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Is What A Real Problem?

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Posted by Harvey on March 27, 2002 16:41:48 UTC

Alan,

***If it is really a problem, then we can take it that you are not going to have the answer simultaneous as you know the problem, right? Or you couldn't call it a problem, just a fact that you know straight away.***

Is what a real problem? The problem of solving problems? Are we talking about deductive problem solving or inductive problem solving? How does this problem arise? Don't you need either deductive reasoning or inductive reasoning to see a problem? How can you consider something a problem if you need deductive/inductive problem solving methods to even see problems? It seems you need a problem solving method to begin with before you can consider whether you have an appropriate problem solving method. Do you see the circularity in that?

***So, it is to be a problem, right? That means it will TAKE TIME to solve, right?***

The problem with metaproblems (problems about problems) is that we need problem solving methods to consider a metaproblem. However, if we are questioning the problem solving methods, how can we even consider the metaproblem to begin with?

When you say it takes time to solve a problem, you are using your own inductive conclusions (part of the definition of problem solving through an inductive method is to make generalized conclusions from specific situation). However, if you are trying to solve the problem of problem solving, then you cannot use inductive reasoning to justify induction (this is Hume's problem of induction). You can mix deductive reasoning (i.e., true by definition reasoning), but then you cannot say anything meaningful about the world. Deductive reasoning is non-ampliative. It doesn't say anything more than the definitions themselves.

***This is what you can do in advance. You can make sure you understand the effects of "time" on the relationships between you, the problem, and the problem-solving process. Immediately, you find yourself having to define "time", and Dr. Dick's approach looks good.***

Alan, think of the (pseudo) problem that Dick is trying to solve (the problem of solving problems). Now, ask yourself why you are entitled to use inductive reasoning to construct a definition of 'time' to solve the problems inherent in deductive and inductive reasoning. Does anyone see how circular all of this is?

***What you can do is make sure you understand these necessary relationships (which happen to be the laws of physics) and do not confuse these patterns with the problem itself.***

In other words, you construct all the terms inductively and deductively so that the laws of physics are obtained, and then you have justified inductive and deductive reasoning as justified problem solving methods. Do you see anything wrong with that approach?

***A philosophical question: how does Dr. Dick ascertain whether or not he is being logically consistent in working out his paper? On what basis? Is this askable?***

He is using mathematics which is assumed consistent (via deductive reasoning) and this is how he justifies his approach as logically consistent. If the 'problem' he is trying to solve is put is constructed step by step, then we could see all the inductive and deductive reasoning involved even to conceptualize the problem of solving problems. That is, inductive and deductive reasoning must be valid in order for there to be a 'problem' in the first place. It seems that Dick assumes that he already knows how to solve a problem before he even tries to solve the problem.

Warm regards, Harv

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