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Posted by Alan on October 26, 2002 04:39:22 UTC

Hi Harv,

due to costs just some comments now:

thanks for giving me a reasonably hard time; I like a challenge. Luis was good at that.

Mike is right of course: what "success" is, depends on who is defining it. Very political.

You have a valid point in a way re: pragmatism. But it only becomes valid where your view collapses into my view, into a single view.

The law of non-contradiction must be valid in a way that goes beyond and beneath any axiom or pragmatism. To have "pragmatism based on human experience and survival" requires conservation of pattern (survival of pattern).

Without LNC, "experience" could not occur, as it might flip into something contradictory, so can not be reliably conserved.

What your in a way technically correct argument does is it collapses "pragmatic experience" into LNC. Your argument and my argument technically reduce to the same thing in a way.

The most basic experience, a single quantum of pragmatism if you like, is the if you like "pragmatic fact" of your existence. But here the word "pragmatism" is a needless extra word.

Instead: You exist. Fact. Call it pragmatic you might, but seems unnecessary.

May I quote:

"I'm shocked that I have to explain why a ridiculous question is ridiculous, but since you asked, I will. When is the last time that you weren't sure if you were really 'you'?"

That looks like the fallacy of false analogy. The issue "are you sure you are really you" is a very different one from "am I sure the person at the door is so-and-so, or might he have an identical twin"?

But I see the validity of your point behind what could be regarded as an unfair analogy. Effectively you are saying I'm "splitting hairs:" or indulging in over-excessive doubt generation.
It can look like that; but my point was purely a technical one about knowledge, certainty, and precision.

Quoting: "If you seriously have those concerns, then you probably need medication."

May I remind folks that it is a category error to confuse disagreements with diseases; or medical science with chemical warfare!

Quoting: "Don't get so hooked up on the term 'know' that you begin asking silly questions in life. What we 'know' is based on our human experience and the working assumptions of a well-adjusted human mind."

One may ask how human experience is used to construct a "knowledgable viewpoint".

"well adjusted" leads to the question: by who? Who's rules of "well", of "adjusted", of "working assumptions", "working" towards what agenda? Hopefully not Osama's!

Quoting: "Beyond these limits, we don't 'know' anything. What happens though, is that people start thinking in terms of metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, and they become confused about knowledge and reject the pragmatic knowledge that humans, as a general rule, accept - which is why we survived as a species".

We do not seem to be surviving all that well.

Quoting: "pragmatic knowledge that humans, as a general rule, accept"

It was once pragmatic knowledge that "witches exist"? Or that ............ ?(check human societies past and present to fill the blank!)

Even though you may be referring to "universal" pragmatic assumptions across different cultures and including ancient societies; even widely-held assumptions across history can be questionable (e.g. flat-Earth belief that assumes an edge to the world).

"I imagine that if hominids that, as a group, thought such metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, they probably went extinct"

Some may argue that humans are self-destructing because of mumbo-jumbo (ecological disaster; based on humans living by false assumptions still being held-to after millions of years).

You have not refuted my argument about double-definition. Saying someone "pontificates" does not constitute an argument (i.e.: fallacy of arguing to the person).

Quoting: "Humans are barely aware of their emotions much less of their 'bounderies of patterns'. That doesn't stop their day to day living from being able to function."

Depends how you define "living" and function. It can look like a kind of "living death". Lack of awareness has serious consequences.

Quoting: "Maybe you didn't hear the news. Philosophy rejected foundationalism about a century ago. Gödel's proof was the last stake in the heart of this effort (i.e., many logicians, mathematicians, and philosophers turned toward mathematics as a means of putting knowledge on a foundation). The appeal of pragmatism is that it is without foundations and it has shown to be very resilient to attack."

Godel's proof pertains to math; and seems based on a fundamental error of equivocating categories that should not be equivocated.

Such vague pragmatism as you describe may be resilient to attack for the same reason that some cults are so-resilient: an ideology based on a rhetoric of salvation is very resistant to criticism because any criticism is accused of opposing the ideal they uphold. But if you do not believe in the pragmatists' view of what is pragmatic; if you do not subscribe to their salvational pragmatic agenda; then you are like a heretic?

The pragmatist may also "shift his grounds" to avoid falsification; just as religious cults do?

The "foundationalism" I propose is far more basic than the one Godel disputed. I do not appeal to mathematics. I appeal to the most basic foundation possible: EXISTENCE.
Acknowledge all data. Simple!

A:***If those humans had much more internal understanding (obtainable by recalling detail from infancy; ideally recall everything from conception) then those humans neurological understanding would be far beyond our present day science.***

Harv: "There is no evidence that adults recall details from conception. This is pure pseudo-science."

I did not raise the issue of evidence. My argument was purely logical (I used the qualifier "If"). Your challenge was not addressing the question at issue. My deduction was reasonable and remained unchallenged by you.

A: ***If those humans had much more internal understanding (obtainable by recalling detail from infancy; ideally recall everything from conception) then those humans neurological understanding would be far beyond our present day science.***

H: "Baloney". That word does not constitute a valid argument. No argument has been given to refute my deduction here.
However speculative you may think my statement; as a technical issue I am curious if, given my qualifier in my original statement: "If"; do you accept the deduction about quality of self-knowledge one would have IF........ etc. ?

H: " You may not realize it, but your ultimate explanation is the law of non-contradiction (LNC). Therefore, the LNC is, unless known to be otherwise, limited to human experience."

Human experience seems limited to LNC; in that to be "experience" requires BEING "experience"; that is, requires the "experience" to BE; to EXIST; to be non-contradicting. I'm suggesting human experience and everything else is limited to LNC because to be is to be. Of course we seem to experience contradictions when people lie; but is it an experience or a gap in experience, that we experience? Or a gap in consciousness in the one that contradicted? Perhaps we observe an obscuration of awareness in the one that contradicts?

A: ***We are not completely out of touch with reality; but adult humans generally appear to be very very very seriously out of touch with reality.***

H: "Which is evidence that you are thinking mumbo jumbo."

Note no argument being given here with this comment! I can give a logical defense: to understand the present in other subjects requires a knowledge of the past. The failure to recall personal past by human adults is prima-facie evidence that humans are very seriously out of touch with their own foundations. This is immensely serious.

Just because people might classify LNC as an "axiom" does not mean that is all it is. It is much more than that. Any "justifying" requires LNC; so it is strange to complain of justifying LNC by LNC. Since "justifying" is a process that uses LNC; LNC is clearly a special case BEYOND the realm of "justification". It does not require justification, it is PRE-justification.

Define tautology? I should look it up. But I understand tautologies to be where details are inherent in one's starting statement.

We seem to agree that what Dr. Dick did can be likened to a magic trick (I have shown how he might have put the "rabbit" of QED into the "hat" of his paper).

You still agree that "meaning" involves "ascribing". I did not differentiate when that ascribing took place.

My argument was that "true laws of Existence" is double-defining because The only laws of Existence are true; as Existence is truth, the laws of Existence are the laws of truth. I don't think I mentioned the universe or causes.

Not everything that is "without cause" is "just an axiom". LNC is beyond "axiom". The very notion of "mistaken" requires LNC. All notions require LNC. Even denying LNC requires LNC to conserve the denial, or it might flip into confirmation.

If everything is random and without cause; IN ITSELF; that is a way of acknowledging that everything IS DIFFERENT because to EXIST is to BE DIFFERENT. The Creator is the boundary of the difference; is Existence. But things can have causes when viewed from a wider perspective than "things in themselves".

Please define "axiom". I claim the LNC goes beyond axiom, is more than axiom.

H: "Since Dick won't respond to you, you should probably find another groupie to worship and idolize. " I do not worship or idolize Dick. I may have even embarrased him by showing that he put the "rabbit" in the "hat"!

The jury is out on Dick. He seems to have attempted a curious thing "to find what constraints are built in to a system" and found a curious result "that the laws of physics mostly seem to reduce to LNC".

He seems to be correct; but seems reluctant to simplify. I saw some things about his work and just tried to get him to clarify some issues.

H: "You simply ignore the challenges and go off in mush land talking mush."

Evidence please.



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