Comments

  • What's Wrong With 1% Owning As Much As 99%?
    It's a problem if it's excessive. That would be a problem because it's unfair and creates an imbalance. And an imbalance impacts people like me. That would be money in excess of what you've earned, which you do not deserve, could go to those who need it more than you do, and therefore ought to be redistributed.Sapientia

    But at what point do you set this limit? If someone starts a software business today that becomes very successful and is used by millions of people, then they might become a billionaire at a fairly young age. Some of that will also be the result of investing their money, or funding other startups that turn out to be successful.

    Do you penalize them for their company's success and returns on investment because it's excessive?

    What if it's an entertainer or athlete who becomes widely popular and makes a similar amount of money, partly by starting another business and investing. Do you redistribute some of their wealth as well?

    I understand that extreme wealth imbalance is a problem, but then again, are not the self-made billionaires generating wealth and jobs as well? Aren't they growing the economic pie? Should we penalize them for being more successful than most?
  • Do we behold a mental construct while perceiving?
    So this has turned into a debate on lying? These metaphysical disputes take the most curious twists and turns during the longer running threads.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    Edit: or even better, read Hume.Πετροκότσυφας

    And even better yet, you read Kant. This is a discussion, not a book reading club.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    No, but I've heard and read people discussing Hume and Kant, and there are SEP articles on this issue. In the OP, I mentioned the Partially Examined Life podcast. They discussed Hume, then Plato, then Kant, and then James & Pierce for the pragmatic response. The issue of knowledge, causality and particulars were prominent themes.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    His argument is more subtle, suggesting that a priori reasoning does not predict the outcomes of causal interactions and that as humans we have since time immemorial simply had to OBSERVE and conclude from observations causality.charleton

    And Kant's argument was that we couldn't have come up with causality by just past observation. It wouldn't be something that could occur to us as a concept.

    If Hume had come up with a skeptical argument for space or time, the same Kantian critique would apply. Habit or custom cannot create a fundamental concept.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    Now, I am curious: how would you distinguish such a "Humean" universe from one that is "enriched" with your favored metaphysics?SophistiCat

    I think science is implicitly realistic, even though people figure out ways to talk about in non-realist terms. The Newton example wasn't meant to say that Newton was Humean in his account. He was not. It was just an example of going from particulars to general law. The problem with Newton's realist account of causality is that he couldn't explain gravity as a force acting at a distance, but Einstein could.

    The reason for thinking science implies or assumes realism is because unobservables and general laws are posited as part of the theories.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    This is baloney, of course, as it has been pointed out before. It pretents that Hume can't recognise that these events are in relations of precedency, contiguity and constant conjunction.Πετροκότσυφας

    But Hume also says we have no logical reason to suppose the constant conjunction will continue. He presents a skeptical view of the future, and thus undermines prediction.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    Also, as for the problem of induction, where Hume points out that tomorrow could be Thanksgiving for us turkeys, the problem isn't that we have no justification for causality, only that we don't always know when we're observing correlation or causation.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    I'm not ignoring it, but you are misunderstanding it.charleton

    Let's set aside the rationalism/empiricism debate, since this thread is about whether Hume/Witty's version of causality is adequate.

    Resetting the issue: according to Hume, the only reason we think that B will continue to follow A is that it has so far in the past. Thus, our expectation that the sun will rise tomorrow is based on nothing more than it having risen before.

    However, science says we have confidence the sun will rise tomorrow because it still has matter it can fuse due to it's relatively intense gravity. And furthermore, this will continue for a few more billion years until it can't fuse any more elements, and then it starts expanding and turns into a red giant. There is a reason the sun has been shining for billions of years.

    As such, science isn't just cataloging Bs following As, it's looking to provide explanations for B following A. That's what Hume's account leaves out.

    IOW, science operates under the assumption that there are causal explanations to be had. It's possible this doesn't always turn out to be the case, depending on how one interprets QM, but for a wide variety of phenomena, it has so far.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    You are making my case for me, if you would but know it.charleton

    Not really, because you need the rational faculties to make sense of the empirical data. How we obtained or develop our ability to reason is a separate matter.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    Not really. All science is based on evidence. We are just getting better at it. Newton gives way to Einstein, who in turn may well be shown to be inadequate. Einstein's work is observable. If not then its not valid.charleton

    You can't ignore the role of theory in science. Positing concepts to explain phenomena is as central to science, as is putting those ideas to the test.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    You are just being ridiculous. Nothing can be conceived unless perceived.
    Put a new born baby in a sensory deprivation chamber and see what you get.
    You have not really used joined up thinking.
    charleton

    And nothing can be perceived without cognition. Remove a newborn baby's neocortex and see what knowledge they will learn.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    Let's take gravity as an example. On a Humean account, gravity is just a shorthand for objects behaving in a similar attractive manner, such that bowling balls and feathers fall at the same rate on Earth, or the planets orbit in the same manner around the sun.

    But Einstein notices a connection between acceleration and gravity, and posits the acceleration of objects through curved space as the gravitational force. So now you've moved from a shorthand for particulars to a very general principle. And not only are objects part of the principle, but light itself, which we have measured. Large distortions in space result in gravitational lensing. And furthermore, length and time get tied into this, along with frames of references.

    That sort of scientific theory, like natural selection in biology, goes very much farther beyond noticing similar behavior among particulars over time. It explains why the particulars behave in a similar manner. That's fundamental to scientific theories.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    OR - you could answer my question "Tell me the non perceptual source of knowledge of which you speak!"charleton

    Cognition is the non-perceptual source of knowledge.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    Our brains honed by evolution in conjunction with the causal environment we perceive. Our brains are necessary to make any sense of raw sensory data, but our brains can do this because the environment is causal.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    You are talking and saying nothing.charleton

    Eh heh.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    Now, to reason means to find some data set U that is a superset of this data set K. Our method of reasoning works by choosing the most similar data set. In other words, it goes through every data set within some category of data sets that are supersets of data set K in order to choose the one that is the most similar to K. That's all there is to reasoning.Magnus Anderson

    Can you translate General Relativity into set theory?

    Better yet, can you transform Evolutionary Biology into data sets? I'd love to see how natural selection falls out of that.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    That's hilarious. How else do you think you can form a theory? By simply making shit up? That's what dogmatists do. They invent a theory and then they focus on the facts that support it and ignore those that contradict it.Magnus Anderson

    No, I don't think brute particulars are enough to provide the basis for any theory. That's the fundamental problem with empiricism.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    The problem you have is that you cannot accept that predictions and theories are fallible. You cannot live with this fact. You think that if something is fallible it is necessarily useless.Magnus Anderson

    No, the problem is that I don't think you can get from brute particulars to any sort of theory, nor do I think brute particulars would behave in any sort of necessary relationship.
  • Causality & Laws of Nature in response to Wittgenstein & Hume
    Hume's view does not lead to skepticism and it does not make science impossible.Magnus Anderson

    It does, because you have have no justification for coming up with predictive models. Nothing happens for any reason. Just because the sun's always shone doesn't mean we have any reason for coming up with a mechanism for it shining tomorrow. And as such, there's no reason to apply predictive models to the past before human experience. Maybe the universe was entirely different. Maybe the sun popped into existence along with human beings.

    It's precisely that there are only "brute particulars that happen to always behave a certain way". Laws are merely human inventions that are based on a selection of these brute particulars. Any other way of thinking is already a form of dogmatism and absolutism.Magnus Anderson

    Then scientists are dogmatists and absolutists, because they certainly go beyond brute particulars just happening to behave a certain way to overarching theories explaining how living things came to exist, or stars formed, or how stellar fusion results in heavier elements, which gravity acts upon to form rocky planets and so on.