• Benj96
    248
    I think in philosophy a great deal of time is spent “defining”. And defining to me is really “using the right words” to evoke the same idea in two different minds.

    It’s obviously necessary. There’s little point talking about something if neither party knows exactly what the topic is about. It will naturally lead to disagreement, contradiction and convolution of the topic which to begin with may have been quite simple.

    But words relate to me differently than they relate to you. This can be demonstrated by word association games which highlight the subtle or sometimes overtly different network of meaning, importance and relationship that I have to a concept than you have.

    What it really identifies if differences in persona or experience. Take the word “twig” for example. You’re asked to name three of the first words that come into your mind when you think about twigs.
    I say “wood”, “tree”, “branch” While you say “growth”, “support” and “fire”.

    There is a clear distinction here in how twig related to you and I. I’ve exaggerated it for the purpose of demonstration but I see the twig as an objective solid composed or wood and part of a tree. I see it’s physical Material relationships While you see the functional or purpose related associations. How is it used?

    When we talk about difficult to define concepts such as “self” “time” “energy” “purpose” or even “language and meaning” ... we are subject to these same differences in relationship to the concepts.

    I can’t see then how an objective definition of any word can ever be met by a group larger than a singular individual. I will always experience and understand a chair in a fundamentally different way to you even if we both know what a chair is. The definition may be similar but it’s position in the collective of definitions and meanings is very different.

    So can one really ever “use the right words” to explain or convey an experience/ concept that they hold in their mind That won’t be grossly distorted by the receiving mind? Is language fundamentally flawed in that it’s not highly faithful to “meaning” But only “kind of”.

    How can we discuss an issue if we are always talking cross purposes? Or is it the very fact that we talk cross purposes that makes it worthwhile to discuss a topic?
  • Possibility
    1.7k
    So can one really ever “use the right words” to explain or convey an experience/ concept that they hold in their mind That won’t be grossly distorted by the receiving mind? Is language fundamentally flawed in that it’s not highly faithful to “meaning” But only “kind of”.

    How can we discuss an issue if we are always talking cross purposes? Or is it the very fact that we talk cross purposes that makes it worthwhile to discuss a topic?
    Benj96

    Meaning is often thought to be the same as definition, but I think this is a misunderstanding of how we use words. My understanding of the relational structure between meaning, concept, communication and words is a multi-dimensional one. Recognising the complexity of the structure helps us to navigate the distortions and at least find a way to orient ourselves in a discussion, even if we cannot reach an agreement.

    If I simply type ‘energy’ for you to read on your computer, then what is essentially a word also has a temporal dimension in which we are now aligned, in a process of communication. Being conscious systems, we also recognise that ‘energy’ is a concept, temporally and physically undefined but existing as a perceivable potential or value in my mind. Finally, as reasoning systems, we recognise that the meaning of ‘energy’ in my particular communication is determined by the overall value or conceptual system in which my understanding of the concept has been constructed from experience.

    So I don’t think it’s a matter of ‘using the right words’, but providing enough information to help participants to orient themselves in the discussion in relation to meaning.

    tim wood is a strong advocate here of beginning discussions by defining terms. It’s a fast and efficient way to hone in on one’s meaning in relation to the topic, but it isn’t meant to be a constraint. People can get bogged down in trying to agree on a definition, and lose sight of the broader discussion. I think the aim is not to settle on an agreement, but to find a way to discuss the topic from different positions of meaning in relation to it. So long as we have some sense of where they are, even if we’re approaching it from a completely different position, it can still be a worthwhile discussion.

    It’s when we assume they mean one thing, but then discover they meant something completely different all along, that we feel like we’ve wasted an entire discussion.

    Sometimes I cannot agree with the dictionary definition, in which case I offer it anyway as a starting point, from which I then explain my departure.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.8k
    There is really no such thing as "the right words", there are many options and one might seek the best. Or, a person might just allow whatever rolls off the tip of one's tongue. How we manufacture the capacity to communicate is through conformity, uniformity, and standardization in education.
  • Pantagruel
    1.1k
    How we manufacture the capacity to communicate is through conformity, uniformity, and standardization in education.Metaphysician Undercover

    Habermas says that our communicative actions derive from a massively shared lifeworld (lebenswelt). This is a background set of assumptions so fundamental that they resist analysis. His observations on specialized languages (from specialist knowledge-domains) are also interesting. Because the value of special theoretical domains can only be measured to the extent that they manage to re-integrate themselves into the universal community, they must eventually find a way to communicate in everyday language. In fact, Habermas says that everyday language is the best meta-language.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.8k

    I can't say that I'm familiar with Habermas, but if everyday language is supposed to be the best meta-language, how do we approach ontology? Is there a correct (true) way to describe the world, or is the best way the one which is understood by the most people? The latter would be the way supported by "everyday language", but it would also be the most ambiguous way. Ambiguity is a feature of universal understanding. Truth cannot be grounded in ambiguity, so this approach seems to lead us away from the possibility of any ontological truth.
  • Pantagruel
    1.1k
    I guess the best way to answer that is take the notion of "ontological truth" for example. Whatever conclusions that can be arrived at through specialized discourse will need to be re-absorbed by the community at large, through traditional mechanisms (graduate degrees, awards) and ultimately be re-presented in a more universally understood language. Like Ontological Truth for dummies perhaps?

    Practical reason (or what Mead calls "value rational") isn't ambiguous. In fact, practical reason is intended to function because it does disambiguate and allow us to be guided by norms and conventions, even when a purely utilitarian calculus might fail. The most important truths on this view are the ones we reach through discursive collaboration.
  • Benj96
    248
    thank you for your insight I found it really interesting. I think I also settled on the idea that we can pinpoint a topic of discussion and talk about it meaningfully without ourselves being entirely unanimous in what our definition of it is.

    I feel that perhaps understanding a topic Well is analogous to gps triangulation in that different individuals from different backgrounds of experience, meaning and understanding can “bounce” views off others which in turn do the same in order to build a multiplex concept of the location or in this case “definition/knowledge” of the topic centrally addressed.

    This is also kind of like the “collective mean” definition that is to say the sum of all interpretations of a concept laid out graphically would look sort of like a wave with the Scientific or dictionary definition Or functional/utilitarian definition close to the Center and more metaphorical or artistically licensed definitions spread out further and further away from the Center.

    For example the meaning of “chair” might have a wave distribution with most people (say 100,000) placing “a solid platform usually on three to four legs that is used to sit on” roughly in the center while a few limited individuals (Say 100) may have “the item I throw at the wall when Im angry” taking central position but obviously as a collective this would be a marginal definition low and far away from the wave peak - the collective interpretation of the word chair.
  • Benj96
    248
    Truth cannot be grounded in ambiguity,Metaphysician Undercover

    Are you sure of this? Is something that changes or has a bivalency/ multiple facets any less true than something that stays singular/ the same/identical or unchanging?

    Sure for the concretisation of scientific facts and observations, we take truth to be the most objective, consistent, most measurable and repeatable things but the issue is.... one must accept that personal views, emotions and feelings are true to the person who has them. Even demonstrable. That is to say they exist and are true relative to certain beings/ things/ locations in space or perspectives and cannot be proven repeatably by the convention of science.

    Is poetry Art music etc not “true“ Because their definitions and the meaning surrounding them are wholly ambiguous by nature? Is ambiguity itself isn’t true Or holds no truth value - either has no meaning or doesn’t exist or is not useful - then what is “ambiguity” And why are we using it in relevance to anything at all?
  • Possibility
    1.7k
    I feel that perhaps understanding a topic Well is analogous to gps triangulation in that different individuals from different backgrounds of experience, meaning and understanding can “bounce” views off others which in turn do the same in order to build a multiplex concept of the location or in this case “definition/knowledge” of the topic centrally addressed.

    This is also kind of like the “collective mean” definition that is to say the sum of all interpretations of a concept laid out graphically would look sort of like a wave with the Scientific or dictionary definition Or functional/utilitarian definition close to the Center and more metaphorical or artistically licensed definitions spread out further and further away from the Center.
    Benj96

    I have the same basic idea - it’s understanding, rather than a particular ‘definition/knowledge’, that we can arrive at. Any definition/knowledge would be one possible expression or ‘rendering’ of that understanding, among others. I’m not sure that there would be a Center, as such, though - it implies an essentialism that I would have to disagree with here. Any laying out of the concept would depend on the extent of conceptual alignment between parties. To illustrate, I understand a wavefunction to be a graphic representation of the difference between two four-dimensional structures: essentially what it would take for one to align with the other. I imagine this would be the simplest form such an understanding might take.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.8k
    Practical reason (or what Mead calls "value rational") isn't ambiguous. In fact, practical reason is intended to function because it does disambiguate and allow us to be guided by norms and conventions, even when a purely utilitarian calculus might fail. The most important truths on this view are the ones we reach through discursive collaboration.Pantagruel

    It seems to me like there is ambiguity within norms and conventions, by the very nature of what these things are. For example, the variety of answers Plato got when asking in The Republic, what is "just".

    Are you sure of this? Is something that changes or has a bivalency/ multiple facets any less true than something that stays singular/ the same/identical or unchanging?Benj96

    Ambiguity is not a matter of changing, it is a matter of being different things at the same time.

    Sure for the concretisation of scientific facts and observations, we take truth to be the most objective, consistent, most measurable and repeatable things but the issue is.... one must accept that personal views, emotions and feelings are true to the person who has them. Even demonstrable. That is to say they exist and are true relative to certain beings/ things/ locations in space or perspectives and cannot be proven repeatably by the convention of science.Benj96

    Then you are defining "true" in relation to honesty. Many people are not honest about their emotions and feelings. Furthermore, most people do not even adequately understand their emotions and feelings, and when this is the case they cannot possibly know the truth about their emotions and feelings. So your statement "emotions and feelings are true to the person who has them" is rather hollow.
  • Pantagruel
    1.1k
    It seems to me like there is ambiguity within norms and conventions, by the very nature of what these things are. For example, the variety of answers Plato got when asking in The Republic, what is "just".Metaphysician Undercover

    There can be disagreement between norms in the sense that there are differing normative positions. That makes dialog more difficult because people are then approaching a topic from different value-positions. So either they agree to make the norms themselves the topic, or they are restricted to "bargaining" about means and ends. But, in general, norms in Habermas' discourse theory function as heuristics to reduce cognitive load
  • Benj96
    248
    Then you are defining "true" in relation to honesty. Many people are not honest about their emotions and feelings.Metaphysician Undercover

    No. I’m definitely not. I’m defining the realness of emotions and feelings as only to the person who has them. Honesty or dishonesty of oneself with regard to their emotions doesn’t negate the emotion they felt. Whether they convinced themselves they were happy or knew they were happy is irrelevant in the fact that their subjective experience is true to them but not to others. I cannot measure objectively exactly what type and how much units of happiness you perceive yourself to feel. But that doesn’t mean you didn’t feel it.

    The original point I was making is that many human emotions and sensations can be ambiguous (For example “bittersweet”) but the measure of truth value of these things is not dependent on them being unambiguous such as in scientific method where ambiguity must be removed and concepts objectified and measured. Science only goes so far in measuring truth value/ the trueness of things whilst other forms of human discipline are necessary to comprehend or measure other forms of truth. Mostly being relative.

    Your depth of understanding of my statement “emotions and feelings are true to the person who has them” is rather hollow. True does not equal honest otherwise Universal truths could not encompass dishonesties or the meaning of falsity of any kind but unfortunately they are a fact of life and do indeed exist in the realm of what is true about reality.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.8k
    The original point I was making is that many human emotions and sensations can be ambiguous (For example “bittersweet”) but the measure of truth value of these things is not dependent on them being unambiguous such as in scientific method where ambiguity must be removed and concepts objectified and measured. Science only goes so far in measuring truth value/ the trueness of things whilst other forms of human discipline are necessary to comprehend or measure other forms of truth. Mostly being relative.Benj96

    I do not see how you believe to have made this point. All you are doing is asserting that there must be a truth about emotions and sensations which is independent from, and exists regardless of our ambiguous interpretations of them, without providing any principles to substantiate this claim. You claim that there is a real true emotion which is felt, independently of the person's ambiguous interpretation of the emotion. How is this possible, that the person has a "true" emotion or feeling independent of the confused and ambiguous emotion or feeling that the person experiences? You need to back up your claim, rather than just insist on the truth of it. And, it is in this justification that we will find ambiguity.

    I have no idea what you could possibly mean by "other forms of truth" which are "relative". If you are not talking about being true in the sense of being honest, then what are you talking about? I think that you are just proposing "other forms of truth" as a means to back up your supposition that truth can be ambiguous, but it seems to me that you don't even have any idea yourself, what you could be talking about.

    Your depth of understanding of my statement “emotions and feelings are true to the person who has them” is rather hollow.Benj96

    Yes, I see this as an incoherent statement, because clearly emotions and feelings are mixed up, confused and ambiguous, conflating elements of the conscious with the subconscious, and I do not see what could possibly make one emotion true, and another false.

    But, in general, norms in Habermas' discourse theory function as heuristics to reduce cognitive loadPantagruel

    "Heuristics to reduce cognitive load"? This appears as self-contradictory. Heuristics, by their nature, seem to be a cognitive load. Are you saying, that norms are habits, so that we do certain things without having to think consciously about these things, thereby reducing the cognitive load?

    The problem here would be that this seems to take the norms for granted, and doesn't respect the action required to learn them. This learning action itself is a cognitive load, and it shapes the conscious mind in ways which produce an attitude toward the learning of the norms. So for instance one person might develop the attitude that the norms are great, and the best thing for freeing the conscious mind, while another person might develop the attitude that learning all these norms is a constraint to the free mind, and a big waste of time.
  • Pantagruel
    1.1k
    "Heuristics to reduce cognitive load"? This appears as self-contradictory. Heuristics, by their nature, seem to be a cognitive load. Are you saying, that norms are habits, so that we do certain things without having to think consciously about these things, thereby reducing the cognitive load?Metaphysician Undercover

    Exactly. Habermas' argument is that in a past-traditional, pluralistic society the weight of cognitive processing would be very high otherwise. So social norms ease that burden. And I do think heuristic is the correct term. A heuristic is by definition something that lightens the workload, a shortcut.

    Keep in mind, Habermas' position is that the we are primarily intersubjective or social beings, so he doesn't need to explain that, it is fundamental to our makeup. This is a common sociological stance. So when he says we have a "massively shared" lifeworld. He takes for granted these heuristics, which, by their nature hide "underneath" cognition. He also mentions that "reason" is called into play precisely where these heuristics break down.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.8k
    Keep in mind, Habermas' position is that the we are primarily intersubjective or social beings, so he doesn't need to explain that, it is fundamental to our makeup. This is a common sociological stance. So when he says we have a "massively shared" lifeworld. He takes for granted these heuristics, which, by their nature hide "underneath" cognition. He also mentions that "reason" is called into play precisely where these heuristics break down.Pantagruel

    This is the perspective which I do not agree with, the one which takes intersubjectivity for granted. In my opinion intersubjectivity is not natural, but artificial. It is something which is created through willful effort and moral commitment.

    So from my perspective reason is always being called into play, as we are always judging the norms. This is because the norms are generalities, universals, whereas we live in the particular. This means that we must constantly be judging which norms are applicable to the particular situation we find ourselves to be in. So as much as the heuristics may lighten the load in the majority of situations, none of these principles (if we can call them that) can be taken for granted, because circumstances are unique and rapidly changing such that the minority situations actual arise quite frequently, and this is when doubt appears. So reason is actually called upon quite often, pretty much all the time, as we continually judge the circumstances. And unless we have experience in the use of it we are thrust into anxiety and stress when it is called upon.
  • Pantagruel
    1.1k


    The facts of evolution and civilization seem to support the position that we are social animals. The very idea of an individual entity abstracted from its species and social context is meaningless. Language is entirely a social construct.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.8k
    The facts of evolution and civilization seem to support the position that we are social animals. The very idea of an individual entity abstracted from its species and social context is meaningless. Language is entirely a social construct.Pantagruel

    I do not deny that we are social animals. Even insects can be described as social beings. However, I think you present a reversed and therefore untrue perspective of what is real and true, when you speak of "an individual entity abstracted from its species". Clearly, what is the case is that the "species" is an abstraction, nd individual beings are the true existent things. Otherwise, evolution would not be possible. Evolution relies on individual differences as its means of change, and without these particularities the generation of novel species would be impossible.

    So the question of what type of construct language is, is much more complicated than it appears. Semiotics places language within the broader category of sign-systems, viewing language as one type of sign-system. When linguistic symbols are viewed as a type of sign, we are exposed to different possibilities as to the reason for existence of linguistic symbols, as there are many different possible uses for signs.

    The idea that language is a "social construct" is what is really meaningless, because "social" refers only to an abstraction. There is nothing real in the world, which could be actively constructing a language, which might be called "the social". The closest we can get to a real thing called "social" is individual interactions between individual beings. This is why the concept of intersubjectivity is an over simplification which provides a faulty perspective, therefore producing a faulty attitude toward the reality of language.

    Intersubjectivity starts with a generalization concerning human interactions, the idea that there is some concrete thing which can be referred to as 'the interaction'. But this is an abstraction. And, it then proposes that this abstraction is the real concrete aspect of the existing thing, such that there is a concrete thing called 'the interaction', which we can make propositions about. But this neglects the fact that each interaction is uniquely situated in unique circumstances, and uniquely guided by the individuals involved in the interaction, so that the abstraction which is based in similarity misses the true essence of the interaction as unique.

    Instead of starting with the reality of fundamental differences between each and every unique human interaction, "intersubjectivity" starts from an assumption of similarity between interactions, the abstraction. But this assumption of similarity is itself a construct which is employed with the intent of negating the true reality that the fundamental character of human interactions is difference. (Check Derrida's deconstruction, and the revelation that the true nature of meaning lies in the complexity of difference rather than the artificial simplicity which is created through the appearance of similitude.) Therefore the founding premise of "intersubjectivity", and "social construct" is just a reflection of the individual's intent to simplify something which is really complex, by starting with an unsound abstraction ('the social'), rather than starting with the true uniqueness of the interactions between individual beings.
  • Pantagruel
    1.1k
    Clearly, what is the case is that the "species" is an abstraction, nd individual beings are the true existent things.Metaphysician Undercover

    The species includes the individual, the individual represents the species.

    Just think about what it would mean to build up a framework of communication ab initio. We share much, much, much more than we are unique.

    I don't wish to downplay the importance of the individual, but without the social, meaning loses its...meaning. I'm about to undertake Saussure, so I'll certainly be bearing your comments in mind.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.8k
    The species includes the individual, the individual represents the species.Pantagruel

    Clearly, the species is an abstraction. It is not an entity of which the individual is a part. Evolution itself is evidence that this is the case, because there must be individuals which comprise the links between one species and the next when a new species evolves from an older one. These individuals who are between one species and another cannot truthfully be said be part of the one species or the other, though we might judge them as being one or the other just like we might make any dubious judgement in placing things in abstract categories. But what this indicates is that the species does not necessarily include the individual. And the species is just an abstract concept which we employ for judging things. There is no concrete entity referred to by the named species, like "human being". The named species refers to a category by which we classify things. "Human being" refers to an abstract category, just like the genus "mammal" is an abstract category, and "animal" is a category, and "living" is a category.
  • Pantagruel
    1.1k
    Clearly, the species is an abstraction.Metaphysician Undercover

    The species certainly not an abstraction. It is entirely concrete. And as the overall expression of cumulative genetics, arguably more concrete than the individual. It is a question of perspective. In any case. Characteristics of the species I could see one arguing are abstract, but the species is no less concrete than the entities which compose it. That is like saying, atoms are concrete, but a ball composed of atoms is abstract.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.8k

    Sorry to have to insist on something so simple Pantagruel, but "species" is a scientific term, with a rigorous definition, and it refers to a system of classification. To use it otherwise is simply an undisciplined use of the word. Your reference to "expression of cumulative genetics" does nothing to justify your claim, because any individual is an expression of cumulative genetics, yet we are all different.
  • Pantagruel
    1.1k

    It may indeed be a scientific term, nevertheless, the species is also the sum total of its organic constituent entities on the planet. And we are not in a science class, nor are we using the term for classificatory purposes. If you really think that the term "species" has no organic extension then that would be an end of fruitful discussion I fear.

    edit: spe·cies
    /ˈspēsēz,ˈspēSHēz/
    noun
    1.
    BIOLOGY
    a group of living organisms
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.8k
    It may indeed be a scientific term, nevertheless, the species is also the sum total of its organic constituent entities on the planet. And we are not in a science class, nor are we using the term for classificatory purposes.Pantagruel

    To say that "the sum total of...entities" is itself an entity is a mistake. There is nothing, no principle which makes a collection of entities into an entity itself. A collection is a constructed "set". And to say that the set has a more real existence as an entity than the individuals which make up the set is just a category mistake.

    If you really think that the term "species" has no organic extension then that would be an end of fruitful discussion I fear.Pantagruel

    In no way is a species an organism. If you want to use "species" to refer to "a group of living organisms", I'm fine with that, so long as you respect that this is a group of individuals being referred to. And if we are to refer to the group itself as an individual, we ought to recognize that this group is an artificially constructed individual (as groupings are). Then we can proceed to discuss the interactions between the members of such groups. In this way we can avoid the mistake of taking the interactions for granted, which might be the case if we assumed that the group itself was a natural individual.
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    Connotation and Denotation are two principal methods of describing the meanings of. words. Connotation refers to the wide array of positive and negative associations that most words naturally carry with them, whereas denotation is the precise, literal definition of a word that might be found in a dictionary. — WWW

    There's a lot of freedom that comes with association for it can be and is personalized - the stuff I associate with the word "god" maybe completely different from that of other people. Having said that, these associations aren't totally arbitrary - we're part of a shared universe and so, our experiences, available associations, will be a common denominator, unifying instead of dividing a language community with respect to words and what we associate with them. These shared associations, the common extraneous meanings that words have over and above their comparatively precise denotative meaning are referred to as connotative meaning.

    Nevertheless, connotative meanings, even those that are peculiar to a person, pack a punch in the manner of speaking because they're closer to home, more personal, they're more about yourself than about lexical meanings (denotative meanings) of words and thus are, nine out of ten times, emotionally charged and being so have the power to take you down a path or in a direction not intended by an interlocutor or if intended, in a manner that's going to be so filled with feelings that you wouldn't notice if it were wrong. In essence, you're at risk of either misunderstanding someone or being fooled by someone. That's the reason why, in a logic 101 course, it's emphasized, so often that it becomes tedious, that we're to focus our attention on the denotative meanings of words, meanings that are precise, meanings that we've all agreed upon.
  • Pantagruel
    1.1k
    I've spent the last six months reading material which entirely contradicts your position. Mead, Parsons, Habermas. Of course, you are entitled to your opinion. Just be aware, there is an opposing viewpoint, and it is cogent and coherent. Viewing collectives of biological entities as complex systems in their own right perhaps is just too "modern" a perspective for you.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.8k
    I've spent the last six months reading material which entirely contradicts your position. Mead, Parsons, Habermas. Of course, you are entitled to your opinion. Just be aware, there is an opposing viewpoint, and it is cogent and coherent. Viewing collectives of biological entities as complex systems in their own right perhaps is just too "modern" a perspective for you.Pantagruel

    I'm fully aware that there are opposing viewpoints, but I see a large number of very real problems with viewing collectives of biological entities as complex systems. First and foremost, I see a problem in viewing such a collective as an entity itself, which is required by the term "system". And the assertion that the existence of the collective, as an entity is more real than the existence of the individuals which make up the collective, and the claim that the individual is just a reflection of the system, is fundamentally incoherent. It is incoherent because it contradicts the defining premise, which names the multitude of individual entities as the defining feature of the collective. To then name the collective as a system which is more real than the individuals required to produce the collective is incomprehensible. This is like saying that 5 is defined as five 1s, but 5, as an entity, is more real than 1.

    Furthermore, I believe it is a mistake to describe the human species as "a system", for a number of reasons. First there is no common function, as required by the term "system", and second, there are not definable boundaries as required by the term. So the proposition that the human species is a system, is simply false. Sometimes, especially in metaphysics I find, more modern does not mean better.
  • Pantagruel
    1.1k
    Systems theoretic analysis has a proven track record across a broad range of empirical fields, including sociological ones.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.8k
    Systems theoretic analysis has a proven track record across a broad range of empirical fields, including sociological ones.Pantagruel

    This is the folly of scientism, the belief that the capacity to predict implies a true understanding of the phenomenon. Pragmaticism provides us with no guidance toward ontological truth.
  • Pantagruel
    1.1k
    This is the folly of scientism, the belief that the capacity to predict implies a true understanding of the phenomenon. Pragmaticism provides us with no guidance toward ontological truth.Metaphysician Undercover

    Are you implying that science is the same thing as scientism? If so, you are operating under a massive misconception and a prejudice.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.8k
    Are you implying that science is the same thing as scientism? If so, you are operating under a massive misconception and a prejudice.Pantagruel

    No, obviously I didn't say that science is the same thing as scientism. But assuming that a scientific theory provides us with a true understanding of the events which it predicts, because it has a proven track record in its predictions, is a mistake of scientism.
  • Pantagruel
    1.1k
    No, obviously I didn't say that science is the same thing as scientism. But assuming that a scientific theory provides us with a true understanding of the events which it predicts, because it has a proven track record in its predictions, is a mistake of scientism.Metaphysician Undercover

    That is a complete mischaracterization. Scientism claims that scientific certainty is exclusively authoritative, even in domains that are beyond that of its inquiry.

    Science obviously provides an accurate understanding of the phenomena it examines, that is the whole point of science.

    edit: although scientific knowledge is always an approximation and constantly evolving, I"ll give you that...
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