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Quick: I'm Tired Of The Dry Metaphors

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Posted by Harvey on April 25, 2002 19:03:02 UTC


***H: you gave no criteria what differentiates success and failure. A: I did! I call it logic. How many times do I have to repeat it? If it's logical, it's true. If it's illogical, then I have no idea what you are talking about.***

Formal logic is a basic framework by which to consider an issue, it doesn't provide criteria. For example, corresponding physical evidence to theory is a proposal for a criteria of truth, scientific method is a proposal for a criteria of truth, coherency with other accepted theories is a proposal for a criteria of truth, beauty in the mathematical equations is a proposal for a criteria of truth, etc. Logic applies in analying the overall situation in relation to the criteria and the conditions to see if the truth conditions have been met.

***Case in point: Big Bang theory relies on the concept of 'space expansion'. That makes no sense at all. You can't expand space anymore than you can expand the number 4. But I already know you disagree, you do believe it's actually possible to expand the number 4.***

Space expansion makes perfect sense. Space is a physical concept just like matter, energy, etc (unlike 'number' which is not a physical concept). Space has certain geometric properties (e.g., number of dimensions, directionality of movement, perhaps even quantum properties(?)).

***H: I replied with the importance of 'success derived from methods' as giving us confidence on the truthfulness of theories A: "Success derived from methods" is not a logical argument, it's propaganda. If I tell you the right way to get from New York to Boston is by driving through Seattle, and you see nothing wrong with my argument just because you really got to Boston, that can only mean one thing: you don't own a map.***

And your argument would be...? All that I can construe from this example is that pragmatic arguments only tell you that truth can be explained via pragmatism but it cannot tell you how it actually justifies confidence in the truth of a pragmatic claim. But, that doesn't address the pragmatic argument. Pragmatism does address confidence of a method by stating that success justifies the confidence. It does so as a matter of a premise that our experience is such that all justified claims are ultimately reduced to a matter of success. So, if there is any justified position of holding a claim (either epistemological or ontological), then it is that pragmatic success of some form is the basis of that justification (this includes whatever position that you, Dick, or a 'man' on Vega can claim to be justified). Even logic, which you wish to claim as the basis of your model, can only be justified as a result of pragmatic success since we would have no penalty for being illogical (or reward for being logical). The only exception would be if we couldn't be anything but logical, but as some people's arguments on this forum illustrate, people can be illogical. Hence, logic is only logic because there is a clear pragmatic reward for being logical and a clear pragmatic punishment for being illogical.

***But of course you disagree.***

Of course! In addition, I'm subtracting a few points from your IQ. You now only have a 140 IQ. That's still 'genius' level, so I'm being kind.

Warm regards, Harv

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