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Truth

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Consul
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Re: Truth

Post by Consul » December 1st, 2018, 10:17 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
November 30th, 2018, 8:59 pm
Consul:
" Philosophers may not like to admit it, but fashion is an important factor in philosophy.
One moral that I draw is that in the fields of philosophy and religion there is no knowledge." D. M. Armstrong
This is the form of skepticism that informed Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. That this is not more widely recognized perhaps has something to do with the assumption that philosophy does or can lead to knowledge. This is a fashion that has endured, but there is a growing number of scholars who now recognize the aporetic nature of their philosophy.
Metaphysics is speculative cosmology/ontology; and being speculative, its theses and theories aren't knowledge but conjecture, which means that their epistemic status is very low compared with empirically confirmed scientific theses or theories.

"There is no certainty in philosophy. No philosopher can know that his or her arguments are true."

(Armstrong, D. M. A World of States of Affairs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. p. xi)

"Metaphysics is the conjectural end of science. Its ontological claims must be tested by general scientific plausibility. Plausibility is largely a matter of maximal coherence of our beliefs in the light of often recalcitrant experience: in other words not only must theoretical beliefs cohere with one another but they must cohere with beliefs derived from observation and experiment."

(Smart, J. J. C. "Methodology and Ontology." In Imre Lakatos and Theories of Scientific Change, edited by Kostas Gavroglu, Yorgos Goudaroulis, and Pantelis Nicolacopoulos, 47-57. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 1989. p. 51)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Consul
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Re: Truth

Post by Consul » December 1st, 2018, 10:22 am

h_k_s wrote:
November 30th, 2018, 8:41 pm
Ergo Philosophy is still the only thing that I trust. I define it as pure human thought unencumbered by fallacies (or fashion).
"There is no such thing as a safe metaphysics or an innocent metaphysics, or an easy a priori metaphysics which can be established by armchair methods, or by reflection on pure reason alone. It makes bold, speculative, and shaky conjectures. Serious metaphysics risks refutation by empirical discovery; it courts inconsistency and incoherence; it is subject to historical, cultural, and personal biases; and it is bound to be perpetually provisional. Saving a beatific vision, this is both what we must expect and that to which we must be reconciled. Yet metaphysics is inescapably a philosopher's business, since it is universal: as Aristotle says, all the special sciences cut off a portion of being. When philosophers ignore metaphysics, others move in and do their job for them, usually badly.

The scope and tasks of metaphysics were conceived and outlined by Aristotle, continued by medieval scholastics, and elaborated by Wolff, Husserl, Whitehead, and D. C. Williams. They consist in two parts. One part consists in the careful elaboration of a scheme of fundamental kinds or categories, their justification, connection, and governing principles or archai: an ontologia sive metaphysica generalis including a Kategorienlehre [category theory]. Husserl called this formal ontology; Williams called it analytic ontology. The other part is a broader enterprise of showing how these categories and principles apply to a wide range of things in the world, what Williams called speculative cosmology and Husserl regional ontology, but which I prefer to call systematics. Without a view to its application, ontology remains a detached glass-bead game, but without a view to ontology, systematics remains at best a haphazard congeries of disconnected insights. Both sides of metaphysics require and reinforce one another. Metaphysical problems may up to a point be tackled piecemeal, but metaphysics as a whole must aspire to be systematic. That requirement is part of what makes metaphysics difficult to do well, something that Jonathan rightly emphasized in the face of those easy critics who scorn metaphysics as little more than hot air or think it is something a ‘real’ scientist could knock out on a Sunday afternoon. Not many philosophers in recent times have succeeded in being truly systematic, but Jonathan is one of them.

Williams’s adjective ‘speculative’, emphasized also by Whitehead, reminds us of the unavoidably conjectural and fallible nature of metaphysics. We cannot avoid going beyond the evidence in postulating the applicability of metaphysical categories and principles, and because of their highly abstract nature, correction through experience is indirect, haphazard, and slow."


(Simons, Peter. "Lowe, the Primacy of Metaphysics, and the Basis." In Ontology, Modality, and Mind: Themes from the Metaphysics of E. J. Lowe, edited by Alexander Carruth, Sophie Gibb, and John Heil, 37-47. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. pp. 38-9)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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ktz
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Re: Truth

Post by ktz » December 1st, 2018, 11:52 am

Eduk wrote:
November 30th, 2018, 5:05 am
Ktz in the specific case of attempting to stop genocide by an insane group then perhaps a sincere and truthful belief in some religion might be the only path which might stop them. This is possible. It is still being wise after the event. The probability is that such a genocidal group won't ever meet you, plus unreasonable beliefs increase the chances of genocidal groups.
While I certainly hope this to be the case, I imagine the people of Charlottesville thought the same thing before the neo-Nazi demonstrations there. I live in America where I'm more likely to be killed by gun violence than any other first world country, but I guess your position on religion is empirically supported by the fact that America also has the smallest secular population compared to any other first world country.
I mean. Perhaps if we assume that humans are too flawed to operate under reality you could maybe make an argument for madness? But I don't believe that is the case and I also believe that ultimately reality will win that particular argument.
As you say actions speak louder than words and nothing speaks louder than reality.
I'm reminded of that scene from a Few Good Men, where Tom Cruise is yelling, "I want the Truth!" and the response he gets from Jack Nicholson is of course, "You can't handle the Truth!" Some people, perhaps, cannot yet handle the full truth, and would operate best under a different framework for understanding reality...

Out of curiosity, are you familiar with the "Seven Blunders of the World"?
Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.
Religion and its prevalence seems to me to have been one method of attempting to avoid some of these blunders. Its efficacy is certainly in question these days, I certainly can't blame anyone for their skepticism or subscription to secular ideas in modern times.
Oh and regarding instances of taking some historical belief and then proving it to have benefit scientifically. This certainly happens. Science can then remove all the superstition leaving only that which is effective, to the betterment of all. This is again not a problem with science.
It's not science I tend to have a problem with -- it's the common devotion among scientists to various degrees of logical positivism, the idea that only scientifically provable and empirically valid claims are meaningful and actionable. Often you can lose sight of a holistically coherent view -- for example, the pharmaceutical industry's tendency to perform studies and market isolated psychoactive compounds without a deep consideration the natural environment in which the compound is found, which often contain other auxillary compounds which have co-evolved to mediate the effects of the original compound. Consul mentioned earlier the prevalence of fashion in philosophy, and in fact science can be guilty of the same -- most egregiously, for example, the story of Ignaz Semmelweis, who pioneered the idea of sterile technique in medicine but was rebuked and committed to an insane asylum for his trouble. Marconi who developed radio encountered similar resistance.

I understand some of the very apparent and dangerous risks of releasing the constraints of positivism, like getting sucked into various kinds of quackery and pseudoscientific initiatives a la Steve Jobs in his final battle with cancer, but maybe this can clear up a bit why I strive for a kind of practical Godelian understanding that what is true and effective is not necessarily limited to what is provably true.
You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg.

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h_k_s
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Re: Truth

Post by h_k_s » December 1st, 2018, 8:08 pm

Consul wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 10:22 am
h_k_s wrote:
November 30th, 2018, 8:41 pm
Ergo Philosophy is still the only thing that I trust. I define it as pure human thought unencumbered by fallacies (or fashion).
"There is no such thing as a safe metaphysics or an innocent metaphysics, or an easy a priori metaphysics which can be established by armchair methods, or by reflection on pure reason alone. It makes bold, speculative, and shaky conjectures. Serious metaphysics risks refutation by empirical discovery; it courts inconsistency and incoherence; it is subject to historical, cultural, and personal biases; and it is bound to be perpetually provisional. Saving a beatific vision, this is both what we must expect and that to which we must be reconciled. Yet metaphysics is inescapably a philosopher's business, since it is universal: as Aristotle says, all the special sciences cut off a portion of being. When philosophers ignore metaphysics, others move in and do their job for them, usually badly.

The scope and tasks of metaphysics were conceived and outlined by Aristotle, continued by medieval scholastics, and elaborated by Wolff, Husserl, Whitehead, and D. C. Williams. They consist in two parts. One part consists in the careful elaboration of a scheme of fundamental kinds or categories, their justification, connection, and governing principles or archai: an ontologia sive metaphysica generalis including a Kategorienlehre [category theory]. Husserl called this formal ontology; Williams called it analytic ontology. The other part is a broader enterprise of showing how these categories and principles apply to a wide range of things in the world, what Williams called speculative cosmology and Husserl regional ontology, but which I prefer to call systematics. Without a view to its application, ontology remains a detached glass-bead game, but without a view to ontology, systematics remains at best a haphazard congeries of disconnected insights. Both sides of metaphysics require and reinforce one another. Metaphysical problems may up to a point be tackled piecemeal, but metaphysics as a whole must aspire to be systematic. That requirement is part of what makes metaphysics difficult to do well, something that Jonathan rightly emphasized in the face of those easy critics who scorn metaphysics as little more than hot air or think it is something a ‘real’ scientist could knock out on a Sunday afternoon. Not many philosophers in recent times have succeeded in being truly systematic, but Jonathan is one of them.

Williams’s adjective ‘speculative’, emphasized also by Whitehead, reminds us of the unavoidably conjectural and fallible nature of metaphysics. We cannot avoid going beyond the evidence in postulating the applicability of metaphysical categories and principles, and because of their highly abstract nature, correction through experience is indirect, haphazard, and slow."


(Simons, Peter. "Lowe, the Primacy of Metaphysics, and the Basis." In Ontology, Modality, and Mind: Themes from the Metaphysics of E. J. Lowe, edited by Alexander Carruth, Sophie Gibb, and John Heil, 37-47. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. pp. 38-9)
I love Kant's definition of "a priori".

I call it in English "self evident" however. Easier to understand. Then you don't need to translate out of Latin.

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Re: Truth

Post by Eduk » December 1st, 2018, 8:15 pm

What is true is of course not limited to what can be proven. What is reasonable to believe is true is however limited to what can be proven, no?
Your examples are examples of the scientific method eventually winning out over human nature. This is a success of the scientific method.
Unknown means unknown.

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h_k_s
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Re: Truth

Post by h_k_s » December 1st, 2018, 8:35 pm

Eduk wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 8:15 pm
What is true is of course not limited to what can be proven. What is reasonable to believe is true is however limited to what can be proven, no?
Your examples are examples of the scientific method eventually winning out over human nature. This is a success of the scientific method.
@Eduk if you do not use the quote function then we cannot tell whom you are talking to.

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Re: Truth

Post by Eduk » December 1st, 2018, 8:40 pm

You can try reading. If it's too much bother don't worry.
Unknown means unknown.

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h_k_s
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Re: Truth

Post by h_k_s » December 1st, 2018, 8:46 pm

Eduk wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 8:40 pm
You can try reading. If it's too much bother don't worry.
@Eduk same answer -- as Johnny Depp would say in Pirates Of The Caribbean.

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h_k_s
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Re: Truth

Post by h_k_s » December 1st, 2018, 8:48 pm

Congrats @Eduk . For the commission of the fallacy of verbosity you will get to be my alpha-test of the foe function. I generally weed people out based on the fallacies they commit.

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jkim0231
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Re: Truth

Post by jkim0231 » December 2nd, 2018, 10:03 am

I have a question. What is philosophy(non-rhetorical)? It seems to be that it is a pursuit of something that is less false? (something similar)

For example, I had a chance to read the introduction to Sartre's Being and Nothingness. He explained the theory that an object's true essence being beyond the manifestations of the object had embarrassed modern philosophy for its critical problems, and that the new way for philosophers came to consider this essence was to see it as the whole of all it's manifestations. (example of pursuit of some kind of better theories)

Maybe I have the wrong notion for "truth" for this thread, but is not truth something that can be verified? But as I read in this thread, I understand how truth may not be verified but by language, but then confirmation by belief seems persuading too. Then what is it that philosophers pursue, when they formulate and publish their thoughts? Is it something different from what I asked above? That they pursue something that better explain topics in their field? If with the belief that truth is an aspect of language, what are philosophers that believe this in pursuing?

From this it seems that acknowledgement of some apple by a monkey-man leads him to grab it and eat it, had "truth" anything to do in this incident(without me intervening to talk about it)?

As I wrote, some ideas tossed in this thread became more clear. I've been regurgitating on them, but any input will be welcome.

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Re: Truth

Post by jkim0231 » December 2nd, 2018, 6:47 pm

Consul wrote:
November 30th, 2018, 4:37 pm
h_k_s wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 7:44 pm
Philosophy is the only thing I trust.
"I'd like to emphasize, cannot indeed overemphasize, the tentative nature of what I present here. Philosophers may not like to admit it, but fashion is an important factor in philosophy. And once fashion comes in, objectivity goes. The reason is rather obvious: philosophy lacks the wonderful decision procedures that are present in logic and mathematics (proofs) and the natural sciences (observation and experiment, together with mathematics). Unfortunately there seems to be no remedy for this situation, and those who thought there is a remedy, such as the logical positivists, learnt bitter lessons. But since this is so, we philosophers should be appropriately modest."

(Armstrong, D. M. Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. p. ix)

"One moral that I draw is that in the fields of philosophy and religion there is no knowledge. We can only know what our beliefs are. For consider: In these fields there is no consensus of opinion about what is true. People who are intellectually competent to discuss these matters, who have genuinely studied the considerations for and against some view—the existence of God or the existence of universals—who know the arguments, who have read and understood the books and the articles—find themselves in complete disagreement. Surely we should not claim knowledge in these matters. We all have our hopes. Perhaps some of us do have knowledge about these difficult matters. But how can we have any rational assurance that we do have knowledge? It is prudent, and suitable to our nature, to claim no more than belief."

(Armstrong, D. M. "A Naturalist Program: Epistemology and Ontology." Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 73/2 (1999): 77-89. p. 82)
This answers my question

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Newme
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Re: Truth

Post by Newme » December 6th, 2018, 6:14 pm

h_k_s wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 8:48 pm
Congrats @Eduk . For the commission of the fallacy of verbosity you will get to be my alpha-test of the foe function. I generally weed people out based on the fallacies they commit.
Has this forum been updated with the newest logical fallacy filter or identifier?
If not, who would like the job?

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Eduk
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Re: Truth

Post by Eduk » December 6th, 2018, 6:26 pm

@Newme it reminds me of homer saying 'takes one to know one'.
Unknown means unknown.

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Newme
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Re: Truth

Post by Newme » December 6th, 2018, 6:36 pm

Eduk wrote:
December 6th, 2018, 6:26 pm
@Newme it reminds me of homer saying 'takes one to know one'.
Yes. :)
For this moment, I’ll sub in as logical fallacy judge...
Eduk, I hereby drop the charges of you committing logical fallacy.
Defendent merely posted comments maybe because it wasn’t referenced yo anyone but as a general comment.
Then plaintiff insisted people must always be speaking to one person and suggested that anyone who didn’t like it was going to be on his naughty list.

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Re: Truth

Post by chewybrian » December 6th, 2018, 8:36 pm

Eduk wrote:
December 6th, 2018, 6:26 pm
@Newme it reminds me of homer saying 'takes one to know one'.
My favorite Simpsons moment ever (related):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnQTDht2ato

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