The mind begs the question

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lilnuwr
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The mind begs the question

Post by lilnuwr »

Begging the question is arguing in a circle. An example is: why is the Bible true? Because God wrote the Bible. How do you know? Because it says so in the Bible.

Does also using the "mind" to understand the mind beg the question. Anything that the mind comes up with is therefore questionable and cannot, with complete certainty, explain the mind (the very thing in question).
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Re: The mind begs the question

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lilnuwr wrote: February 9th, 2021, 11:10 pm Begging the question is arguing in a circle. An example is: why is the Bible true? Because God wrote the Bible. How do you know? Because it says so in the Bible.

Does also using the "mind" to understand the mind beg the question. Anything that the mind comes up with is therefore questionable and cannot, with complete certainty, explain the mind (the very thing in question).
For me, more or less, all of life is a matter of begging the question especially if we insist on finding purpose or meaning in it while the centuries roll in and out without ever an echo of an objective response causing such questions to repeat themselves endlessly.

The real question is do any of these perennial uncertainties require a response to begin with or is it only an insistence meant to highlight our self-importance. Is there any reason to keep on theorizing or are we just having fun!
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Re: The mind begs the question

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lilnuwr wrote: February 9th, 2021, 11:10 pm Begging the question is arguing in a circle. An example is: why is the Bible true? Because God wrote the Bible. How do you know? Because it says so in the Bible.

Does also using the "mind" to understand the mind beg the question. Anything that the mind comes up with is therefore questionable and cannot, with complete certainty, explain the mind (the very thing in question).
Your analogy doesn't even begin to carry over to the mind.
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Re: The mind begs the question

Post by Terrapin Station »

Begging the question (or petitio principii) is one of the least-understood fallacies . . . including by a lot of academic sources that discuss it.

I agree more or less with Daniele Sgaravatti's approach:

"an argument will be circular relative to an evidential state if and only if having doxastic justification for the conclusion is necessary, for a subject in that evidential state, to have doxastic justification for the premises . . . This account seems to shed new light on the old problem of characterizing petitio principii. It avoids the two obvious problems which any account of this phenomenon must face: being too narrow, for example by leaving out all arguments in which the conclusion does not appear among the premisses, and being too wide, making all valid arguments circular."

The first problem she cites is rampant in academic examples of petitio principii--not to mention that it's not uncommon for examples to not even be arguments per se, and the second problem tends to go unacknowledged, even though it should be plain to see. A simple example is that P-->P is not an fallacious/invalid argument, even though it certainly fits most definitions given of petitio principii.

The requirements that:
(a) We're talking about an argument that actually has premises and a conclusion, where the premises are intended to imply the conclusion,
(b) We're talking about an argument where the conclusion actually is in the premises (and not just via the interpretation of a particular listener), and
(c) We're talking about an argument where there needs to be a doxastic justification for the both the conclusion and one or more premises
Are all necessary.
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lilnuwr
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Re: The mind begs the question

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Thanks for all your responses. To make it more clear:
Dosn't it beg the question to rely on the mind, the very thing in question, to come up with a model of "mind". Anything we come up with is unvalidated by the looming question of the minds validity. It goes like this: "how do we know anything about the world? Because I observe it and understand it in my mind. How do you know the mind is a thing that can understand the world and is accurate? Because I understand it."
An answer like this can be justified but is it true. Anything the mind comes up with at this point is questionable. The question is basically how do you know that you know. There can be no justifiable answer outside of the mind, which is the very thing in question
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Re: The mind begs the question

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lilnuwr wrote: February 10th, 2021, 4:16 pm Thanks for all your responses. To make it more clear:
Dosn't it beg the question to rely on the mind, the very thing in question, to come up with a model of "mind". Anything we come up with is unvalidated by the looming question of the minds validity. It goes like this: "how do we know anything about the world? Because I observe it and understand it in my mind. How do you know the mind is a thing that can understand the world and is accurate? Because I understand it."
An answer like this can be justified but is it true. Anything the mind comes up with at this point is questionable. The question is basically how do you know that you know. There can be no justifiable answer outside of the mind, which is the very thing in question
You can think about it this way instead, though: what would justify skepticism about the mental phenomena? You seem like you're approaching this as if skepticism about mental phenomena would be the default. Why would that be the default? What justifies that stance? (I'm asking this somewhat rhetorically, because I know the answers you're likely to respond with, but all of those answers have problems that I'll point out. So think about this for a minute and present what you think is the best answer.)
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Brian5
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Re: The mind begs the question

Post by Brian5 »

Ive said to people Why do you ask if I can ask you a question?
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Brian5
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Re: The mind begs the question

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can or may I ask you a question? would be a better ettiquate.
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Re: The mind begs the question

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the question is asked to me. I dont remember ever having not replyed yes go ahead.
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Re: The mind begs the question

Post by evolution »

lilnuwr wrote: February 9th, 2021, 11:10 pm Begging the question is arguing in a circle. An example is: why is the Bible true? Because God wrote the Bible. How do you know? Because it says so in the Bible.

Does also using the "mind" to understand the mind beg the question.
No.

If and when you learn how the Mind and the brain ACTUALLY work, then you will understand why not?
lilnuwr wrote: February 9th, 2021, 11:10 pmAnything that the mind comes up with is therefore questionable and cannot, with complete certainty, explain the mind (the very thing in question).
But the Mind does NOT "come up with things". The human brain does.
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Re: The mind begs the question

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lilnuwr wrote: February 10th, 2021, 4:16 pm Thanks for all your responses. To make it more clear:
Dosn't it beg the question to rely on the mind, the very thing in question, to come up with a model of "mind".
The Mind does NOT "come up with models". It is the human brain that comes up with models. Only the human brain theorizes, assumes, guesses, and thinks.

The Mind LOOKS AT, and SEES, what IS ACTUALLY True, Right, and Correct.

The Mind KNOWS, whereas the brain THINKS.
lilnuwr wrote: February 10th, 2021, 4:16 pmAnything we come up with is unvalidated by the looming question of the minds validity. It goes like this: "how do we know anything about the world? Because I observe it and understand it in my mind. How do you know the mind is a thing that can understand the world and is accurate? Because I understand it."
An answer like this can be justified but is it true. Anything the mind comes up with at this point is questionable. The question is basically how do you know that you know. There can be no justifiable answer outside of the mind, which is the very thing in question
How one KNOWS, FOR SURE, is when what they KNOW can be agreed with and accepted by ALL.

There also can be and ARE justifiable answers, these are the answers that are agreed upon and accepted by every one.

Also, by the way that you are questioning here, this is a sign of a True philosopher, which is VERY RARE, in the days when this was written, outside of the very young.
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Re: The mind begs the question

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You seem like you're approaching this as if skepticism about mental phenomena would be the default. Why would that be the default? What justifies that stance?


I think if we are to believe in knowledge as justified true belief then there should be some justification for the things we take to be true. But anyone can argue practically any point as long as it is logically valid. But there are some problems with this. An argument with false premises and a false conclusion can still be considered valid and can be argued. So, the next thing to specify "knowledge" is truth. But what is truth; that which is in accordance with reality right?

Reality is the world as it is, but we don't know the world as it is, we perceive the world through our brains. How do we know our interpretations are acurate. But we are apart of the world too. Our interpretations, even if they are "false", still add to what exist. So are all our interpretations "real"? The greater question is are they true and not just real. Lies are real in the sense that you can experience them in some way. So what is truth. Truth is supposed to be something that in occurrence with reality, or something that exist. But everything exists even things, that by nature of their existence, we can label them as "lies". Reality is the sum total of all things that exist, (if you could have such a sum total in an infinite universe).

It is well established that perception is not a reliable copy of the external world, but only part of it composed by external stimuli, while the rest is constructed by the brain. This means, that the brain creates only the reality it is interested in for the survival of the organism. Even quantum mechanics proves that the observer affects the observed so i have a hard time thinking that we can perceive an objective reality "outside" that is not entangled with the self. That being said all we have to go by is our own minds so my skepticism is whether our minds are things that can grasp reality, whatever it may be, without leading to some circular reasoning of affirming, if my ramblings make sense.
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Re: The mind begs the question

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Also, by the way that you are questioning here, this is a sign of a True philosopher, which is VERY RARE, in the days when this was written, outside of the very young.
.

First off thank you for your kind words!
How one KNOWS, FOR SURE, is when what they KNOW can be agreed with and accepted by ALL.

There also can be and ARE justifiable answers, these are the answers that are agreed upon and accepted by every one.
I think we are using the thing in question to analyze the thing in question. This is technically what we call thinking.
The 'mind', whatever that means, trys to analyze and question and catagorize itself, using however, whatever means it has at its disposal. What Beggs the question is consciousness itself. It seems it cannot be 'Explained' with a capital e. It can however be speculated on, then we call those speculations 'explanations'. These are the things we agree apon. They are just signs or labels.

Just because these ideas are justifiable and are agreed upon dosnt make them "True" with a capital t. The convergence theory of truth is about what things fit in with what we already believe and if it dosnt fit in some people discard it. I think this coincides with what you said, that if its well established and the majority agree wit it, then its true. But there are some problems with this theory, mainly that not everything agreed upon or that covered with us is true. You can have a false belief but because it fits in with or is logically valid still will not make it true.
So, Truth is what something is, and we determime what something is by how it is intended to be used; its meaning is truth. But I don't think this is truth with a capital t nor do I think that our minds can grasp this kind of truth, if it even exists because we are stuck using an incomplete system, to channel Kurt Godel.
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Re: The mind begs the question

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Terrapin Station wrote:Begging the question (or petitio principii) is one of the least-understood fallacies . . . including by a lot of academic sources that discuss it.
It seems that the first misunderstanding is usually in confusing the use of the expression "begging the question" in casual everyday speech and its use as a particular type of logical fallacy. After I learned to distinguish between those two I always understood the latter to simply mean "assumuing the conclusion somewhere in the premises", and that that description was more or less enough. But you and Sgaravatti seem to be saying here that we should be wary of simply describing it as that because it might lead us to false positives or false negatives, so to speak. (i.e. Thinking something is a begging the question fallacy when it isn't, or the converse).
I agree more or less with Daniele Sgaravatti's approach:

"an argument will be circular relative to an evidential state if and only if having doxastic justification for the conclusion is necessary, for a subject in that evidential state, to have doxastic justification for the premises . . . This account seems to shed new light on the old problem of characterizing petitio principii. It avoids the two obvious problems which any account of this phenomenon must face: being too narrow, for example by leaving out all arguments in which the conclusion does not appear among the premises, and being too wide, making all valid arguments circular."

The first problem she cites is rampant in academic examples of petitio principii--not to mention that it's not uncommon for examples to not even be arguments per se, and the second problem tends to go unacknowledged, even though it should be plain to see. A simple example is that P-->P is not an fallacious/invalid argument, even though it certainly fits most definitions given of petitio principii.
I can see how the "...if and only if..." condition prevents false positives (too wide) but can't immediately see how it prevents false negatives (too narrow).

Incidental observation: The simple "false positive/too wide" example of P-->P looks a little bit like what is often called in the solutions to mathematical problems "the trivial case". i.e. solutions that technically solve the problem but which are too simple to be meaningful/useful solutions. In this case, an argument that technically answers the (over-simple) description of begging the question but which is clearly not a fallacy.

It would be interesting to consider some examples of "false negatives" - the first problem she cites. I don't get what she means when she says "for example by leaving out all arguments in which the conclusion does not appear among the premises". I don't see how that could be done without leaving out all examples of begging the question - making it vanishingly narrow!
The requirements that:
(a) We're talking about an argument that actually has premises and a conclusion, where the premises are intended to imply the conclusion,
(b) We're talking about an argument where the conclusion actually is in the premises (and not just via the interpretation of a particular listener), and
(c) We're talking about an argument where there needs to be a doxastic justification for the both the conclusion and one or more premises
Are all necessary.
OK. So I guess (a) guards against "trivial" cases. (b) guards against fallacies of ambiguity committed in assessing whether an argument is begging the question. (c) is the most interesting one. That's the one that seems to come from the Sgaravatti approach. That's the one that I can't quite get my head around, despite having looked up "doxastic"! :lol:
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Re: The mind begs the question

Post by Steve3007 »

Error:
Steve3007 wrote:In this case, an argument that technically answers the (over-simple) description of begging the question but which is clearly not a fallacy.
I should have said something like "...a statement that technically..." because "P therefore P" obviously doesn't count as an argument.
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