductions". "Applicable knowledge" is merely referencing the means of achieving that "distinctive knowledge" (i.e. the transformation of an inductive belief into deductive knowledge--belief into knowledge) and, therefore, is unnecessary for this distinction you are trying to convey. If it was induced and confirmed via a deduction, then that is "distinctive knowledge" (an induction that transformed into a deduction). Therefore, the dividing line I think you are looking for is "deductions" vs "inductions", so "knowledge is what is deduced" and "beliefs are what are induced": I honestly don't think it gets any clearer or more concise than that. Therefore, I suggest removing the terms "distinctive" and "applicable" knowledge outright in exchange for "deduction (knowledge)" and "induction (belief)". That would also resolve my confusion with abstraction vs non-abstraction, as abstraction can be induced and deduced (i.e. I can induce about my capabilities of reason or imagination, etc or I can deduce that the principle of non contradiction is a necessity). The dividing line of abstraction vs non-abstraction doesn't line up with deduction vs induction, which it doesn't have to in your case (unless I am wrong here).

    But I want to be very careful here, as I would not agree that all deductions are knowledge. For all intents and purposes here, I am going to elaborate with a distinction of "categorical" vs "hypothetical" deductions (not married to the terms, just for explanation purposes). Although they are both deductions (and, consequently, their conclusions necessarily follow from the overlying principle and subsequent premises), they differ in the validity of the overlying principle itself. If a deduction was "categorical", then it is necessarily (categorically) true. However, if it was "hypothetical", then the conclusions are only true in virtue of granting the overlying principle as hypothetically true. This can be demonstrated (both of them) in one example:

    1. All cats are green
    2. Bob is cat
    3. Bob is green

    If I am asserting this as "categorically" true, then I am actually defining "greeness" as an essential property of "cat", therefore this deduction is necessarily true unconditionally. However, if I am asserting this "hypothetically", then I am thereby asserting in virtue of hypothetically holding that it is true that all cats are green. In your terms, it would be that "greeness" is an induced unessential property of "cat", which has thus far been true of all "cats" (let's just hypothetically say). Likewise, deductively obtaining the properties of an object doesn't necessitate that you deductively obtain that it is or isn't something (i.e. you don't necessarily obtain knowledge). if I define "glass" as having the essential property of being "(1) clear and (2) made from melting sand", then, assuming I didn't watch it get made, I can't assert that this pane in front of me is actually "glass": it would be an induction. So, although I deductively discover the properties of the presumably "glass pane" in front of me, I do not deductively obtain that it is thereby "glass" (I inductively assert it is).

    So, I would hereby agree that "distinctive knowledge" should actually simply be "categorical deductions" (it can semantically be whatever term you want), which encompasses "knowledge". Inductions (and abductions) are beliefs, and hypothetical deductions are not knowledge, but with respect to what hypothetically follows they are (which doesn't mean one "knows" anything beyond the logical consequence of the overlying principle being taken in virtue as true--aka the logical consequences, or premises, are "categorically" true in the sense that they logically follow, therefore knowledge but the hypothetical is not).

    I would also like to briefly clarify that my square root of 25 example was meant as a "solo context", as it can be posited as either one (but I should have made that clear, so that's my bad). The dilemma is still there if we were to presume that I came up with the mathematical operation of the square root. I came up with it a year ago, by myself, and began memorizing the answers of the square roots of like 100 integers (or what have you). Then, a year later, I ask myself "what's the square root of 25?". I immediately assert it is "6" in reference to what I believe was what I memorized a year ago (in accordance with the mathematical rules I produced). That's an induction. I then deductively invalidate it by means of actually performing the mathematical operation in accordance to how I defined it a year ago. Same dilemma. It is trivial in the sense that I could semantically change it, but I would still be incorrect with respect to what I constructed a year ago.

    If you agree here with me (presuming I understood what you were trying to convey correctly), then this inevitably segues into "essential" vs "unessential" properties. Even in the sense of what you were explicating in the sense of "premises" and "conclusions" (in an attempt to ground them absolutely), we will need to revisit what essential properties are. I think in theory they sound great, but I'm having difficulties actually implementing them. For example, what is the essential property (or properties) of a "dog"? I get that I could, in a solo context, categorically define it. But soon enough I would realize it is insufficient, as I would be necessarily excluding a predominant population of "dogs" no matter how I try to divide the line (create essential properties). The only feasible means I've found is making one essential property that is a combination (conjugation) of all properties of being a "dog". Thusly, there's no unessential properties, and every "dog" is compared abstractly to what my mind comes up with as a "perfect dog". Otherwise, I could keep performing a reductive approach where I never derive a true essential property of being a "dog". For example, if I cut a "dog" in half, neither side shares anything I would imagine even remotely has to with an essential property of a "dog". Nevertheless, I would reference them as "two halves of a dog". But in referencing it to "dog", I've thereby implicitly conceded it resembles a "dog". But resemblance necessitates a communal property (in this case, a communal essential property). So even if I were to claim that I have different "essential properties" for "bottom half of a dog" and "top half of a dog", I am still implicitly conceding they necessarily share a trait with "a dog" (but with essential properties it is impossible they share anything related to such--and I truly hope you can prove me wrong here). Therefore, I am starting to think the resemblance is my mind's abstract "mapping" or "consideration" of both halves, whereby I am able to assert they are halves "of a dog". That's essentially my dilemma.

    I think that the aforementioned consideration of "essential properties" is important to distinguishing "hypothetical" vs "categorical" (or what have you) deductions.

    But now, I think with my further realization of the difference, I can finally remove "reality".

    I agree, I think that the term was causing (me at least) confusion.

    Knowledge ultimately is a deduction. A deduction is a conclusion which necessarily follows from its premises.

    Hopefully I demonstrated that this is not necessarily true. Yes, a deduction is what necessarily follows from its premises, but that isn't necessarily knowledge with respect to the initial principle(s).

    Any legitimate contradiction to a deduction, means its not a deduction any longer.

    In terms of it's logical consequences, yes. Any contradiction to the overlying principle(s) does not revoke it as a deduction.

    A zero point is the origin of an X and Y graph. When you are looking at a line pattern, putting it to the zero point can give clarity on comparing its symmetry and slopes. What we're doing with definitive and applicable knowledge is putting knowledge on a zero point, and noting the X and Y dimensions. It is in essence a drawn line or parabola, but charted in a graph in such a way as to break it down into an easier calculation.

    I think this contradicts the whole purpose of the epistemology (especially in terms of essential properties), which entailed clear and distinctive terminology. The terms can share inheritance, but not definitional essential properties. For example, a square and a triangle are mutually exclusive, however they share the trait of being a "shape". I don't think this is what you meant by (0, 0): I think you are arguing for the allowance of minimally ambiguous terminology.

    And when you combine the two, that result cannot be obtained without both an induction, and a deduction.

    I don't think this is true (or maybe I just am not following). An induction that transforms into a deduction is no different than a deduction (ultimately). If I induce that that object over there is a potato and then I go over there an deduce it actually is, this is ultimately the same exact thing as if I had it in my hands to begin with and deduced it was a potato. Both are "distinctive knowledge". Only what is deduced is verified in the induction, anything else would remain an induction. "Applicable knowledge" means nothing more than I happened to create a belief prior to deducing any knowledge about it. The induction is not constituted in any of the "knowledge" aspect.

    What you are missing here is another ingredient we have not spoken about very much, but is important.

    I understand why you went to societal contexts, but it can be posited (and was supposed to be posited) as a solo context.

    I feel in a self-contained context, the descriptors of distinctive and applicable are clear

    I don't think they are. I think "inductions" and "deductions" (and "hypothetical" vs "categorical" deductions therein) are clear. But maybe that isn't what you are trying to convey.

    An induction, who's conclusion has been reached deductively, is applicable knowledge.

    I don't find any meaning in this definition. If it was deduced, then it is distinctive, not applicable. If it happened to be an induction previously, well then it was an induction previously. I don't see how this is a meaningful distinction to make.

    In terms of the coin flipping example, that was distinctive knowledge that is being semantically refurbished as applicable simply because you happened to preemptively determine a belief towards what will happen. If you didn't guess it would land on heads, it would have been purely distinctive knowledge (nothing was induced). Why does it matter if I preemptively guess?

    Finally, it is essential to note how the induction is concluded. Having an induction that happens to be correct is not the same as knowledge in any epistemological analysis I've ever read. And for good reason. A guess that happens to be right is not knowledge, its just a lucky guess. We can have knowledge that we made a guess, and we can have knowledge of the outcome of that guess, but that is it.

    I don't think this is a relevant point to your epistemology, as it doesn't claim inductions are knowledge. The moment you deduce what actually is, that's what you know. Even if it aligns with your induction and you have legitimate reasons to conclude you were on to something with that induction, you didn't know anything--you had an inductive belief. Even in hindsight, you didn't know. At best, you now know that you lucked your way into aligning with real knowledge, regardless of how solid your evidence was for the induction you held.

    I still believe distinctive knowledge always comes from applicable knowledge

    If distinctive knowledge is a categorical deduction (and maybe potentially also the categorically true logical consequences of the premises of a hypothetical deduction), I agree.

    I would clarify that the applicable is not the attempt to verify inductions, it is the deductive result of an induction

    If this is the case, then it is distinctive knowledge. A "deductive result of an induction" is simply distinctive knowledge when it happened to be preceded by a belief on the position, which could very well not have asserted (and the deduction would have still occurred). For example, if I am walking around and pick up an object off the ground, without any prejudgments of what it is, and deduce it is a potato, this is no different ultimately than if I spot it at a distance, claim it is a potato, and then deductively discover it is a potato (it just has more extraneous steps involved).

    This is the part you might like Bob, as I believe you've been wanting some type of fundamental universal of "reason". This logic of induction and deduction is reached because we are able to think in terms of premises and conclusions. This is founded on an even simpler notion of "predictions" and "outcomes to predictions". Much like our capability to discretely experience, this is an innate capability of living creatures. I believe this coincides with your definition of "reason" earlier as "decisions with expectations".

    I still think we are slowly converging in our views, it is just taking a while (: . I wouldn't put it that way (in terms of reason), but I think you are starting to explore recursively reason on itself and, thusly, realizing that "deductions" and "induction" are innate in us. I'm not entirely sure how you are planning to ground it, but I definitely think you can (assuming it remotely aligns with my conception of reason).

    Just to be brief, I think you are going to have to ground it in fundamental logic, which is something I don't think you agree with yet (I think you believe it all to be constructed). That fundamental logic, whatever you want to semantically call it, is going to (I would anticipate) resemble the basic transcendental properties of reason (as in that which is deductively obtained as necessitous and apodictic of the mind, which is concluded to be such due to its ever present--potential infinite--nature in all forms of thoughts). But I will let you navigate the conversation as you deem best fit.

    Can we define this in a way that is undeniable, like discretely experiencing?

    As of now, and this goes back to way back when we first started having this conversation, I don't think you have grounded "discrete experience" except that it is "undeniably there". But I think you will have to ground both in the same manner (if it is going to be an absolute grounding), and I definitely think you can do it. I think your initial usage of pon is a perfect start (but there's some things, I would say, that precede distinctions--aka discrete experience). I think "discrete experience" is a convenient clumping of many aspects of the fundamentals of the mind, but to achieve your grounding of deductions, premises, conclusions, induction, predictions, etc, I think you are going to have to at least conceptually analyze the sub-categories.

    I agree that we may need to save "will" for later and I concur that "reason" hasn't been discussed too much yet. I can do so if you want, otherwise I will simply respond to wherever you navigate the discussion. Likewise, although I think it will be inevitably discussed soon in relation to your "actions" and "premises" and such, I will allow you do decide if you want to discuss "fundamental logic" or not.

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    Bob
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    A wonderful write up as always Bob. No worry on the time, quality posts take a while to write! I have to think through my responses quite a bit at this point myself, as you often ask new questions I haven't considered before, and I want to mull my initial thoughts over before responding. Lets get to it.

    Firstly, "distinctive knowledge" is "deductions". "Applicable knowledge" is merely referencing the means of achieving that "distinctive knowledge" (i.e. the transformation of an inductive belief into deductive knowledge--belief into knowledge) and, therefore, is unnecessary for this distinction you are trying to convey.Bob Ross

    I think it is important that this distinction remain. What I might have been missing is a third category.
    Deductions are knowledge. The difference between distinctive and applicable are what was involved prior in the chain of reasoning. This mirrors the induction hierarchy, though I don't think one deduction is more cogent than another. Deductions without any inductions immediately prior are distinctive knowledge. Deductions concluded immediately inductions are applicable knowledge. I would not mind renaming the words within that distinction, but that distinction is absolutely key to breaking out of the previously failed theories of knowledge. I will see if I can show you why in our conversation.

    First, to be clear, deductions are forms of knowledge. Inductions are forms of beliefs. But how we determine those inductions and deductions allows us a different approach. I think the problem is maybe I haven't clearly defined an abstraction. An abstraction is not a deductive conclusion from an induction, it is the formulation of the essential and non-essential properties of an identity. Within a solo context is a tool of your own creation, there are no limits to what you can, and cannot create in an abstraction. If you create limits, those are self-imposed limits.

    For example, making a game. Imagine there are no people around. I invent the game called "Go fish" on my own. Did anything in reality force me to create those rules? No. Now, can I take a real deck of cards and play a game? That is an induction. Once I confirm that I can, or cannot play that game, then I have a new type of knowledge, the conclusion of an induction. That is something that needed to test reality, and either passed or failed.

    Another way to view it is when you discretely experience the color "red". Not the word, the experience. Then you say, "That is 'something'". That construction of the essential property, and non-essential property of what 'red' is, is the abstraction, and fully in your creative control.

    For all intents and purposes here, I am going to elaborate with a distinction of "categorical" vs "hypothetical" deductions (not married to the terms, just for explanation purposes). Although they are both deductions (and, consequently, their conclusions necessarily follow from the overlying principle and subsequent premises), they differ in the validity of the overlying principle itself. If a deduction was "categorical", then it is necessarily (categorically) true.Bob Ross

    Your categorical deduction fits the bill perfectly. I agree that is a deduction. But I'm not sure the hypothetical is an actual deduction. Let me point it out

    However, if I am asserting this "hypothetically", then I am thereby asserting in virtue of hypothetically holding that it is true that all cats are green.Bob Ross

    "All cats are green". Is that by definition, or is that an induction? That is the fine line that must be clarified. If cats are green by definition, as an essential property, then that is what is distinctively known. If however, color is not an essential property of a cat, then its involvement in our logic does not result in a deduction, but an induction. This is because I am admitting to myself that if I found a red creature with the essential properties of a cat, I would still call it a cat.

    However, if it was "hypothetical", then the conclusions are only true in virtue of granting the overlying principle as hypothetically true. This can be demonstrated (both of them) in one example:

    1. All cats are green
    2. Bob is cat
    3. Bob is green
    Bob Ross

    This is not hypothetically if you are the one who has determined the definitions. Lets flesh it out correctly.

    1. An essential property of cats is they are green.
    2. An essential property of Bob is that they are a cat.
    3. Therefore, Bob is green.

    Including non-essential properties turns this into an induction.

    1. An accidental property of cats is they are green. (Could or could not)
    2. An essential property of Bob is that they are a cat. (Must be)
    3. Therefore, Bob is green.

    This is not a deduction. This is an induction because we've basically stated, "Cats could, or could not be green". We have deduced an induction based on our abstractions. And we can classify this type of induction using the hierarchy. If, as you implied, we've always seen green cats, but we are willing to accept a cat that could be another color, then this is a speculative induction.

    So, we can abstract both deductions and inductions. And this abstraction is distinctive knowledge.
    They are not applicable knowledge, because applicable knowledge only comes about after we have taken our abstracted induction, and deductively concluded the result.

    if I define "glass" as having the essential property of being "(1) clear and (2) made from melting sand", then, assuming I didn't watch it get made, I can't assert that this pane in front of me is actually "glass": it would be an induction.Bob Ross

    True. Based on the context of your definition, you will never applicably know whether that is glass.

    So, although I deductively discover the properties of the presumably "glass pane" in front of me, I do not deductively obtain that it is thereby "glass" (I inductively assert it is).Bob Ross

    Just to clarify, if you meant that you deduced that the glass was made of silica, clear, and for all intents and purposes, had all the non-essential properties of a window, but you could not find the one essential property "That it was formed through melting sand", then yes, you could only ever inductively know it as a window.

    I would also like to briefly clarify that my square root of 25 example was meant as a "solo context", as it can be posited as either one (but I should have made that clear, so that's my bad). The dilemma is still there if we were to presume that I came up with the mathematical operation of the square root. I came up with it a year ago, by myself, and began memorizing the answers of the square roots of like 100 integers (or what have you). Then, a year later, I ask myself "what's the square root of 25?". I immediately assert it is "6" in reference to what I believe was what I memorized a year ago (in accordance with the mathematical rules I produced). That's an induction.Bob Ross

    This is such a good point! Lets walk through this. So at the time when you state, "the answer is 6", that's still distinctive knowledge and deduction. That is because what you experience remembering as the answer, is the answer. There's no one else to tell you that you are wrong. There's no other answer you can give, because that is what you remember.

    Stay with me here, because I know how that can sound at first. Later you may "remember differently" or find a record of the logic that you put down. At that time, you will know that your original deduction was wrong. But that was what you still distinctively knew at the time. With new knowledge to revise the structure that you had, you now distinctively know that the square root of 25 is not 6.

    The bigger question, and the part where you may be right that we can induce abstractly, is when you make the claim, "What I remember today is the same thing I remembered yesterday." What a head twister honestly! That by nature is always an induction. Or is it? Can't I simply decide yes or no? I can, but it is a belief, and therefore an induction, is the deduced conclusion to that then applicable knowledge?

    If I have no outside evidence of the past, or record of the past, the answer is still what I ultimately decide. If I remember, "Yes, I do," then I've been given an answer, but from my own mind. If I remember that I do in fact, remember what I remembered yesterday, that's an answer that I distinctively know. But is it true? Is that really a deductive answer to an induction? It is, because its the distinctive knowledge that I have. Same as if I experienced that I did not remember the same thing I did yesterday (even if I'm incorrect objectively). Finally it is deductive if I conclude, "I can't trust my own memory anymore, so I don't know."

    But, and here's the kicker, is the answer to this induction, a deduction or another induction? What's interesting about this case is it may not fit either. I'm not sure, so I'm going to break it down.

    Is there a premise in the drawn conclusion to the original induction?

    Case 1. I remember that what I remembered yesterday, is what I remember today.

    As what we discretely experience is what we distinctively know, then I distinctively know this. Thus this conclusion is actually a deduction, even if there was some outside evidence, even if this was not true.

    Case 2. I remember that what I remembered yesterday, is not what I remember today.

    The outcome is the same as case one. This is distinctive knowledge.

    Case 3. I conclude "I'm unsure if what I remembered today is what I remembered yesterday."

    Lets call this the Descartes Doubt case. The answer to case 3 cannot be found by anything outside of our own deductions again. This is the "I doubt even my own thinking". What is the answer that we deduce in this case? "That I cannot remember if what I remembered yesterday, is what I remember today." This is not an induction, as we have concluded that this is the case with no alternatives. This is what I discretely experience.

    In short, in what we conclude in a prior reference to our memory, an abstraction, is a deduction because it is whatever we experience.

    But, lets compare this to another scenario in which I know I wrote down what I remembered yesterday, "The square root of 25 is 5" (according to my made up rules). If I remembered this existed, and this paper could prove that I correctly remembered what I knew yesterday, then I would deductively know that I could not ascertain an answer unless I found it. This is not the same as claiming, "I believe the paper says the square root of 25 is 6" This is an induction, and can only be denied or confirmed once the paper is discovered.

    The entire point I want to note is that abstractions, which are entirely in our head, can never be inductions in themselves. We can use those abstractions as inductions, and when we do, we can gain applicable knowledge be deductively solving the conclusion. When we make abstractions in our head and apply them to abstractions in our head (that we have made up) there is no induction, because it is whatever we conclude.

    That being said, we can classify deductions in two ways, and I believe these are important identities.

    1. Deductions in which the premises are not changed.
    2. Deductions in which the original premises are changed and amended.

    Recall that when one applies an induction, they can amend their terms to fit the new conclusions. So for example, if I considered all cats green as an essential property, and I found a feline that matches all the essential properties of a cat except that it was red, I might decide to amend the essential property of color into an accidental property. I could also simply keep the color as an essential property, and conclude from the induction that I had found a new animal. That choice is mine. But perhaps noting when we change or amend our original distinctive knowledge versus when we do not change or amend our original distinctive knowledge is a key difference.

    I don't think this is what you meant by (0, 0): I think you are arguing for the allowance of minimally ambiguous terminology.Bob Ross

    This was a reference to a mathematical concept. If you're not familiar with it, its not a good example, so lets not worry about it.

    I would clarify that the applicable is not the attempt to verify inductions, it is the deductive result of an induction

    If this is the case, then it is distinctive knowledge.
    Bob Ross

    Since distinctive knowledge is a particular knowledge that precludes the involvement or prior inductions in its conclusions, no. Recall that both forms of knowledge are deductions. Just like the hierarchy of inductions, it is the steps that we take to arrive at those deductions that create the essential difference.

    I still think we are slowly converging in our views, it is just taking a while (:Bob Ross

    Ha ha! Yes, I honestly feel our views are off by only very small differences. I think this is one of the reasons the conversation has been so engaging and helpful (for me at least). You've been able to point out that slightly semantic/alternative view point that really tests what I'm proposing, and makes me think. It has helped me amend and leave out a few approaches that you have shown are unnecessary or simply confusing. As always, it is appreciated to find another person who is interested in the truth of the matter and the refinement of the discussion.

    I think you are starting to explore recursively reason on itself and, thusly, realizing that "deductions" and "induction" are innate in us.Bob Ross

    One thing I want to clarify is that I agree that the capability to deduce and induce are innately within us. Distinctively knowing these words and these concepts is something which must be discovered. One can accidently deduce or induce, but not have any distinctive knowledge that they do. So what I meant by, "The logic of deduction and induction are reached by..." I mean the knowledge of the logic of deduction and induction are reached by..."

    I think "discrete experience" is a convenient clumping of many aspects of the fundamentals of the mind, but to achieve your grounding of deductions, premises, conclusions, induction, predictions, etc, I think you are going to have to at least conceptually analyze the sub-categories.Bob Ross

    Full agreement with you. Another large write up from me! I hope I covered the points, please let me know if there is something that I missed or did not clarify. I fully expect a response on the claim that abstracts are essentially distinctive knowledge and cannot be inductively concluded.
  • Bob Ross
    98
    @Philosophim,

    I want to disclaim that this post is going to be quite complicated, as you brought up an incredibly valid, and thought-provoking, dilemma which deserves an adequate response. The reliability of memories was a keen insight Philosophim!

    Before I dive into that dilemma, let me first address deductions.

    But I'm not sure the hypothetical is an actual deduction. Let me point it out

    A deductive argument is that which has a conclusion that is necessitated from its premises, not that the premises are true. So, a better way to propose my cat example, at first glance here, is:

    1. IF all cats are green
    2. IF bob is a cat
    3. THEN bob is green

    You are absolutely correct that #1 and #2 could be false (even an induction), but that doesn't mean it isn't, by definition, a deduction. I understand what you were trying to get at with your refurbishment, which looked like:

    1. An essential property of cats is they are green.
    2. An essential property of Bob is that they are a cat.
    3. Therefore, Bob is green.

    1. An accidental property of cats is they are green. (Could or could not)
    2. An essential property of Bob is that they are a cat. (Must be)
    3. Therefore, Bob is green.

    My response is tricky here, because you are sort of right when you posit #1 like that. But I still don't think you are right that deductions can't have incorrect (or inductive) premises (deductions are defined by their form, not truth value). The first deduction here I think we both agree is a "categorical deduction", but #1 in the second one isn't really a deduction (I would agree) because it is not positing IF. In my head, it is equivalent to:

    1. Not all cats are green
    2. Bob is a cat
    3. Bob is green

    That isn't a deduction because it doesn't have the logical necessitous form (has nothing to do with whether they are true, just that the premises necessitate the conclusion). My main point here is that this would be a hypothetical deduction:

    1. IF an essential property of cats is that they are green
    2. IF an essential property of bob is that they are a cat
    3. THEN bob is green

    This was not categorical, in the sense I was meaning it, because I am not, in positing it, affirming the truth of #1 and #2 (however it is still indeed a deduction that may or may not be true). This is different than actually claiming that I am categorically defining cats as must having an essential property of greeness (as in cats actually are all green). So, in short, I think you are right that, in the manner you depicted it, it would not be a deduction but this is not based off of truth value: it is about the form. However, I still think hypotheticals are different than categoricals. A deductive argument is denoted by IF the premises are agreed, then it necessitates the conclusion. The premises could be inductions.

    Alright, now it is time for the main dilemma you posited: the reliability of memories (which I would extend as thoughts as well). Fair warning that this gets complicated fast, but I know you can handle it (: So, firstly I want to give a brief overview of what I think and then dive into what you said.

    Here's a brief overview first:

    1. I cannot doubt a thought until after it becomes apart of the past (therefrom an absolute grounding of trust is established).
    2. Any given past thought is always recollected as a reliable memory (in virtue of #1).
    3. The validity of a given past thought is deduced insofar as it relates to other past thoughts.
    4. The reliability of the total set of past thoughts is never established (inductively nor deductively) because it is an illusory transcendent concept.
    5. Inductions can arise pertaining to deduced memories.

    Let's talk about #1: I cannot doubt a thought until after it becomes apart of the past. The "present thought", which I will define as 0, is always necessarily granted as trustworthy, and this is apodictic. However, the proof for this is not an easy feat. The problem is that to claim a "present thought" is taken as trustworthy (albeit potentially questioned thereafter by even the very next thought) requires that its immediate trustworthiness be evaluated by a subsequent thought--thereby rendering it a past thought (which it means, at face value, the very last thought is being utilized as reliable to deduce that when it was the "present thought" it was necessarily trusted). However, the proof for the immediate trustworthiness of the "present thought" cannot rely on the reliability of a past thought (because that would defeat the whole purpose). Therein lies the difficulty. But I realized this can nevertheless be proven (I think at least), because I can deduce (regardless of the validity of any thoughts) that if a past thought hypothetically was at one point actually the "present thought" and it wasn't immediately trusted (prior to another thought succeeding it) then I would never have a coherent sequence of reason. Therefore, I would never be convinced of anything. But since I am convinced of things, and thusly have coherent sequences of reason, I know that I must be trusting the "present thought". In short, I think there are two logically true statements we can make regardless of the reliability of the total set of past thoughts:

    1. Regardless of the validity, my past thoughts are always in succession, therefore in a sequence, which necessitates boundaries. Which in turn, necessitates the "present thought".
    2. if any given past thought was actually at one point in time the "present thought", then it is necessarily the case that it was trusted immediately. For, otherwise, I would not have obtained the coherent sequence of past thoughts, regardless of the validity therein.

    This brings us to the vital understanding of #4: The reliability of the total set of past thoughts is never established (inductively nor deductively) because it is an illusory transcendent concept. I can only merely prove that, given the sequence of past thoughts I have, if any given past thought was the "present thought", then I would logically be obligated to trust it immediately prior to another thought manifesting. But this doesn't speak to whether the sequence of past thoughts I am analyzing are indeed reliable (for all I know, my "present thought" is referencing a completely false previous past thought or the whole set is fallacious). The main problem is that I am always inferring the "present thought" by virtue of the sequence of past thoughts. Therefore, the concept of a past thought existing objectively as itself does not exist, for I am always potentially infinitely referencing memories via other memories.

    My brain hurts (:

    Now, this means, if I am correct (emphasis on if), then it is deduced that the absolute grounding of trust is the "present thought", which can, admittedly, be doubted fervently thereafter.

    Now on to #2: Any given past thought is always recollected as a reliable memory (in virtue of #1). Recollection is the process of retrieving a past thought, which inevitably brings it forward as the present thought. Therefore, as the memory loaded into the present thought, it is granted trustworthiness (although it can be questioned thereafter). Recollection, although it does bring forth past thoughts as a present thought, does not "refresh the time stamp" so to speak: the memory itself is merely referenced in relation to when it is thought to be in the sequence of past thoughts, but the recollection itself, being a present thought, is always appended to the succession of thoughts separately. For example:

    1. if I remember memory A, I am recollecting it.
    2. Recollection entails A being presented as the “present thought”, 0
    3. therefore, 0 is referencing A (i.e. the recollection is not A, it is 0 which references A)
    4. therefore, A is still referenced in the sequence of past thoughts where it is remembered to have occurred relative to the others, but 0 will become a new past thought (aka: memory of remembering A)
    5. This occurs recursively for a potential infinite


    Moreover, #4 here is not completely explained (as noted by the emphasis on “remembered”): in immediate recollection, whatever is referenced from A in 0 is immediately trusted. If A contained holistic or partial references to where it is in the collection of past thoughts, then that is immediately trusted as well. However, if A doesn’t contain where in the collection it should be (i.e. its index), then a subsequent thought will be required to attempt to deduce what is remembered as its index (which is subjected to the same process as previously described).

    Now, the doubting occurs when a remembrance of a memory (0 now as a past thought) is examined by 0 (the present thought) in relation to what could potentially be the difference of A and &A (A being the memory, &A being the reference to A in 0). In other words, &A is posited as potentially not holistically referencing A as what it initially was, therefore is potentially A != &A, and therefrom the dilemma occurs. But, to invoke #4 (from my original generalization of my views), the validity of the thoughts is never obtained nor actually performed outside of a relation between past thoughts and, therefore, the answer to the reliability of all thoughts is unobtainable. The apodictic nature of referencing past thoughts in the present thought entails that the concept of a thought as itself vs how it was referenced (A vs &A) is illusory. It would only ever be how A is considered by some subset of past thoughts vs how &A is considered by some subset of past thoughts: thereby never achieving a transcendent concept of “a true thought in-itself”.

    As we already established #4, #3 (in my original generalization) simply denotes that what really happens when we question our past thoughts (and sometimes determine some to be unreliable and others reliable and still others undetermined) is that we are only establishing "reliability" as it relates to other past thoughts: it is the analysis of the sequence of past thoughts via the present thought (which is always granted as trusted immediately). The procedure of determining what is reliable or not is not relevant to the dilemma itself, so I will leave it there.

    Now, how's does that all relate to what you said? Well, I think you are partially right:

    Case 1. I remember that what I remembered yesterday, is what I remember today.
    Case 2. I remember that what I remembered yesterday, is not what I remember today.
    Case 3. I conclude "I'm unsure if what I remembered today is what I remembered yesterday."

    if your cases are referring to one memory’s validity in relation to the set of past thoughts, then you are right that we can deduce such. If you are trying to derive the validity of the entirety of the set of past thoughts, then you are wrong (it is an illusory concept that acts as if it has transcended reason). They seem to be lacking the consideration that it is a recursive dilemma. The first two cases are explicitly self-contradictory ("I remember"), and the last case is essentially the same thing: they all beg the question of the validity of those memories being utilized to resolve the conflicting memories. It is a recursive operation that is inevitable, but can be accurately portrayed in a non-absurd manner if one realizes that it is all relative to the absolute point of trust: the present thought.

    Now, let me address your main contention here:
    In short, in what we conclude in a prior reference to our memory, an abstraction, is a deduction because it is whatever we experience.

    I think you are partially correct. In terms of the process of thinking as outlined previously, the reliability in relation to another past thought is deduced. Likewise, it is deduced that there is a "present thought" and that it necessarily is trusted. However, the reliability of set of past thoughts is not determined. Also, I still think that an induction is possible abstractly, however your definition of "abstraction" doesn't allow it by definition (and I would say it is not a main stream definition of abstraction). None of this entails that something cannot be an induction pertaining to two deduced subsets of memories.

    So at the time when you state, "the answer is 6", that's still distinctive knowledge and deduction.That is because what you experience remembering as the answer, is the answer.

    This is where #5 (from my original generalization) comes into play: this is simply not true. I deduce that I remember the answer being 6, but that does not mean I deduced that that memory must be correct in relation to what I remember are the rules of the operation of the square root. I induced that it was correct, based off of the fact I remember the answer being 6. Nothing about me remembering that the answer is 6, even if it could be proven it was 100% accurate that I did indeed answer it as 6 before, necessitates that the answer actually is 6 (in accordance to what I remember is the mathematical operation). Deductions are what necessarily follow from the premises. Now, it is deduced that the answer must follow my pre-determined operation of the square root, which is subjected to your critique that I may not remember that operation reliably, but nothing about my memory of answering a particular way necessitates that it is the answer. I think what you are missing is that both the operation and the answer are deduced memories, which are compared, and you are correct in the case of questioning the memory of the operation (whatever I remember is the square root operation, is the square root operation), but the connection of the memory of the answer 6 being accurate to the memory of the operation of the square root is an induction. If I remember the operation of the square root (whatever that may be) and remember answering six, I can logically, abstractly, derive whether my memory of answering six actually aligns with the correct answer (as derived from my memory of the operation).

    Look at it this way:

    1. IF I am remembering correctly that I previously answered 6.
    2. THEN the answer to the square root of 25 is 6

    Does the conclusion necessarily follow from the premise? No. Therefore, it is not a deduction. I think your critique is perfectly valid, and very thought-provoking, in terms of the reliability of the operation of the square root. Likewise, let’s say I remember that there was a mathematical operation of the square root but I can’t remember what it was at all, then it may be the case that the most cogent induction is to go with what I remember answering with before: but it is not a deduction.

    I think I may need to stop here for now. Wonderful post Philosophim!
    Bob
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    My main point here is that this would be a hypothetical deduction:

    1. IF an essential property of cats is that they are green
    2. IF an essential property of bob is that they are a cat
    3. THEN bob is green
    Bob Ross

    This would fit. This would be a deduction based off of two inductions that we do not know the results of. The entirety of this would still be distinctive knowledge. Only after the 2 induced premises had a deduced conclusion, would we call the result applicable knowledge. The question will be when those first two premises are "inductions", and when they aren't.

    So yes, we can make deduced conclusions based on hypothetical results to inductions. I still see this as only distinctive knowledge, because we don't have deductions within the premises, but inductions where we assert a possible outcome. The conclusion to the deduction has not been deduced. I will come back to this at the end.

    Now to the main event! Fantastic post that took a lot of thinking and work. Let me see if I can adequately address it.

    First, I want to commend that I believe you put together a great list of premises and arguments. I'm going to "translate" it where I can into the foundational epistemology I've proposed. I don't want this to come off as dismissive or unappreciative of the great argument you've set up. It is just the goal of this endeavor is to create an epistemology that can be applied and supply an answer to any epistemological question. So with this, I'll start.

    1. I cannot doubt a thought until after it becomes apart of the past (therefrom an absolute grounding of trust is established).Bob Ross

    According to the foundational epistemology I've proposed, you can doubt anything you want. But can I distinctively know I have that thought? Yes. A memory is a thought which can be a recollection of the past. The question of course is, "How does the foundational epistemology resolve the question, 'Is my memory of the past accurate?'" And here we try to figure out the resolution.

    2. Any given past thought is always recollected as a reliable memory (in virtue of #1).Bob Ross

    Here I want to slightly tweak this. Any given past thought is a current thought. Meaning that we can distinctively know that current thought. If I experience that my memory is reliable, that is what I distinctively know. If I experience that my memory is unreliable, that is what I distinctively know. I may have some unanswered uncertainty in my question, but I have certainty that the memory and questions I am experiencing are distinctively known.

    3. The validity of a given past thought is deduced insofar as it relates to other past thoughts.Bob Ross

    When we say validity, it is a deduced conclusion. If we do not have applicable knowledge, we can only make a deduction about the accuracy of a past thought based on the distinctive knowledge we have. As past thoughts are distinctively known, this statement you've made seems accurate.

    Lets continue with your conclusions.

    It is a recursive operation that is inevitable, but can be accurately portrayed in a non-absurd manner if one realizes that it is all relative to the absolute point of trust: the present thought.Bob Ross

    This is where I want to go next. A memory is a present thought that is thought to represent a past time in some sense. But it is a present thought regardless. That memory, is what is discretely experienced currently.

    Now, let me address your main contention here:
    In short, in what we conclude in a prior reference to our memory, an abstraction, is a deduction because it is whatever we experience.

    I think you are partially correct. In terms of the process of thinking as outlined previously, the reliability in relation to another past thought is deduced. Likewise, it is deduced that there is a "present thought" and that it necessarily is trusted. However, the reliability of set of past thoughts is not determined.
    Bob Ross

    When you say reliability, do you mean distinctive, or applicable? in the distinctive case, we know without question what that set of past thoughts is. If you extend it to an applicable level however, when you make an induction and a deduced conclusion can be reached, this is a different sense of "reliable". I believe when you agree that I am partially right, you are referring to the distinctive sense.

    Also, I still think that an induction is possible abstractly, however your definition of "abstraction" doesn't allow it by definition (and I would say it is not a main stream definition of abstraction).Bob Ross

    I want to clarify that we can make inductions from abstractions. That is how we create beliefs. What I wanted to assert was that abstractions themselves are not applicable knowledge. This is because we can create any abstraction we want, and thus there is no conclusion that necessarily follows the premises besides what we invent.

    For example, I tell myself, "I believe that 1+1=2." That is an induction, but if I have created the rules of math, it really isn't. If I remember 1+1=2, then that is what I remember. If I remembered that 1+1=3, then I wouldn't believe that 1+1=2. The only time I can make a seeming induction is if I state, "Maybe I don't remember what 1+1 equals", but even the solution to this is whatever I abstractly come up with.

    To be a real induction, it must involve something we cannot simply conclude ourselves. There must be something outside of our own power and agency that creates a conclusion that does not necessarily follow from the premises we've created. Only in that situation, can you have applicable knowledge. And yes, the way I've defined abstraction, if an abstraction is the deduced conclusion to an induction, it was never an induction to begin with. Perhaps that is unfair, but its simply a conclusion I've come to using the epistemology.

    To be very clear, this is because an abstraction has no rules besides what you make. There is no one besides yourself who can tell you your own created abstraction is "wrong". No one to tell you but yourself that your memory is "wrong". In short, abstractions are our limitless potential to "part and parcel" as we like.

    1. IF I am remembering correctly that I previously answered 6.
    2. THEN the answer to the square root of 25 is 6

    Does the conclusion necessarily follow from the premise? No. Therefore, it is not a deduction.
    Bob Ross

    It is a hypothetical deduction as you noted earlier. The question comes into play when we consider what appears to be an induction in premise one. There is one key here. You determine whether you remember correctly that the previous answer is six. If you do, then you do. If you remember that it is 7, then it is 7. And if you never do, you never do. That conclusion is distinctive, not applicable. Because there really was no induction. There is no uncertainty, for the continuation of the deduction results that the answer is, "Whatever you abstractly choose".

    This is why it is essential to keep a difference between distinctive and applicable knowledge. Inside of your own head (to simplify an example) we are masters of our own universe, and can "reason" however we wish. It is the fact that there are things beyond abstractions that force us to re-evaluate the world we've created. To look at our identities once again, and realize there is a "right" and a "wrong". That was the original intention of "reality", though I don't think the word is needed any more.

    In our own head, inductions are just pauses before we formulate the answer. An induction can only truly occur when we are not the sole masters of the outcome.

    But I realized this can nevertheless be proven (I think at least), because I can deduce (regardless of the validity of any thoughts) that if a past thought hypothetically was at one point actually the "present thought" and it wasn't immediately trusted (prior to another thought succeeding it) then I would never have a coherent sequence of reason. Therefore, I would never be convinced of anything.Bob Ross

    If you are a purely abstracting being, then you decided it was a coherent sequence of reason. You just as easily could have decided it was not. You could decide to never be convinced of anything. That is the danger of a mind that lives purely in abstraction. Such an experience would be a dream world. It is only our experience of situations in which our abstractions fail that we can realize certain abstractions are not useful. That is when we create true inductions, where we cannot deduce the outcome until we apply that induction and experience its resolution.

    Going back to the start now.

    1. IF an essential property of cats is that they are green
    2. IF an essential property of bob is that they are a cat
    3. THEN bob is green[/quote]

    In the solo context, the answer to the "inductions" is whatever we decide. We decide if they are essential properties or not. They are not inductions, their conclusion is certain to whatever we decide.

    If however, we pull another person into the equation, a society with written rules, then we have an evolution. I cannot conclude whatever I want. I must make an induction, a belief about what society will decide. The answer to that, is applicable knowledge. Even then, the abstracts of society that it creates, that I must test my beliefs against, are its distinctive context, not applicable context. We could encounter a society that decides math works differently. It is only when we apply that distinctive context to an actual situation, "1 potato plus 1 potato equals 2 potatoes" can we deduce whether societies abstraction can be applicably known as well.
  • Bob Ross
    98
    @Philosophim,

    I apologize, the week has been quite busy for me.

    Firstly, I think we need to revisit the "distinctive" vs "applicable" knowledge distinction holistically because I am still not understanding why it is important. Hypothetically, if I were to grant you that abstractions never are inductions, and subsequently that there are two distinct methods of arriving at a deduction, I don't see the meaningfulness behind such a distinction. I went ahead and re-read your past two posts, and, to just quote you briefly, this is generally what you stated (although I could just be missing it as I am re-reading):

    I would not mind renaming the words within that distinction, but that distinction is absolutely key to breaking out of the previously failed theories of knowledge. I will see if I can show you why in our conversation.

    Even after re-reading the whole post (this is two posts back), I don't see how this achieves nor is necessary to "break out of the previously failed theories of knowledge". I understand (at least I think) what you are referring to by what failed in previous theories, but I see this evidently clear in two key principles of your epistemology: (1) inductions are not knowledge and (2) inductions are not equally cogent as one another. These are the two principles, as I see it, that are vital to breaking out of such failed epistemologies: nothing pertaining to the distinction between methods prior to deducing knowledge. Yes you could technically, if I grant that abstractions are not inductions themselves, make a distinction between a deducing after conjuring an induction vs abstractly deducing, but this has no bearing on what I think is the bedrock of your epistemology. Principle #1 demonstrates exactly what you have been outlining in your examples (such as inventing a game with cards abstractly vs non-abstractly): if I induce it, I do not know. I think it is that simple and, thusly, am failing (even in terms of granting your argument as far as I can imagine) to understand the importance of distinguishing that I can thereafter obtain knowledge of what I deduce in relation to that induction. Again, principle #1 outlines this clearly already.

    I guess where I am confused is: why not just say "if you didn't deduce it, you don't know it" instead of "you don't gain applicable knowledge until it is deduced"? It seems like the latter is obviously given (at least to me) in the former: regardless of when we can, as subjects, conjure an induction and when we can't. My question for you is, given that you clearly see it as vital to the epistemology, what am I missing? I'm sure I am just missing something.

    Likewise, I don't think "applicable knowledge", in the sense of a deduced conclusion pertaining to an induction, has any actual relations to the induction. The induction and deduction are completely separate: mutually exclusive. To say I induced something, then deduced knowledge that happens to fall under that same category of inquiry is just that: a coincidence or, at best, the induction was merely the motivation but necessarily has no direct relation to the obtaining of knowledge whatsoever.

    I think clearing that up will help with what we are currently conversing about. Now on to your most recent post:

    I don't want this to come off as dismissive or unappreciative of the great argument you've set up. It is just the goal of this endeavor is to create an epistemology that can be applied and supply an answer to any epistemological question.

    Absolutely no problem! Do what you wish with my responses: I never want you to feel obligated to address it in a specific manner (or in its entirety).

    According to the foundational epistemology I've proposed, you can doubt anything you want.

    So this is tricky. If by "doubt everything" you mean that everything is technically falsifiable, then yes I agree. However, once we endeavor on our journey of doubt, we realize that we have obtained that certain things cannot be doubted. So, in another sense, I disagree: you cannot doubt everything. You cannot, as outlined in my previous post, the "present thought". Sure, you can doubt my assertion of it, disagree with it, etc, but you will nevertheless always be trusting your "present thought" to the degree I mentioned before. If you are claiming that your epistemology allows for "pure doubting" of literally everything, wherein the subject never obtains anything which it realizes it strictly cannot doubt, then I think that is simply false (but I have no problem if you mean it in the sense of everything is falsifiable).

    The entirety of this would still be distinctive knowledge. Only after the 2 induced premises had a deduced conclusion, would we call the result applicable knowledge.

    Although I want to agree with what you are proposing here, upon further reflection, the hypothetical deduction has no inductions (not even in the premises)(nor do deductions in general). To state that "IF an essential property of cats is that they are green" is not an induction: it is simply a logical conditional. I am not asserting that given repetition I think that an essential property of cats is "greeness", I am simply stating that IF it is, then this is what logically follows. My main point here is that you would be correct if they were inductions, in terms of how you defined applicable knowledge, but the premises are logically verified (i.e. IF) and are thereby certain. In other words, although I was onboard with the idea of deductive premises being inductions, I think that "IF ..." conditionals are deductively verified to be true: "IF .." is not incorrect. Even if I stated "IF a square circle ...", that is valid, but if I stated "a square circle ...", that is invalid. This is because I am not asserting that the contents of the IF are true or actually can be true, only that if granted as true what would follow logically. So, I don't think this hypothetical deduction's premises would ever become applicable knowledge.

    Now what I think you were trying to get at (and correct me if I am wrong) is that if we were to remove the IF conditional and try to verify the content, then it is either deductively ascertained or inductive. If it is inductive, then we do not know it until it is deduced (thereby becoming applicable knowledge). My point is that the premises, when postulated with IF conditionals, are not inductions. Now let's go back to your original example (because I think I can more adequately address it now):

    1. An accidental property of cats is they are green. (Could or could not)
    2. An essential property of Bob is that they are a cat. (Must be)
    3. Therefore, Bob is green.

    This is not a deduction. Why? Because premise #1 does not logically necessitate the conclusion (which is the definition of a deduction). You haven't posited IF all cats are green, you've posited it logically as not necessary for a cat to be green, which means it does not necessarily follow that Bob is green. Therefore, this is not actually a deduction.

    1. An essential property of cats is they are green.
    2. An essential property of Bob is that they are a cat.
    3. Therefore, Bob is green.

    However, this would be a deduction, because you have posited it in a way that necessitates the conclusion. But my main point is that this is not "necessitated" in the sense the premises are being argued as actually true, only that, at the very least, are granted as true in an IF conditional.

    So, although they would both be valid deductions, this is not quite the same as your previous example (in the above quote):

    1. IF an essential property of cats is they are green.
    2. IF an essential property of Bob is that they are a cat.
    3. Then bob is green

    This is also a valid deduction, but is not asserting that the premises are actually true, which is why I distinguished this as a "hypothetical deduction". But what I was missing in my previous response is that a deduction cannot, by definition, have an induction as a premise (that would mean the conclusion does not necessarily follow).

    The question will be when those first two premises are "inductions", and when they aren't.

    They never are inductions, unless it wasn't a deduction to begin with.

    In the solo context, the answer to the "inductions" is whatever we decide. We decide if they are essential properties or not. They are not inductions, their conclusion is certain to whatever we decide.

    Again, they are never inductions. I think you are conflating an induction with logical if conditionals, I don't think they are the same. Sure, we can decide what is categorical and what is hypothetical insofar as we do not contradict ourselves. I cannot willy nilly conjure up whatever I want.

    If however, we pull another person into the equation, a society with written rules, then we have an evolution. I cannot conclude whatever I want. I must make an induction, a belief about what society will decide. The answer to that, is applicable knowledge. Even then, the abstracts of society that it creates, that I must test my beliefs against, are its distinctive context, not applicable context.

    The same critique you made of solo contexts applies to societal contexts: I can deny whatever society throws at me, just like I can deny whatever I throw at myself. Ultimately I have to decide what to accept and what not to. If someone else came up with:

    1. IF an essential property of cats is that they are green
    2. IF an essential property of bob is that they are a cat
    3. THEN bob is green

    We are still in the same dilemma. I don't think the process is as different as you may think.

    In the solo context, the answer to the "inductions" is whatever we decide.

    the answer to anything is what we decide (ultimately). This doesn't mean we are right and it surely doesn't mean (in either solo or societal contexts) that we are actually completely free to do whatever we want.

    If you are a purely abstracting being, then you decided it was a coherent sequence of reason. You just as easily could have decided it was not.

    I agree. But this doesn't entail what you are trying to entail. Just because I can utter the words "I decide that it was not a coherent sequence of reason", does not make it so. Just because I convinced of it, that does not make it so. And as an example, your next sentence is a great explication of this:

    You could decide to never be convinced of anything

    This is true in the sense that I can be convinced that I am not convinced of anything, however I am definitively wrong because I am thereby convinced of something. The danger of the mind is that it can fail to grasp things, not that it can do whatever it wants. Reason is not relative, it is absolute in relation to the subject at hand. I can utter and be convinced that "pon is false", but thereby it is true. I can fail grasp that, or it may never pop into my head, but that is still an absolute grounding for me (the subject).

    It is a hypothetical deduction as you noted earlier. The question comes into play when we consider what appears to be an induction in premise one. There is one key here. You determine whether you remember correctly that the previous answer is six. If you do, then you do. If you remember that it is 7, then it is 7.

    I should have made it more clear:

    1. IF I am remembering correctly that I previously answered 6.
    2. IF the correct answer must abide by what I remember the square root operation is
    3. THEN the answer to the square root of 25 is 6

    This is not a valid hypothetical deduction because it is not a deduction (the premises do not necessitate the conclusion). But, I apologize, my original formulation of it was wrong and you are correct there that it was a hypothetical deduction.

    In light of my position that premises cannot be inductions in a valid deduction, then I think you are right in just that respect. But I can induce that what I remember being 6 does align with what I remember is the square root of 25 (when the operation I remember is applied) without first applying it. However, I would only know they align via a deduction (remembering the 6 and applying the operation to 25): which would be completely separate from the induction (which I would consider abstract).

    Likewise, I want to be clear that I do not think that the induction component and deduction component of "applicable knowledge" are in any way related. Just like how I can induce that 6 and square root of 25 align (and my knowledge they don't was a completely separate deduction/deductions), so it is with "applicable knowledge": whatever was induced that isn't contained in what was deduced remains induced, and whatever is contained in the deduction is now verified via the deduction where those inductive conclusions get thrown out into the garbage can. There's no relation between an induction and a deduction: they two completely separate forms of reason.

    I would also like to note very briefly that we have been kind of ignoring our friend "abductions", which is not an "induction" nor a "deduction". I'm not sure where you have that fit into this equation: is it simply merged with inductions?

    To be very clear, this is because an abstraction has no rules besides what you make. There is no one besides yourself who can tell you your own created abstraction is "wrong". No one to tell you but yourself that your memory is "wrong". In short, abstractions are our limitless potential to "part and parcel" as we like.

    I think where we disagree fundamentally is that you seem to be positing that we control reason (or our thoughts or something) in the abstract, but we do not. I do not decide to part and parcel in a particular way, it just manifests. There are rules to abstract though (again, pon). I can linguistically deny it, but nevertheless my reason is grounded in it. I cannot literally conjure whatever I want, because conjuring follows a set of rules in itself.

    There must be something outside of our own power and agency that creates a conclusion that does not necessarily follow from the premises we've created.

    It seems like you are arguing you do have power over your thoughts (and potentially imagination): I do not think you do. They are all objects and reason is the connections, synthetic and analytical, of those objects.

    Moreover, if I have a deduction, and it is sound, then nothing "outside of my power" (whatever that entails) cannot reject it (in the sense that "reality" rejects what "I want", or what have you). The deduction is true as absolutely as the term "absolute" can possibly mean. Inductions (and abductions) are the only domains of reasoning that can be rejected. We are still dictating "what is outside of our control": I decide that it holds without contradiction that my friend bob jr. has a totally different definition of "pancakes" than I do. I could fail to understand this, or straight up deny it, and claim that we both actually have the same definition, where mine is "round object" and his is "square object", but that doesn't mean I am right. Same thing is true of thoughts: they are objects. I can tell myself "I can do whatever I want abstractly", but that doesn't make it so. It is no different than "reality" or "other powers" scenario. My main point here is that your criticism of "we can make a dream world of 'reality'" is just as valid and can be posited for "we can make a dream world of our thoughts".

    I will address your points on the mind-bender dilemma of the reliability of thoughts after the aforementioned is resolved because I do not feel that I can substantively respond without understanding the rest first.

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Bob
  • Bob Ross
    98
    @Philosophim,

    I hate to double post, but just to explicate more clearly my dilemma with "applicable" vs "distinctive" knowledge, let me explain a bit more (now that I've been thinking more and more about it).

    I don't think that there are two "forms" of knowledge and, to my understanding, I don't think your epistemology truly posits two different forms (even though I think you are arguing for such).

    For example, let's use your "Go Fish" example. Abstractly, I can determine that a game, which I will define as "Go Fish", is possible according to the rules I subject it to: thereby I "know" "GoFish" is possible in the abstract. However, as you noted, it is an entirely different claim to state that "Go Fish is possible non-abstractly" (as I conjured up "Go Fish" according to my rules) (e.g. it turns out a totalitarian regime burned all the playing cards, what a shame, or my rules do not conform to the laws of nature). I think, therefrom, you are intuitively discerning two forms of knowledge to make that meaningful distinction.

    However, I believe it to be an illusory distinction, albeit intuitive: the claim of knowledge towards abstract "Go Fish", and more importantly the "cards" therein, is a completely different conception than "cards" being utilized when claiming "Go Fish is possible non-abstractly". The conflation between the two (what I define abstractly as "a card" along with its existence presupposed in reference to the abstract vs what coincides non-abstractly) is what I think you are trying to warn against. I may define "card" as "floating mid-air" and quickly realize that this is only possible in relation to "abstract cards" and not "non-abstract cards".

    Consequently, "distinctive" and "applicable" are the exact same. If I claim that "Go Fish is possible abstractly", I know this deductively. If I claim that "Go Fish is possible non-abstractly", I also know this deductively. I could, however, posit "Go Fish is possible non-abstractly" as knowledge when I do not in fact know it because it is an induction, which would be illegal in the sense of your epistemology. If I induce that "Go Fish is possible non-abstractly", then I believe it and it is subjected to the hierarchy of inductions. If I deductively obtain sufficient knowledge pertaining to the possibility of Go Fish in the non-abstract, then I thereby have "knowledge".

    In the event that I did induce then deductively affirm that induction (holistically, as in verify the entire induction was true in the sense that I have since then deduced its premises and conclusions) (let's hypothetically say), then I am still only gaining knowledge via a deduction and the induction was merely coincidentally correct.

    In other words, it is possible to ground an induction in knowledge (deductions), but not possible to ground a deduction in beliefs (inductions): the relation, therefore, is uni-directional. Furthermore, I now can explicate much more clearly what the hierarchy of inductions is grounded upon (assuming I am understanding correctly): the induction with (1) the most knowledge (deductions) as its grounds and (2) no dispensable entities is the most cogent within that context. This is exactly why, for example, "possibility" is more cogent than "speculations": "possibility" is (1) grounded in more knowledge. However, upon further reflection, I am not entirely sure that you would agree with #2: what if a "speculation -> speculation" is justified as necessitous? What if it isn't multiplying entities without necessity? What if the opposing induction "speculation" is eroding some necessary components of the induction chain?

    But an even deeper dilemma arises: the claim, and I would say key principle, underlying the hierarchy itself is an induction (to hold that the inductions that are more acquainted with, grounded in, knowledge is an induction, not a deductively concluded principle). Which inevitably undermines the hierarchy, since there is necessarily one induction (namely inductions grounded in more knowledge are more cogent) which is outside of the induction hierarchy (since it is itself contingent on it in the first place: we construct the hierarchy from this very induced principle). So, we do not "know" that the hierarchy of inductions is true, under your epistemology, I would say, because it is induced and, therefore, we "believe" it is true. If knowledge is only deductions than I think we are forced to conclude this.

    Anyways, I thought I would share my thoughts you can see more clearly what I am thinking here.

    Bob
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    Another fantastic set of posts Bob! Lets get into your points.

    Firstly, I think we need to revisit the "distinctive" vs "applicable" knowledge distinction holistically because I am still not understanding why it is important.Bob Ross

    This is fair, I really didn't go into it last post as I had initially intended. Deductions are knowledge, period. However, if there's one thing I think we can conclude from the epistemology, its the reasoning and path we take to get there that matters as well. This is why there is a hierarchy for inductions. This being the case, I see an identifiably different type of knowledge when we deduce the end result of an induction.

    Likewise, I don't think "applicable knowledge", in the sense of a deduced conclusion pertaining to an induction, has any actual relations to the induction. The induction and deduction are completely separate: mutually exclusive.Bob Ross

    Applicable knowledge is the deductive result of an induction. It is not a deduction that follows an induction.

    I believe the next penny flip will be heads. (Induction) ->
    I have a penny in my pocket. (Deduction)

    In this case, yes, though a deduction followed an induction in terms of the thought process, they are not connected. A connected deduction is the result of the induction.

    I believe the next penny flip will be heads. (Induction) ->
    I flip a penny I found in my pocket and it turns up tails. (Deduction)

    It is not the deduction alone which is applicable. It is the combination of the induction, and its result. The deduction, by itself, would be distinctive. We are not analyzing the deduction itself, we are analyzing the steps it took to get there.

    So why is this an important/needed distinction? Because it can help us realize our limitations. I noted earlier that one can create a fully deductive abstract in one's head. I could create an entire world with its own rules, laws, math, and it be a purely deduced achievement. A set of knowledge which has no inductions with deduced resolutions in its chain of reasoning is circumspect. The reality is we face uncertainty constantly. Our deductions which are reasonable at the time, may be countered in the face of new information. Part of reality is uncertainty, and our reasoning should reflect that. Arguably, the uncertainty of life is why we have the concept of knowledge at all. If there was no uncertainty in whatever we concluded, wouldn't we already know everything?

    Lets look at science. Science is not a success because it has carefully crafted deductions. It is a success because it has concluded carefully crafted deductions to inductive situations. Science seeks not to deduce, but to induce and then find the result. Science's conclusions are essentially applicable knowledge.

    So this is tricky. If by "doubt everything" you mean that everything is technically falsifiable, then yes I agree.Bob Ross

    I meant it as purely the emotional sense of doubt. You can doubt anything, whether its reasonable or unreasonable to do so. Yes, we are in agreement that despite having doubts, one can reasonably conclude that one's doubt is unfounded or incorrect. So to clarify, I was not talking about a reasonable doubt, which is limited, but the emotional non-reasonable doubt. In this epistemology, reasonableness is not a requirement of any person, it is always a choice. However, their unreasonable choices cannot counter a reasonable argument for those who are reasonable.

    In regards to hypothetical deductions, I believe we are in agreement! It just seems we had some slight misinterpretations of what each meant.

    1. IF an essential property of cats is they are green.Bob Ross

    It depends on how this is read. If we are reading this as "if this is true", then yes, this is simply an abstract premise and a deduction. If however this was read with the intention that we do not know the resolution, "An essential property of cats is they could, or could not be green", then it is an induction.

    Basically the IF alone is ambiguous to the user's intent. Does IF mean, "I don't know the essential property" or, "Assume an essential property is X". In the former, if we are to apply it to actual cats, then we must decide what the essential versus accidental properties of a cat are. If not, then we have an induction. In the latter, we have a deduction because we have concluded the essential property of a cat is X, and if we discover something that has all the other properties but X, we will say that creature is not a cat.

    From your answers, I think we are in agreement here on this breakdown. Please let me know if I'm incorrect here.

    I want to use the example of logical 'if' conditionals to demonstrate the reason why I separate the two knowledges. I can craft distinctive knowledge that avoids an induction. So I can state, "Assume that the essential property of a cat is that its green." I'm putting a hypothetical outcome to an induction, not a deduced outcome of an induction. The hypothetical property can be a part of a deduction, but it is a deduction that has avoided the test of induction.

    In the second case where I state, "The next cat I will see will be green", I am putting something testable out there. Hypotheticals are possible deduced solutions to that test. So I could deduce the conclusion that I would be correct if I found the next cat was green, and I could deduce a conclusion if it was the case that the cat is not green. But neither of those deductions are the resolution to the induction itself. They are deductions about what is possible to conclude from an induction, but they are not the deduced result of the induction itself. I find this distinction key to avoid ambiguity when someone claims they "know" something.

    Finally, this is important to note when someone changes their definitions. If I claimed, "The penny will flip heads" and the result was that it was tails, the deduction from that conclusion is that the penny landed on tails. Afterward, if I decided to flip the meaning of heads and tails in my head, that would be new distinctive knowledge. The applicable knowledge still stands. "When my definition of heads was this state, the resolution was it landed on tails. After, I changed the definition of heads and tails."

    Without first resolving the induction based on one's distinctive knowledge claims one had when they made the induction, then someone could attempt to claim, "Since I changed my definition of heads to tails, my induction was correct." But, the induction was not correct based on the distinctive knowledge at the time. In this, applicable knowledge acts as a historical marker of one's chain of thoughts.

    If however, we pull another person into the equation, a society with written rules, then we have an evolution. I cannot conclude whatever I want. I must make an induction, a belief about what society will decide. The answer to that, is applicable knowledge. Even then, the abstracts of society that it creates, that I must test my beliefs against, are its distinctive context, not applicable context.

    The same critique you made of solo contexts applies to societal contexts: I can deny whatever society throws at me, just like I can deny whatever I throw at myself. Ultimately I have to decide what to accept and what not to. If someone else came up with:

    1. IF an essential property of cats is that they are green
    2. IF an essential property of bob is that they are a cat
    3. THEN bob is green

    We are still in the same dilemma. I don't think the process is as different as you may think.
    Bob Ross

    You are correct in that we can decide to reject societies' definitions. But what we cannot do is claim applicable knowledge of, "Society doesn't actually believe that the color of a cat is non-essential" I can distinctively know my own definitions. I can distinctively reject societies definitions. I could distinctively know that society does not define something a certain way. But I cannot applicably know that society defines something a certain way, when the result of that claim would show that they deductively do not.

    You could decide to never be convinced of anything

    This is true in the sense that I can be convinced that I am not convinced of anything, however I am definitively wrong because I am thereby convinced of something. The danger of the mind is that it can fail to grasp things, not that it can do whatever it wants. Reason is not relative, it is absolute in relation to the subject at hand. I can utter and be convinced that "pon is false", but thereby it is true.
    Bob Ross

    Correct, if you decide to use reason, then you cannot reasonably be convinced that you are not convinced of anything. If you decide not to use reason, then you can. Its like a person who states, "Everything is absolute". Its completely unreasonable, but there are some who forego reasonableness, even when it is pointed out, and insist on their belief. Fortunately, we can use reasonableness, but this does not deny the fact that a person can reject all that in favor of what we might call insanity.

    I suppose what I'm getting at in these "A person can feel or do X" is that there is nothing as an essential property of a person that requires them to be reasonable. There are unreasonable people that we still label as people. Holding reasonable positions is non-essential, meaning if a human is biologically or willingly an unreasonable person, there is nothing we can do to make them. A reasonable person will likely live a much better life, but may find the revocation of reasonableness in certain situations to be more profitable to what they desire.

    I would also like to note very briefly that we have been kind of ignoring our friend "abductions", which is not an "induction" nor a "deduction". I'm not sure where you have that fit into this equation: is it simply merged with inductions?Bob Ross

    I think so. My understanding of abductions is that it is an induction that is the most reasonable one a person can hold given a situation. From the Stanford Encyclopedia, "You may have observed many gray elephants and no non-gray ones, and infer from this that all elephants are gray, because that would provide the best explanation for why you have observed so many gray elephants and no non-gray ones. This would be an instance of an abductive inference."
    -https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/abduction/#DedIndAbd

    With the inductive hierarchy, an abduction would simply be choosing the most cogent induction in a situation. If you considered the color of the elephant non-essential, this would be an induction. This could also be considered simply distinctive knowledge. If you consider the color of the elephant essential, then upon discovery of a pink elephant, you would call it something else from an elephant, or amend the definition to make the color of an elephant non-essential. It is our chain of reasoning to conclude what we are stating that determines its classification.

    I think where we disagree fundamentally is that you seem to be positing that we control reason (or our thoughts or something) in the abstract, but we do not. I do not decide to part and parcel in a particular way, it just manifests. There are rules to abstract though (again, pon). I can linguistically deny it, but nevertheless my reason is grounded in it. I cannot literally conjure whatever I want, because conjuring follows a set of rules in itself.Bob Ross

    Yes, there are aspects about ourselves that we may not have control over. I did not want to state that because we have the power to part and parcel existence, that it is something we always have control over. For example, there are people who are unable to recognize faces. People who are unable to visualize in their mind. This is the applicable context from which we are limited or given the gift of creating distinctive knowledge. Being reasonable is not a fundamental of being human. If it is, I have not been able to prove it so far.

    Despite cases in which you cannot easily decide to part and parcel, there are other instances in which you can. Look at one of your keys on your keyboard. Now look at the letter. Now look at any space next to the letter. Draw a circle in your mind around that space. You could if you wish mark a circle, and have created a new identity on that key. You can look at my writing. The page. The screen. The computer system. The room. You can focus and unfocus, and create new identities distinctively as you wish.

    There must be something outside of our own power and agency that creates a conclusion that does not necessarily follow from the premises we've created.

    It seems like you are arguing you do have power over your thoughts (and potentially imagination): I do not think you do. They are all objects and reason is the connections, synthetic and analytical, of those objects.
    Bob Ross

    No, I am noting that while we have an incredible amount of power within our own agency, there are things outside of our control. I cannot fly with my mind alone, no matter how much I imagine I can. I cannot bend my limbs past a certain point. But I can imagine that I am able to. I have a world I can create, a logic I can form, and conclusions that will never apply to reality, but be valid in my mind.

    Moreover, if I have a deduction, and it is sound, then nothing "outside of my power" (whatever that entails) cannot reject it (in the sense that "reality" rejects what "I want", or what have you). The deduction is true as absolutely as the term "absolute" can possibly mean. Inductions (and abductions) are the only domains of reasoning that can be rejected.Bob Ross

    True, and that is because we have defined it as such. We are being reasonable, constructing definitions, and holding to them to create a logic. But, someone could create entirely different definitions for deductions and inductions. Still, according to the epistemology, we could hold them to a rational standard that results from those amended identities. It is why epistemology is so important. It is a rational standard for which we can debate about what we can know and not know, when the human race by nature, has no standards besides what they themselves or a contextual group would hold them to. We are trying to create a standard that can elevate itself beyond individuals or groups, but can also note what those individuals and groups distinctly and applicably know. Does it meet this standard? Perhaps, but it is an ongoing test and challenge.

    I also want to address something again. The idea of something "outside of my power". Basically there are things we cannot will. And you agree with me by stating there are things you cannot choose to part and parcel. Can it be granted at this point that we both believe there are things outside of our mental control?

    For example, let's use your "Go Fish" example. Abstractly, I can determine that a game, which I will define as "Go Fish", is possible according to the rules I subject it to: thereby I "know" "GoFish" is possible in the abstract. However, as you noted, it is an entirely different claim to state that "Go Fish is possible non-abstractly" (as I conjured up "Go Fish" according to my rules) (e.g. it turns out a totalitarian regime burned all the playing cards, what a shame, or my rules do not conform to the laws of nature). I think, therefrom, you are intuitively discerning two forms of knowledge to make that meaningful distinction.Bob Ross

    I believe this is correct.

    the claim of knowledge towards abstract "Go Fish", and more importantly the "cards" therein, is a completely different conception than "cards" being utilized when claiming "Go Fish is possible non-abstractly". The conflation between the two (what I define abstractly as "a card" along with its existence presupposed in reference to the abstract vs what coincides non-abstractly) is what I think you are trying to warn against. I may define "card" as "floating mid-air" and quickly realize that this is only possible in relation to "abstract cards" and not "non-abstract cards".Bob Ross

    Also correct!

    Consequently, "distinctive" and "applicable" are the exact same. If I claim that "Go Fish is possible abstractly", I know this deductively. If I claim that "Go Fish is possible non-abstractly", I also know this deductively.Bob Ross

    Correct in that both are deductions. I hope I clarified here that the real distinction is the in the chain of reasoning.

    Distinctive knowledge: Discrete experience or
    A deduction that leads to a deduction.

    Applicable knowledge:
    An induction that leads to a deduced resolution

    In other words, it is possible to ground an induction in knowledge (deductions), but not possible to ground a deduction in beliefs (inductions): the relation, therefore, is uni-directional.Bob Ross

    Correct. But we can obtain the actual outcome of the induction. When an induction resolves, we have the outcome.

    This result in relation to the induction is the special category of applicable knowledge.

    Furthermore, I now can explicate much more clearly what the hierarchy of inductions is grounded upon (assuming I am understanding correctly): the induction with (1) the most knowledge (deductions) as its grounds and (2) no dispensable entities is the most cogent within that context.Bob Ross

    The first part is part of the reason, but I did not understand what a "dispensable entity" was.

    But an even deeper dilemma arises: the claim, and I would say key principle, underlying the hierarchy itself is an induction (to hold that the inductions that are more acquainted with, grounded in, knowledge is an induction, not a deductively concluded principle). Which inevitably undermines the hierarchy, since there is necessarily one induction (namely inductions grounded in more knowledge are more cogent) which is outside of the induction hierarchy (since it is itself contingent on it in the first place: we construct the hierarchy from this very induced principle). So, we do not "know" that the hierarchy of inductions is true, under your epistemologyBob Ross

    We distinctively know the hierarchy of inductions, we do not applicably know if the claim is true. That would require testing in a lab. I've given the arguments already for why the hierarchy exists. If we want to revisit it, we can, but this is enough to cover for now. Thanks again Bob, great points, and always feel free to post more if you have new thoughts and I haven't followed up yet!
  • Bob Ross
    98
    @Philosophim,

    However, if there's one thing I think we can conclude from the epistemology, its the reasoning and path we take to get there that matters as well. This is why there is a hierarchy for inductions.

    I am not particularly sold on this quite yet. The hierarchy of inductions analyzes the "paths" in relation to its epistemic groundings, which is a relation of deduction -> induction (which I think is fine), but this relationship is not symmetrical (i.e. induction -> deduction). We can create meaningful labels pertaining to deduction -> induction, but not vice-versa (i would say). I think you are seeing it as symmetrical, whereas I see it more asymmetrical.

    Applicable knowledge is the deductive result of an induction. It is not a deduction that follows an induction.

    You explicated the dilemma much more elegantly than I did here! From what you said here, I am arguing the exact converse: to claim a deduction is a result of an induction is to necessarily concede that they are not mutually exclusive (there’s at least one relationship, no matter how weak or strong, being claimed to be validly made). I am claiming that a deduction can follow an induction, but never is a result of one. The results of a deduction can prove how aligned an induction was in relation to knowledge, but an induction never produces a resulting deduction.

    I believe the next penny flip will be heads. (Induction) ->
    I have a penny in my pocket. (Deduction)

    ...

    I believe the next penny flip will be heads. (Induction) ->
    I flip a penny I found in my pocket and it turns up tails. (Deduction)

    I think these are truly the same: the latter just feels connected, but isn't anymore connected than the former. I could have just as easily, in the case of the latter, not posited a belief and flipped the penny from my pocket and it turns up tails (which would thereby no longer be applicable, yet I obtained the exact same knowledge distinctively).

    So why is this an important/needed distinction? Because it can help us realize our limitations. I noted earlier that one can create a fully deductive abstract in one's head. I could create an entire world with its own rules, laws, math, and it be a purely deduced achievement. A set of knowledge which has no inductions with deduced resolutions in its chain of reasoning is circumspect. The reality is we face uncertainty constantly. Our deductions which are reasonable at the time, may be countered in the face of new information. Part of reality is uncertainty, and our reasoning should reflect that. Arguably, the uncertainty of life is why we have the concept of knowledge at all.

    For the most part, I agree with the underlying meaning I think you are trying to convey (i.e. recognizing our limitations), but I think your "distinctive" vs "applicable" isn't a true representation thereof. What I think you are really trying to get at is that "knowledge" is always indexical. I am not certain what the result of flipping a coin (non-abstractly) will be until I do it, because my abstract simulation does not refer to non-abstract consideration (although I can definitely conflate them as synonymous). I can, therefore, have a belief prior to my deductively ascertained knowledge that it flipped tails, but that has no bearing on how I obtained that knowledge. I could equally have not posited a belief and obtained the exact same result, which indexically refers to something relationally beyond my abstract consideration. I am failing to see how the induction provided a meaningful difference, because even if I didn't induce anything prior to flipping the coin, thereby labeling it as "distinctive", does not equate to "categorical": I still had to obtain it non-abstractly in the exact same manner as applicable knowledge.

    If there was no uncertainty in whatever we concluded, wouldn't we already know everything?

    Firstly, I don't think "uncertainty" directly entails that one has to formulate an induction: I can be neutrally uncertain of the outcome of flipping a non-imaginary coin without ever asserting an induction. So when I previously stated that inductions and abductions only provide the uncertainty, I was slightly wrong: we can deductively know that we do not deductively know something and, therefore, we are uncertain of it (to some degree). No induction is technically needed (but definitely can be posited).

    Secondly, yes, we would, without uncertainty, know everything. However, where are you drawing that line? I think you are trying to draw it at "distinctive" vs "applicable", but I don't think those definitions work properly. As previously discussed, the non-abstract flipping of a coin could be either form and still be obtaining knowledge pertaining to something uncertain.

    Lets look at science. Science is not a success because it has carefully crafted deductions. It is a success because it has concluded carefully crafted deductions to inductive situations. Science seeks not to deduce, but to induce and then find the result. Science's conclusions are essentially applicable knowledge.

    Yes, science does claim to "find the result" after a test, but the "result" has no relation to the induction (hypothesis) itself: that was merely posited as the best educated guess one could make prior to any knowledge deductively obtain after/during the test. Most of the time, science never reaches the point where we have verified the entire hypothesis (deductively) before it gets translated into a "theory": scientists obtain enough deductively ascertained knowledge that supports the hypothesis (or hypotheses) to warrant stating it is more than just a hypothesis (but, most importantly, it is not holistically knowable most of the time).

    Although I may be misunderstanding you, if you are trying to claim that "applicable knowledge" is something scientists obtain about the holistic hypothesis, then I think you are (most of the time) incorrect. Unless the test is something really trivial (like "this will fall if I let it go"), then it generally doesn't make it to knowledge, just a stronger version of an induction (more thoroughly tested which entails more knowledge that it is grounded in). Sometimes they do categorically deductively ascertain during experiments, such as if I were to test whether this particular bottle is made of glass, which would inevitably be tested against my definition of "glass" and the means of verifying it meets each criteria of "glass" is also categorically defined. But i don't see how any of this proves in any way that they obtained something other than one form of knowledge (and, further, although I see the underlying meaning useful in terms of indexicals, I don’t see how there’s really a distinction between the two forms you are positing).

    I meant it as purely the emotional sense of doubt. You can doubt anything, whether its reasonable or unreasonable to do so. Yes, we are in agreement that despite having doubts, one can reasonably conclude that one's doubt is unfounded or incorrect. So to clarify, I was not talking about a reasonable doubt, which is limited, but the emotional non-reasonable doubt. In this epistemology, reasonableness is not a requirement of any person, it is always a choice. However, their unreasonable choices cannot counter a reasonable argument for those who are reasonable.

    That's fair enough.

    In regards to hypothetical deductions, I believe we are in agreement! It just seems we had some slight misinterpretations of what each meant.

    I think we are in agreement then! My question for you is: do you find it a meaningful distinction (categorical vs hypothetical), and what terminology would you translate that to in your epistemology? I don't think it is the same distinction as what you are trying to convey with "distinctive" and "applicable", but I could be wrong.

    So I can state, "Assume that the essential property of a cat is that its green." I'm putting a hypothetical outcome to an induction, not a deduced outcome of an induction. The hypothetical property can be a part of a deduction, but it is a deduction that has avoided the test of induction.

    In terms of underlying meaning, I understand and agree, but I don't think this is being described correctly. Everything is tested, abstract and non-abstract alike, but what makes the error you are explicating correct is that the tests are indexical. Testing in my mind in terms of my imagination, for example, does not automatically hold for that same "label" in non-abstract considerations. So I wouldn't say that "avoiding an induction" is a mistake, it is "avoiding the indexical consideration" that is the mistake. If I deduce that a "card" exists in my imagination with the color red on it, it would be a mistake for me to thereafter conclude there is a "card" in the non-imagination. Now, in terms of obtaining whether a "card" that is red exists in non-imagination takes the form of all other tests (including testing that belief in the abstract in terms of my imagination), and so I don't necessarily have to pre-judge whether or not I think there actually is one. If I look down and see a "red" "card", then I just deductively ascertained (without an induction) that non-abstractly there exists a "red card". I am failing to see how this is contingent on inductions. If I cannot deductively ascertain that there is such a thing as a "red card", then I am left with nothing else but to induce my best guess and, if push comes to shove, I bank my money on it.

    In the second case where I state, "The next cat I will see will be green", I am putting something testable out there

    But that belief has no bearing on uncertainty. You can have easily have simply deductively noted that you have no clue what the next cat will be, and then saw it was green (and you would know that you have no clue deductively). If you do submit such a belief (as you did), then yes we can deductively ascertain how aligned your induction was with real knowledge, but it never becomes knowledge. Even if you guessed right, you didn't know. Not even in hindsight. In terms of the induction hierarchy, we are simply inducing that given that the inductions more grounded in knowledge seem to produce more aligned results (with knowledge) that we are more rational to hold those over other, less grounded, inductions. We do not deductively know this. There's nothing that deductively tells me that a possibility actually is more certain of a claim than a speculation, only that I should rationally bank my money on it because that has tended to work out better. I have no deductive reason to believe that because something has been experienced before that it has a higher chance of happening again over something that has never been experienced: that is an induction (similar, if not exactly like, Hume's problem of induction).

    So I could deduce the conclusion that I would be correct if I found the next cat was green, and I could deduce a conclusion if it was the case that the cat is not green. But neither of those deductions are the resolution to the induction itself. They are deductions about what is possible to conclude from an induction, but they are not the deduced result of the induction itself. I find this distinction key to avoid ambiguity when someone claims they "know" something.

    Again, i see this not as "a result of an induction" but, rather, the importance of understanding knowledge is indexical. There's nothing wrong with positing a hypothetical deduction, but, as you rightly pointed out, that has no meaning if the IF conditionals are removed. By definition, it would no longer be hypothetical, so it would either have to be categorical or an induction.


    "Since I changed my definition of heads to tails, my induction was correct." But, the induction was not correct based on the distinctive knowledge at the time. In this, applicable knowledge acts as a historical marker of one's chain of thoughts.

    So, firstly, the induction is never "correct", it is just a "best guess" (or potentially not the best guess but no less "a guess"). It can happen to align with knowledge to any degree, but it isn't knowledge.

    Secondly, you are right that the terminology is sometimes deductively (categorically) defined before the induction and that does shed light into their intentions, but this has no bearing on inductions. I could categorically define "cat" as "1 square" and then, without inducing anything, see what one would usually refer to a cat and decide to change my terminology. There's still a historical marker here, and it is memory (oh boy, which gets us back to that dilemma), not inductions. It's not that you induced X that provides a historical marker for me that you had other intentions prior to deductively ascertaining about X, it is that I remember you using terminology in your induction in a manner that suggests you weren't meaning it in that way, which I deduced. Now, we could get into whether I truly can deduce your intentions (it may just be an induction), but hopefully you see what I mean here.

    But what we cannot do is claim applicable knowledge of, "Society doesn't actually believe that the color of a cat is non-essential" I can distinctively know my own definitions. I can distinctively reject societies definitions.

    I think what you really mean here (and correct me if I am wrong) is that society's definition and my definition do not have to align (because knowledge is indexical). I can induce that society doesn't hold that a cat is essentially defined by "color", or I could categorically define "society" as necessarily not holding color as an essential property of cats. The problem is that when I define "society", it is in relation to what I've deduced, which indexically refers to my abstractions, and the definition someone else may have deductively defined indexically refers to themselves (and it would be a conflation to think they are necessarily bound to one another).

    I could distinctively know that society does not define something a certain way.

    This is where you sort of lost me. If by "distinctively know" you mean that you can categorically define "society" in a way that necessitates that they don't hold that definition of "cat", then I agree. But this has no relation to any sort of induction, the conflation arises when knowledge isn't viewed as indexical.

    But I cannot applicably know that society defines something a certain way, when the result of that claim would show that they deductively do not.

    I would agree insofar as the distinction being made is that my deduced abstract consideration of what a "society" or "cat" is has no indexical relation to non-abstract considerations, but I am failing to see how this has anything to do with necessarily positing an induction prior to deducing.

    Correct, if you decide to use reason, then you cannot reasonably be convinced that you are not convinced of anything. If you decide not to use reason, then you can. Its like a person who states, "Everything is absolute". Its completely unreasonable, but there are some who forego reasonableness, even when it is pointed out, and insist on their belief. Fortunately, we can use reasonableness, but this does not deny the fact that a person can reject all that in favor of what we might call insanity.

    This is true in a sense, but I think you are agreeing with me that this doesn't mean someone can actually do whatever they want just because they claim it.

    There are unreasonable people that we still label as people. Holding reasonable positions is non-essential, meaning if a human is biologically or willingly an unreasonable person, there is nothing we can do to make them.

    I would say that you are correct that people can feel as though they can be without reason, but they necessarily are. Someone can look a table, and then say they didn't just look at a table, but they did (and I think you are agreeing with me on this). It is an essential property of "human being" that they are a reasoning being, but I think how you are using "reasonableness", they don't have to have it. But they nevertheless abide by certain rules, which is their reason, even in the most insane of circumstances, which is apart of the definition of being human.

    I think so. My understanding of abductions is that it is an induction that is the most reasonable one a person can hold given a situation. From the Stanford Encyclopedia, "You may have observed many gray elephants and no non-gray ones, and infer from this that all elephants are gray, because that would provide the best explanation for why you have observed so many gray elephants and no non-gray ones. This would be an instance of an abductive inference."

    I apologize, I was too hasty to slide that into the discussion, we have much bigger fish to fry. I think we should not proceed to that conversation yet (that's my fault).

    Despite cases in which you cannot easily decide to part and parcel, there are other instances in which you can. Look at one of your keys on your keyboard. Now look at the letter. Now look at any space next to the letter. Draw a circle in your mind around that space. You could if you wish mark a circle, and have created a new identity on that key. You can look at my writing. The page. The screen. The computer system. The room. You can focus and unfocus, and create new identities distinctively as you wish.

    I don't think any of this proves that I was in control of anything. What discerns actual accordance from coincidental repetition?

    We do, colloquially, make distinctions between something like "intention" and what the body actually is capable of, but ultimately I fail to see how we truly control any objects (which includes all concepts, so thoughts, imagination, the body, etc). What proof is there that you are not along for the ride?

    No, I am noting that while we have an incredible amount of power within our own agency, there are things outside of our control

    This isn't quite what I was trying to get at, I do think that you think that some things are outside of our control (if not a lot of things), but you do think that there is a clear divide between "incredible amount of power with our own agency" and that which isn't: where is that line drawn at? Do you think you control your thoughts? Imagination? Bodily movements? Maybe not absolutely, but sometimes at the very least? I am trying to hone in on what you mean, because I do not hold that the subject, reason, has any control over objects.

    But I can imagine that I am able to. I have a world I can create, a logic I can form, and conclusions that will never apply to reality, but be valid in my mind.

    Do you think that you sometimes can control your "dream world" within your imagination, or all time? Or never?

    The distinction you are making in terms of what a proposition references (indexicals) is still valid if one doesn't control objects whatsoever.

    And you agree with me by stating there are things you cannot choose to part and parcel. Can it be granted at this point that we both believe there are things outside of our mental control?

    I cannot quite remember what I stated previously, but my contention isn't really "is there anything outside of our control" but, rather, "is there anything inside our control" (which is different). To say "outside our control" is fine, and I would agree that there are, but where I am failing to understand you is where is the line drawn? When you say "outside of our mental control", this leads me to believe that you think that you control your mental, or abstract considerations, but I do not think you do. There is no point at which, in reference to any object, where we "know" that we controlled it. It is an induction at best.

    Correct in that both are deductions. I hope I clarified here that the real distinction is the in the chain of reasoning.

    I think that what you are trying to convey (if I am understanding it correctly) is right, but it is wrong to postulate it as having anything to do with a chain of reasoning (I would view is asymmetrical to induction chains).

    Distinctive knowledge: Discrete experience or
    A deduction that leads to a deduction.

    Applicable knowledge:
    An induction that leads to a deduced resolution

    If by "leads" you are saying "results", then I disagree. We deduce knowledge and, in hindsight, see how close our inductions were (if we even posited any) to that deduced knowledge. Deductions can "lead" to inductions, but never vice-versa in a literal sense (like "results"), but if you mean a loose sense like an induction can "lead" someone to investigate further in some circumstances, then I agree. If "lead" is being used loosely, then I wouldn't consider something sparking your interest as something that then results in a deduction (another deduction could have just as easily sparked my interest).

    But we can obtain the actual outcome of the induction. When an induction resolves, we have the outcome.

    The outcome is not apart of the induction, that is knowledge which is a deduction (which I think you would agree with me on that). There's no entailment from induction -> deduction. You don't need to state a belief either way before flipping a coin. The flipping of the coin and its conclusion is all deductively ascertained (thusly knowledge) either way.

    The first part is part of the reason, but I did not understand what a "dispensable entity" was.

    Essentially occam's razor.

    We distinctively know the hierarchy of inductions, we do not applicably know if the claim is true.

    Upon further reflection, I don't think we deduce the hierarchy holistically (either as distinctive or applicable--either way they are both considered deductions). Nothing about the premises necessitates the conclusion that "possibility" is more cogent than "speculations". Nothing about experiencing something once deductively necessitates that it is more likely to happen again over something that hasn't been experienced (and isn't an irrational induction). I think some of them may be deductively ascertained (such as irrational inductions since they defined as contradictions, which would necessarily always be known as the worst option), but I don't think it holds for all of them (but I need to ponder it a bit deeper).

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Bob
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    I think you are seeing it as symmetrical, whereas I see it more asymmetrical.Bob Ross

    I would not say it is symmetrical, I just think there is a similar situation to consider. Inductions and deductions are like atoms, and their chain of reasoning is like molecules. How they combine creates a new identity to consider.

    We may have a fundamental disagreement as to whether an induction can be deductively concluded. Perhaps its my language. Let me make it simple first. "Applicable knowledge is the conclusion of an induction". Add in "Deductive conclusion" because it is possible to believe the conclusion to an induction is another induction.

    I could have just as easily, in the case of the latter, not posited a belief and flipped the penny from my pocket and it turns up tails (which would thereby no longer be applicable, yet I obtained the exact same knowledge distinctively).Bob Ross

    Yes, you could have. But that does not negate the situation in which there is an induction that you are actively trying to discover the end result.

    I can, therefore, have a belief prior to my deductively ascertained knowledge that it flipped tails, but that has no bearing on how I obtained that knowledge. I could equally have not posited a belief and obtained the exact same result, which indexically refers to something relationally beyond my abstract consideration.Bob Ross

    Let me break down the indexical (or context) of the flip itself.

    I can flip a penny, look at the result, and create the identity of "I'll call that heads". That is not applicable, but distinctive knowledge.

    I can also flip a penny, look at the result and see a symbol that seems familiar. I then try to match the symbol to what is considered "heads" in my mind, and I do without contradiction. This is applicable knowledge.

    The induction in this case is the belief that what I am observing matches a previous identity I have created. Does this side of the penny match heads? That is "the question". The result, "Yes it does, "if deduced, is "the answer".

    If I had believed that the penny would result in heads, then the answer is the resolution to the induction. Identifying an induction that has not yet resolved, versus an induction that has a resolution in our chain of thinking is incredibly important! I could come up with an entirely fool proof deductive point about Gandolf in the Lord of the Rings. Isolated, no one would care. But if at the very beginning of my deduction I started with, "I believe Gandolf is a real person," that puts the entire "deduction" in a different light!

    Knowledge is about a chain of thinking. We make claims all the time in the world, and people find their results very pertinent. When people make a bet on what horse will win the race, there is active incentive to find out what the actual result of the race is. We don't want to answer with, "Maybe your horse won the race." People also don't want to hear, "Oh, Buttercup lost? Well I'm going to redefine my bet that when I bet on Princess, I really bet on Buttercup". People want a definitive, or deduced answer to that question because there is a lot on the line.

    For the most part, I agree with the underlying meaning I think you are trying to convey (i.e. recognizing our limitations), but I think your "distinctive" vs "applicable" isn't a true representation thereof. What I think you are really trying to get at is that "knowledge" is always indexical.Bob Ross

    Contextual, yes. Specifically distinctive and applicably contextual. We could view it as distinctive and applicably indexical if you wish. Although I may need to refine the meaning of those terms within contexts now that I've tweaked the meaning of applicable. Distinctive context is the set distinctive knowledge a person is working with. "A horse has X essential properties. The definition of winning a race has Y essential properties. Applicable context is the limitations of what can be used to find the result of the induction. "I'm blind, so I can't confirm essential properties that require sight".

    Firstly, I don't think "uncertainty" directly entails that one has to formulate an induction: I can be neutrally uncertain of the outcome of flipping a non-imaginary coin without ever asserting an induction. So when I previously stated that inductions and abductions only provide the uncertainty, I was slightly wrong: we can deductively know that we do not deductively know something and, therefore, we are uncertain of it (to some degree).Bob Ross

    Agreed within the correct context. If I distinctively know "I do not know something", then I'm not making an induction. It is when I make a belief that X matches Y definition in my head that I am making an induction, and need to go through the steps to deduce that this is true. At the point the coin is flipped, the induction happens when I attempt to match the result to my distinctive knowledge. The implicit induction is, "I believe the result could match to what I distinctively know." One could also implicitly induce that the result will not match what one distinctively knows, and not even bother trying. A deduction after the result happens will determine which induction was correct.

    Secondly, yes, we would, without uncertainty, know everything. However, where are you drawing that line? I think you are trying to draw it at "distinctive" vs "applicable", but I don't think those definitions work properly. As previously discussed, the non-abstract flipping of a coin could be either form and still be obtaining knowledge pertaining to something uncertain.Bob Ross

    I hope the above points have answered this. Let me know if they have not!

    Yes, science does claim to "find the result" after a test, but the "result" has no relation to the induction (hypothesis) itself: that was merely posited as the best educated guess one could make prior to any knowledge deductively obtain after/during the test.Bob Ross

    Perhaps this is unimportant after the previous notes, but I felt I needed to address this. The hypothesis is absolutely key. Science does not seek to prove a hypothesis, it seeks to invalidate a hypothesis. A hypothesis must be falsifiable. There needs to be a hypothetical state in which the hypothesis could be false. Science attempts to prove a hypothesis false, and if it cannot, then we have something.

    Science has been very aware that you can craft an experiment to easily prove a hypothesis correct, and that this is often faulty. Just as I've noted earlier in our conversations, we can craft distinctive knowledge in such a way that they avoid inductions. "I believe a magical unicorn exists that cannot be sensed in any way." This is something that is non-falsifiable. When it rains, I could say, "Yep, that's the magic unicorn using its powers to cause the rain." When someone tries to explain the water cycle to me, I simply respond with, "Well yes, that's how the unicorn works its magic."

    The hypothesis is the key to the experiment. The main focus of the experiment is trying to prove the hypothesis wrong. Upon peer review, scientists will attempt to see if the experiment properly tested what could falsify the hypothesis, or if the results were baked for a positive outcome. You and I are discussing a theory of epistemology. It is important that we try to prove it false, to attack it, and put it to the test. While there may be instances both of us can see positives that would make the theory useful, what matters more is whether the theory holds up in logical consistency. We are not trying to prove the theory right by its positives alone, we are trying to prove the theory right by the fact that attempts at negating it do not work.

    I think we are in agreement then! My question for you is: do you find it a meaningful distinction (categorical vs hypothetical), and what terminology would you translate that to in your epistemology?Bob Ross

    I think there is a meaningful distinction here. Categorical deductions involve no potential inductions. Hypothetical distinctions take a potential induction, and conclude a deduction based on a hypothetical outcome of the induction. I think that is very important in evaluating the risk and about how much we should care about the induction.

    If I have to find an item at the store, I'm in a rush, and it could be in aisle 1 or 2, I can evaluate the outcomes if I pick correctly vs. incorrectly. Because the aisles aren't that big, I decide not to ask a member of the store where the item is, and quickly run through both aisles. Of course, if I'm in a rush and I don't know where the item is among 25 aisles, in evaluating the hypothetical outcomes, its much quicker on average to ask the person at the store next to me where the item in question is then potentially find the item on the 25th aisle I explored. Perhaps the hypothetical deduction might give a better way to evaluate which inductions are worth pursuing beyond the cogency hierarchy; something I know you've been interested in.

    Testing in my mind in terms of my imagination, for example, does not automatically hold for that same "label" in non-abstract considerations. So I wouldn't say that "avoiding an induction" is a mistake, it is "avoiding the indexical consideration" that is the mistake.Bob Ross

    I did not intend to note that "avoiding an induction" is a mistake. I think it is a reasonable tactic at times to be efficient. But yes, you can call it "avoiding an induction" or "creating a different context that does not contain an induction" and that is fine.

    If I look down and see a "red" "card", then I just deductively ascertained (without an induction) that non-abstractly there exists a "red card".Bob Ross

    Any time you attempt to match your identity of "red" to something else, you are making an implicit induction. Only until after you confirm the essential properties that it is "red" do you have the deduced conclusion. This can be done very quickly, but you do not look at the "red" card and create an identity called "red" for the first time. You are looking at the "red" card, and matching it to the belief that it is "red", the identity you created when you saw "red" for the first time.

    In the second case where I state, "The next cat I will see will be green", I am putting something testable out there

    But that belief has no bearing on uncertainty. You can have easily have simply deductively noted that you have no clue what the next cat will be, and then saw it was green (and you would know that you have no clue deductively). If you do submit such a belief (as you did), then yes we can deductively ascertain how aligned your induction was with real knowledge, but it never becomes knowledge. Even if you guessed right, you didn't know.
    Bob Ross

    I want to make sure you didn't misunderstand me here. I am not saying that an induction becomes knowledge. I am stating the deduced result of the induction becomes knowledge. If I believe the next cat I see will be green, that is an induction, not a deduction. If the next cat I see is deductively confirmed to be green, then my induction was correct, but it does not change the fact it was an induction. The induction itself is not knowledge, only the deductively concluded result is knowledge.
    If I state, "I have no clue what color the next cat I see will be", the induction is when you see a cat, whether you believe that cat's color has a match to your distinctive knowledge of colors. That result is the deductive conclusion.

    I could distinctively know that society does not define something a certain way.

    This is where you sort of lost me. If by "distinctively know" you mean that you can categorically define "society" in a way that necessitates that they don't hold that definition of "cat", then I agree.
    Bob Ross

    Correct.

    But I cannot applicably know that society defines something a certain way, when the result of that claim would show that they deductively do not.

    I would agree insofar as the distinction being made is that my deduced abstract consideration of what a "society" or "cat" is has no indexical relation to non-abstract considerations, but I am failing to see how this has anything to do with necessarily positing an induction prior to deducing.
    Bob Ross

    I am not stating there is necessary induction prior to creating further deductions. I am simply noting that when one decides to induce, applicable knowledge is the deduced resolution to that induction.

    Someone can look a table, and then say they didn't just look at a table, but they did (and I think you are agreeing with me on this). It is an essential property of "human being" that they are a reasoning being, but I think how you are using "reasonableness", they don't have to have it. But they nevertheless abide by certain rules, which is their reason, even in the most insane of circumstances, which is apart of the definition of being human.Bob Ross

    Using reason in the most basic way we have defined it so far, yes. Reasonable would be a human being who uses societally agreed upon logic over emotions and desires. In the case of our very basic definition of reason, yes, that is an essential property of I think all living beings. But having reasonableness, or agreeing to make decisions based on logic over emotions and desires, is not an essential property of being human.

    I don't think any of this proves that I was in control of anything. What discerns actual accordance from coincidental repetition?

    We do, colloquially, make distinctions between something like "intention" and what the body actually is capable of, but ultimately I fail to see how we truly control any objects (which includes all concepts, so thoughts, imagination, the body, etc). What proof is there that you are not along for the ride?
    Bob Ross

    What proof is there that we do not have control over certain things? My proof is I have control over certain things. I can will my arm to move, and it does. I can will against my emotions to do something more important. Are you saying that you have control over nothing Bob? I don't think you're intending that, but I think I need clarification here. And if you are intending that we can control nothing, it would be helpful if you could present some evidence as to why this is.

    Do you think that you sometimes can control your "dream world" within your imagination, or all time? Or never?Bob Ross

    Sometimes.

    When you say "outside of our mental control", this leads me to believe that you think that you control your mental, or abstract considerations, but I do not think you do. There is no point at which, in reference to any object, where we "know" that we controlled it. It is an induction at best.Bob Ross

    Again I'm confused here. I'll need this broken down more.

    Upon further reflection, I don't think we deduce the hierarchy holistically (either as distinctive or applicable--either way they are both considered deductions). Nothing about the premises necessitates the conclusion that "possibility" is more cogent than "speculations".Bob Ross

    It was a while back, but I believe I did cover this. It had to do with chains of inductions away from the induction. A probability is one step from a deduction, a possibility is a less focused induction that probability, because it cannot assess the likelihood of it happening. A speculation is an induction introduces not only a possibility, but the induction that something that has never been confirmed to exist before, can exist. And then you remember irrational inductions.

    Nothing about experiencing something once deductively necessitates that it is more likely to happen again over something that hasn't been experienced (and isn't an irrational induction).Bob Ross

    Correct. The hierarchy cannot determine which induction is more likely to be. It can only determine which induction is more cogent, or least removed from what is known. Cogency has typically been defined as a strong inductive argument with true premises. Here cogency is measured by the length and degree of its inductive chain away from what has been deduced.

    Great conversation again Bob!
  • Bob Ross
    98
    @Philosophim,

    Wonderful post!

    "Applicable knowledge is the conclusion of an induction". Add in "Deductive conclusion" because it is possible to believe the conclusion to an induction is another induction.

    With respect to the first sentence, it depends on what you mean by "conclusion" whether I would agree. Again, by "conclusion" are implying there is an actual connection between an induction and a deduction, or is it simply that the latter followed the former, but was necessarily not a result of it? I think that we colloquially assert that in the event that deductive knowledge follows an induction pertaining to the same subject we have thereby concluded our induction was correct or incorrect, but I don't think that holds formatively. In other words, if you mean "induction" -> "deductive conclusion", then I disagree. However, if you mean "induction" ~> "deductive conclusion" -> "analysis of induction", then I agree. "->" is how I am signifying a strict entailment, whereas "~>" is a loose entailment (e.g. I induce A, A motivates me to investigate the subject B pertaining to A, I then ascertain knowledge K on subject B deductively, and then analyze A through my newly acquired K to determine how aligned it was with knowledge, however A does not directly entail K in any way beyond the loose entailment of motivation or incentive).

    With regard to the second sentence, I think you are suggesting that Applicable Knowledge can be a conclusion that is an induction, which I would strongly disagree with (if I am understanding that sentence correctly). If "Applicable knowledge" is a "conclusion of an induction", and "conclusion" is purposely not restricted to "deductive conclusion", then I can substitute it in and get "applicable knowledge is (or can be) an inductive conclusion to an induction", which I think cannot be true since an induction is not knowledge. One can most definitely formulate a "conclusion" to an induction which is also an induction, but it would not be "applicable knowledge".

    Yes, you could have. But that does not negate the situation in which there is an induction that you are actively trying to discover the end result.

    I think I am starting to understand better what you are conveying. Essentially (and correct me if I am wrong) you are utilizing "applicable knowledge" as a distinction to emphasize that which is not in our control and, thusly, must be discovered as opposed to projected. Although I think there is a meaningful distinction between "discovery" and "projection", I think ultimately it is all discovery. I can recursively analyze my thoughts in the exact same manner, and so I don't think the distinction between "induction" ~> "deduction" has any bearing on what you trying to convey. If one claims knowledge pertaining to something that does not indexically (contextually) refer to the proof they provide, then therefrom a contradiction arises which invalidates such.

    The induction in this case is the belief that what I am observing matches a previous identity I have created. Does this side of the penny match heads? That is "the question". The result, "Yes it does, "if deduced, is "the answer".

    The "question" you posited here is not an induction. You are correct, however, that the induction in your example was "see a symbol that seems familiar", but that is not simply just a question. "Does this side of the penny match heads?" is a completely neutral assertion, because it isn't an assertion at all. I am not inducing that it does match or that it doesn't. So that "question" coupled with the "answer" would be, in this case, distinctive knowledge. But in your previously example (asserting it is familiar) would be applicable. That's why I can easily refurbish your example as distinctive and still obtain the same exact knowledge:

    I can also flip a penny, look at the result and wonder if I've seen it before. I then try to match the symbol to what is considered "heads" in my mind, and I do so without contradiction. This is distinctive knowledge.

    When you stated "seems familiar", I can see how that could potentially imply an assertion that it actually is familiar, which would imply that it has been seen before (which is an induction). But wondering is not an assertion either way in itself.

    If I had believed that the penny would result in heads, then the answer is the resolution to the induction. Identifying an induction that has not yet resolved, versus an induction that has a resolution in our chain of thinking is incredibly important!

    I 100% agree it is important to understand whether an induction has been resolved or not; however, I don't see how that is a comparison of an unsolved induction vs a resolution in our chain of thinking (it would simply be, in my head, identifying an unsolved vs solved inductions). "resolution" of an induction is simply utilizing our knowledge to ascertain how aligned it was with true knowledge, which is a spectrum (it isn't a binary decision of "I resolved that it was true or that it was false): my induction could have been correct to any degree, and incorrect to any degree. Likewise, it is a continual process, we simply take the knowledge we have and utilize it to determine how "correct" our induction was, but we can very well keep doing this as our knowledge increases. So, I'm not sure where the line would be drawn for when an induction truly is "resolved" vs when it is still "unresolved". I think colloquially we simply roughly discern the two as "inductions with very little knowledge grounding it" vs "inductions that have lots of knowledge grounding it". I think that it can seem like a binary situation when considering really trivial examples, such as flipping a coin. But when considering something really complicated like evolution, it is much harder to see how one would ever holistically know such: it is more that we have ample knowledge grounding it (such as evolutionary facts and many aspects of the theory), but there's never a point where we truly can deduce it holistically.

    I could come up with an entirely fool proof deductive point about Gandolf in the Lord of the Rings. Isolated, no one would care. But if at the very beginning of my deduction I started with, "I believe Gandolf is a real person," that puts the entire "deduction" in a different light!

    I'm not sure what you mean by "no one would care". Sure, people may not be interested in Gandolf from the movie, but, if you truly came up with a fool proof deductive argument, then that argument would be true of Gandolf in the movie (regardless of who is interested therein). And, yes, inducing that Gandolf is a real person does put it in a different light, which is simply that it no longer indexically refers to a movie. I'm not sure how this necessitates that this distinction ought to be made as "induction" ~> "deduction" vs "deduction". I know deductively the indexical properties of the given proposition, and thereby can ascertain whether my assertion actually does pertain to the subject at hand or whether I am misguided.

    Knowledge is about a chain of thinking.

    I would say only insofar as knowledge is strictly deductions. It is within the realm of inductions where I would say we are claiming chains of thinking matter (in terms of cogency), but inductions aren't knowledge (as you are well aware).

    When people make a bet on what horse will win the race, there is active incentive to find out what the actual result of the race is

    Incentives do not entail knowledge in themselves. If I state that my horse won the race (simply what you would call distinctively), then obviously I do not know this in relation to the "actual" race, because there's a contradiction here: all I know is that, at best, I am convinced my horse won the race (or I am imagining a race within my mind which is not the "actual" race), not that it actually did win because there is an indexical consideration, of which I am therefrom accidentally committing a conflation.

    People also don't want to hear, "Oh, Buttercup lost? Well I'm going to redefine my bet that when I bet on Princess, I really bet on Buttercup"

    Although I see the meaningful distinction here, I don't think this has any direct correlation to your "distinctive" vs "applicable" knowledge distinction. Firstly, someone could actually have meant to bet on Buttercup but instead associated the wrong horse with the name on accident. Secondly, they could be simply trying to change because their bet was wrong. It isn't that we want definitive "deduced answers", it is that we want definitive answers (which can be inductions). In most places, even if everyone knows that I have pure intentions and truly meant to bet on the winning horse but mistakenly bet on a different one, they take my induction definitively with pre-agreed upon definitions. No one cares if I deductively ascertained it or inductively ascertained it, they just care what I said and not what I meant.

    Contextual, yes. Specifically distinctive and applicably contextual. We could view it as distinctive and applicably indexical if you wish. Although I may need to refine the meaning of those terms within contexts now that I've tweaked the meaning of applicable.

    Contextual is fine, no need to redefine it as "indexical", I understand. The problem is that there aren't only two contexts (as you are trying to posit). What exists in my thoughts may not exist in my imagination, and it may not exist in "reality" either. Likewise, what may exist in "reality" here may not exist there, likewise what exists in "imagination" here may not exist there, and ditto for thoughts. Just because I can rightfully claim knowledge of X in "reality" here doesn't mean it is not a contradiction to thereafter claim X there. This critique, a very important critique you are making at that, is subjected to a potential infinite of contexts. I am failing to see how hyperfocusing on one contextual distinction (distinctive and applicable) amongst a potential infinite of contextual differences is meaningful. I am starting to see that it really boils down to control for you (I think): distinctive is what is in our control vs applicable is what is not (i.e. discovery vs projection), but, as we will see in a bit, I find this to be an incredibly difficult line to draw.

    It is when I make a belief that X matches Y definition in my head that I am making an induction, and need to go through the steps to deduce that this is true

    I hate to reiterate, but I could very well simply omit the belief and see if X matches Y, thereby obtaining distinctive knowledge.

    At the point the coin is flipped, the induction happens when I attempt to match the result to my distinctive knowledge.

    Not necessarily. An induction only happens in this scenario if you propose a belief towards if it matches. If you simply attempt to match a result to "distinctive knowledge", then that is purely deduced.

    The implicit induction is, "I believe the result could match to what I distinctively know."

    This is very interesting, because it is not an affirmation nor a denial of the result. It is merely whether one is capable of matching non-abstract symbols to abstract ones (such as memories). I think this is deduced as true and if one happens to deduce the opposite then they don't pursue trying to match them. I don't believe that I can match non-abstract symbols to abstract ones, I know I can. Are you saying you don't know if you can, you simply believe you can?
    Science does not seek to prove a hypothesis, it seeks to invalidate a hypothesis. A hypothesis must be falsifiable. There needs to be a hypothetical state in which the hypothesis could be false. Science attempts to prove a hypothesis false, and if it cannot, then we have something.

    I partially agree with you here. but it is vital to clarify that science does not solely seek to prove something is false and, in the event that it can't, deem it true (that is the definition of an appeal to ignorance fallacy). Science deals with "positive" and "negative" evidence: the former are tests conducted to see if the results match what should be produced to support the hypothesis (as in it is what is expected if it were true), whereas the latter are tests conducted to see if one can produce results that negate the possibly of the hypothesis being right. Both of which are technically attempts to falsify the hypothesis because positive and negative evidence are two sides of the same coin. The mere falsifiability of a hypothesis is simply the preliminary verification step. Peer reviews do not just seek to verify that the tests conducted produced negative evidence: they also make sure there is positive evidence for the hypothesis. In other words, just because something hasn't been falsified does not mean scientists take it seriously.

    I think there is a meaningful distinction here. Categorical deductions involve no potential inductions. Hypothetical distinctions take a potential induction, and conclude a deduction based on a hypothetical outcome of the induction

    What do you mean by "potential inductions"? I would hold that there are no inductions in deductive premises. If conditionals are not inductions.

    Any time you attempt to match your identity of "red" to something else, you are making an implicit induction

    Only if I formulate a belief then this is true. If I state "I think this is red", and then attempt to match it to "redness" abstractly am I making an induction (originally). However, I can see something and ask "what is this?" or "I wonder if this is a color?" and then match it to "redness" abstractly to deduce it is red. An induction is not necessary, but can occur.

    I am not saying that an induction becomes knowledge. I am stating the deduced result of the induction becomes knowledge.

    I apologize if I was misrepresenting you, I understand. What I am depicting is that this doesn't mean we have a "induction" -> "deduction" relation, nor do I find any meaningfulness in a "induction" ~> "deduction" relation.

    I am simply noting that when one decides to induce, applicable knowledge is the deduced resolution to that induction.

    This makes sense (as in it is a working definition), but I don't think this has any direct correlation to the critiques you are claiming towards "breaking out of the old epistemologies".

    What proof is there that we do not have control over certain things?

    First I need to say that I am talking about libertarian free will, but we can get into different definitions if you want.

    At face value, something is only in one's control if we can prove that it is. If we can't prove it, then we don't know that we control anything. At this point, it doesn't mean we don't control anything, it simply means we don't know whether we do or not. Likewise, the default belief should be that which is the most intuitive, so to speak, so libertarian free will would be the default (I would say).

    At a deeper level, there's many different reasons (I will briefly overview here) why the "subject" does not control anything as defined by libertarian free will:

    1. To control one's thoughts, one would have to think of those thoughts before thinking them. Which inevitably leads to an infinite regression (potential infinite that is) of which we do not have: thoughts simply manifest.

    2. The natural order either (1) abides by causation, which inevitably proves causal determinism, or (2) is a result of true quantum randomness (which also produces determinism, just not causal determinism in a traditional sense).

    3. To know why reason manifests how it does, one would have to literally transcend their own reason, which is impossible. If we think of it in a more materialistic mindset, one would have to truly transcend their own reason to bridge the gap between mind and brain to determine the manifestations of reason. From a more idealistic mindset, one would have to truly transcend their own reason metaphysically to determine what powers (or what not) is determining such manifestations. Either way, it is impossible.

    Now, for number four, I am actually going to address your proof:

    I can will my arm to move, and it does. I can will against my emotions to do something more important

    This doesn't prove (in the sense of libertarian free will, which I have no clue if you subscribe to it or not) you have control over your emotions nor your bodily movements: it proves that your mind's will can align with your body's will--which is not the same proposition (I would say) at all. Yes, there's a plethora of situations in which I genuinely know that my will aligned with my body's actions (which is typically referred to as "intentions" and "actions" alignment), but that doesn't mean that I have any reason to believe that my will was the manifestor of those actions. In other words, something aligning with my will does not in the slightest mean that something was in accordance with my will. There are two separate questions: was my arm lifting in alignment of my will or/and from my will? You just proved the former and not the latter. This would be point 4 and, to keep it brief, I will stop there.

    Are you saying that you have control over nothing Bob? I don't think you're intending that, but I think I need clarification here. And if you are intending that we can control nothing, it would be helpful if you could present some evidence as to why this is.

    I am most aligned with soft determinism, also called compatibilism, which dictates that the natural world is determined, but that at least one form (or definition) of free will is compatible with it. So I hold that libertarian free will is incorrect and incompatible with determinism, but that doesn't mean we can't still make meaningful distinctions pertaining to acts of "free will" vs "unfree will" (i.e. just because it is determined, doesn't mean we are completely unfree either). I think I will just end here for now on that to serve as merely an introduction.

    Again I'm confused here. I'll need this broken down more.

    I hold that the "subject", or reason, is that which makes the synthetic and analytic connections of objects, which are manifested in the form of a concept. This is why I do not hold that "consciousness" is equivocal to "reason", because there are numerous aspects of consciousness that are more than adequately accounted for via the brain (materialistic origins). At best, I would say, we could induce that repetitive alignments of the will of the mind and the will of the body reasonably suggests that they are actually one and the same (however I think there are problems with it, too great for me to commit myself to that view).

    It was a while back, but I believe I did cover this. It had to do with chains of inductions away from the induction. A probability is one step from a deduction, a possibility is a less focused induction that probability, because it cannot assess the likelihood of it happening. A speculation is an induction introduces not only a possibility, but the induction that something that has never been confirmed to exist before, can exist. And then you remember irrational inductions.
    ...
    The hierarchy cannot determine which induction is more likely to be. It can only determine which induction is more cogent, or least removed from what is known. Cogency has typically been defined as a strong inductive argument with true premises. Here cogency is measured by the length and degree of its inductive chain away from what has been deduced.

    I think your hierarchy of inductions boils down to two key principles, one of which that is important here is: the deductive groundings of an induction dictates its cogency level in comparison to other inductions within the induction hierarchy. But what is this principle based on? Knowledge or a belief? This is the presupposition of which I don't think we quite explored yet. I don't see how it is necessarily deduced (therefore knowledge) for them. In other words, do we "know" that the strength (or cogency) of an induction increases due to an increase in deductive groundings, or are we inducing such?

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Bob
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    However, if you mean "induction" ~> "deductive conclusion" -> "analysis of induction"Bob Ross

    Yes, this is my intention.

    With regard to the second sentence, I think you are suggesting that Applicable Knowledge can be a conclusion that is an induction, which I would strongly disagree with (if I am understanding that sentence correctly).Bob Ross

    No, I simply mean that someone can do induction ~> inductive conclusion -> analysis of second induction as a conclusion of the first induction, and this would not be applicable knowledge.

    I think I am starting to understand better what you are conveying. Essentially (and correct me if I am wrong) you are utilizing "applicable knowledge" as a distinction to emphasize that which is not in our control and, thusly, must be discovered as opposed to projected. Although I think there is a meaningful distinction between "discovery" and "projection", I think ultimately it is all discovery.Bob Ross

    This is a good way to break it down. And yes, I've never denied that knowledge is ultimately deductions. But, ultimately all molecules are made up of atoms. It doesn't mean that the creation of the identity of separate molecules doesn't serve a helpful purpose. However, I think you've made some good points, and I will have to go back to my original definition of applicable knowledge. While I think we use applicable knowledge to resolve inductions, the act of resolving inductions in a deductive manner is not applicable knowledge itself. Applicable knowledge is when we attempt to match an experience to the distinctive knowledge we have created, and deductively resolve whether there is, or is not a match.

    I can also flip a penny, look at the result and wonder if I've seen it before. I then try to match the symbol to what is considered "heads" in my mind, and I do so without contradiction. This is distinctive knowledge.Bob Ross

    No, distinctive knowledge is when I create an identity when I flip the coin. There are no limitations as to what I can create. I can call it one side "feet" and the other side "hands", with their own essential and non-essential properties. If I attempt to match the coin's side to an identity I created previously with distinctive knowledge, then I am attempting applicable knowledge. If I conclude what I see matches the essential properties of the definitions I hold, then I have applicable knowledge that there is a match.

    When you stated "seems familiar", I can see how that could potentially imply an assertion that it actually is familiar, which would imply that it has been seen before (which is an induction).Bob Ross

    This is the induction I'm talking about. When you believe that what you've seen matches distinctive knowledge, this is an induction, not a deduction. The act of checking, understands that you don't know the answer until after you've checked. You can deduce, "I don't know if what I've observed matches my distinctive knowledge." But if you are going to try to match it, there is uncertainty until you arrive at a deduced outcome.

    But I realize I am stretching what it means to be an induction here. The idea of deductively matching to the identities you distinctively know, vs creating identities you distinctively know, was the original way I described applicable knowledge. While I have tried to see if there is an implicit induction in the act of matching, I'm not sure there is now. Its not necessarily an induction, its the experience of the unknown, and how you attempt to deal with it. An induction is really just an extension of the unknown. And whether our deduction is distinctive or applicable (an attempt to match to distinctive) is really just a way a person has decided to resolve an induction. Do we attempt to match to our identities, or create a new one?

    That being said, I'm glad we've explored this route, as I believe examining the resolution of an induction seems to be important. I also still claim that one can only resolve an induction applicably. Only after that can they create new distinctive knowledge. An induction relies on distinctive knowledge in its claim. First, one must resolve the induction based on that distinctive knowledge. If one changes the definitions prior to this induction, one is not really testing the induction, they are avoiding it and making another claim. After one has resolved the induction based on the distinctive knowledge of the definitions originally made, then one of course can change and amend their distinctive knowledge as I've noted before.

    "Does this side of the penny match heads?" is a completely neutral assertion, because it isn't an assertion at all. I am not inducing that it does match or that it doesn't. So that "question" coupled with the "answer" would be, in this case, distinctive knowledge.Bob Ross

    While I agree with everything you've said here, I want to note the solution would be applicable knowledge if you tried to match "heads" with your distinctively known identities. If you decided to create an identity, that would be distinctive knowledge.

    "resolution" of an induction is simply utilizing our knowledge to ascertain how aligned it was with true knowledge, which is a spectrum (it isn't a binary decision of "I resolved that it was true or that it was false): my induction could have been correct to any degree, and incorrect to any degree. Likewise, it is a continual process, we simply take the knowledge we have and utilize it to determine how "correct" our induction was, but we can very well keep doing this as our knowledge increases.Bob Ross

    An induction can be resolved with another induction, or a deduction. If one "resolves" an induction with another induction, its not really resolved. In the case of an induction's resolution being another induction, we have taken a belief, and believed a particular answer resulted. In the case where we applicably resolve an induction, we have removed uncertainty. Of course, this has never meant that knowledge could not change at a later time as new distinctive knowledge is learned, or we obtain new experiences and deductions that invalidate what we knew at one time. But the future invalidation of a deduction does not invalidate that at the time it was made it was a deduction, and what a person could applicably know in that situation with what they had.

    But when considering something really complicated like evolution, it is much harder to see how one would ever holistically know such: it is more that we have ample knowledge grounding it (such as evolutionary facts and many aspects of the theory), but there's never a point where we truly can deduce it holistically.Bob Ross

    There are cases where if we analyze the chain of reasoning, we'll find inductions that have never been deductively resolved. That's where the hierarchy of induction comes in. Further, areas where cogent inductions are within our logic should always be noted as possibilities we can always go back an attempt to improve on. There is nothing wrong with noting that a claim to knowledge has inductions without deduced resolutions within it, if it truly is the best conclusion we can make. But glossing over that it is an induction is not a resolution either. Some things which we know are at their core cogent inductions, with hypothetical deductions as the assumed resolution. If that is the best we can do with what we have, then it is the tool we should pick.

    And, yes, inducing that Gandolf is a real person does put it in a different light, which is simply that it no longer indexically refers to a movie. I'm not sure how this necessitates that this distinction ought to be made as "induction" ~> "deduction" vs "deduction". I know deductively the indexical properties of the given proposition, and thereby can ascertain whether my assertion actually does pertain to the subject at hand or whether I am misguided.Bob Ross

    This example was only to demonstrate the importance of looking at the chain of thinking, and how it is important to realize that deductions in isolation do not necessarily tell the full story of what a person knows.

    Although I see the meaningful distinction here, I don't think this has any direct correlation to your "distinctive" vs "applicable" knowledge distinction. Firstly, someone could actually have meant to bet on Buttercup but instead associated the wrong horse with the name on accident. Secondly, they could be simply trying to change because their bet was wrong. It isn't that we want definitive "deduced answers", it is that we want definitive answers (which can be inductions).Bob Ross

    I went into societal context here. In this case, society will not accept an individual changing the definitions involved in the original bet. Despite the individuals intention that they bet on "the other horse", the reality recorded by society is that they bet on the losing horse.

    This again is more of an example to demonstrate the importance of resolving a situation that is "unknown". While originally I proposed the resolution of the induction was applicable knowledge, I feel confident at this point to go back to my original meaning, which was that one could solve this uncertainty applicably, or distinctively. The point here is to emphasize once again that resolving inductions with deduced resolutions is an important societal need and should be considered in any theory of knowledge.

    I am failing to see how hyperfocusing on one contextual distinction (distinctive and applicable) amongst a potential infinite of contextual differences is meaningful.Bob Ross

    As I've noted so far, I believe the decision to create an identity, vs match to an identity one has already created is a meaningful distinction that is important when trying to resolve knowledge questions. We can go into this deeper next discussion if needed.

    I partially agree with you here. but it is vital to clarify that science does not solely seek to prove something is false and, in the event that it can't, deem it true (that is the definition of an appeal to ignorance fallacy).Bob Ross

    I did not mean to imply that science marks as "true" whatever is not disproven. It simply notes such alternatives are not yet disproven. I don't want to get into the philosophy of science here (We have enough to cover!), as long as there is an understanding science takes steps to disprove a hypothesis, that is the point I wanted to get across.

    What do you mean by "potential inductions"? I would hold that there are no inductions in deductive premises. If conditionals are not inductions.Bob Ross

    A hypothetical deduction is when we take an induction, and take the logical deductive conclusion if it resolves a particular way. This deduction is not a resolution to the induction, this is a deductive conclusion if the induction resolves a particular way. Just as a hypothetical is a potential deductive conclusion, every hypothetical has a potential induction it is drawn from.

    If I state "I think this is red", and then attempt to match it to "redness" abstractly am I making an induction (originally). However, I can see something and ask "what is this?" or "I wonder if this is a color?" and then match it to "redness" abstractly to deduce it is red. An induction is not necessary, but can occur.Bob Ross

    I agree. This is why I'm going back to my original definition of applicable knowledge, which is when we attempt to match our experiences with our previously established distinctive knowledge and deduce an answer.

    Thank you for explaining your view on libertarian free will. I have no disagreement with this, as this is simply a distinctive context you've chosen. Part of what I refine into the distinctive knowledge of "I" is that which wills. How I am formed or determined is irrelevant to how I define myself. This does not negate your distinctive context either. If such a distinctive context is useful to yourself, then I see no reason not to use it.

    But, does your distinctive context escape the epistemology proposed here? I would argue no. You still need a set of definitions. You can create a distinctive logic using the definitions you've come up with. The question then becomes whether you can applicably know it in your experience. If you can, then you have a viable distinctive and applicable set of knowledge that works for you. I of course can do the same with mine. If I expand the definition of the I to also include "will", then I can prove that I can will my arm to move, and it does. And in such a way, my definition of "I", and having control over particular things is applicably known as well. I personally find the idea that I control things useful to my outlook in life. You personally do not. For our purposes here, I'm not sure this difference between us is all that important to the main theory.

    But what is this principle (Inductive hierarchy) based on? Knowledge or a belief? This is the presupposition of which I don't think we quite explored yet. I don't see how it is necessarily deduced (therefore knowledge) for them.Bob Ross

    The hierarchy of induction is distinctively known based on the logic proposed earlier. I have always stated that despite our conclusions of what is more cogent, they are always still inductions. Meaning that choosing a cogent induction does not mean the outcome of that induction will be correct.

    The probability of a jack being pulled out of a deck of 52 cards. The most cogent guess with that information is that any card but a jack will be drawn next. But a jack can still be drawn. This is more cogent that not knowing how many of each card are in the deck, but knowing that at least one exists in it. We may guess a jack will be drawn without odds, but that is not as likely to be correct as when we guess with the odds that could have been known. Again, even if there is only 1 jack, it does not negate it may be drawn.

    And of course, speculating that a jack can be drawn in a deck of cards, when we have never seen a jack be drawn, and do not know if there is even one in the deck, is even less cogent. There of course could be a jack, but its less reasonable to guess there is a jack before one knows the deck contains a jack. And of course, we could be shown the deck, that there is not a jack, but still guess a jack will be drawn. While this is irrational, perhaps the dealer did something outside of our applied knowledge, such as slipped a jack in when we weren't looking.

    But is the hierarchy of inductions applicably known? No, that would require extensive testing. These are fairly easy tests to create however. First, mix different card types into a deck on each test. Show the person the odds of the cards in the deck, and have them guess what card will come next. Second, don't show the person the odds of the cards in the deck, just tell them what's in it. Third, don't show them what card types you shuffled into the deck. Finally, show them all the cards in the deck, then have them guess a card that is not in the deck. Do this hundreds of times, then chart the percentage of guesses that were correct for each cogency level. Do I have confidence that such a test will reveal the more cogent the induction, the higher chance a person's guess will be correct? Yes.

    Great points again Bob. I think you have thoroughly shown that I can not expand applicable knowledge as the resolution of an induction. It is that we resolve inductions using applicable knowledge. The results of that resolution can then be used to make new distinctive knowledge. I think this is enough for me to cover right now, and I look forward to your further critique!
  • Bob Ross
    98
    Hello @Philosophim,

    In light of your post and upon further reflection, I think that your "applicable" vs "distinctive" knowledge distinction is becoming ever so clear to me. In fact, I am now fairly confident we are essentially conveying the exact same thing in terms of underlying meaning, but we are semantically disagreeing. Or I am misunderstanding you yet again and we aren't on the same page: only time will tell (:

    While I think we use applicable knowledge to resolve inductions, the act of resolving inductions in a deductive manner is not applicable knowledge itself. Applicable knowledge is when we attempt to match an experience to the distinctive knowledge we have created, and deductively resolve whether there is, or is not a match.

    I believe, alas, I understand your distinction, which is simply that which is created vs that which is matched. I have no problem with that distinction (in terms of the underlying meaning). I have a similar view for myself, albeit not in the form of that terminology. However, which this is reverting back to one of my original contentions in our discussion, I find the terminology you use confusing (in light of what it is meant to structurally convey).

    "Distinctive knowledge" is misleading (in my opinion) because all of knowledge is "distinctive" in the sense of what the term actually means (but I understand you are implying more than that with it as you define). Likewise, "applicable knowledge" is misleading (I would say) because all of knowledge is "applied". Therefore, I find (as of now) the distinction to be most accurately represented as synthetic (~projected) vs analytic (~discovered) knowledge, whereof synthetic knowledge is a child of analytic knowledge (not to be confused as a sibling). synthetic generally means (philosophically) "a proposition whose predicate concept is not contained in its subject concept but related", which clearly describes (in my opinion) the extension of one's own "creations" (projections) onto the "world", so to speak. For example, the concept of a rock (or just a rock, so to speak) on the floor doesn't have any inherent properties that necessitate it be called a "rock": I synthetically projected that property onto it. Likewise, analytic expresses the contrary: "a proposition whose predicate concept is contained in its subject concept"; I think that clearly describes something which cannot be a mere projection (or extension of a concept).

    No, distinctive knowledge is when I create an identity when I flip the coin. There are no limitations as to what I can create. I can call it one side "feet" and the other side "hands", with their own essential and non-essential properties.

    I am presuming you meant "no limitations" loosely, which I would agree with. But, to clarify, there are limitations. In terms of my example, I think you are right if I am understanding your terminology correctly now: since it has no bearing on the induction and it is analytical, it is applicable knowledge.

    This is the induction I'm talking about. When you believe that what you've seen matches distinctive knowledge, this is an induction, not a deduction. The act of checking, understands that you don't know the answer until after you've checked.

    I would agree, but clarify the implications of this postulation: this directly entails that a lot of topics traditionally viewed as "controlled" by the mind can also be applicable knowledge (analytical knowledge)(e.g. imagination, thoughts, etc). I'm not sure if you would agree with me on that. For example, thoughts are analyzed (~discovered), not synthesized (~projected). However, those thoughts can analytically discover, so to speak, the fact that each inferred "current" thought seems to be "projecting something which is synthetic in relation to a given concept". In other words, and this goes back to my subtle disclaimer that "synthetic knowledge" is a child of "analytic knowledge", we analytically discover that we synthetically project.

    Moreover, going back to our discussion of whether "distinctive knowledge" can be induced, this also implies that the deduced validity of a subset of memories (in relation to another subset) is applicable knowledge (discovered: analytic), as opposed to being distinctive knowledge (projected: synthetic): which would be where, if I am currently understanding your view, we went sideways (our argument was presupposing the analysis of memories as "distinctive", which is incorrect). I have a feeling this is not what you are intending, but I nevertheless think it is the necessary implications of what you are distinguishing. For example, my assertion that memory A is valid in relation to the set of memories S would have to be analytical (because I am discovering the "truth" of the matter), whereas labeling it as "memory" + "A" and "memories" + "S" would be synthetic.

    But I realize I am stretching what it means to be an induction here. The idea of deductively matching to the identities you distinctively know, vs creating identities you distinctively know, was the original way I described applicable knowledge.

    I think that if you are reverting back to that definition (and I understand it correctly), then you are not stretching the definition of inductions, since it has no bearing on the distinction anymore.

    I also still claim that one can only resolve an induction applicably

    If I am understanding you correctly (as I have elaborated your distinction hitherto), then I actually agree. Because "distinctive" is no longer meaning what I thought it meant. On a separate note, I still do not think we can ever validate the entire set of memories S: we can only validate a subset in comparison to another subset. But I'm not sure how relevant that is anymore.

    An induction can be resolved with another induction, or a deduction. If one "resolves" an induction with another induction, its not really resolved. In the case of an induction's resolution being another induction, we have taken a belief, and believed a particular answer resulted. In the case where we applicably resolve an induction, we have removed uncertainty. Of course, this has never meant that knowledge could not change at a later time as new distinctive knowledge is learned, or we obtain new experiences and deductions that invalidate what we knew at one time. But the future invalidation of a deduction does not invalidate that at the time it was made it was a deduction, and what a person could applicably know in that situation with what they had.

    If I am understanding your distinction correctly, then I agree here except that applicable knowledge is not relatable to an induction directly. So when you state " In the case where we applicably resolve an induction, we have removed uncertainty", it seems a bit like you may be implicating inductions + uncertainty + applicable knowledge again, which I think is incorrect.

    This example was only to demonstrate the importance of looking at the chain of thinking, and how it is important to realize that deductions in isolation do not necessarily tell the full story of what a person knows.

    I would now attribute this to a synthetic vs analytic distinction: your example demonstrates the conflation many people have with claims that are contained in the given concept, and those that extend beyond it.

    This again is more of an example to demonstrate the importance of resolving a situation that is "unknown". While originally I proposed the resolution of the induction was applicable knowledge, I feel confident at this point to go back to my original meaning, which was that one could solve this uncertainty applicably, or distinctively. The point here is to emphasize once again that resolving inductions with deduced resolutions is an important societal need and should be considered in any theory of knowledge.

    I would agree in the sense that "deduced resolutions" are induction ~> deduction, which I think you are agreeing with me on that. It is indeed vital to have a means of "resolving" inductions in any given epistemology, however I would personally describe it as "having a means of dispensing of inductions for knowledge" to really hone in on my position thereon.

    As I've noted so far, I believe the decision to create an identity, vs match to an identity one has already created is a meaningful distinction that is important when trying to resolve knowledge questions. We can go into this deeper next discussion if needed.

    Assuming I have finally grasped what you were trying to convey, I agree!

    I did not mean to imply that science marks as "true" whatever is not disproven. It simply notes such alternatives are not yet disproven. I don't want to get into the philosophy of science here (We have enough to cover!), as long as there is an understanding science takes steps to disprove a hypothesis, that is the point I wanted to get across.

    Fair enough.

    A hypothetical deduction is when we take an induction, and take the logical deductive conclusion if it resolves a particular way.

    I don't think this is true. A hypothetical deduction is a deduction wherein each premise is hypothetically granted as true: it is a valid deduction due to it conforming to the necessary form of a deduction. It is not constructed of inductions where we presume they resolve one way or another (it could be that, if we were to disband it from its hypothetical roots, it has deductive premises as well). I think this is where it is vital to distinguish "resolution" in terms of induction -> deduction vs induction ~> deduction again: the former implies inductions are valid premises of a hypothetical deduction (which is wrong), whereas the latter implies we can dispense of that induction. I think it may be even more clear when "induction ~> deduction" is postulated as "induction <- deduction", as that is really what I think it is. In pseudo formal logic:

    D = deduction
    I = induction

    ¬(I →D) ∧ ¬(I →¬D)
    D →(I ∨ ¬I)

    I was a bit confusing previously, because there is truly no ~> relation between inductions and deductions, it is really a relation of the deduction to the induction.

    This deduction is not a resolution to the induction, this is a deductive conclusion if the induction resolves a particular way.

    I'm not certain I agree with this. The induction does not resolve a particular way: the deduction resolves the induction insofar as we can reinterpret the induction via our apperception. The induction does not resolve into a deduction (which I think you are agreeing with me), but, rather, a deduction can resolve an induction by either dispensing of it (as now it is known that the induction happened to be accurate or it wasn't) or retaining it as not directly pertinent to what is newly known.

    But, does your distinctive context escape the epistemology proposed here? I would argue no. You still need a set of definitions. You can create a distinctive logic using the definitions you've come up with. The question then becomes whether you can applicably know it in your experience. If you can, then you have a viable distinctive and applicable set of knowledge that works for you. I of course can do the same with mine. If I expand the definition of the I to also include "will", then I can prove that I can will my arm to move, and it does. And in such a way, my definition of "I", and having control over particular things is applicably known as well. I personally find the idea that I control things useful to my outlook in life. You personally do not. For our purposes here, I'm not sure this difference between us is all that important to the main theory.

    I don't think our free will differences matter anymore either, assuming I understand your distinction correctly. "control" is irrelevant to synthetic vs analytic knowledge.

    The hierarchy of induction is distinctively known based on the logic proposed earlier. I have always stated that despite our conclusions of what is more cogent, they are always still inductions. Meaning that choosing a cogent induction does not mean the outcome of that induction will be correct.

    First I want emphasize that you did a more than adequate job of proving the induction hierarchy in terms of first order. However, I wasn't referring to the first order derivation of it (I have no problem with your example of empirically verifying that probability based propositions tend to pan out more than possibilities): I was referring to the second order (a deeper consideration). To really explicate this, less assume we have empirically obtained (via your extensive test) that each scenario resolves to accurately prove that each respective induction type was always in the postulated relation of probability > possibility > speculation > irrational. We thereby have a satisfying first order proof that this hierarchical structure works (I would, on a side note, argue that such a test is not required to prove it, but that's irrelevant right now). However, now we must deal with a second order proof pertaining to why we ought to believe that because they related in a particular way in the past that it will hold in the future (aka hume's problem of induction). If, for example, given the probability of drawing a king out of three cards which contains two kings and a non-king is 2/3, I were to obtain via trials that over time the continual simulation of drawing a king out of such approaches 66%, then I have a first order proof. However, I don't have any reason thereby to claim that my knowledge of 66% = 2/3 (trials matched abstract) in the past holds true in the future. This is the area that I don't think we have addressed (and, if I'm remembering correctly, your essays briefly gloss over). In other words: do we know the hierarchy of inductions is true (in terms of the cogency relation) or is that in itself also an induction (again, in terms of second order analysis)?

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Bob
  • Nickolasgaspar
    722
    A Philosoophy of Science course by Paul Hoyningen can provide great info on a systematic methodology of knowledge evaluation.
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    A Philosoophy of Science course by Paul Hoyningen can provide great info on a systematic methodology of knowledge evaluation.Nickolasgaspar

    Hello Nickolasgaspar and thanks for your contribution. I'm sure you had good intentions, but its not very helpful to me. Is there something in particular in the argument or conversation that you noticed such a course could help? Could you perhaps summarize the points he makes to show me its relevance to the OP or the following discussion?
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    Ah, the analytic/synthetic distinction. Long ago when I first wrote this philosophy, I used the analytic and synthetic distinction instead of distinctive and applicable knowledge. The problem was, as you likely know by now, I had very different definitions from the a/s distinction. When I shared the paper or ideas with other individuals I ran into major problems.

    First, people wouldn't listen. They wouldn't try to amend the definitions, and insist that I was just "wrong". Not wrong in my underlying amendments of the definitions, but wrong in trying to change them to begin with. Understandable.

    Second, people took their vast knowledge of analytic/synthetic knowledge and would cite philosophers or other criticisms of the a/s distinction without understanding or addressing the points I made. It was straw man after straw man, and few people I found are willing to hear, "No, that's not what this version of the a/s distinction means, this is why that doesn't apply."

    So I created new terms. This forces people to understand the terminology if I want a conversation. Of course there are still people who don't want to explore something new, but they never wanted to listen when I was redefining the a/s distinction anyway. What I didn't lose were the people who wanted to discuss concepts, but were turned off by word redefinitions. Yes, I redefine some words slightly, but I think by that point people are in the conversation enough that it naturally leads to that.

    Are the names I made very good. Probably not. I'm not great with coming up with names! I like distinctive, as it flowed nicely from discrete experience. "Applicable" is probably not very good, but I'm not sure what else to call it. I view words as place holders for concepts, and I view placeholders as contextual. As long as the word works in some sense within this context, that's fine by me. I see it as "Applying distinctive knowledge" to something other than itself.

    But I am very open to new naming! Perhaps creative and comparative knowledge? Identity knowledge and confirmable? Dynamic and static? The problem of course with all of these comparisons is if you interpret the word meaning a particular contextual way, they don't quite work either. The contextual implication of the words in their general use gets in the way when trying to apply them in context to the argument. The reality is, the knowledge I'm proposing has never existed before. Its a concept no one (I have read) has proposed. So perhaps I need new words entirely and should research some latin.

    At this point though, feel free to use the a/s distinction to help you understand the concept. I'll correct where the a/s distinction doesn't apply. Let me get to your points now.

    ...analytic expresses the contrary: "a proposition whose predicate concept is contained in its subject concept"Bob Ross

    To compare to distinctive knowledge, we need to remove proposition, predicate, and subject.

    Distinctive knowledge - A deduced concept which is the creation and memorization of essential and accidental properties of a discrete experience.

    This then leads into applicable knowledge, which is loosely based off of synthetic knowledge.

    synthetic generally means (philosophically) "a proposition whose predicate concept is not contained in its subject concept but related"Bob Ross

    Applicable knowledge - A deduced concept which is not contained within its contextual distinctive knowledge set. This concept does not involve the creation of new distinctive knowledge, but a deduced match of a discrete experience to the contextual distinctive knowledge set.

    Context- when the symbol/identity of one or more sets of distinctive knowledge are identical, while the essential and accidental properties of the symbol/identity are different. "A rock" in the context of geology has different essential and accidental properties than the context of a 5 year old child for example. This can further be compounded when a person is able to comprehend the essential and accidental properties of a distinctive context, but unable to actively apply those properties due to inability. For example, being a blind geologist has a different applicable context than those with sight.

    As you can see, while there are some similarities, they are very different.

    (Noting synthetic) which clearly describes (in my opinion) the extension of one's own "creations" (projections) onto the "world", so to speak. For example, the concept of a rock (or just a rock, so to speak) on the floor doesn't have any inherent properties that necessitate it be called a "rock": I synthetically projected that property onto it.Bob Ross

    Both distinctive and applicable knowledge can be seen as the extension of one's creation on the world. A discrete experience (the rock) has no inherent properties that necessitate it be called anything. Distinctive knowledge is when we create those essential and accidental properties that allow it to be called a "rock". This is our creation upon the world. Upon finding finding a new discrete experience (potential rock) we attempt to match our definition of a "a rock" to "the discrete experience". If we deduce that the essential properties match, we have applicable knowledge that "the discrete experience" is a match to "A rock". This is another extension of our creation upon the world.

    this directly entails that a lot of topics traditionally viewed as "controlled" by the mind can also be applicable knowledge (analytical knowledge)(e.g. imagination, thoughts, etc). I'm not sure if you would agree with me on that. For example, thoughts are analyzed (~discovered), not synthesized (~projected).Bob Ross

    This doesn't quite fit. Projection can happen in both instances of knowledge. It is more about creation of identities versus deduced matching of experiences to already established identities. But both can involve the projected world.

    In other words, and this goes back to my subtle disclaimer that "synthetic knowledge" is a child of "analytic knowledge", we analytically discover that we synthetically project.Bob Ross

    To translate into this epistemology, we always start with distinctive knowledge. So I distinctively create the identity of applicable knowledge. But then, I am also able to applicably know the distinctive knowledge of "applicable knowledge" successfully. So I both distinctively, and applicably know the concept of applicable knowledge.

    Once I applicably know applicable knowledge, I can also applicably know that I distinctively know. We can then apply this knowledge back to the initial claim in the beginning that, "I discretely experience." I established a definition of discrete experience, then apply the concept successfully.

    Moreover, going back to our discussion of whether "distinctive knowledge" can be induced, this also implies that the deduced validity of a subset of memories (in relation to another subset) is applicable knowledge (discovered: analytic), as opposed to being distinctive knowledge (projected: synthetic): which would be where, if I am currently understanding your view, we went sideways (our argument was presupposing the analysis of memories as "distinctive", which is incorrect).Bob Ross

    The act of experiencing a memory is part of the act of discrete experience itself. For example, "I remember seeing a pink elephant." Whether the memory is accurate when applied is irrelevant. It is the memory itself that is distinctive. The act of attempting to match your memory to a different discrete experience is application of that memory. The deduced outcome of that match is the applicable knowledge. But if I attempted to show there was a pink elephant that existed, the deduced outcome of that would be applicable knowledge.

    For example, my assertion that memory A is valid in relation to the set of memories S would have to be analytical (because I am discovering the "truth" of the matter), whereas labeling it as "memory" + "A" and "memories" + "S" would be synthetic.Bob Ross

    Memories in relation to other memories are distinctive. "Pink elephant" combines our distinctive understanding of "pink" and "elephant". The application of that memory for its accuracy is applicable. "I remember seeing a pink elephant in my room last night," is distinctive. "My memory is an accurate representation of what happened in reality" is applicable. Was there really an elephant? Was it pink? The outcome is irrelevant to the knowledge of the memory itself.

    If I am understanding your distinction correctly, then I agree here except that applicable knowledge is not relatable to an induction directly.Bob Ross

    There may be a misunderstanding of what is meant by "directly". If I make an induction that the next coin flip will be heads, the result that is experienced and deduced will be the outcome of the flip. If I deduce that the coin lands on heads, (instead of just guessing it did) then I have a "resolution" to my induction. This is the relation that I'm talking about. I guessed heads, and it ended up heads. My guess was correct. I guessed heads, and it ended up tails. My guess was incorrect. This resolution is applicable knowledge.

    A hypothetical deduction is when we take an induction, and take the logical deductive conclusion if it resolves a particular way.

    I don't think this is true. A hypothetical deduction is a deduction wherein each premise is hypothetically granted as true: it is a valid deduction due to it conforming to the necessary form of a deduction.
    Bob Ross

    The hypothetical is a possible resolution to an induction. If there was no induction, there would be no hypothetical. The coin can land either heads or tails. We can hypothetically deduce that if it lands heads, X occurs, and if it lands tails, y occurs. But the hypothetical cannot exist without the induction as a source of alternative outcomes. A deduction leads to a necessary conclusion, not a hypothetical conclusion. Only inductions can lead to hypothetical conclusions. That's the whole point of the IF. If there was no uncertainty in the outcome, we would not need the IF. I don't think we're in disagreement here beyond semantics.

    the former implies inductions are valid premises of a hypothetical deduction (which is wrong), whereas the latter implies we can dispense of that induction.Bob Ross

    To correct this, I am saying inductions are necessary premises to create a hypothetical deduction. The IF implies uncertainty. If you remove the IF, it is no longer a hypothetical, it is not a deduction.

    Hypothetical: IF the penny lands on heads (Implicit uncertainty of the initial premise happening)
    Non-hypothetical: The penny lands on heads (A solid and certain premise)

    I'm not certain I agree with this. The induction does not resolve a particular way:Bob Ross

    Can an induction ever resolve then? If I say, "I believe the next penny flip will land on heads" will I ever find out if I was correct in my guess? All I'm noting is how we figure out the outcome of the guess. That must be done applicably.

    but, rather, a deduction can resolve an induction by either dispensing of it (as now it is known that the induction happened to be accurate or it wasn't) or retaining it as not directly pertinent to what is newly known.Bob Ross

    I'm simply noting the accuracy of the induction. I think you're taking two steps here, noting the accuracy of the induction, and then deciding to dispense or retain it. For example, I could deduce the penny lands on tails, but still insist it landed on heads by inventing some other induction like "an evil demon changed it", or simply not caring and insisting it landed on heads regardless of what I deduced. The second step of deciding to stick with or reject the induction is a step too far from what I'm saying. All I'm noting is the deduced outcome after the induction's prediction comes to pass.

    However, now we must deal with a second order proof pertaining to why we ought to believe that because they related in a particular way in the past that it will hold in the future (aka hume's problem of induction).Bob Ross

    I have already concluded that you cannot make any knowledge claim about the future. You can only make inductions about the future. The smartest way to make inductions is to use the most cogent inductions we already know of. So we would make our decisions based on the hierarchy of the inductions we have at our disposal. Just because we can speculate that the rules of reality may change in the future, doesn't mean its possible they will. Since we know what is possible and probable, it is possible and probable they will continue to happen in the future.

    Great points again Bob! I hope I adequately showed why the distinctive and applicable distinction of knowledge might be inspired by the a/s distinction, but is not the a/s distinction itself.
  • Bob Ross
    98
    Hello @Philosophim,

    Well I have clearly missed the mark yet again ): It seems as though we are not semantically disagreeing but, rather, fundamentally disagreeing. I understand now that you are by no means making a synthetic/analytic distinction. It is becoming exceedingly difficult to map d/a to s/a because, quite frankly, they aren't the same distinction. However, I am making that kind of s/a distinction (as opposed to d/a), so I want to clarify that my usage of a/s hereafter isn't meant as a depiction of your distinction but, rather, of mine in contrast to yours.

    Are the names I made very good. Probably not. I'm not great with coming up with names! I like distinctive, as it flowed nicely from discrete experience. "Applicable" is probably not very good, but I'm not sure what else to call it. I view words as place holders for concepts, and I view placeholders as contextual. As long as the word works in some sense within this context, that's fine by me. I see it as "Applying distinctive knowledge" to something other than itself.

    But I am very open to new naming! Perhaps creative and comparative knowledge? Identity knowledge and confirmable? Dynamic and static? The problem of course with all of these comparisons is if you interpret the word meaning a particular contextual way, they don't quite work either. The contextual implication of the words in their general use gets in the way when trying to apply them in context to the argument. The reality is, the knowledge I'm proposing has never existed before. Its a concept no one (I have read) has proposed. So perhaps I need new words entirely and should research some latin.

    People are indeed diverse, and I can definitely see how some people simply either don't engage with refurbished terminology or misunderstand your points due to the previous definitions of the terminology: fair enough. In that case, latin may be a good choice; Simply as a means of forcing them to understand the underlying meaning and so they don't get upset by the refurbishment of terms.

    Out of the terms you suggested, I think "creative" and "comparative" was the closest to what I think you are trying to convey. But I think you are only constituting something as "applicable knowledge" if it is a match, with no relation to contrast (so comparative may not be the best word: "matched" might be, I am not sure). For example, if I begin the act of matching and thereby determine that concept A is not a match of concept B, then do I, under your terms, "applicably know" they aren't a match? In other words, is contrasting, as opposed to simply comparing similarities, an aspect of "application" in your terms? I am understanding you to more be making the distinction strictly in the sense that "a successful match" is "applicable knowledge".

    ...analytic expresses the contrary: "a proposition whose predicate concept is contained in its subject concept" — Bob Ross


    To compare to distinctive knowledge, we need to remove proposition, predicate, and subject.

    I understand now that one would have to remove "proposition, predicate, and subject" to roughly map it onto "distinctive knowledge" because, quite frankly, we aren't speaking of the same distinction (which I previously thought was the case). To my understand, the fundamental reason for your distinction was meant to expose indexical conflations in a given claim presented by a subject . However, I think that I can achieve that underlying meaning, assuming I understood it right, by using the most fundamental distinction in terms of how reason works: a proposition (all reasoning beings are capable of such) wherein the predicate (all propositions must have a predicate, and therefore all claims made by a subject that must recognize the distinction of indexical relations must have a predicate) is contained (or not contained for the contrary) in its subject concept (all propositions must have a subject concept). If the sentence doesn't meet these fundamental underlying requirements, then the distinction I think you are trying to make isn't applicable anyways (by applicable I am not referring to your term, just normal use). Now, I want to clarify that I am not referring to diction, semantics, or syntax: those all can be contextually redefined (or defined) in terms of both societal and personal contexts. I am referring to the underlying concepts. The given individual doesn't have to call it a "predicate" nor do they have to syntactically abide by the english language, but they necessarily must have a "predicate" concept which refers, in terms of underlying meaning, to a predicate. If not, then it is incoherent to consider it in terms of indexical conflations (e.g. "oranges" therefore "oranges" makes no valid references, therefore it isn't possible to conflate anything that we would like to expose in terms of indexical conflations).

    Here's some examples:

    If I propose "B", it is not a proposition.

    If I propose "B is", it is not a proposition.

    If I propose "is blue", it is not a proposition.

    If I propose "B is the same as A", then either B matches the definition of A or it does not. However, to know either way, I have to compare and contrast. This is the first issue I have with your terminology: I have to compare and contrast everything to know even if it is distinctive or applicable, but yet "applicable" is supposed to be the area in which I "match" (and potentially contrast?): which doesn't really fit the distinction that I think should be made. In the case that B is a match of the definition of A, then I recognize that there is not an indexical conflation occurring if I were to make claims about B which were derived from claims about A. You would call this "applicable knowledge". In the case that B does not match the definition of A, I recognize that it would be fallacious to make claims about B which were derived from claims about A. At first glance, it feels like that is what you mean by "applicable" and "distinctive", but I don't think it is holistically. I have to perform this for everything, which is the problem with your distinction. For example, if I distinctively define A and distinctively define B, but they are by happenstance defined the exact same, my conclusion that they are defined the same is a comparison of the two distinctively defined concepts, A and B, to derive that they are indeed a match: this didn't involve anything "outside of my control", so to speak. I think you would regardless consider it holistically in the realm of "distinctive knowledge", which I would disagree with. The concept that "concept A = concept B" is a different concept which is not contained in the subject concept of either A or B (therefore it is not analytical): it is a synthetic unity of both A and B under equivocation from matching their definitions all abstractly. The definition of A did not contain the necessity that the concept of B is equivocal to itself. I have to use both: I analytically unpack the definitions of A and B to then synthetically compare the two. Maybe I am just misunderstanding you (I probably am), but here's your definitions:

    Distinctive knowledge - A deduced concept which is the creation and memorization of essential and accidental properties of a discrete experience.


    Applicable knowledge - A deduced concept which is not contained within its contextual distinctive knowledge set. This concept does not involve the creation of new distinctive knowledge, but a deduced match of a discrete experience to the contextual distinctive knowledge set.

    It is tricky to map onto a/s because both distinctive and applicable are synthetic and analytic in their own regards: I am starting to see there's no line that can be drawn in the fashion I think you are trying to in order to provide a distinction that exposes indexical conflations.

    Applicable knowledge does involve the creation of a new concept: the synthetic joining of "A = B", which is a separate concept from A and B. There was a concept A and a concept B, now there's a new concept that "A = B". This is not necessitated in the concepts A nor B, but yet true of them (i.e. it is synthetic). But there was an analysis that was required to determine "A = B" which was the analysis of what is contained in the concept A and, likewise, what is in the concept B, which is analytical. So both were used to obtain "applicable knowledge". I think this, as of now, is the true pinpoint of the distinction we are both really trying to portray (but I may be wrong, as always).

    Both distinctive and applicable knowledge can be seen as the extension of one's creation on the world. A discrete experience (the rock) has no inherent properties that necessitate it be called anything. Distinctive knowledge is when we create those essential and accidental properties that allow it to be called a "rock". This is our creation upon the world. Upon finding finding a new discrete experience (potential rock) we attempt to match our definition of a "a rock" to "the discrete experience". If we deduce that the essential properties match, we have applicable knowledge that "the discrete experience" is a match to "A rock". This is another extension of our creation upon the world.

    I think you are right and that is why I need to be careful with my verbiage: synthesis and analysis are both projections in a sense. However, in terms of a/s, there's a meaningful distinction between the joining of two concepts and what is contained within a given concept. Another reason why we are disagreeing here is because I am viewing the "matching" you described as synthetic and analytic. So matching "a rock" to the what is called "a rock" would be projection (the connection of concepts together) whereas the derivation of the properties of "the rock" would be analytical (which wouldn't be meaningfully depicted as projection, but technically would be in a sense). Projection probably isn't a good word here, so I am going to stop using it.

    It is more about creation of identities versus deduced matching of experiences to already established identities.

    I don't think this directly explicates the recognition of indexical conflations. It is more of a byproduct.

    To translate into this epistemology, we always start with distinctive knowledge.

    I think that we start with analysis (which is empirical observation) and therefrom derive synthesis. I haven't found a way to neatly map this onto your d/a distinction. I don't think we always start with distinctive knowledge as you've defined it.

    For example, take the concept of "A is equal to B" ("A = B"). To realize that I actually synthetically connected the concept of A and the concept of B in a relation of equivocation I must first analytically dissect the created concept of "A = B" to determine that there's a synthesis that occurred. Likewise, I could then counter myself with "well, bob, you just performed synthesis in determining that you analytically discover synthesis". And I would be correct, however I didn't realize that necessarily until after I analytically observed the claim (i.e. that I analyze to discover what is synthesized). I am always one step behind the synthesis, so to speak. Hopefully that made a bit of sense.

    The act of experiencing a memory is part of the act of discrete experience itself. For example, "I remember seeing a pink elephant." Whether the memory is accurate when applied is irrelevant. It is the memory itself that is distinctive.

    The act of experiencing imagery in ones mind is part of discrete experience: the conclusion that it is a remembrance of the past is not. It would be more like "I am imagining a pink elephant right now" as opposed to "I remember seeing a pink elephant before". The further consideration of whether it is a remembrance is synthetic as I am doing essentially "A = B". The discrete experience of the pink elephant would be analytic, at least prima facie, because it is simply analyzing what is contained in the concept. But any labeling would be synthetic of the contents of the concept.

    "Pink elephant" combines our distinctive understanding of "pink" and "elephant".

    The definitions of "pink" and "elephant" would be analytical. But the new concept of a "pink elephant" would be synthetic. The problem is that "pink", in isolation, is "distinctive knowledge". So there's no clear distinction here that "pink" -> therefore "pink elephant" is wrong because it doesn't enter the domain of "applicable knowledge". In other words, your epistemology essentially allows full knowledge claims in the realm of distinctive knowledge and emphasizes the incorrectness of indexical conflations, but yet the latter can occur in the former. Imagine I never imagined a "pink elephant" but, rather, I envisioned "pink", in isolation, and "an elephant" in isolation. If I then claimed "pink elephant", it would make just as little sense as envisioning a "pink elephant" and claiming "there's a pink elephant in my backyard". The a/s distinction, I think thus far, does the best job of constructing the most precise line that exposes indexical conflations holistically.

    The hypothetical is a possible resolution to an induction. If there was no induction, there would be no hypothetical. The coin can land either heads or tails. We can hypothetically deduce that if it lands heads, X occurs, and if it lands tails, y occurs. But the hypothetical cannot exist without the induction as a source of alternative outcomes. A deduction leads to a necessary conclusion, not a hypothetical conclusion. Only inductions can lead to hypothetical conclusions. That's the whole point of the IF. If there was no uncertainty in the outcome, we would not need the IF. I don't think we're in disagreement here beyond semantics.

    Unfortunately, I don't think we are merely semantically disagreeing on this either. I think you are conflating "uncertainty" with "induction". You can have deduced uncertainty. Therefore, a premise that is hypothetical is not necessarily, when stripped of its if conditional, an induction. It could be a deduction or an induction. If I say Premise 1 = IF X, I am not thereby implying necessarily that X is an induction. I could have deductively ascertained that I simply don't know if X is true, therefore I need an IF conditional to ensure that Premise 1 validates the form of the deduction.

    To correct this, I am saying inductions are necessary premises to create a hypothetical deduction. The IF implies uncertainty. If you remove the IF, it is no longer a hypothetical, it is not a deduction.

    I would refurbish this to "uncertainty is necessary to create a hypothetical deduction".

    Hypothetical: IF the penny lands on heads (Implicit uncertainty of the initial premise happening)
    Non-hypothetical: The penny lands on heads (A solid and certain premise)

    Again, I agree with this analogy, yet it doesn't prove that the hypothetical is an induction when the if conditional is removed: I might deductively not know whether or not the penny will land heads.

    Can an induction ever resolve then? If I say, "I believe the next penny flip will land on heads" will I ever find out if I was correct in my guess? All I'm noting is how we figure out the outcome of the guess. That must be done applicably.

    Yes, so with further contemplation, you can resolve an induction, but is resolved deduction -> induction (or induction <- deduction), not induction -> deduction. Again, this is implying to me the indexical conflation consideration: it seems to me you are implying, rightly so, that "a guess" entails uncertainty which entails that some sort of empirical observation (analysis) is required. I am simply noting that this is true of both "applicable" and "distinctive" knowledge. "a guess about A", G, implies that G is not contained in the concept of A, which was analytically ascertained and thereafter a new concept of "G != A" was synthetically created. Therefore, claims about A that are contained in A cannot be extended graciously to G: further empirical observation is required. This process can and does occur abstractly.

    I'm simply noting the accuracy of the induction. I think you're taking two steps here, noting the accuracy of the induction, and then deciding to dispense or retain it. For example, I could deduce the penny lands on tails, but still insist it landed on heads by inventing some other induction like "an evil demon changed it", or simply not caring and insisting it landed on heads regardless of what I deduced. The second step of deciding to stick with or reject the induction is a step too far from what I'm saying. All I'm noting is the deduced outcome after the induction's prediction comes to pass.

    Fair enough.

    I have already concluded that you cannot make any knowledge claim about the future. You can only make inductions about the future. The smartest way to make inductions is to use the most cogent inductions we already know of. So we would make our decisions based on the hierarchy of the inductions we have at our disposal. Just because we can speculate that the rules of reality may change in the future, doesn't mean its possible they will. Since we know what is possible and probable, it is possible and probable they will continue to happen in the future.

    Then I think you may be agreeing with me that we do not know that a possibility is more cogent than a speculation in the relation to the future, we only know that it is true of the past. The grounds of the induction hierarchy in relation to the future (which is the whole purpose of it is for the future) is an induction.

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Bob
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    Well I have clearly missed the mark yet again ): It seems as though we are not semantically disagreeing but, rather, fundamentally disagreeing.Bob Ross

    Not a worry at all! Please continue to shoot arrows. I think comparing this epistemology to the a/s distinction is inevitable and necessary to fully understand it. I am glad we are exploring this route, as I think it can help clarify what my proposed epistemology means. Further, there needs to be a reason why we should use this epistemology over the a/s distinction if it is to have any worth. Lets dive in.

    I have to perform this (comparison) for everything, which is the problem with your distinction. For example, if I distinctively define A and distinctively define B, but they are by happenstance defined the exact same, my conclusion that they are defined the same is a comparison of the two distinctively defined concepts, A and B, to derive that they are indeed a match: this didn't involve anything "outside of my control", so to speak. I think you would regardless consider it holistically in the realm of "distinctive knowledge", which I would disagree with.Bob Ross

    Again, this depends on how the comparison is made. Lets say I hold A and B in my head as merely definitions. Further, I define a synonym as "Two identities which have the same essential and non-essential properties. Then I say, "A and B are synonyms". At that point, I have to compare the essential and non-essential properties. But there is no uncertainty involved. How I define A, B, and synonyms are all in my solo context. I could change the identities of A, B, and synonym anytime I desired. But I don't. Perhaps this process should receive a new identity such as "logical distinction".

    If a situation arises in which we are wondering if a distinctively unknown specific experience matches the definition of B, we are applying the identity to something else which is outside of our creative identification. We are still distinctively committing to what the identity of B is, but we are purposefully not creating a new identity for this currently undefined experience. At this point it requires an investigation of what this new identity is, and if it can deductively match to our B identity.

    As such, applicable knowledge always involves the resolution of a distinctive uncertainty. There is no certainty that the match of this new uncertainty will match with something I distinctively know. I cannot change what B means, and I am choosing not to create a new identity for the undefined experience. The premise that the undefined experience matches B is not a necessary conclusion. But the attempt to match is the belief, or induction that it could. This is what I've been trying to narrow in on their difference. Distinctive knowledge has no uncertainty. Applicable knowledge only happens in the resolution of an uncertainty.

    Distinctive knowledge - A deduced concept which is the creation and memorization of essential and accidental properties of a discrete experience.

    Applicable knowledge - A deduced concept which is not contained within its contextual distinctive knowledge set. This concept does not involve the creation of new distinctive knowledge, but a deduced match of a discrete experience to the contextual distinctive knowledge set.

    These are both very well written general definitions. For applicable knowledge, perhaps we need to tweak it a little with my above analysis. "A deduced resolution in the uncertainty of matching a distinctively undefined experience to a contextual distinctive knowledge set."

    Applicable knowledge does involve the creation of a new concept: the synthetic joining of "A = B", which is a separate concept from A and B. There was a concept A and a concept B, now there's a new concept that "A = B". This is not necessitated in the concepts A nor B, but yet true of them (i.e. it is synthetic). But there was an analysis that was required to determine "A = B" which was the analysis of what is contained in the concept A and, likewise, what is in the concept B, which is analytical. So both were used to obtain "applicable knowledge". I think this, as of now, is the true pinpoint of the distinction we are both really trying to portray (but I may be wrong, as always).Bob Ross

    This also sounds good. If one uses the a/s distinction, they will have to use both within distinctive and applicable knowledge. Distinctive and applicable knowledge do not divide into a/s distinctions themselves however. I'll clarify further with the pink elephant example early.

    Imagine I never imagined a "pink elephant" but, rather, I envisioned "pink", in isolation, and "an elephant" in isolation. If I then claimed "pink elephant", it would make just as little sense as envisioning a "pink elephant" and claiming "there's a pink elephant in my backyard".Bob Ross

    Distinctively, there is nothing strange about taking the terms pink and applying it to an elephant. We create whatever definitions we wish. The part that doesn't make sense is stating there is some unknown distinctive identity apart from our imagination or fiction that matches to the identity of a pink elephant. The creation of distinctive knowledge does not necessitate such knowledge can be applicably known. The a/s distinction is what causes the confusion, not the d/a epistemology.

    Alright, back to the original flow!

    It is more about creation of identities versus deduced matching of experiences to already established identities.

    I don't think this directly explicates the recognition of indexical conflations. It is more of a byproduct.
    Bob Ross

    No, taken alone, the process of distinctive and applicable knowledge do not explicitly involve context.

    Language A: A bachelor is an unmarried man. (Distinctive)
    This person is found to be unmarried. (Applicable)
    Therefore this man is a bachelor (Logical distinction)

    Language B: A bachelor is a married man. (Distinctive)
    This person is found to be married. (Applicable)
    Therefore this man is married (Logical distinction)

    By this I mean the context does not affect the logical process itself. The context only determines the defined starting point. The process itself is not contextual, only the identifications and capabilities of the observer/thinker.

    To translate into this epistemology, we always start with distinctive knowledge.

    I think that we start with analysis (which is empirical observation) and therefrom derive synthesis. I haven't found a way to neatly map this onto your d/a distinction. I don't think we always start with distinctive knowledge as you've defined it.
    Bob Ross

    You are correct! The analysis is the introduction to discovering we discretely experience. That is how we analyzed and discovered the term "distinctive knowledge". Nothing I've proposed is done without analysis, and all is attempted to be shown using distinctive and applicable knowledge where possible (barring inductions).

    Likewise, I could then counter myself with "well, bob, you just performed synthesis in determining that you analytically discover synthesis". And I would be correct, however I didn't realize that necessarily until after I analytically observed the claim (i.e. that I analyze to discover what is synthesized). I am always one step behind the synthesis, so to speak. Hopefully that made a bit of sense.Bob Ross

    I believe so. It is one reason why I found the a/s distinction to not tell the whole story. It is a useful distinction, but one that diminishes in usefulness the more granular you get with them.

    The act of experiencing imagery in ones mind is part of discrete experience: the conclusion that it is a remembrance of the past is not.Bob Ross

    I want to tweak this sentence a little to ensure we are on the same page.

    The act of experiencing imagery in ones mind is part of discrete experience.
    The act of experiencing that is a remembrance of the past is part of discrete experience.

    The deduced conclusion that it is an accurate remembrance of the past is the discrete experience of applicable knowledge.
    The deduced realization that I believe my memory to be an accurate remembrance is the discrete experience of distinctive knowledge.

    Unfortunately, I don't think we are merely semantically disagreeing on this either. I think you are conflating "uncertainty" with "induction". You can have deduced uncertainty.Bob Ross

    I don't believe there is conflation, but perhaps I am wrong. An induction is a claim of uncertainty. Certainly we can deduce that an induction is all we can make.

    Therefore, a premise that is hypothetical is not necessarily, when stripped of its if conditional, an induction. It could be a deduction or an induction. If I say Premise 1 = IF X, I am not thereby implying necessarily that X is an induction.Bob Ross

    No, X alone is not an induction. "IF X" is an induction. It is the same as my saying, "I believe it will rain tomorrow." If I remove "I believe", then we are left with "It will rain tomorrow" as a fact. I can create deductions based on the premise "It will rain tomorrow". The addition of the IF lets the reader know that this is not a fact, or a conclusion that followed from the premises we had. It may, or may not rain tomorrow.

    Adding the IF makes it hypothetical.
    Hypothetical - involving or being based on a suggested idea or theory : being or involving a hypothesis : CONJECTURAL https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypothetical

    A hypothesis is an induction. A conjecture is an induction. A claim that asserts a conclusion that is not certain, is an induction. The IF is the assertion of a conclusion that is not certain, therefore an induction. IF the induction turns out to be correct, then we can deduce what will follow.

    Hypothetical: IF the penny lands on heads (Implicit uncertainty of the initial premise happening)
    Non-hypothetical: The penny lands on heads (A solid and certain premise)

    Again, I agree with this analogy, yet it doesn't prove that the hypothetical is an induction when the if conditional is removed: I might deductively not know whether or not the penny will land heads.
    Bob Ross

    If the IF condition is removed, it is no longer a hypothetical deduction. At that point, it is simply a deduction. The penny lands on heads is not an uncertainty, but a certainty at that point. The identities of our chain of reasoning are based on the zero point we pick. Its all about the starting point in our analysis.

    Pure Deduction chain: Deduction -> Deduction all the way down.
    Hypothetical: induction -> Deduction with the induction stating an outcome that will happen (But has not yet).
    Deduced induction: Deduction -> Induction due to limited information
    A Deduced Inductions Hypothetical Deduction -> Induction -> Deduction.

    So if I take a hypothetical induction, and remove the induction as a premise within my chain of reason (removing the IF) it is now just a deduction.

    Again, this is implying to me the indexical conflation consideration: it seems to me you are implying, rightly so, that "a guess" entails uncertainty which entails that some sort of empirical observation (analysis) is required. I am simply noting that this is true of both "applicable" and "distinctive" knowledge.Bob Ross

    I hope I have explained why this is not true of both applicable and distinctive knowledge at this point. Distinctive knowledge does not require empirical observation. An induction itself is distinctively known. But the resolution to that induction is applicably known.

    Then I think you may be agreeing with me that we do not know that a possibility is more cogent than a speculation in the relation to the future, we only know that it is true of the past. The grounds of the induction hierarchy in relation to the future (which is the whole purpose of it is for the future) is an induction.Bob Ross

    I want to make sure its understood that cogency does not mean "truth" or "deduced certainty" Cogency originally is defined as "a strong inductive argument with true premises." Here it is amended to be "A strong inductive argument based on how many steps it is removed from deductions in its chain of rationality."

    That has been shown distinctively, and I believe can be shown applicably. But I don't claim that taking a cogent induction determines that the induction will come to pass. Its simply shown to be more likely to pass when taken over a large sample space. And if a person is to be rational, they will take the induction type that gives them the greatest odds of being correct.

    Also I never claim that we can applicably know that any form of induction will necessarily lead to its outcome. It is reasonable to guess that an outcome that will occur 99% of the time will happen, but you will be wrong 1% of the time.

    Any claim about the future is always an induction. The question is, do we have a rational way of sorting out which inductions are more reasonable based on logic and past experience? Yes. While it is an induction that logic and our past experiences will be the same tomorrow, we must also not forget that it is also an induction that our logic and past experiences will NOT be the same tomorrow. As no one has experienced logic suddenly altering, or the past suddenly shifting reality, it is a speculation that this may change, while it is a possibility it remains stable. Therefore it is more cogent to act as if the known certainties of today such as logic and needing to breath and eat to survive, will be the known certainties of tomorrow. My inductive hierarchy can justify itself. Can any other rationalization of inductions do so? I leave that to you.

    Fantastic post Bob, and I hoped I adequately addressed your thoughtful points!
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