Anarchy on the Airwaves, Part 2

There's no government like no government

Lew Rockwell interviews me on today’s LRC podcast, on the subject of anarchism. (Actually the interview took place last September; there’s a bit of a podcast backlog.) I tried to avoid too much duplication with my previous LRC podcast on the same subject from two years earlier. (I vaguely remember now that we also did one on taxation two years ago but I don’t think that one ever aired.)

486 Responses to Anarchy on the Airwaves, Part 2

  1. Mark Uzick March 13, 2011 at 3:55 am #

    Would you say it’s fair then to talk about the Space of Reasons and the Space of Senses?

    Why “the space” and not “the map”? because, assuming by “reasons” you mean why something is t/f, if logic: s(c) = true/false, then reasons: s(c) = why true/why false.

    And sense (not senses) is meaning, so they are the same map symbolized by sense: s(c) = logical/illogical

    Is it fair to fair to say the Space of Reasons is the home of logic

    When you say, “the Space of Reasons is the home of logic “, do you mean “home” as “the target”, as in “The target of logic is reasons.”? i.e.,”The target of something being t/f is why something is t/f” ?

    I can’t make sense of this.

    and the Space of Senses is the home of causality?

    As one criterion of logic, the home of causality is also the home of logic – whatever it is that you mean by home.

    Is it fair to say that “the world” is the contact between these two Spaces?

    You’re apparently trying to make a big point in the form of a rhetorical question, but for me to understand your point will require an elucidation of your terms.

    • MBH March 14, 2011 at 6:49 am #

      Why “the space” and not “the map”?

      Well, “the map” is OK, I guess. Is it fair to say that, from the broadest perspective: s(c) such that s is a tripartite that maps the logic, reasons, and sense of c such that c is the totality of conditions in the world? And if that is OK, and we accept the head-on view, then the conditions aren’t understood by the tripartite, conditions are understood through the tripartite. Doesn’t that map — a verb, not a noun — the tripartite into view itself? If so, then it’s not a map but a mapping

  2. Mark Uzick March 13, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    Though I should note that ‘situation’ is in this way as incoherent as ‘sense-data’.

    There’s nothing incoherent about “sense-data” as a concept, unless it’s used to represent something more than what it can logically be. You may think I have done that because you insist on inferring what I have never implied. You have, apparently, lumped me together with people from some “school of thought” who make use of the expression to signify “something ” incoherent and you falsely read into my usage something other than my meaning.

    Causality, as a boundary for reality, is a product of inductive logic. If logic is the boundaries for reality, then, as a boundary for reality, causality is integrated, as one criterion, into a map illustrating the conditions where something is true and the conditions where something is false.

    Is it fair to call it a measurement of operations?

    I don’t understand, but, anyway, the principle of causality is not a measurement, although the prediction of how things interact with one-another, while bounded by the principle of causality as well as the other criteria of logic, is sometimes referred to as “causality”.

    thinking through operations

    What does this mean?

    • MBH March 14, 2011 at 6:54 am #

      What does [thinking through operations] mean?

      Action.

      • Mark Uzick March 15, 2011 at 3:01 am #

        I can understand this if by ‘empiricism’ you mean thinking through operations.

        What does [thinking through operations] mean?

        Action.

        Why can you think of empiricism as action?

        That makes ‘rationalism’: thinking through empiricism, or thinking through thinking through operations.

        No…it means that the methods of ‘rationalism’ were discovered empirically.

  3. Mark Uzick March 13, 2011 at 5:27 am #

    My answer is that even deductive logic and all of metaphysics had to, at some point, be derived using inductive logic as a basis.

    Really? What series of repeated observations led you to inductively infer that modus tollens (*) is a deductively valid form of inference?

    People won’t think of or believe in M.T. as a principle, but particular examples of M.T. may become a fallacy that someone or some group believes.

    Is there a different series of observations which might have falsified the validity of M.T., had you encountered it? If so, what would the hypothetical falsifying case(s) look like?

    Given sufficient time, the falsification will come to enough M.T. type fallacies to noticed by someone paying attention. Eventually, someone might classify all these cases as a particular type of fallacy.

    • Rad Geek March 15, 2011 at 11:41 am #

      People won’t think of or believe in M.T. as a principle, but particular examples of M.T. may become a fallacy that someone or some group believes.

      I have no idea what you’re referring to here. M.T. is not a fallacy. It is a valid rule of inference. Its validity of course is demonstrable and has nothing to do with what “someone or some group believes.” My question had to do with what observations could possibly have served as an inductive basis for knowing that it is valid (not merely that people tend to accept it when shown it in action, but that it is truth-preserving in all possible worlds, etc. etc.). The upshot of the question is that if there is no such inductive basis, then, since M.T. is in fact valid, the knowledge that it is valid must come from some source other than induction.

      Given sufficient time, the falsification will come to enough M.T. type fallacies to noticed by someone paying attention. Eventually, someone might classify all these cases as a particular type of fallacy.

      Anyone can classify anything as anything. The question is whether they are classifying them rightly, and what would provide evidence for the classification. I was not asking what kind of paperwork someone might do on “noticing” that M.T.’s validity had been falsified; the question, however, was what set of contrary observations could possibly provide sufficient evidence for the decision that M.T.’s validity had been falsified in the first place, or could reasonably justify the classification of all its instances as fallacies.

  4. Mark Uzick March 13, 2011 at 5:41 am #

    A rule or principle is not something in the world so causality is no more in the world than that which it designates: the unilinear nature of time.

    In this context — causality as a measuring stick — we can say that this measuring stick is time a priori.

    You’re saying that causality is time, but causality is not time: it’s a boundary of time: one of the boundaries of reality comprising logic. Sometimes I think of causality as “the direction of time” and, sometimes, as “time’s arrow”, although “time’s unilinear nature” is probably more complete.

    • MBH March 14, 2011 at 7:16 am #

      You’re saying that causality is time […]

      I like your take here. Combining this with my implicit claim that mapping is the essence of the world, I want to think about that essence as an arrow. But then, to think about the essence is — itself — to employ a direct object, and so to violate intransitiveness. Intransitiveness is entailed in mapping-as-essence. So a linear framework is going to fall into an infinite regress. The boundaries of the world demand it be seen as a point rather than a line. And here we could both agree that spacetime, or space, or time represent nonsense.

  5. Mark Uzick March 15, 2011 at 2:33 am #

    Why “the space” and not “the map”?

    Well, “the map” is OK, I guess. Is it fair to say that, from the broadest perspective: s(c) such that s is a tripartite that maps the logic, reasons, and sense of c such that c is the totality of conditions in the world?

    You mean “…s(c) is a tripartite that maps …”

    And if that is OK, and we accept the head-on view, then the conditions aren’t understood by the tripartite, conditions are understood through the tripartite.

    The something and the conditions are givens. The map of the t/f, (why true)/(why false), logical/illogical, are all understood through logic.

    Doesn’t that map — a verb, not a noun — the tripartite into view itself? If so, then it’s not a map but a mapping…

    As s(c) is the tripartite map it’s logic that does the mapping; after-all, it’s boundaries that makes maps.

  6. Mark Uzick March 15, 2011 at 4:05 am #

    You’re saying that causality is time […]

    I like your take here. Combining this with my implicit claim that mapping is the essence of the world, I want to think about that essence as an arrow. But then, to think about the essence is — itself — to employ a direct object, and so to violate intransitiveness. Intransitiveness is entailed in mapping-as-essence. So a linear framework is going to fall into an infinite regress. The boundaries of the world demand it be seen as a point rather than a line. And here we could both agree that spacetime, or space, or time represent nonsense.

    Space and time are not objects; they are or consist of dimensions. Dimensions are conceptual principles that are components of logic, in that they are among the boundaries for reality. As conceptual principles, they are not subject to causality. Time can be represented by a vector, where the potential for change is its magnitude and causality is its direction – cause –>effect, where time doesn’t cause or effect anything, but merely shows the principle of the potential for change and its causal direction.

    Because dimensions are not affected by objects, i.e., not subject to causality, space cannot be “bent” and time cannot be “slowed or reversed.” They are absolute and theories that indicate otherwise are pure nonsense.

    Time and space are not nonsense, they “draw”/are some of the boundaries on the map of reality.

    • MBH March 15, 2011 at 9:52 am #

      Time can be represented by a vector […]

      This is disguised nonsense. That which draws cannot itself be represented. That which draws does the presenting and the representing. It cannot be divided. A conceptual point is whole. It cannot draw itself, just as painting is intransitive. It does not paint itself.

      If we picture the injunctive field relative to the disjunctive field, then what you want to call a “vector” that moves from the injunctive field to the disjunctive field, is moving — the instransitive — which cannot be distinguished in view from stillness. Here is the only sense in which it can be understood that the cosmos is in constant expansion. The cosmos is not in view. The cosmos is viewing.

  7. MBH March 15, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    As conceptual principles, they are not subject to causality.

    Space and time are not subject to causality.

    Time and space are not nonsense, they “draw” […]

    Space and time are not within view. Space and time are an exact point that moves.

  8. Mark Uzick March 16, 2011 at 3:09 am #

    As conceptual principles, they are not subject to causality.

    Space and time are not subject to causality.

    I don’t get your point; was I saying something else?

    Time and space are not nonsense, they “draw” […]

    Space and time are not within view. Space and time are an exact point that moves.

    What are you trying to say?

    • MBH March 16, 2011 at 5:06 am #

      I don’t get your point; was I saying something else?

      You say that conceptual principles are not subject to causality. I say that space and time are both conceptual principles. Therefore, space is not subject to causality; time is not subject to causality. You’re yet to rebut RadGeek’s take-down of your argument for MT as an inductive extraction from the world. So the burden rests with you to put space and time “out there” prior to the use of concepts. And you’ll no doubt use concepts to reference why they’re “out there” prior to concepts, which will be funny.

      Consider what Charles and I say in the context of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass:

      Alice looked round her in great surprise. “Why, I do believe we’ve been under this tree the whole time! Everything’s just as it was!”

      “Of course it is,” said the Queen. “What would you have it?”

      “Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you ran very fast for a long time as we’ve been doing.”

      “A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.”

      It’s wrong to think that there’s space “out there” and time “out there” with us doing stuff inside of them. No; we’re creating (or opening, if you prefer) space and time through our actions. We’re not introduced to the world — as children — like “OK little boy Mark, here’s the world {arms outstretched} with space {arms flailing} and sequences of events {a hand that makes chopping motions one after the other}; next we’ll go over some of the stuff inside this world {with both index fingers pointing down}.” It just doesn’t work that way, unless you’re a boy in a bubble. It’s more like “OK Mark, this is a ball {holding the ball and shaking it} ‘b-a-a-a-l-l-l-l’ and now your turn {handing the ball to you}. To paraphrase Wittgenstein in PI 6: The purpose of language here is not to prompt a mental image to pop up in your head. It’s more like supplying you a road, a trail, a passage to get to the thing.

      Space and time are highly abstract terms so to the little baby Mark, being trained to interact in the human world, these notions — as somehow independent of action — are senseless. And yet baby Mark can still gain competence in fetching the ball. Language functions, primarily, in the way programming language functions. I don’t know if you’re familiar with LogoWriter, but we were taught how to operate it in second grade. The “origin” is a turtle that you command to move up-however-many-spaces or rt-however-many-spaces, etc. I’m saying that the relationship between language and the world is analogous to that. The world is the turtle — not the geometric space surrounding the turtle. And language is movement through the world, language is programming action. If space and time are to have any sense, then they refer to the turtle’s movement.

  9. Mark Uzick March 16, 2011 at 3:36 am #

    Time can be represented by a vector […]

    This is disguised nonsense. That which draws cannot itself be represented.

    What is drawing? Time? What is it drawing?

    Here is the only sense in which it can be understood that the cosmos is in constant expansion. The cosmos is not in view. The cosmos is viewing.

    Who mentioned anything about an “expanding cosmos”? It’s nonsense. How can a dimensions “expand”? only objects can expand.

    • MBH March 16, 2011 at 6:10 am #

      What is drawing? Time? What is it drawing?

      You’re asking for a direct object, but everything is essentially intransitive. A direct object presupposes space and time “out there” independent of action. Alice is surprised that all the running doesn’t bring them to another place, but intransitively running is fully immersed in logical space. It’s all within the formation and re-formation of different propositions — not physical space or a series of events inside the space that’s “out there.”

      Who mentioned anything about an “expanding cosmos”? It’s nonsense. How can a dimensions “expand”? only objects can expand.

      The cosmos expands because we can loosen the criteria for what counts as a proposition. It also contracts when we tighten the criteria for what counts as a proposition. And it shows all the different levels and contexts for propositions, what Wittgenstein calls the language-games we play. And when we conceptualize these games and the activities themselves as a whole, we just may see something constant. If you need a picture, try this. The video shouldn’t be seen as metaphysical so much as — from a head-on view — what might be called a grammatical view of the world’s propositional activities: highly structured and symmetrical, yet flexible and free. This by no means offers precise insight into how language works in specific instances; it only gives a sketch, a sense of the dynamic levels at play along with their underlying contiguity. I only say that it might be seen as analogous to a grammatical view of the world because the center — grammar per se — holds steady at all times. And yet, you don’t see a center explicitly, it’s sort of implied in all the activity.

  10. Mark Uzick March 16, 2011 at 5:14 am #

    RadGeek:

    I have no idea what you’re referring to here. M.T. is not a fallacy.

    Sorry…I stand corrected. I did a search on modus tollens and got the impression it stood for something called “the modus tollens fallacy”. I should have looked at your footnote and figured its meaning for myself.

    Of course my argument for the discovery of the principles of deductive logic through inductive logic would be similar.

    My question had to do with what observations could possibly have served as an inductive basis for knowing that it is valid (not merely that people tend to accept it when shown it in action, but that it is truth-preserving in all possible worlds, etc. etc.). The upshot of the question is that if there is no such inductive basis, then, since M.T. is in fact valid, the knowledge that it is valid must come from some source other than induction.

    There is an inductive basis for its validity as there is with all empirical science, but this type of validity is not absolute.

    But I was referring to the formulation of the principle, not its deductive confirmation, whose validity is as certain as the belief that our reason is oriented toward reality.

    But that reality is bound by the same logic that we use to reason, is itself, empirically shown as truth. We may “know” this a priori, but it’s experience that confirms that what we “know” is not delusion.

  11. Mark Uzick March 16, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    I don’t get your point; was I saying something else?

    You say that conceptual principles are not subject to causality. I say that space and time are both conceptual principles. Therefore, space is not subject to causality; time is not subject to causality.

    So far, you’re saying the same as what I said.

    So the burden rests with you to put space and time “out there” prior to the use of concepts. And you’ll no doubt use concepts to reference why they’re “out there” prior to concepts, which will be funny.

    They are principles that we understand conceptually. Their validity is independent of our conception.

    Since dimensions are conceptual principles that are components of logic, in that they are among the boundaries for reality, it makes as much sense for you to say that I “put space and time “out there” prior to the use of concepts.” as if you said that I put logic “out there” prior to the use of concepts.” Are you saying that too?

    • MBH March 16, 2011 at 7:05 am #

      Since dimensions are conceptual principles that are components of logic, in that they are among the boundaries for reality, it makes as much sense for you to say that I “put space and time “out there” prior to the use of concepts.” as if you said that I put logic “out there” prior to the use of concepts.” Are you saying that too?

      If you say that space and time are a priori, that action is basic, and that action is conceptual, then I don’t see where you’re finding room for induction…

  12. Mark Uzick March 16, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    What is drawing? Time? What is it drawing?

    You’re asking for a direct object,

    No…I’m asking you to identify the “that” that you’re speaking of.

    A direct object presupposes space and time “out there” independent of action.

    They’re not objects; they’re a part of the principles that govern action.

    Who mentioned anything about an “expanding cosmos”? It’s nonsense. How can a dimensions “expand”? only objects can expand.

    The cosmos expands because we can loosen the criteria for what counts as a proposition.

    OK. So you meant it as a metaphor for something, not some “big bang” nonsense. Whatever that something is, your following explanation and the video didn’t make clear to me.

    • MBH March 16, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

      No…I’m asking you to identify the “that” that you’re speaking of.

      Call it agency if you need a name that badly.

      Whatever that something is, your following explanation and the video didn’t make clear to me.

      PI 12: “It is like looking into the cabin of a locomotive. We see the handles all looking more or less alike. (Naturally, since they are all supposed to be handled.) But one is the handle of a crank which can be moved continuously (it regulates the opening of a valve); another is the handle of a switch, which has only two effective positions, it is either off or on; a third is the handle of a brake-lever, then harder one pulls on it, the harder it brakes; a fourth, the handle of a pump: it has an effect only so long as it is moved to and fro.”

      PI 18: “Our language may be seen as an ancient city: a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses, and of houses with additions from various periods; and this surrounded by a multitude of new boroughs with straight regular streets and uniform houses.”

      Think of the video as a view of the cabin, and the motion as a tinkering with the criteria for sense/nonsense. The looser the criteria, the more expansive the movement; Wittgenstein might say: the more opportunity to be lead astray. The tighter the criteria the more closely bound and (explicitly) orderly. In some contexts — some language-games — the looser criteria is helpful. In some contexts, it tends to lead one astray. You might think of the brake-lever as tightening the criteria; the pump as loosening the criteria. The on/off switch could be seen as a reference to which language-games are in play. The point is that without those variables “in mind” — implicit in cognition — you probably aren’t thinking.

  13. Mark Uzick March 16, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    If you say that space and time are a priori, that action is basic, and that action is conceptual, then I don’t see where you’re finding room for induction…

    Ideas about space, time and any other principles that govern reality are inductive interpretations of our observations or the observations of those who taught us these ideas. Using these interpretations as our premises, if we have a grasp of logic, then we can come to a priori conclusions which can be checked against each other and against further observations.

    • MBH March 16, 2011 at 8:30 am #

      You’re treating all words as names in every context. As if words can’t function as symbols. When one grasps the symbol of a proposition, one grasps the reference. Nothing can be interpreted around that. That proposition carries the one and only interpretation. Now, you can debate whether the symbol changes if the context changes, but within a given context, a given symbol isn’t something that you can observe to see whether it makes sense or not.

      • Mark Uzick March 16, 2011 at 9:03 am #

        Names are symbols.

        What is it that you’re attempting to say?

        • MBH March 16, 2011 at 9:57 am #

          Names are signs.

  14. Mark Uzick March 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    Names are signs.

    There is no definition in the dictionary that refers to signs, but symbols are referred to in various definitions.

    So you were trying to say,”You’re treating all words as signs in every context. As if words can’t function as symbols”.

    A sign could be a symbol. In what sense of “sign”am I using signs for words? Where have I done this?

    • MBH March 19, 2011 at 5:30 am #

      Names are like elements, their coordination within a broader context gives them sense, and thus makes them symbols. But names per se aren’t sensible yet.

      • Mark Uzick March 20, 2011 at 12:09 am #

        Give me an example of where I use a word as an “elemental name-sign” and then explain why it’s not functioning as a symbol. Then, maybe I’ll have some idea of what you’re attempting to say.

        • MBH March 20, 2011 at 2:27 am #

          Names are symbols.

          If I said, “Tea Partiers are racists.” then you would want to say, “Well, plenty of them are, but not exclusively.” And that would be reasonable on your part.

          Well, some names are symbols, but only when they’re configured in a certain way within a proposition. What you said is not wrong, but highly misleading.

        • Mark Uzick March 20, 2011 at 5:48 am #

          Names are symbols.

          If I said, “Tea Partiers are racists.” then you would want to say, “Well, plenty of them are, but not exclusively.” And that would be reasonable on your part.

          Well, some names are symbols, but only when they’re configured in a certain way within a proposition. What you said is not wrong, but highly misleading.

          When you said, “Tea Partiers are racist.”, that’s what’s false and misleading. The reply is to correct you.

          When you implied that names weren’t symbols, you were false and misleading in the same way. (I hope it wasn’t intentionally.)

          Unlike the tea party example, I checked and found no evidence of a non-symbol meaning. Since you’re making the claim, the burden to explain what you mean, if you really don’t want to be misleading, is yours and not mine.

        • MBH March 20, 2011 at 7:01 am #

          When you implied that names weren’t symbols, you were false and misleading in the same way.

          In some sense that’s true. I should have said “Names are also signs.”

          Unlike the tea party example, I checked and found no evidence of a non-symbol meaning.

          (1) I’d love to hear your reaction to this.

          (2) Are you saying that names are necessarily symbols?

          PI 49: For naming and describing do not stand on the same level: naming is a preparation for description. Naming is so far not a move in the language-game — any more than putting a piece in its place on the board is a move in chess. We may say: nothing has so far been done, when a thing has been named. It has not even got a name except in the language-game. This was what Frege meant too, when he said that a word had meaning only as part of a sentence.

          So the burden rests with you to why Wittgenstein and Frege are both wrong. Or to put in your terms, to show why they’re just fucking with you.

  15. Mark Uzick March 16, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    Time can be represented by a vector […]

    This is disguised nonsense. That which draws cannot itself be represented.

    What is drawing? Time? What is it drawing?

    You’re asking for a direct object,

    No…I’m asking you to identify the “that” that you’re speaking of.

    Call it agency if you need a name that badly.

    • Mark Uzick March 16, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

      Continued:

      Are you referring to time? Time is agency?

      • MBH March 19, 2011 at 5:26 am #

        I don’t think so.

        If you say that causality is time’s arrow and time is a priori, then would you say space is all that’s a posteriori?

        • Mark Uzick March 20, 2011 at 12:43 am #

          I don’t think so.

          You don’t think so? You mean you don’t know whether you were referring to time as agency? I summarized the whole exchange from its beginning and it sure seems that way, but we both know that’s nonsense.

          When I say “Time can be represented by a vector…” and you answer “That which draws itself…”, what are you referring to?

          If you say that causality is time’s arrow and time is a priori,

          I said that as a part of logic, we use time in a priori reasoning; not that knowledge of time is a priori.

          then would you say space is all that’s a posteriori?

          Time, space and all the rest of what deductive logic consists was/is discovered/derived a posteriori through induction.

        • MBH March 20, 2011 at 2:40 am #

          You don’t think so? You mean you don’t know whether you were referring to time as agency? I summarized the whole exchange from its beginning and it sure seems that way, but we both know that’s nonsense. When I say “Time can be represented by a vector…” and you answer “That which draws itself…”, what are you referring to?

          You were asking for the object of time. I was — obviously tentatively saying — that you might call it agency.

          Time, space and all the rest of what deductive logic consists was/is discovered/derived a posteriori through induction.

          Are you saying that the structure of thinking is in the world?

  16. Mark Uzick March 20, 2011 at 6:08 am #

    You were asking for the object of time. I was — obviously tentatively saying — that you might call it agency.

    I still don’t get you. You’re not saying that “time”(a noun in this sense) has an object?

    Time, space and all the rest of what deductive logic consists was/is discovered/derived a posteriori through induction.

    Are you saying that the structure of thinking is in the world?

    As an object? No. I’m saying that logic, the principles governing the boundaries of reality, can be inductively discovered by observing the world.

    • MBH March 20, 2011 at 7:09 am #

      I still don’t get you.

      I’ve noticed.

      You’re not saying that “time”(a noun in this sense) has an object?

      An “object” in the sense of a purpose.

      Time, space and all the rest of what deductive logic consists was/is discovered/derived a posteriori through induction.

      Are you saying that the structure of thinking is in the world?

      As an object? No. I’m saying that logic, the principles governing the boundaries of reality, can be inductively discovered by observing the world.

      Would you say that induction is prior to deduction?

      • Mark Uzick March 21, 2011 at 2:19 am #

        I still don’t get you.

        I’ve noticed.

        I’ve noticed that you don’t seem to get yourself either. You’re unable to coherently explain what you mean and you want me to do it for you.

        You’re not saying that “time”(a noun in this sense) has an object?

        An “object” in the sense of a purpose.

        Assuming time can have a “purpose”, how can you make sense of :

        “This is disguised nonsense. The purpose of time which draws cannot itself be represented.”

        or were you announcing that the next sentence in this quote was disguised nonsense?

        Time, space and all the rest of what deductive logic consists was/is discovered/derived a posteriori through induction.

        Are you saying that the structure of thinking is in the world?

        As an object? No. I’m saying that logic, the principles governing the boundaries of reality, can be inductively discovered by observing the world.

        Would you say that induction is prior to deduction?

        Prior to the discovery of deduction? I’ve already said so repeatedly.

        Prior to it in general? It depends on the circumstances.

        • MBH March 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

          I’ve noticed that you don’t seem to get yourself either. You’re unable to coherently explain what you mean and you want me to do it for you.

          I don’t “get” myself within the context of Fate. What I want is for you to explain to me how this Fate of yours functions.

          Assuming time can have a “purpose”, how can you make sense of :

          “This is disguised nonsense. The purpose of time which draws cannot itself be represented.”

          or were you announcing that the next sentence in this quote was disguised nonsense?

          To draw is the purpose of time. And agency is that which draws, but agency cannot be represented. And yes, you’re going to have a very difficult time placing this conception within your ‘Fate’ concept.

          I’ve already said [that induction is prior to deduction] repeatedly.

          So tell me how that works in any circumstance without appeal to the sideways-on view (which you’ve already admitted is nonsense).

  17. Mark Uzick March 21, 2011 at 1:46 am #

    Unlike the tea party example, I checked and found no evidence of a non-symbol meaning.

    (1) I’d love to hear your reaction to this.

    It’s part of a typical progressive smear campaign against any movement that advocates restraining the evils of the state. Are all libertarian leaning people perfect? Certainly not. Will some nut-bags try to associate themselves with a popular movement? Certainly. Progressive solution: Outlaw freedom of speech.

    (2) Are you saying that names are necessarily symbols?

    PI 49: For naming and describing do not stand on the same level: naming is a preparation for description. Naming is so far not a move in the language-game — any more than putting a piece in its place on the board is a move in chess. We may say: nothing has so far been done, when a thing has been named. It has not even got a name except in the language-game. This was what Frege meant too, when he said that a word had meaning only as part of a sentence.

    You’ve done a disservice to your role models. You will have to explain the wider context of this concept of “naming”, as what is presented here, out of context, is illogical and defamatory to their credibility.

    By definition, if you give a name to a thing, then that name is a symbol representing the concept of the thing.

    So the burden rests with you to why Wittgenstein and Frege are both wrong. Or to put in your terms, to show why they’re just fucking with you.

    No. The burden is now on you to explain what I presume is an out of context idea, to show that you’re not conducting a smear campaign against them as dishonest as the one at the link above.

    • MBH March 21, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

      It’s part of a typical progressive smear campaign against any movement that advocates restraining the evils of the state.

      The real evil is in your conception of “Fate”.

      Progressive solution: Outlaw freedom of speech.

      Far from it. I say let Glenn Beck continue to fan the flames of antisemitism. And he can deal with the consequences of a lawsuit that describes how packaging epistemic closure as truth endangers the lives of all peaceful people.

      By definition, if you give a name to a thing, then that name is a symbol representing the concept of the thing.

      Says Fate? Does Fate give these definitions? How can name a thing without a way to use it within a broader context? Or does Fate get to say “cause I said so”?

      The burden is now on you to explain what I presume is an out of context idea, to show that you’re not conducting a smear campaign against them as dishonest as the one at the link above.

      The burden is on you to explain what role Fate is playing in your ideas.

  18. Mark Uzick March 22, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    It’s part of a typical progressive smear campaign against any movement that advocates restraining the evils of the state.

    The real evil is in your conception of “Fate”.

    Sure, if you have no intelligent response, don’t change your opinion, just change the topic and, maybe, no one will notice. “Progressives” have no shame; after all, anything is permissible if it helps their Utopian agenda.

    Progressive solution: Outlaw freedom of speech.

    Far from it. I say let Glenn Beck continue to fan the flames of antisemitism. And he can deal with the consequences of a lawsuit that describes how packaging epistemic closure as truth endangers the lives of all peaceful people.

    You don’t actually watch Beck or you would know he’s pro-semitic to a fault.

    By definition, if you give a name to a thing, then that name is a symbol representing the concept of the thing.

    How can [you] name a thing without a way to use it within a broader context?

    I think you’re saying that if the thing you’re naming is incoherent then it’s not really a concept; but, in that case, what is a name but a symbol representing a pseudo concept?

    If you say that a symbol can’t represent an incoherency, then the name of that symbol cannot represent it either. The only name you can give to “incoherency” that is not itself incoherent is “incoherency”, which is a valid word. So all names are symbols for concepts.

    • MBH March 22, 2011 at 10:06 am #

      Sure, if you have no intelligent response, don’t change your opinion, just change the topic and, maybe, no one will notice. “Progressives” have no shame; after all, anything is permissible if it helps their Utopian agenda.

      This is pathetic. I want a voluntarist society. You say that you want the same. As soon as you’re willing to deal with the actual issue — how to get there — then let me know.

      You don’t actually watch Beck or you would know he’s pro-semitic to a fault.

      You mean he talks about being pro-Israel? That’s so noble of him. Clearly he loves the Jews. Except for his belief that unless they accept his savior Jesus Christ as the one incarnation of God they’re all going to burn for eternity in hell. Other than that, he’s obviously pro-semitic. I mean, I think you’re the densest person I’ve ever tried to have a dialogue with. And — watch this — I’m pro-Mark Uzick. I think he’s very intellectually flexible. And if all I have to do to convince you is so the former out of one side of my mouth and the latter out of the other side, then it looks like…

      I think you’re saying that if the thing you’re naming is incoherent then it’s not really a concept; but, in that case, what is a name but a symbol representing a pseudo concept?

      The thing you’re naming is not incoherent if the activity of naming takes place in a given context. Within the context the name — the sign — can become a symbol insofar as the learner grasps the names role within the context. If someone with an IQ above 70 watches Glenn Beck for the first time without any knowledge that hysteria is the product he’s selling, then that person won’t get the symbol in his sign “social justice” right away. It will take a minute or two to grasp that he’s a rodeo clown for whom the name “social justice” symbolizes a Nazi takeover of the United States.

      If you say that a symbol can’t represent an incoherency, then the name of that symbol cannot represent it either. The only name you can give to “incoherency” that is not itself incoherent is “incoherency”, which is a valid word. So all names are symbols for concepts.

      Propositions are to words as contexts are to propositions. Propositions are to names as concepts are to propositions.

      In order for a name to symbolize a concept, the name must be in “the nexus” of a proposition. A name — by itself — is like a lego piece in the grass without anything to attach to except maybe in the house.

  19. Mark Uzick March 22, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    I don’t “get” myself within the context of Fate. What I want is for you to explain to me how this Fate of yours functions.

    “Fate” is the circumstances that one is in.

    Assuming time can have a “purpose”, how can you make sense of :

    The purpose of time which draws cannot itself be represented.”

    To draw is the purpose of time. And agency is that which draws, but agency cannot be represented. And yes, you’re going to have a very difficult time placing this conception within your ‘Fate’ concept.

    You said that time draws. I’ll take the second quote as a revision.

    You’re not clear, but you seem to be saying that agency draws something with time. What does it draw? What sense of “draw” do you mean; does it use it to draw ideas, conclusions, mental images or do you mean that it redraws the past or the future; that agency magically creates its own reality?

    I’ve already said [that induction is prior to deduction] repeatedly.

    So tell me how that works in any circumstance without appeal to the sideways-on view (which you’ve already admitted is nonsense).

    We observe the world to learn its rules. To say that the understanding of the rules of deduction are given to us by some outside agency would be a sideways-on view. Each person, whether he discovers a rule of deduction himself or if he’s taught deductive logic from a book, must use his experience and observations of the world to make it meaningful in a way that allows him to see its truth.

    • MBH March 22, 2011 at 10:15 am #

      “Fate” is the circumstances that one is in.

      So if I decide that I’m going to respond to this claim, then RIGHT NOW it’s fate that I’m responding to this claim?

      You’re not clear, but you seem to be saying that agency draws something with time. What does it draw? What sense of “draw” do you mean; does it use it to draw ideas, conclusions, mental images or do you mean that it redraws the past or the future; that agency magically creates its own reality?

      Agency is made manifest. Time is the vehicle for manifestation. Without time, everything is manifest at once. That’s senseless. Time is a means of selective manifestation.

      We observe the world to learn its rules. To say that the understanding of the rules of deduction are given to us by some outside agency would be a sideways-on view. Each person, whether he discovers a rule of deduction himself or if he’s taught deductive logic from a book, must use his experience and observations of the world to make it meaningful in a way that allows him to see its truth.

      So we observe the world like blank slates to absorb its rules. Tell me: how do you observe a rule if you don’t have the concept of a rule prior to such an observation?

      • Mark Uzick March 23, 2011 at 4:19 am #

        “Fate” is the circumstances that one is in.

        So if I decide that I’m going to respond to this claim, then RIGHT NOW it’s fate that I’m responding to this claim?

        Yes. The unstated part of “fate” is that the circumstances could not have been different. It obvious that you find this idea very unsettling, but if you think about it, the implications are not bizarre, but only seemed that way from a limited perspective.

        You freely chose to respond “RIGHT NOW”, but you couldn’t have chosen different circumstances and one of those circumstances is that you are you and given the circumstances you would have to be at least a slightly different you to have not responded or even have responded differently.

        Don’t try to make some argument from quantum mechanics that your choice had a random factor. Firstly, it didn’t and secondly, randomness isn’t a very appealing definition of “free will”. Just be content that you have will and that will plays a part in how things are determined.

        Agency is made manifest. Time is the vehicle for manifestation. Without time, everything is manifest at once. That’s senseless. Time is a means of selective manifestation.

        Are you saying that “free will” involves a peek into the future, giving you the opportunity to change its course? If so, then agency can change the future, but then this “changed” future was inevitable and, then, so was your “altered”choice. This is non-sense.

        So we observe the world like blank slates to absorb its rules. Tell me: how do you observe a rule if you don’t have the concept of a rule prior to such an observation?

        We’re much more than blank slates. I’m doubtful that the concept of “rule” is instinctual, but the capacity to recognize patterns and the capacity to formulate concepts like “rule” and form thoughts in language is inborn.

        • MBH March 23, 2011 at 7:07 am #

          Yes. The unstated part of “fate” is that the circumstances could not have been different. It obvious that you find this idea very unsettling, but if you think about it, the implications are not bizarre, but only seemed that way from a limited perspective.

          If the circumstances could not have been different then choice is senseless. If choice is senseless, then so is the Gestalt modality it takes to access unsaturated thinking. If unsaturated thinking is senseless, then reason is senseless and the only purpose of dialogue is to convince other people to believe in a way that aligns with their self-interest. That sounds like hell (or The Godfather).

          You freely chose to respond “RIGHT NOW”, but you couldn’t have chosen different circumstances and one of those circumstances is that you are you and given the circumstances you would have to be at least a slightly different you to have not responded or even have responded differently.

          And another one of the circumstances was ‘to be in the middle of responding to your question by moving my fingers on the keyboard’. If I had followed the me-being-me from some point in the past, I would not have any interest in communicative action. But as a free agent I chose at some later point that I would adjust my preferences toward communicative action. It most certainly could have been otherwise, I could have stuck with my preferences — more or less — as they were. That would certainly have been the path of least resistance. To chose otherwise is a uniquely human capacity, to consciously adjust our own preferences. Man can turn her mind’s eye toward the preferences themselves as manifest through her past actions, and she can re-order those preferences — not necessarily even as she wants to, but — as she reasons will be the best for her as a reasonable creature (even if she doesn’t know what that’s like prior to the act). To say that the circumstances (past, present, and future) are necessarily set and couldn’t be any other way, is to ignore the way agency can aim towards its own tendencies, de-program certain tendencies, and upgrade certain tendencies according to conceptual notions of what are the best set of tendencies and what underlies them. To make that choice is to consult the capacity of rationality itself (Long, 2006), and to recognize the possibility of long-run flourishing at the expense of short-run pleasure-seeking and pain avoidance. Action that flips the internal structure of a set of preferences on their head does not itself derive from a preference. One cannot rank ‘the preference that the following (internal features of) preferences were flipped’ above the other preferences — one cannot rank a preference about preferences within preferences whatsoever. Yet, one can act to morph the way they rank preferences, the criteria. And that doesn’t come from a circumstance. It comes from that through which circumstances are possible in the first place. It happens by recognizing the capacity for rationality.

          Just be content that you have will and that will plays a part in how things are determined.

          Our very essence as rational agents plays a part in how things are determined, not will. Unless you understand will as the manifestation of the totality of the bio-chemical realm, not merely particular instances of defense mechanisms, pre-programmed strivings to survive, or a sum of all the on-goings. But in such a recognition, the world of instinct is seen/known as overcome. That sight is what plays a part in how to determine the state of affairs.

          Are you saying that “free will” involves a peek into the future, giving you the opportunity to change its course? If so, then agency can change the future, but then this “changed” future was inevitable and, then, so was your “altered”choice. This is non-sense.

          No; it’s senseless to talk about a peek into the future (into its particulars) to begin with. But that’s not needed to shape the future. All you need is the sight that overcomes the bio-chemical realm. However, if that sight comes from our capacities as rational agents, and we cannot make sense of anything prior to this capacity, then the sight necessarily starts from the wholeness of the cosmos. And that wholeness is itself sublime and timeless. To draw from it within time is not to see the future, but to see the universal form in a certain state of affairs in the present. Not to see how objects are related to one another in standard space, but to deduce the underlying structure of a situation in logical (conceptual) space. If you’re following me, then you’ll see why it doesn’t take vision of the future but only proper sight of the present to grasp how to meta-morph what is the case into another case that wouldn’t have been the case without the act of meta-morphing the present.

          We’re much more than blank slates.

          No question.

          I’m doubtful that the concept of “rule” is instinctual, but the capacity to recognize patterns and the capacity to formulate concepts like “rule” and form thoughts in language is inborn.

          No concept is instinctual, at first (they may become second nature, habitual, unconscious, etc., but not, strictly speaking, instinctual — unless one conceives of second-level instinct). The realm of the instinctual (first nature) must be overcome to formulate/discover concepts in the first place. The capacity to form thoughts in language is not inborn, man doesn’t — as Chomsky says — come with universal grammar built into her brain. If so, she would uncritically (though correctly) reject fundamentalist religions and all forms of constant-less relativism. She wouldn’t need to be taught how to sense non-physical contiguity.

          Instead, the world is itself the form of universal grammar and all that’s innate to man relative to expression is that prior to conception up until a bit post-birth she is strictly a part of the bio-chemical realm — just as a tree here was once a seed there from a tree that was once a seed from a tree there, and so on (the place where Zeno’s motion paradoxes hold true). What’s innate in man is her capacity to move from a component of the bio-chemical realm to an agent that grasps her pre-conception-to-a-bit-post-birth-home as a whole, to arise from first nature into second nature, and even to distinguish second nature’s preferences from first nature’s preferences. Chomsky calls this mysticism, but really it’s a mere by-product of logic.

          According to what we’re capable of thinking, our second — conceptual — nature is prior to any modality, or any form of life. A child is born into the world of her support group’s second nature. She may not grasp her own second nature for some time, but it’s through her inter-actions in the support group’s second nature — what’s indistinguishable from ‘the world’ — that she finds her second nature. Far from innate, “the capacity to form thoughts in language” is a feature of the world into which she is born. Here, you can see why a name by itself is senseless. The very idea of a name by itself assumes birth into a surrounding group’s first nature. Yet, that merely places the child in a state of pre-conception.

        • Mark Uzick March 24, 2011 at 12:39 am #

          Yes. The unstated part of “fate” is that the circumstances could not have been different. It obvious that you find this idea very unsettling, but if you think about it, the implications are not bizarre, but only seemed that way from a limited perspective.

          If the circumstances could not have been different then choice is senseless.

          Whether the circumstances could have been different is irrelevant; either way you’re faced with them now and must decide.

          The thing that bothers you is that, while what you decide is in your control, who you are, at that moment of decision, the who that makes the choice, is not in your control.

          Only if things were otherwise would it be senseless.

          If choice is senseless, then so is the Gestalt modality it takes to access unsaturated thinking.

          Doesn’t “Gestalt modality” have something to do with the complex mix of emotions/feelings and actions that arise from the automatic judgment of the unconscious mind, where the unconscious mind is programed with acquired instincts by consciously accepted values and beliefs? a kind of automatic summing up and/or response to a situation?

          You freely chose to respond “RIGHT NOW”, but you couldn’t have chosen different circumstances and one of those circumstances is that you are you and given the circumstances you would have to be at least a slightly different you to have not responded or even have responded differently.

          And another one of the circumstances was ‘to be in the middle of responding to your question by moving my fingers on the keyboard’. If I had followed the me-being-me from some point in the past,

          You’re fantasizing; you cannot be the you in the past or the future; you can only be the the you in the present.

          I would not have any interest in communicative action. But as a free agent I chose at some later point that I would adjust my preferences toward communicative action

          Of course you’re a free agent. You’re free to choose as you will, but it’s you that chooses; not some hypothetical you.

          It most certainly could have been otherwise, I could have stuck with my preferences — more or less — as they were.

          Yes…if circumstances were different or you were, magically, a slightly different you, but the past is not alterable. The you that did not stick with your preferences had its reasons and those reasons are all contained within the circumstances of who you are and the external conditions affecting you.

          To say that the circumstances (past, present, and future) are necessarily set and couldn’t be any other way, is to ignore the way agency can aim towards its own tendencies, de-program certain tendencies, and upgrade certain tendencies according to conceptual notions of what are the best set of tendencies and what underlies them.

          To say it does not ignore that at all. Your decisions are the most important factor in shaping who you are. Your decisions can be aimed at changing or improving who you become but not what you are at that moment. That they are determined is to say that you determine what those decisions are, but that you don’t get to determine whose making those decisions in that moment.

          To chose otherwise is a uniquely human capacity, to consciously adjust our own preferences. Man can turn her mind’s eye toward the preferences themselves as manifest through her past actions, and she can re-order those preferences — not necessarily even as she wants to, but — as she reasons will be the best for her as a reasonable creature (even if she doesn’t know what that’s like prior to the act). To say that the circumstances (past, present, and future) are necessarily set and couldn’t be any other way, is to ignore the way agency can aim towards its own tendencies, de-program certain tendencies, and upgrade certain tendencies according to conceptual notions of what are the best set of tendencies and what underlies them. To make that choice is to consult the capacity of rationality itself (Long, 2006), and to recognize the possibility of long-run flourishing at the expense of short-run pleasure-seeking and pain avoidance. Action that flips the internal structure of a set of preferences on their head does not itself derive from a preference. One cannot rank ‘the preference that the following (internal features of) preferences were flipped’ above the other preferences — one cannot rank a preference about preferences within preferences whatsoever. Yet, one can act to morph the way they rank preferences, the criteria. And that doesn’t come from a circumstance. It comes from that through which circumstances are possible in the first place. It happens by recognizing the capacity for rationality.

          I agree with this; it doesn’t contradict my perspective of determinism’s implications.

        • Mark Uzick March 24, 2011 at 1:58 am #

          I’m doubtful that the concept of “rule” is instinctual, but the capacity to recognize patterns and the capacity to formulate concepts like “rule” and form thoughts in language is inborn.

          No concept is instinctual, at first (they may become second nature, habitual, unconscious, etc., but not, strictly speaking, instinctual-

          I agree that most concepts are learned or created/discovered, but there are arguments that man retains some instinctual concepts, like “mother”, but I don’t have an opinion about it.

          The capacity to form thoughts in language is not inborn, man doesn’t — as Chomsky says — come with universal grammar built into her brain.

          We obviously do have the the capacity to recognize patterns and the capacity to formulate concepts like “rule” and form thoughts in language or we’d be unable to speak. Language requires generations to fully develop, but is picked up by children from their family instinctively; a phenomenon that Dr.Maria Montessori named “The Absorbent Mind”.

          Instead, the world is itself the form of universal grammar and all that’s innate to man relative to expression is that prior to conception up until a bit post-birth she is strictly a part of the bio-chemical realm

          — What’s innate in man is her capacity to move from a component of the bio-chemical realm to an agent that grasps

          I quoted only the part that I could follow; and this part, at least, is agreeable to me.

          Far from innate, “the capacity to form thoughts in language” is a feature of the world into which she is born.

          Yes…as long as the world is peopled with beings possessing the innate ability to absorb language.

        • MBH March 24, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

          Doesn’t “Gestalt modality” have something to do with the complex mix of emotions/feelings and actions that arise from the automatic judgment of the unconscious mind, where the unconscious mind is programed with acquired instincts by consciously accepted values and beliefs? a kind of automatic summing up and/or response to a situation?

          By Gestalt modality I mean something analogous to agency through hylomorphism.

          […] you cannot be the you in the past or the future; you can only be the the you in the present.

          Agreed.

          The you that did not stick with your preferences had its reasons and those reasons are all contained within the circumstances of who you are and the external conditions affecting you.

          I actually think that’s just a touch off. The reasons for changing the criterion by which one measures preferences are not themselves found external to oneself. It may be that those reasons are more likely manifest in tragic circumstances than in fortunate circumstances, but the reasons themselves are in conceptual space, which is everywhere and nowhere. So to talk about conditions, situations, circumstances, etc. is bit off.

          I agree with this; it doesn’t contradict my perspective of determinism’s implications.

          If by that you mean that your description of determinism within a set boundary will function as you say it will, then yeah, you’re right. But my contention is that a situation — wherein determinism unfolds — is not within the set boundary that contains the reasons manifest in action.

  20. P. March 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    This second-nature stuff seems so mystical.

    I know it comes from Hegel. And the concept of life-form comes from Hegel too.

    But, strangely enough, Michael Thompson’s account of “life-form” seems at odds with the concept of “second nature”.

    Am I wrong here?

    • MBH March 24, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

      I get second-nature from Aristotle and forms of life from Wittgenstein.

      • P. March 24, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

        I said “life-form” not form of life.

        I didn’t know “second-nature” was aristotelian. It just seems much more strange to me.

        I mean, what a “second nature” could possibly mean:

        “The first nature is purely biochemichal and behavioristic, and then, we magically enter this second nature, that is totally apart from all the rest of the life realm.”

        Can you say how this concept fits in aristotelian metaphysics?

        • MBH March 25, 2011 at 12:33 am #

          Can you say how this concept fits in aristotelian metaphysics?

          One wants to think that individual passive intellects are basic, and, then, whatever it is they form as a whole is the Agent Intellect. First nature, it seems natural to say, is one’s passive intellect uninformed by the Agent Intellect. Then, one wants to continue, the Agent Intellect syncs-up with the passive intellect, and the by-product is second nature.

          But if the Agent Intellect is that by which thinking is possible/conceivable in the first place, as Aristotle says, then one’s justified in taking the Agent Intellect as the finish line (and so the starting point) of the first (first) principle.

          Here Aristotle say that, in search of a first principle, one wants,

          […] to progress […] from the things that are less clear by nature […]

          What could be less clear by nature than the rational agency that manifests through it?

          One is born into the rational capacity — the world. Concepts are the ground one walks on and the air one breathes. Second nature is prior to anything one does. It manifests what one calls “traits”. It might even be helpful to think of a third nature within oneself that recognizes the configuration of these traits and then chooses how to set them up. Third nature is like evolution in one’s own hands, to be applied to oneself.

  21. Mark Uzick March 25, 2011 at 12:59 am #

    The you that did not stick with your preferences had its reasons and those reasons are all contained within the circumstances of who you are and the external conditions affecting you.

    I actually think that’s just a touch off. The reasons for changing the criterion by which one measures preferences are not themselves found external to oneself. It may be that those reasons are more likely manifest in tragic circumstances than in fortunate circumstances, but the reasons themselves are in conceptual space, which is everywhere and nowhere. So to talk about conditions, situations, circumstances, etc. is bit off.

    I thought you were going to, correctly, say it was a touch off because “and the external conditions affecting you.” is already subsumed by “the circumstances of who you are”.

    The “you” I’m speaking of is a concept for the person (you), but your existence is real – not a concept.

    I agree with this; it doesn’t contradict my perspective of determinism’s implications.

    If by that you mean that your description of determinism within a set boundary will function as you say it will, then yeah, you’re right. But my contention is that a situation — wherein determinism unfolds — is not within the set boundary that contains the reasons manifest in action.

    I didn’t say that to show that you are a determinist, it was just to show that determinism doesn’t have the negative implications you might at first think.

    The idea of “free will” always bothered me, but determinism bothered me even more, so I clung to an uncomfortable belief in “free-will” until about 4 years ago. It might amuse you to see where I was on this issue back then, from this message board post:

    Free will is necessary for the concept of the right to property, as all property derives from the right to self ownership. From a previous post:

    “Again, there are different definitions of the word own. There is the moral right to control of something, the legal right to control of something and simply the control of something. Sometimes moral ownership will coincide with one or both of the other types.

    The question of whether we can own ourselves boils down to whether we can have control over ourselves. If you believe in free will, then you will say yes. If free will is an illusion, then control of ourselves is an illusion and so self ownership doesn’t exist. Without free will there are no choices to make and so no morality and no moral rights and so no right to self ownership and so no right to property.

    I believe that free will, just like consciousness, exits, even though they seem to be impossible to explain. I have a direct experience of free will just as I directly experience consciousness. If consciousness is beyond explanation by the known laws of physics, then why wouldn’t free will, a product of consciousness, also be beyond explanation? If you counter that consciousness and therefore free will are just illusions then I would ask you to contemplate what meaning is there to the word illusion, if there is no consciousness?

    Anyway, without consciousness and free will, this whole discussion is meaningless.

    If we think of consciousness as our self, then we can consider free will to be the expression of self ownership. When exercise of our free will is denied to us by coercion, we become the property ( in the legal or other non-moral sense ) of, or slave of another entity than ourselves, to the extent of this denial.”

    More interesting was some-one’s response that, at the time, I didn’t agree with, but sounds a bit like some of the points that I make now:


    Epicuious: Soft-determinism/Compatiblism says that free will is compatible with determinism. Free will doesn’t mean being free from antecedent causes, which is impossible, but rather doing what you want to do, without being coerced or compelled. Acting freely means doing what you desire, even though what you desire is determined by a personality shaped by upbringing and experience, culture, heredity, etc.

    In essence, compatiblists rejects the notion of free will as “being able to have done otherwise under identical circumstances” or “being free from determining causes”. It’s an attempt to maintain the scientific world view, which says that every event has a cause, but to also hold on to our intuitions about freedom and moral responsibility.

    • MBH March 28, 2011 at 2:23 am #

      Your existence is real — not a concept.

      Leaving aside whether ‘existence’ can sensibly be inserted in a proposition, you do know you’re implying that concepts aren’t real?

      • Mark Uzick March 28, 2011 at 6:25 am #

        Your existence is real — not a concept.

        Leaving aside whether ‘existence’ can sensibly be inserted in a proposition, you do know you’re implying that concepts aren’t real?

        I mean that you have a reality that’s independent of some one’s idea of you.

        • MBH March 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

          Concepts aren’t ideas.

        • Mark Uzick March 29, 2011 at 12:48 am #

          Concepts aren’t ideas.

          They are ideas, but I’ll play along: What are they then?

        • MBH March 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

          Take the concept ‘grammar’. If you think it’s not essential, why? If you think it is essential, then are you OK with the supposed “sense” of this proposition: “What is essential is an idea.” Maybe “Idea” will express what you have in mind better. How does your algebraic notion of concept and idea not express Hegelian Idealism?

        • Mark Uzick March 30, 2011 at 3:23 am #

          Take the concept ‘grammar’. If you think it’s not essential, why? If you think it is essential, then are you OK with the supposed “sense” of this proposition: “What is essential is an idea.”

          In either case: essential to what?

          Maybe “Idea” will express what you have in mind better.

          What are you asking?

          How does your algebraic notion of concept and idea not express Hegelian Idealism?

          I wouldn’t know, but its the definition of concept and you’ll just have to deal with any supposed implications that you believe that fact may have.

          Should I be concerned about it?

        • MBH March 30, 2011 at 5:17 am #

          Should I be concerned about it?

          I think so. Ideas are presentations. Facts are representations. Concepts draw the connection between presentation/representation in the same way a neurotransmitter allows a synaptic vesicle and post-synaptic receptor to play their role. And yet the role is the best criterion for clarity. To say that the elements of the brain are basic or self-sufficient is like saying that streets are the basic or self-sufficient context when considering traffic. But aren’t the motorists elemental in traffic?

        • Mark Uzick March 30, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

          I think so. Ideas are presentations.

          An idea is something which may be presented, not the presentation itself.

          Facts are representations.

          A representation is a presentation of an idea, concept or image to the mind. – sometimes referred to as a concept.

          Concepts draw the connection between presentation/representation …

          You may make a presentation of a representation (concept/idea).

        • MBH March 30, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

          That works for me.

      • Mark Uzick March 30, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

        That works for me.

        But it doesn’t distinguish between ideas and concepts.

        • MBH April 1, 2011 at 3:46 am #

          To present a representation does distinguish between ideas and concepts. The presentation — a painting, say — represents something — a forest, say. While the reference of the painting and the forest may be identical, the painting qua painting is not identical to its reference. The content of the painting — provided that it captures the thing — is identical to the thing. To say that what you’re saying doesn’t distinguish between ideas and concepts says “This — as I point to a painting — doesn’t distinguish between its point and itself.”—-Well, why does it need to do that?

        • Mark Uzick April 1, 2011 at 5:24 am #

          To present a representation does distinguish between ideas and concepts. The presentation — a painting, say — represents something — a forest, say. While the reference of the painting and the forest may be identical, the painting qua painting is not identical to its reference. The content of the painting — provided that it captures the thing — is identical to the thing. To say that what you’re saying doesn’t distinguish between ideas and concepts says “This — as I point to a painting — doesn’t distinguish between its point and itself.”—-Well, why does it need to do that?

          When you replied, “That works for me.” you must not have realized that my first sentence was:

          An idea is something which may be presented, not the presentation itself.

        • MBH April 1, 2011 at 5:59 am #

          Do you want to say that ideas are presented, but art is a presentation?

        • Mark Uzick April 2, 2011 at 12:39 am #

          Do you want to say that ideas are presented, but art is a presentation?

          That’s not the topic, but anyway, art is not just a presentation; it may use various combinations of modes and mediums to present, expressively, the emotions people attach to their philosophies and their associated values, ideas and ideals.

          But back to the topic: An idea/concept is something which may be presented, not the presentation itself.

  22. Mark Uzick March 25, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    One is born into the rational capacity — the world.

    Rational capacity is in the world, in people, but it is not the whole world.

    Concepts are the ground one walks on and the air one breathes.

    Only metaphorically. Concepts are mental constructs that refer to the world, not the world itself. They have relevance to the world, but no existence independent of the mind.

    • MBH March 28, 2011 at 2:19 am #

      Only metaphorically? Critical thinking texts claim the brain is a metaphor (Paul, 2005). Do you want to reargue whether metaphysical materialism is incoherent and dogmatic? Metaphor has a foothold; metaphysical materialism doesn’t.

      • Mark Uzick March 28, 2011 at 5:11 am #

        Only metaphorically? Critical thinking texts claim the brain is a metaphor (Paul, 2005).

        The brain is a metaphor for what exactly?

        • MBH March 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

          The wholeness of action. All forms of expression. The software programs one runs on the totality of concepts (hardware). Something like that.

        • Mark Uzick March 29, 2011 at 12:44 am #

          The wholeness of action. All forms of expression. The software programs one runs on the totality of concepts (hardware). Something like that.

          So you’re saying the brain itself is a metaphor or that “brain” is used as a metaphor?

        • MBH March 29, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

          Isn’t the answer: necessarily both?

        • Mark Uzick March 30, 2011 at 2:33 am #

          Isn’t the answer: necessarily both?

          No…the brain itself is an organ that processes information.

          The real question is whether the conscious aspect of the mind is a universal quality of all physical entities, changing in form only, but otherwise as indestructible as matter-energy is or whether it is the non-physical part of a dualistic universe.

          In the first view, which I’ll label “modified physicalism”, a possible implication is that the creation of a true machine intelligence would automatically result in a conscious intelligence.

        • MBH March 30, 2011 at 4:46 am #

          It’s perfectly reasonable to find both physicalism and dualism senseless. Both assume that the use of ‘understanding’, ‘meaning’, ‘knowing’, etc. take place on multiple planes. (Even Mises’s methodological dualism can coincide with physicalism.) To say, “Polylogisms are senseless in philosophy.” is to do all the work that needs to be done on this issue. Here, that proposition opens the Space of Reasons, and makes questions of stuff-or-idea entirely moot. The moment you start talking about the brain as a physical entity or a mental entity, you’re importing a criteria for sense that stoops to metaphysical guesswork and assumes methodological dualism.

          If by “methodological dualism” you mean — unlike Mises — the two-tier training/learning form of interaction, then fine. But to mean that is not to say something metaphysical, as you’re inclined to say about the brain.

        • Mark Uzick March 30, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

          It’s perfectly reasonable to find both physicalism and dualism senseless. Both assume that the use of ‘understanding’, ‘meaning’, ‘knowing’, etc. take place on multiple planes.

          In what way does physicalism do that?

          To say, “Polylogisms are senseless in philosophy.” is to do all the work that needs to be done on this issue.

          How does “modified physicalism” imply that logic is subjectively determined by culture or race?

          Here, that proposition opens the Space of Reasons, and makes questions of stuff-or-idea entirely moot. The moment you start talking about the brain as a physical entity or a mental entity, you’re importing a criteria for sense that stoops to metaphysical guesswork and assumes methodological dualism.

          Isn’t it just the opposite: the unification of the mental and the physical by proposing that consciousness may be a universal property of physical entities?

          What’s the problem with guesswork? Is metaphysical inquiry foolish? If so, then isn’t it a dogma?

        • MBH March 30, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

          In what way does physicalism do that?

          Physicalism per se doesn’t do it, but physicalism per se is senseless. If you look around the room and say to yourself, “I suppose that what I’m saying right now could be nothing more than bio-chemical reactions,” then you’re assuming an ‘I’ that’s able to judge something about another ‘I’. That’s methodological dualism.

          How does “modified physicalism” imply that logic is subjectively determined by culture or race?

          Methodological dualism is also a form of polylogism. “Modified phsyicalism” — I would assume, rightly or wrongly — implies methodological dualism. No?

          Isn’t it just the opposite: the unification of the mental and the physical by proposing that consciousness may be a universal property of physical entities?

          I mean, I don’t think that’s necessarily wrong, but it’s also not wrong to say, “Isn’t it just the opposite: instead of 2 + 2 = 4, shouldn’t it be 4 = 2 + 1 + 1?” As long as parsimony isn’t a component of the criteria for being right, then you’re OK (sort-of). If we take parsimony out of the criteria for truth in natural science, then the earth is just as validly the center of our solar system as is the sun.

          What’s the problem with guesswork?

          Well, nothing necessarily. No problem necessarily with inexactness either. But in instances where someone needs exact measurements — say engineering a 50 floor building — then basing conclusions on guesswork is going to be a bit of a problem. And if you’re writing a textbook for philosophy students, one that ends up becoming the gold standard in universities, then to present your argument without reference to the criteria under which it’s justified will prove another problem with guesswork.

          Is metaphysical inquiry foolish? If so, then isn’t it a dogma?

          I don’t think it’s foolish. Without first playing that language-game, you’d never be able to describe how philosophy can neutralize it.

        • Mark Uzick March 30, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

          In what way does physicalism do that?

          Physicalism per se doesn’t do it, but physicalism per se is senseless. If you look around the room and say to yourself, “I suppose that what I’m saying right now could be nothing more than bio-chemical reactions,” then you’re assuming an ‘I’ that’s able to judge something about another ‘I’. That’s methodological dualism.

          Trying to understand something about yourself, even if it’s how you understand, doesn’t seem pointless or futile to me.

          How does “modified physicalism” imply that logic is subjectively determined by culture or race?

          Methodological dualism is also a form of polylogism. “Modified phsyicalism” — I would assume, rightly or wrongly — implies methodological dualism. No?

          Methodological dualism implies that logic is subjectively determined by culture or race?

          Is metaphysical inquiry foolish? If so, then isn’t it a dogma?

          I don’t think it’s foolish. Without first playing that language-game, you’d never be able to describe how philosophy can neutralize it.

          By “language game” I suppose you mean “speculative thought”. In what way does philosophy neutralize philosophical questions?

        • MBH April 1, 2011 at 3:37 am #

          Trying to understand something about yourself, even if it’s how you understand, doesn’t seem pointless or futile to me.

          I’m not saying that it is. I’m only saying that ‘to think’ x is not reducible to a physical process or a mental process.

          Methodological dualism implies that logic is subjectively determined by culture or race?

          How does polylogism imply that culture or race determines the form(s) of logic?

          In what way does philosophy neutralize philosophical questions?

          Philosophy neutralizes questions that bring philosophy per se into question. If philosophy is like a set of applicative therapies, then to try to define philosophy will end in error since a definition closes off future, divergent, use.

  23. Mark Uzick April 1, 2011 at 5:14 am #

    Trying to understand something about yourself, even if it’s how you understand, doesn’t seem pointless or futile to me.

    I’m not saying that it is. I’m only saying that ‘to think’ x is not reducible to a physical process or a mental process.

    The question is whether all or just some mental processes are reducible to physical processes.

    Methodological dualism implies that logic is subjectively determined by culture or race?

    How does polylogism imply that culture or race determines the form(s) of logic?

    That’s what I found from multiple sources: Polylogism is the cultural/racial relativism of logic. Just search it.

    In what way does philosophy neutralize philosophical questions?

    Philosophy neutralizes questions that bring philosophy per se into question. If philosophy is like a set of applicative therapies, then to try to define philosophy will end in error since a definition closes off future, divergent, use.

    Philosophical inquiry may question a particular philosophy, but that doesn’t bring philosophy itself into question. To say that would be to imply that the philosophy was dogmatic and, therefore, no philosophy at all.

    • MBH April 1, 2011 at 5:56 am #

      That’s what I found from multiple sources: Polylogism is the cultural/racial relativism of logic. Just search it.

      That’s not how I’m using it. I just mean more than one logic, say, man’s logic vs. natures logic.

      Philosophical inquiry may question a particular philosophy, but that doesn’t bring philosophy itself into question. To say that would be to imply that the philosophy was dogmatic and, therefore, no philosophy at all.

      Agreed.

      • Mark Uzick April 2, 2011 at 12:08 am #

        That’s not how I’m using it. I just mean more than one logic, say, man’s logic vs. natures logic.

        I tried to learn about methodological dualism. Can you explain why you think “Methodological dualism is also a form of polylogism.”when Mises says, “All that we can infer from it is that science-at least for the time being-must adopt a dualistic approach, less as a philosophical explanation than as a methodological device.“?

        Philosophical inquiry may question a particular philosophy, but that doesn’t bring philosophy itself into question. To say that would be to imply that the philosophy was dogmatic and, therefore, no philosophy at all.

        Agreed.

        You can’t just agree without explaining how you think I missed your point, unless you’re saying that you’ve changed your mind.

        • MBH April 2, 2011 at 4:48 am #

          I tried to learn about methodological dualism. Can you explain why you think “Methodological dualism is also a form of polylogism.”when Mises says, “All that we can infer from it is that science-at least for the time being-must adopt a dualistic approach, less as a philosophical explanation than as a methodological device.“?

          Mises — through methodological dualism — concludes that action manifests reason, but forecloses that fact manifests reason (Long, 2008). As I say before, this opens the door to weird consequences like man’s logic as opposed to nature’s logic, etc. And one might sense a creeping compatibilism in such appeal to “science” and the 100% causal nature of a situation — as if situations don’t entail the Space of Reasons.

          You can’t just agree without explaining how you think I missed your point, unless you’re saying that you’ve changed your mind.

          I can just agree if I think that such agreement is perfectly reconcilable with what I’ve already said. You can ask how I’m justified in agreement. I can tell you that I specified the issue as philosophy per se, and you swapped the lens in favor of different philosophies in particular. In the latter case, I think you’re right. In the former case, I think I’m still right. No contradiction.

        • Mark Uzick April 2, 2011 at 6:56 am #

          Mises — through methodological dualism — concludes that action manifests reason, but forecloses that fact manifests reason (Long, 2008). As I say before, this opens the door to weird consequences like man’s logic as opposed to nature’s logic, etc. And one might sense a creeping compatibilism in such appeal to “science” and the 100% causal nature of a situation — as if situations don’t entail the Space of Reasons.

          I’m trying to read Roderick’s paper, but it will take some time, as I’m also reading “OS Government” and other things as well.

          You can’t just agree without explaining how you think I missed your point, unless you’re saying that you’ve changed your mind.

          I can just agree if I think that such agreement is perfectly reconcilable with what I’ve already said. You can ask how I’m justified in agreement. I can tell you that I specified the issue as philosophy per se, and you swapped the lens in favor of different philosophies in particular. In the latter case, I think you’re right. In the former case, I think I’m still right. No contradiction.

          Except that in saying that I “swapped the lens” you are, in effect, saying that I’ve missed your point, so this remains unresolved.

        • MBH April 2, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

          Except that in saying that I “swapped the lens” you are, in effect, saying that I’ve missed your point, so this remains unresolved.

          It’s resolved. I agree with you that you can call particular applications into question, and you agree that you can’t call the every single application into question at once.

        • Mark Uzick April 7, 2011 at 7:24 am #

          Mises — through methodological dualism — concludes that action manifests reason, but forecloses that fact manifests reason (Long, 2008). As I say before, this opens the door to weird consequences like man’s logic as opposed to nature’s logic, etc. And one might sense a creeping compatibilism in such appeal to “science” and the 100% causal nature of a situation — as if situations don’t entail the Space of Reasons.

          I finished Roderick’s paper and while I didn’t see why Mises’ methodological device, if it wasn’t meant as philosophical truth, would open the door to polylogism, I did notice that Wittgenstein and his followers’ main purpose was to integrate Frege’s inner and outer realms with his third realm.

          Aren’t I integrating the outer realm with the third realm when I observe that inductive logic is empirically based and that even deductive logic was ultimately empirically derived?

          Aren’t I integrating the inner realm with the third and outer realm when I observe that “perceiving as” is a mental interpretation of sensory data that’s inductive or empirical in nature?

          While I find it too difficult to follow Tractarian terminology, is it possible that I have a different way of expressing some of the same principles? or am I still alone in my own idiosyncratic way of seeing things?

        • MBH April 7, 2011 at 8:36 am #

          …am I still alone in my own idiosyncratic way of seeing things?

          I’ve been hinting at ‘no’. Wittgenstein was not the first to show that the inner/outer divide is an a posteriori illusion. My avatar/I showed that Kant’s inner/outer divide was an a posteriori illusion long before Wittgenstein showed the same of Frege’s. Reference our conversation about TWWR. If you can understand that you are first required by me to take on the root of all philosophical problems — the Will that stands first outside the world — and then to crucify that Will, which was only an illusion to begin with, then you’ll take on the position that views the inner/outer divide as illusory. You need Wittgenstein as much as Confucius needed St. Augustine (that is, as supplemental, not as essential). Of course this perspective will seem idiosyncratic to those who pre-consciously fall into the trap that Schopenhauer digs one out of, but from this perspective, you’ll see why we should look on all that believe in the inner/outer divide as themselves idiosyncratic to reality — even if they are in the vast majority. Stupidity in numbers — mostly.

          A Abrahamic mystic might argue that Schopenhauer was hardly the first, Muhammad, Jesus, and Moses came before. And that’s fine, so long as we read their message as coinciding with Schopenhauer’s and Wittgenstein’s. Similarly, a fanatic of Doctor Who might argue that he came before Schopenhauer too. This language-game is fine as well, so long as the reference is the same. But to say that you’re idiosyncratic in this perspective is to surrender to the root of evil. Such a proposition submits to evil that it is synchronized with reality. Nonsense!

        • MBH April 7, 2011 at 8:41 am #

          Aren’t I integrating the outer realm with the third realm when I observe that inductive logic is empirically based and that even deductive logic was ultimately empirically derived?

          It’s Hegelian, but so long as you understand it to function in the way you describe, then I don’t see anything wrong with it — apart from it’s tendency to mislead.

          Aren’t I integrating the inner realm with the third and outer realm when I observe that “perceiving as” is a mental interpretation of sensory data that’s inductive or empirical in nature?

          As long as by “a mental interpretation of sensory data that’s inductive or empirical in nature” is understood as an interpretation of what’s already essentially mental. The problem is that ‘sensory data’ is customarily thought of as that which is abstracted from material.

      • Mark Uzick April 8, 2011 at 5:38 am #

        A Abrahamic mystic might argue that Schopenhauer was hardly the first, Muhammad, Jesus, and Moses came before. And that’s fine, so long as we read their message as coinciding with Schopenhauer’s and Wittgenstein’s.

        OK… I can come off as being somewhat unsympathetic to theology, but I’m not as bad as you think. In rowdy theists versus the atheists debates, I’ll jump in as a declared atheist, but mostly taking the theist’s side when I believe the atheist’s arguments are foolishly illogical, especially the favorite atheist argument:”the problem of evil”. I was told by one well educated atheist, with whom I debated this, that my arguments sounded similar to “process theology”.

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/process-theism

        A few years ago I posted this idea about how the evolution of theology parallels the evolution of philosophy. One of the implications is that anarchism is more compatible with primitive theology than the Christian religion.
        —————————————————————————————————————————————
        “To the primitive mind the universe seemed inexplicably chaotic. To explain this Man invented capricious spirits, demons and gods. This was a fiat universe, where reality was subject to the decree of the deities that were imagined to exist.

        As early philosophy and science began to develop, men began to discover underlying principles of how the world worked, or the beginnings of universal law. Theology, too, began to evolve along with this new perspective. Now the gods were replaced with one God and his universal law (God’s Law) to which even God, claims of his omnipotence to the contrary, was subject. God became the anthropomorphization of universal law. Now the world as seen by both the scientist and the theist is one of rich infinitely complex beauty and order, that is governed by the underlying principles of universal law.

        So Man’s perception of the universe evolved from that of an anarchic chaos subject to the caprice of deities, to the modern view of the universe as ordered complexity through the government of immutable universal law.

        Government versus anarchy is not merely a political issue, but, more broadly, it’s an ontological one.”

        This language-game is fine as well, so long as the reference is the same. But to say that you’re idiosyncratic in this perspective is to surrender to the root of evil. Such a proposition submits to evil that it is synchronized with reality. Nonsense!

        Sorry…By “idiosyncratic” I (wrongly) meant “uncommon” or “maverick”.

        • MBH April 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

          Interesting take. I actually found religion through atheism and three history of philosophy classes at AU (ancient and medieval with Roderick).

  24. P. April 7, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    At the risk of receiving answers that I won’t have a clue to what they’re supposed to mean, I’ll briefly join in this conversation.

    Mark Uzick,

    “Aren’t I integrating the outer realm with the third realm when I observe that inductive logic is empirically based and that even deductive logic was ultimately empirically derived?”

    It seems like you’re placing the third realm inside the outer realm, when it should be the contrary.

    You seem to be making logic depend on something, i.e., the form of the world. A form which constrains our thought, which would otherwise be illogical.

    At least that’s what it seems to me. Am I wrong in seeing it in that way?

    “you’ll see why we should look on all that believe in the inner/outer divide as themselves idiosyncratic to reality — even if they are in the vast majority. Stupidity in numbers — mostly.”

    Am I right in considering this position to be the “post-realism” of which Long talks about in his praxeological investigations?

    And if that’s right, then what’s the problem with the “rail-less realism” Long proposes?

    • Mark Uzick April 8, 2011 at 6:42 am #

      P.:

      “Aren’t I integrating the outer realm with the third realm when I observe that inductive logic is empirically based and that even deductive logic was ultimately empirically derived?”

      It seems like you’re placing the third realm inside the outer realm, when it should be the contrary.

      Not at all; the outer realm is visible and public, but what we see there are interpretive perceptions of the outer realm in the inner realm and non-sensible, but public, interpretive thoughts concerning our inner realm perceptions of the outer realm that can, in turn, change our inner realm interpretations of its perceptions.

      So the outer realm is inside the inner realm and both are inside the third realm. The third realm may rely on empiricism to learn how to think, but it interacts and, somehow, integrates with the subjective awareness (the sum of qualia) of the inner realm to form a conscious mind through which the outer world is filtered and interpreted.

      You seem to be making logic depend on something, i.e., the form of the world. A form which constrains our thought, which would otherwise be illogical.

      The form of the world depends on the principles that govern the boundaries of reality; where logic is the sum of these principles. The discovery/derivation of logic is made empirically, so:

      1. Logic governs the form of the world.

      2. The discovery of logic depends on reverse engineering the form of the world.

      • P. April 8, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

        “So the outer realm is inside the inner realm”

        Are you saying you’re and idealist?

        I couldn’t make much sense of the rest of what you said.

        “The discovery of logic”

        Are you saying thought is illogical before the “discovery” of logic?

        So, you think there can be “illogical thought”?

        • Mark Uzick April 9, 2011 at 1:25 am #

          “So the outer realm is inside the inner realm”

          Are you saying you’re and idealist?

          I’m probably confusing what it means for one realm to be inside “inside” the other; I was trying to conform to your terminology in order to answer your comment, but if what I said implies idealism, then my understanding of it is confused.

          I’ll restate my view in my own simple terms and let you decide what it means in terms of realms being inside each other and whether that agrees or disagrees with your own view:

          The inner realm sees the outer realm as sensory perceptions.

          The third realm (our thoughts) interpret the outer realm via the interpretation of the perceptions of the inner realm of the outer realm.

          This interpretation then causes the inner realm to perceive recognizable patterns as something.

          So the third realm of thoughts “looks” out at the outer realm through the “window” of perceptions that is the inner realm.

          If this means that the third realm is “inside” then so be it. I think the reason you believe that the outer realm is inside the third realm – if I understand this this notion correctly – is because you believe that logic is in the third realm. That would be a kind of idealism, as that would mean that thoughts govern the form of the world, but logic is not a part of the third realm: it’s only logical thought, not logic, that’s in the third realm.

          “The discovery of logic”

          Are you saying thought is illogical before the “discovery” of logic?

          Much of what people believe is illogical; Man may never know the whole of logic. How much of logic must someone understand before you will consider his mental process “thinking”?

          So, you think there can be “illogical thought”?

          If you try to make sense of something, but, for the time being, fail to do so or mistakenly think that you have done so, is that not thinking?

        • P. April 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

          “that would be a kind of idealism, as that would mean that thoughts govern the form of the world”

          What?! No!

          Thoughts are in the inner realm. The third realm is the CONTENT of thoughts. Not the thoughts themselves.

          “but logic is not a part of the third realm”

          That’s exactly what it is. The third realm is the logical content of both thought and the world.

          “How much of logic must someone understand before you will consider his mental process “thinking”?”

          It’s not about being able to explicitly state the rules of logic. It’s about following them!

          Maybe very few people know the law of non-contradiction, but that doesn’t mean they don’t follow that law.

          Logic is constitutive of thought.

          Please, read chapter 3 of this paper and say what you think of it: http://mises.org/journals/scholar/long.pdf

          “If you try to make sense of something, but, for the time being, fail to do so or mistakenly think that you have done so, is that not thinking?”

          Sure it is. But why do you suppose that involves violating the laws of logic?

          See pages 21, 22 and 23 of the chapter 3.

  25. P. April 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    The second quote is from MBH… forgot to say it.

    • MBH April 7, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

      Where do I say anything that opposes rail-less realism?

      • Mark Uzick April 10, 2011 at 5:06 am #

        “that would be a kind of idealism, as that would mean that thoughts govern the form of the world”

        What?! No!

        Thoughts are in the inner realm. The third realm is the CONTENT of thoughts. Not the thoughts themselves.

        I see:

        Finally, there are those items that are easily but wrongly confused with presentations, namely the items of the third realm, which are public but not sensible; Frege calls these “thoughts,” and has in mind not psychological states but the logical content of those states.

        When Roderick says, “not psychological states but the logical content of those states.”, I thought he was saying that the logical process of thought was distinct from the associated subjective experience of thinking that accompanies the physical process of thought.

        Interesting: so thinking and perception constitute the inner realm.

        Thank you.

        “but logic is not a part of the third realm”

        That’s exactly what it is. The third realm is the logical content of both thought and the world.

        Not true:

        It’s the logical content of thought only in the sense of “content” as “the subject”, as logic is not contained within thought, but exists independent of thought.

        But if “content” is the “the subject”, that sense doesn’t apply to the world, as logic is contained in the world (it exists), but it cannot exist independent of the world: logic is not a separate world of its own.

        “How much of logic must someone understand before you will consider his mental process “thinking”?”

        It’s not about being able to explicitly state the rules of logic. It’s about following them!

        No-body’s thinking follows logic unerringly. Much of what we believe is logical is not. We are still learning the principles that govern the form of the world; some of which we don’t know yet and some of which we think we know, but about which, we are wrong. Nonetheless, as logical/illogical as they may be, whether they express concepts or pseudo-concepts, these are our thoughts.

        Maybe very few people know the law of non-contradiction, but that doesn’t mean they don’t follow that law.

        Nor does it mean that they consistently do.

        Logic is constitutive of thought.

        No. Logic constitutes the aim of thought.

        Please, read chapter 3 of this paper and say what you think of it: http://mises.org/journals/scholar/long.pdf

        Wittgenstein seems to be using “logic” in the sense of “correct inference or deduction”; only a part of what constitutes logic; even then, this implies that association does not count as thought, unless the correct inferences are made. I think this is too restrictive. What he calls “thought”is actually “thought that’s not inconsistent with the rules of logical deduction”. (I use the double negative “not inconsistent” because not all thoughts involve deduction; some may be inductive.)

        “If you try to make sense of something, but, for the time being, fail to do so or mistakenly think that you have done so, is that not thinking?”

        Sure it is. But why do you suppose that involves violating the laws of logic?

        In the first case: right; it doesn’t necessarily do so, but in the second case there’s a problem with your logic, but, now that I see you’re referring only to deductive logic, in that case, not necessarily.

        • P. April 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

          “Interesting: so thinking and perception constitute the inner realm.”

          Yes, but I wouldn’t draw too sharp a line between thinking and perception. Perception already involves some kind of thought process.

          “It’s the logical content of thought only in the sense of “content” as “the subject”, as logic is not contained within thought, but exists independent of thought”

          I’m not sure I understand this.

          By content, I mean that if you think “Roderick is a nice guy”, and I think “Roderick is a nice guy”, our thoughts would be numerically distinct, but the content of them would be the same. They would *mean* the same thing.

          “as logic is contained in the world (it exists)”

          Logic is not contained in anything. Logic is basic. There is nothing that grounds logic. Nothing that could deviate from logic. But this doesn’t contradicts metaphysical realism for logic.

          The logicality of the world and the logicality of thought are two sides of the same coin.

          “No-body’s thinking follows logic unerringly. ”

          If logic is precisely the rules that constitute thought, then obviously that is wrong.

          Just imagine: What would possibly mean to think ilogically? What could possibly be an example of an illogical thought? What could possibly mean to think “A = non-A”?

          Have you read the pages I recommended to you?

          He shows, for example, what the “logical mistake of affirming the consequent” could possibly mean. It’s not really a violation of logic.

          “Nor does it mean that they consistently do.”

          “No. Logic constitutes the aim of thought”

          This is plain reflectionism. You think of logic as a commandment that thought ought to follow. But that is just nonsense, at least according to Long’s paper.

          “only a part of what constitutes logic”

          What are the other parts? And, if it is actually just a part of logic, then it is the *fundamental* part. The part which nothing else could contradict.

          “What he calls “thought”is actually “thought that’s not inconsistent with the rules of logical deduction”.”

          That’s precisely what it means to say that logic is constitutive of thought. But it seems just awkward to say it is “restrictive” when nothing could possibly deviate from it.

          If it is “restrictive”, then it is an enabling “restriction”.

          “I use the double negative “not inconsistent” because not all thoughts involve deduction; some may be inductive.”

          Induction is a rather complicated matter, as our previous conversation shows. The whole discussion about “perceiving as” was about induction.

          I don’t think it is possible to give an account of induction from an external perspective… so, I’m not sure that it is possible to state some kind of “rules of induction” for thought.

          So… yes, I restrict “talk of logic” to “talk of inference”.

          “In the first case: right; it doesn’t necessarily do so, but in the second case there’s a problem with your logic, but, now that I see you’re referring only to deductive logic, in that case, not necessarily”

          You should try to provide more concrete examples of “illogical thought”, then we see if your examples actually make sense.

        • P. April 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

          I think I get where you’re coming from.

          You want to say logic is a commandment for thought, because otherwise you think you wouldn’t be able to make sense of judgements about the irrationality of the thinking and acting of someone.

          But that’s not true. We can still say that someone is being irrational, even if nothing can deviate from logic. It’s just one sense of rationality, namely the praxeological one, that cannot be said to be otherwise.

        • Mark Uzick April 11, 2011 at 7:04 am #

          “Interesting: so thinking and perception constitute the inner realm.”

          Yes, but I wouldn’t draw too sharp a line between thinking and perception. Perception already involves some kind of thought process.

          I agree, but it seems to me that awareness (the sum of qualia) is at the perceptual level of consciousness: experience/feeling is influenced by thought, but does not itself think.

          “It’s the logical content of thought only in the sense of “content” as “the subject”, as logic is not contained within thought, but exists independent of thought”

          I’m not sure I understand this.

          Logic is a subject of thought, not thought itself.

          “as logic is contained in the world (it exists)”

          Logic is not contained in anything. Logic is basic. There is nothing that grounds logic. Nothing that could deviate from logic. But this doesn’t contradicts metaphysical realism for logic.

          Logic is like the DNA of the world. The DNA of the body determines its form, yet it is contained within the body. Logic determines the form of the world, yet it is contained within the world.

          If logic is not contained within the world, then, by definition, it doesn’t exist.

          “No-body’s thinking follows logic unerringly. ”

          If logic is precisely the rules that constitute thought, then obviously that is wrong.

          There are no rules to thought, only to logical thought.

          –noun
          1.
          the product of mental activity; that which one thinks: a body of thought.
          2.
          a single act or product of thinking; idea or notion: to collect one’s thoughts.
          3.
          the act or process of thinking; mental activity: Thought as well as action wearies us.
          4.
          the capacity or faculty of thinking, reasoning, imagining, etc.: All her thought went into her work.
          5.
          a consideration or reflection: Thought of death terrified her.
          6.
          meditation, contemplation, or recollection: deep in thought.
          7.
          intention, design, or purpose, especially a half-formed or imperfect intention: We had some thought of going.
          8.
          anticipation or expectation: I had no thought of seeing you here.
          9.
          consideration, attention, care, or regard: She took no thought of her appearance.
          10.
          a judgment, opinion, or belief: According to his thought, all violence is evil.
          11.
          the intellectual activity or the ideas, opinions, etc., characteristic of a particular place, class, or time: Greek thought.

          None of these definitions are restricted exclusively to rational thought. Thought is mental activity in all its variations.

          Just imagine: What would possibly mean to think ilogically? What could possibly be an example of an illogical thought? What could possibly mean to think “A = non-A”?

          An oversight of something that implies a contradiction or a dogmatic belief or powerful emotion that causes someone to willfully disregard reason.

          Have you read the pages I recommended to you?

          Yes.

          He shows, for example, what the “logical mistake of affirming the consequent” could possibly mean. It’s not really a violation of logic.

          That doesn’t exclude the possibility that in other examples they do.

          What are the other parts? And, if it is actually just a part of logic, then it is the *fundamental* part. The part which nothing else could contradict.

          Deductive logic is an elaboration of the principle of non-contradiction. All of logic consists of the laws of science, including non-contradiction: where the law of non-contradiction is first hurdle the other laws will pass on their way to be considered as laws. All of them are empirically derived and our beliefs about their status as laws are defeasible if exceptions to them are found.

          These laws determine the form of the world.

          If it is “restrictive”, then it is an enabling “restriction”.

          I agree that we should usually restrict our thoughts in an attempt to be logical, but there’s nothing wrong with seductively suspending logic to engage in fantasy for our entertainment.

          So… yes, I restrict “talk of logic” to “talk of inference”.

          But then using inductive logic is not thinking?

          You should try to provide more concrete examples of “illogical thought”, then we see if your examples actually make sense.

          Theology, socialism, logical positivism and Einstein’s special and general relativity contain some.

        • P. April 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

          I think qualia is a dubious concept, at least to the extent that it implies some sharp division between the inner realm and the outer realm.

          But I don’t want to enter in that discussion about conceptual experience again… You left the last of my posts about that discussion unanswered, btw.

          “Logic is a subject of thought, not thought itself”

          Logic is the form of thought. The unit of thought is a proposition.

          “If logic is not contained within the world, then, by definition, it doesn’t exist”

          In one sense I might agree with that. Since I’m a realist about logic.

          But I don’t think you mean quite the same as I do. I endorse the rail-less realism Long talks about, while you seem to endorse some kind of reflectionism about logic.

          In the rail-less view, I can still say logic is a feature of reality without saying it’s contained in reality, as if it were something that our minds could deviate from. As if our minds were a “formless chaos” upon which the world imposed logical structure.

          The third world is basic.

          “None of these definitions are restricted exclusively to rational thought. Thought is mental activity in all its variations”

          Are you serious about throwing dictionary definitions to prove your point? This is philosophy we’re discussing.

          And, anyway, I never said thought is *reducible* to the logical laws. As if there was nothing more to it than A=A.

          I just said that no thought can deviate from the logical laws. And the definitions don’t seem to contradict that statement.

          “An oversight of something that implies a contradiction or a dogmatic belief or powerful emotion that causes someone to willfully disregard reason”

          1. Emotions are tools of cognition. They are part of the rational soul.

          2. a dogmatic belief or powerful emotion that causes you to make a choice that is contrary to your best interests is indeed an instance of irrationality, in one sense of that term. But not in the praxeological sense. And this is definitely not an example of illogical thought.

          3. “An oversight of something that implies a contradiction”

          You should elaborate what you mean by this.

          Sure, we often have contradictory beliefs, but it is precisely because, when we recognize them as contradictory, we also recognize them as *meaningless*, that we dispose of one of them and move to a more coherent system of beliefs.

          That is the way thought actually proceed. It’s called the method of reflective equilibrium.

          It’s similar to the point Long makes about “affirming the consequent”. Sure, you might be convinced that you actually “inferred p from ‘if p then q’ and ‘q'” but your subjective convictions don’t prove anything, for you are not necessarily an expert on what rules you are following.

          If we can’t make sense of what would be to actually think an “affirmation of the consequent”, then you can’t say it contradicts logic.

          Instead, you probably added a premise: “If (if p then q) then (if q then p)”, or the relation of one thought to another was just causally related, etc. because these alternatives *can actually be made sense of*.

          “That doesn’t exclude the possibility that in other examples they do”

          Then show such an example.

          “All of logic consists of the laws of science”

          I think you have a very different concept of “logic” than most people.

          “All of them are empirically derived and our beliefs about their status as laws are defeasible if exceptions to them are found.”

          Concepts come *with* experience. Not *from* experience.

          We depend on experience in order to posses the concepts of praxeology, logic and mathematics, but no experience whatsoever could possibly count as a refutation of a conceptual truth.

          That doesn’t mean all, not even most, conceptual truths are indefeasible. At first we might think “all bachelors are unmarried males” is a conceptual truth. But once you see that it would include non-human animals, the pope, and infants, in the concept of bachelor, you would probably revise that statement.

          So, while you can’t provide a refutation of conceptual truths by somehow confronting them with experience, they are (most of them) still defeasible in some sense.

          But, in the case of axioms, those things that are a precondition to any acquistion of knowledge whatsoever.. those are indefeasible. And logic is one of them.

          Anyway, the very natural sciences operate in a similar fashion: judgements of overall plausibility, since we don’t confront a single proposition against reality, but a whole set of them. In effect, experience only introduces a new belief in our set.. how we are going to fit it into our system of beliefs will be our decision to make.

          Just so you can follow more easily what I’m saying:

          http://mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae6_1_7.pdf

      • Mark Uzick April 13, 2011 at 5:15 am #

        I think qualia is a dubious concept, at least to the extent that it implies some sharp division between the inner realm and the outer realm.

        But I don’t want to enter in that discussion about conceptual experience again… You left the last of my posts about that discussion unanswered, btw.

        I’m sorry, but it’s easy to lose track of replies on a busy forum. Maybe you could re-post it. I remember finding an overlooked comment and then replying to it a bit late. Could that be the one?

        “Logic is a subject of thought, not thought itself”

        Logic is the form of thought. The unit of thought is a proposition.

        I must confess that I’ve been using a wrong definition of “logic” that came from an explanation of “logic” from MBH: “Logic is the boundaries for reality.”From this I surmised that logic is the sum of principles that govern the form of the world. I apologize for the confusion I’ve caused.

        I had the wrong impression that logic is “the principles applicable to any branch of knowledge or study.”, but the correct definition of “logic” is “the system or principles of reasoning applicable to any branch of knowledge or study.”

        “If logic is not contained within the world, then, by definition, it doesn’t exist”

        In one sense I might agree with that. Since I’m a realist about logic.

        But I don’t think you mean quite the same as I do.

        I no longer do either.

        I endorse the rail-less realism Long talks about, while you seem to endorse some kind of reflectionism about logic.

        In the rail-less view, I can still say logic is a feature of reality without saying it’s contained in reality, as if it were something that our minds could deviate from. As if our minds were a “formless chaos” upon which the world imposed logical structure.

        Could you give me a quick explanation of “reflectionism” and “the rail-less view”?

        The third world is basic.

        If the 3rd realm is the logical content of thought, then it isn’t logic, but those propositions arrived at logically.

        “None of these definitions are restricted exclusively to rational thought. Thought is mental activity in all its variations”

        Are you serious about throwing dictionary definitions to prove your point? This is philosophy we’re discussing.

        Isn’t meaning important to philosophy? I was trying to find out whether there were any senses of “thought” that required rationality.

        I just said that no thought can deviate from the logical laws. And the definitions don’t seem to contradict that statement.

        Since thought is the product of mental activity and mental activity sometimes produces senselessness, to not require adherence to logic in the definition of thought, is to imply the possibility of deviation from logic.

        1. Emotions are tools of cognition. They are part of the rational soul.

        Emotions vary according to one’s beliefs and values; they are only as rational as the beliefs and values they are based on.

        2. a dogmatic belief or powerful emotion that causes you to make a choice that is contrary to your best interests is indeed an instance of irrationality, in one sense of that term. But not in the praxeological sense. And this is definitely not an example of illogical thought.

        The action may be logically in keeping with the dogmatic or the emotion based belief, but the belief is an irrational thought.

        3. “An oversight of something that implies a contradiction”

        You should elaborate what you mean by this

        .

        The thought is arrived at logically in the context of an accidentally illogical premise, but is illogical; the thinking process is sound, but the thought is unsound.

        Sure, we often have contradictory beliefs, but it is precisely because, when we recognize them as contradictory, we also recognize them as *meaningless*, that we dispose of one of them and move to a more coherent system of beliefs.

        While a belief can be disposed of, a thought cannot be; it can only be dismissed.

        It’s similar to the point Long makes about “affirming the consequent”. Sure, you might be convinced that you actually “inferred p from ‘if p then q’ and ‘q’” but your subjective convictions don’t prove anything, for you are not necessarily an expert on what rules you are following.

        That’s right; my thoughts wouldn’t prove anything.

        If we can’t make sense of what would be to actually think an “affirmation of the consequent”, then you can’t say it contradicts logic.

        This assumes that thoughts are logical. You can’t assume something as a proof of the same thing.

        Instead, you probably added a premise: “If (if p then q) then (if q then p)”, or the relation of one thought to another was just causally related, etc. because these alternatives *can actually be made sense of*.

        You lost me.

        Concepts come *with* experience. Not *from* experience.

        I’d say their based on experience.

        We depend on experience in order to posses the concepts of praxeology, logic and mathematics, but no experience whatsoever could possibly count as a refutation of a conceptual truth.

        That doesn’t mean all, not even most, conceptual truths are indefeasible. At first we might think “all bachelors are unmarried males” is a conceptual truth. But once you see that it would include non-human animals, the pope, and infants, in the concept of bachelor, you would probably revise that statement.

        So, while you can’t provide a refutation of conceptual truths by somehow confronting them with experience, they are (most of them) still defeasible in some sense.

        But, in the case of axioms, those things that are a precondition to any acquistion of knowledge whatsoever.. those are indefeasible. And logic is one of them.

        Anyway, the very natural sciences operate in a similar fashion: judgements of overall plausibility, since we don’t confront a single proposition against reality, but a whole set of them. In effect, experience only introduces a new belief in our set.. how we are going to fit it into our system of beliefs will be our decision to make.

        Axioms cannot be proved so you cannot say that they are not falsifiable. That all other knowledge depends on axioms is only confirmatory evidence that makes doubting them ridiculous, yet it is evidence that makes this so; so axioms are ultimately grounded in empiricism.

        You cannot say: “Non-contradiction is true because to say otherwise is contradictory.” Tautologies are not valid philosophy/science.

        We know non-contradiction is true because evidence makes it immediately apparent (even if not as a general rule) to a mind that evolved in the world where non-contradiction is one of the principles that governs its form, or we would not have survived.

        • Mark Uzick April 13, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

          In the previous comment I wrote:

          I must confess that I’ve been using a wrong definition of “logic” that came from an explanation of “logic” from MBH: “Logic is the boundaries for reality.”From this I surmised that logic is the sum of principles that govern the form of the world. I apologize for the confusion I’ve caused.

          I had the wrong impression that logic is “the principles applicable to any branch of knowledge or study.”, but the correct definition of “logic” is “the system or principles of reasoning applicable to any branch of knowledge or study.” I must confess that I’ve been using a wrong definition of “logic” that came from an explanation of “logic” from MBH: “Logic is the boundaries for reality.”From this I surmised that logic is the sum of principles that govern the form of the world. I apologize for the confusion I’ve caused.

          Now I’m uncertain: if logic is “the system or principles of reasoning applicable to any branch of knowledge or study.”, then aren’t these principles of reasoning identical to the principles that govern the form of the world? Is there something I’m missing? If not, then I would say that:

          Logic isn’t the form of rational thought, but logic is the sum of the principles that govern the form of rational thought on the grounds that logic is the sum of the principles that govern the form of the world.

        • P. April 15, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

          If you want to know about reflectionism and the rail-less view you should read the praxeological investigations.

          “If the 3rd realm is the logical content of thought, then it isn’t logic, but those propositions arrived at logically”

          How is it not logic? Propositions are the logical form of thought.

          – What is senseless cannot be thought. That’s why it is senseless.

          “Emotions vary according to one’s beliefs and values; they are only as rational as the beliefs and values they are based on”

          Emotions are perceptions of the value of particulars. They have cognitive content. That’s why I said they are rational.

          “The action may be logically in keeping with the dogmatic or the emotion based belief, but the belief is an irrational thought.”

          Its’s not the belief that is irrational. It’s the fact that you’re dogmatically attaining to it, ignoring the evidences to the contrary.

          “The thought is arrived at logically in the context of an accidentally illogical premise, but is illogical; the thinking process is sound, but the thought is unsound”

          What is an illogical premise? “A = not-A”?

          Ok.. but then your premise didn’t even make sense from the start. It isn’t really a premise. It’s just some random marks with no meaning.

          It seems what you’re trying to say is that the thought is arrived logically from a FALSE premise, no an illogical premise.

          I think you’re confusing logic with dogmatism, etc.

          “While a belief can be disposed of, a thought cannot be; it can only be dismissed”

          I don’t understand this. But if you mean that you can actually THINK two contradictory beliefs at the same time… than you’re wrong. You can possess two contraditory beliefs, but only if sometimes you act based on one belief, sometimes you act based on another… you cannot act on a contradiction, that’s why a contradiction is senseless: because the meaning of a concept is its use!

          “This assumes that thoughts are logical. You can’t assume something as a proof of the same thing.”

          I’m trying to give a “negative demonstration” that we can’t make sense of any “illogical something”.

          “You lost me”

          In what sense? You didn’t understand the argument?

          “I’d say their based on experience.”

          Me too. But I think that’s ambiguous. I can say concepts necessitate experience but still not be an empiricist.

          “Axioms cannot be proved so you cannot say that they are not falsifiable. ”

          Yes, they can. They can be “negatively demonstrated”.

          I can show that any attempt at knowledge pressupposes the axiom.

          The axiom of action is an example of that. Try to refute that “an action is the use of means to attain an end”.

          “That all other knowledge depends on axioms is only confirmatory evidence that makes doubting them ridiculous”

          Not only ridiculous, but impossible. Inconceivable.

          “yet it is evidence that makes this so; so axioms are ultimately grounded in empiricism.”

          You could say it is evidence, but not empirical evidence. So, no empiricism here.

          “You cannot say: “Non-contradiction is true because to say otherwise is contradictory.” Tautologies are not valid philosophy/science”

          That’s exactly what an axiom means. You cannot possibly conceive a refutation to it.

          To dismiss it as a mere tautology is to make the mistake of thinking that all a priori knowledge is irrelevant, non-informative.

          Praxeology, mathematics and logic are here to disprove that conception.

        • Mark Uzick April 16, 2011 at 7:40 am #

          “If the 3rd realm is the logical content of thought, then it isn’t logic, but those propositions arrived at logically”

          How is it not logic? Propositions are the logical form of thought.

          – What is senseless cannot be thought. That’s why it is senseless.

          In the next comment I backtracked from this to my old position, but not to your position. The 3rd realm is logic, but not because logic is the form of thought; logic is the principles governing the form of rational thought which are the same principles governing the form of the world.

          “Emotions vary according to one’s beliefs and values; they are only as rational as the beliefs and values they are based on”

          Emotions are perceptions of the value of particulars. They have cognitive content. That’s why I said they are rational.

          Which is based on the premise that all thoughts are rational.

          “The action may be logically in keeping with the dogmatic or the emotion based belief, but the belief is an irrational thought.”

          Its’s not the belief that is irrational. It’s the fact that you’re dogmatically attaining to it, ignoring the evidences to the contrary.

          It could be; it depends on the sense of “irrational”, but, if you prefer, then “the belief is an illogical thought.”.

          “The thought is arrived at logically in the context of an accidentally illogical premise, but is illogical; the thinking process is sound, but the thought is unsound”

          What is an illogical premise? “A = not-A”?

          Ok.. but then your premise didn’t even make sense from the start.

          To “not make sense” is just another way to say “illogical”.

          It isn’t really a premise. It’s just some random marks with no meaning.

          Not really “random”, but not making any more sense than if it were.

          It seems what you’re trying to say is that the thought is arrived logically from a FALSE premise, no an illogical premise.

          By an illogical premise, I mean a particular type of false premise that came about, not by a logically plausible misinterpretation of facts, but by an illogical interpretation of facts, possibly due to careless oversight or prejudice. Even if you don’t admit that the premise was an illogical thought, the resultant logically derived thought based on the illogical premise would still be an illogical thought.

          “While a belief can be disposed of, a thought cannot be; it can only be dismissed”

          I don’t understand this.

          What’s hard to understand? A belief no longer exists when you stop believing, but that you had a particular thought will still be true long after you cease to think it made sense or was true.

          “This assumes that thoughts are logical. You can’t assume something as a proof of the same thing.”

          I’m trying to give a “negative demonstration” that we can’t make sense of any “illogical something”.

          You’re making a tautological argument that depends on “making sense” as a requirement of “thought”. It’s only true if you define “thought” as to make it true.

          “You lost me”

          In what sense? You didn’t understand the argument?

          Yeah.

          “I’d say [they’re] based on experience.”

          Me too. But I think that’s ambiguous. I can say concepts necessitate experience but still not be an empiricist.

          By making it falsifiable, empiricism doesn’t falsify non-contradiction; it elevates it from a dogmatic, subjective, tautological axiom to the fundamental principle of objective science/philosophy.

          “Axioms cannot be proved so you cannot say that they are not falsifiable. ”

          Yes, they can. They can be “negatively demonstrated”.

          I can show that any attempt at knowledge pressupposes the axiom.

          You’ve made my point; you cannot prove a negative through inference; to negatively demonstrate them is the empirical derivation/proof that gives scientific/philosophical certainty to axioms that I’m speaking of.

          The axiom of action is an example of that. Try to refute that “an action is the use of means to attain an end”.

          That’s not an axiom; that’s a definition.

          You could say it is evidence, but not empirical evidence. So, no empiricism here.

          What’s the difference between “evidence based” and empirical proof?

          That’s exactly what an axiom means. You cannot possibly conceive a refutation to it.

          The method of refutation is easy; just look for exceptions to it. In the case of the primary axiomatic principle, “non-contradiction”, everything we perceive and understand confirms it, so if we observed an exception to it, we would question the integrity of our very senses and sanity rather than believing it. Its falsifiability, while true, is not much more than a formality to keep it from becoming a dogmatic belief; although, unlike most dogmatism, this one is of little practical consequence, but only harmful to epistemological theory.

          To dismiss it as a mere tautology is to make the mistake of thinking that all a priori knowledge is irrelevant, non-informative.

          Praxeology, mathematics and logic are here to disprove that conception.

          I don’t dismiss axioms as mere tautology; I regard them as empirically verifiable, relevant and informative. It’s the belief that they are unprovable, justified only by some subjective God or nature given instinct as self justifying tautologies that endangers objective understanding of reality.

    • MBH April 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

      If you mean this quote to reflect a non-rail-less realism,

      you’ll see why we should look on all that believe in the inner/outer divide as themselves idiosyncratic to reality — even if they are in the vast majority. Stupidity in numbers — mostly.

      I don’t see how. Maybe you take “stupidity in numbers — mostly” to be a reference to elitism, but far from it. My reference is to the tendency of popular beliefs — call them slogans or sayings — to be empty of sense. That is, the sense in which people use the word ‘individualism’ or ‘capitalism’ is a perversion of the actual sense. That’s not to say that there can never be collective enlightenment; it only says that when ideas become sayings, they likely fizzle out. If you’re taking my supposed post-realism from the first sentence, then how is it contra rail-less realism if I say that most people don’t get real-less realism? Is my position insincere if I don’t think it’s a popular position? I have no idea what you’re talking about…

      • P. April 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

        You deny an inner/outer realm and mocks the common sense conception, which is metaphysical realism.

        I mean, all the things you say hint at a rejection of metaphysics.

        I get the feeling that you would say it is senseless to say, e.g., “this computer in front of me exists indenpendently of my mind”.

        • MBH April 8, 2011 at 12:01 am #

          The inner/outer is surely a railed metaphysics. I don’t reject metaphysics. I agree with Wittgenstein that grammar is essential, and that doesn’t fit very easily into a metaphysical “position”. I wouldn’t call that senseless. What I would call senseless is “the computer in front of me exists independent of the fact that there’s a computer in front of me” or “the computer in front of me exists independent of mind.”

        • P. April 8, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

          “the computer in front of me exists independent of mind.”

          Why is that senseless? If all thinkers should die tomorrow, computers would cease to exist?

        • MBH April 9, 2011 at 8:40 am #

          I consider concepts to be constitutive of mind. If all people die tomorrow, there will still be concepts.

          TLP 4.1274 To ask whether a formal concept exists is nonsensical.

          If you want to say that doesn’t count as mind, then that’s OK. I’ll just amend my claim to “It’s senseless to say ‘the computer in front of me exists independent of the concept digital/analogue processing machine‘.” Or something like that. Make sense?

        • P. April 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

          “I consider concepts to be constitutive of mind.”

          Ok, I think we agree on this.

          “If all people die tomorrow, there will still be concepts.”

          But this just sounds awkward.

          There would still be *things* of which we possess concepts about. Not concepts themselves. That would be a platonic metaphysics, wouldn’t it?

          “If you want to say that doesn’t count as mind, then that’s OK.”

          Well, if there were no living being who possessess a mind, how would there still be a mind?

          “I’ll just amend my claim to “It’s senseless to say ‘the computer in front of me exists independent of the concept digital/analogue processing machine‘.””

          I don’t understand it. What “digital/analogue processing machine” has to do with anything?

        • MBH April 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

          If you’re serious about the head-on view, then you’re restricted from talking about a world not based in concepts.

        • P. April 9, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

          But it is “based in concepts”. It’s just not the concepts themselves!

          The world is not concepts floating around…

          I mean, there are cars in the world…. particular automobiles. But there ain’t the concept “car” floating around.

        • MBH April 10, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

          But it is “based in concepts”. It’s just not the concepts themselves!

          You’re assuming that it’s sensible to speak about whether or not formal concepts exist.

        • MBH April 10, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

          PI 52: If I am inclined to suppose that a mouse has come into being by spontaneous generation out of grey rags and dust, I shall do well to examine those rags very closely to see how a mouse may have hidden in them, how it may have got there and so on. But if I am convinced that a mouse cannot come into being from these things, then this investigation will perhaps be superfluous.

          But first we must learn to understand what it is that opposes such an examination of details in philosophy.

        • P. April 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

          Maybe.

          I’m assuming it’s not incoherent to say, e.g., “the world would still be logical if we had never existed”.

          The logicality of the world is dependent on the logicality of thought, not on the existence of thought.

        • MBH April 11, 2011 at 12:22 am #

          I’m assuming it’s not incoherent to say, e.g., “the world would still be logical if we had never existed”.

          I think that’s OK too.

          The logicality of the world is dependent on the logicality of thought, not on the existence of thought.

          Right.

      • Mark Uzick April 11, 2011 at 3:17 am #

        I’m assuming it’s not incoherent to say, e.g., “the world would still be logical if we had never existed”.

        The logicality of the world is dependent on the logicality of thought, not on the existence of thought.

        I agree with the first sentence, but the second sentence doesn’t make sense. The form of the world is governed by logic; nothing governs logic and certainly not thought, unless you mean “the logical content of thought”, which would make your statement mean: “That the world is in agreement with logic is dependent on logic, not the existence of thought.”

        • P. April 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

          And the form of thought is governed by logic too. That’s why “the logicality of the world is dependent on the logicality of thought” and vice-versa.

          Because they are two sides of the same fact. The fact that logic is basic.

        • Mark Uzick April 13, 2011 at 12:00 am #

          And the form of thought is governed by logic too. That’s why “the logicality of the world is dependent on the logicality of thought” and vice-versa.

          Because they are two sides of the same fact. The fact that logic is basic.

          Even if I agreed with your premise about the logicality of thought, saying that the logicality of the world is dependent on the logicality of thought implies that if there ceased to be anyone to think, then the world would no longer be in agreement with logic.

        • Mark Uzick April 13, 2011 at 5:35 am #

          Now that I realize that logic is the rules of valid thought, I see my error. I should have said:

          then the world would no longer be in agreement with the principles of logic.

        • P. April 15, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

          Dude, I said “the logicality of the world is dependent on the *logicality* of thought, not on the existence of thought”.

          I think you should read more carefully.

        • Mark Uzick April 16, 2011 at 4:01 am #

          Dude, I said “the logicality of the world is dependent on the *logicality* of thought, not on the existence of thought”.

          Addressing me as “dude” indicates to me that you’re annoyed with me. You’re very intelligent, patient, more knowledgeable than me and I believe you’re a good person with a passion for truth. I’m sad that I’ve annoyed you, but the following is how I see it:

          That the world agrees with the principles of logic is simply because those principles, by definition, govern its form. The world’s logicality is by no means dependent on whether thought agrees with those principles, which, if it were, would imply that it was also dependent on the existence of thought.

          OTOH the logicality of logical thought, being that thoughts are in the world, is dependent on the logicality of the world.

    • Mark Uzick April 12, 2011 at 6:40 am #

      The end of my last comment got mess up with my misuse of block-quotes and the careless use of the spellchecker that caused “selectively” to transform into “seductively”.

      If it is “restrictive”, then it is an enabling “restriction”.

      I agree that we should usually restrict our thoughts in an attempt to be logical, but there’s nothing wrong with selectively suspending logic to engage in fantasy for our entertainment.

      So… yes, I restrict “talk of logic” to “talk of inference”.

      But then using inductive logic is not thinking?

      You should try to provide more concrete examples of “illogical thought”, then we see if your examples actually make sense.

      Theology, socialism, logical positivism and Einstein’s special and general relativity contain some.

      There are people who think that it’s possible for God to be both omnipotent (an irrational idea in itself) and omniscient (also irrational), and when it’s pointed out to them that each of the two abilities contradicts the other, they say that logic is a limitation on the limited minds of men but not of God. And how do they know this: blind dogmatic faith? No; God, they say, reveals this “knowledge” through his direct presence in the souls of those who welcome his presence.

      Wouldn’t you say that a lot of thought has gone into the fabrication of this fantastical nonsense?

      How about the concept of “free will” as the denial of the principle of causality? It makes us into minor gods with some of the logic defying powers of God in the above example. When I believed in free will and defended the idea, wasn’t I thinking, even if unsoundly? And if you could show that I was right the first time, would that mean that I’m not thinking now?

      Of course, if you define “thought” as a mental process that’s unerringly consistent with deductive logic, then you will be right, but only in that limited sense.

      And why favor non-contradiction over other universal principles as a requirement of thought? All principles, including non-contradiction must be falsifiable, no matter how unlikely inductive logic tells us that possibility is.

      You cannot defend non-contradiction on the grounds that to think of a world not limited by it is senseless. It’s tautological to say that a non-deductive-logical world cannot be because it would defy logic. It’s only empirical observation (inductive logic) that confirms with virtual certainty that logical inference is valid. Like all philosophical/scientific universal principles non-contradiction is grounded in empiricism.

      • P. April 12, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

        Actually, the scholastics said logic is part of God’s nature, exactly because nothing can defy logic.

        How is omnipotence and omniscience illogical concepts?

        Free will does not deny causality. You are the cause of your actions.

        No fantasy whatsoever can contradict logic. Show an example of a conceivable fantasy that is illogical.

        “And why favor non-contradiction over other universal principles as a requirement of thought? All principles, including non-contradiction must be falsifiable, no matter how unlikely inductive logic tells us that possibility is”

        This just comes to show that you are mirred in some sort of positivism. I suggest you read more carefully and more charitably the views that oppose your own.

        “You cannot defend non-contradiction on the grounds that to think of a world not limited by it is senseless. It’s tautological to say that a non-deductive-logical world cannot be because it would defy logic. It’s only empirical observation (inductive logic) that confirms with virtual certainty that logical inference is valid. Like all philosophical/scientific universal principles non-contradiction is grounded in empiricism”

        What I said is that nothing can defy logic because you can’t think ilogically. If you can’t think ilogically you can’t conceive of an “illogical something”. We will be able to distinguish the logical from the illogical only in language, where what is illogical will just be meaningless.

        You just throw some vague assertions about what could be illogical: “theology, einstein’s theory, etc.” as though these were the concrete examples I was asking you.

        And some very bad examples that you picked, btw. It is AT LEAST controversial whether einstein is right or wrong, etc.

        “But then using inductive logic is not thinking?”

        Define what you think inductive logic is, please.

        • Mark Uzick April 13, 2011 at 6:34 am #

          Actually, the scholastics said logic is part of God’s nature, exactly because nothing can defy logic.

          I have just as much faith in logic. My faith is evidence based; I don’t believe it was instilled in me by God or nature, although my capacity to see the evidence and grasp the principle of non-contradiction is inherited.

          How is omnipotence and omniscience illogical concepts?

          If you can do anything, then you are not limited by logic; you can cause contradictions. Logic is a restriction; omnipotence is the absence of restrictions, so it’s the absence of logic.

          If you know everything that is, has been or will be, then you would have to be greater than the world itself, but if you exist, then you are in the world. You would be something greater existing as a subset of something lesser.

          Free will does not deny causality. You are the cause of your actions.

          I agree with that conception of free will. It’s compatibilism.

          No fantasy whatsoever can contradict logic. Show an example of a conceivable fantasy that is illogical.

          An omnipotent God.

          “But then using inductive logic is not thinking?”

          Define what you think inductive logic is, please.

          Reasoning where a generalization is hypothesized from perceived patterns, which is then tested for consistency and against accepted principles, with the goal of establishing a theory.

      • P. April 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

        “I have just as much faith in logic. My faith is evidence based; I don’t believe it was instilled in me by God or nature, although my capacity to see the evidence and grasp the principle of non-contradiction is inherited.”

        I don’t understand this. What I said is that the scholastics didn’t think logic is “a limitation of human minds”. Instead, they said it is the very nature of God, exactly because nothing can deviate from it.

        It’s not a limitation whatsoever.

        “If you can do anything, then you are not limited by logic; you can cause contradictions. Logic is a restriction; omnipotence is the absence of restrictions, so it’s the absence of logic”

        That’s exactly the problem of thinking logic as a limitation. If logic is a limitation then it is an enabling “limitation”, a constitutive “limitation”. To say that you are “limited by the laws of logic” is not to say that:

        “there was something that I could do if I wasn’t restricted by logic”, because we can’t actually conceive anything that would contradict logic.

        That’s why the “Can god create a mountain not even himself can lift?” is not a restriction on god. The very question doesn’t even begin to make sense.

        “If you know everything that is, has been or will be, then you would have to be greater than the world itself,”

        Why? Greater in what sense?

        “I agree with that conception of free will. It’s compatibilism”

        I’m not endorsing compatibilism. I’m just saying free will does not deny causality. Because causality doesn’t imply determinism.

        “An omnipotent God”

        I’ve already shown that the scholastics showed in what sense God is omnipotent, and that their conception actually make sense.

        “Reasoning where a generalization is hypothesized from perceived patterns, which is then tested for consistency and against accepted principles, with the goal of establishing a theory.”

        This just seems like “hypothetical detuctive method”, not induction in the classical sense.

        This method cannot account for the actual way that our thought proceeds. Reflective equilibrium disproves it.

        But, here is another argument against it by Plauché:

        http://gaplauche.com/docs/aristotelianapriorism.pdf

        See esp. pages 16, 17 and 18.

        • Mark Uzick April 16, 2011 at 9:39 am #

          “I have just as much faith in logic. My faith is evidence based; I don’t believe it was instilled in me by God or nature, although my capacity to see the evidence and grasp the principle of non-contradiction is inherited.”

          I don’t understand this. What I said is that the scholastics didn’t think logic is “a limitation of human minds”. Instead, they said it is the very nature of God, exactly because nothing can deviate from it.

          It’s not a limitation whatsoever.

          This seems to be a reply to what’s below; not what’s above.

          “If you can do anything, then you are not limited by logic; you can cause contradictions. Logic is a restriction; omnipotence is the absence of restrictions, so it’s the absence of logic”

          That’s exactly the problem of thinking logic as a limitation. If logic is a limitation then it is an enabling “limitation”, a constitutive “limitation”. To say that you are “limited by the laws of logic” is not to say that:

          “there was something that I could do if I wasn’t restricted by logic”, because we can’t actually conceive anything that would contradict logic.

          That’s why the “Can god create a mountain not even himself can lift?” is not a restriction on god. The very question doesn’t even begin to make sense.

          Logic is the boundary of reality; a restriction on what, given certain conditions, is true/not true. It’s enabling in the sense that it’s universal (not arbitrary) laws that make order and form possible.

          Omnipotent is a synonym for unlimited or unrestricted. You propose a limited form of omnipotence which is an oxymoron. It amounts to a limited-unlimited God. Whatever that means, I suspect that this isn’t a supernatural being.

          A very great natural being might seem like a god to us, but he wouldn’t be God.

          For the theist, God can do the inconceivable; God created the world, including its logic; he is beyond our comprehension.

          “If you know everything that is, has been or will be, then you would have to be greater than the world itself,”

          Why? Greater in what sense?

          In whatever sense you conceived of God. If God is pure “spirit”, then his knowledge would be “disembodied information”, which would be greater than all the information that could be known about the world and yet be a subset of the world’s information.

          I’m not endorsing compatibilism. I’m just saying free will does not deny causality. Because causality doesn’t imply determinism.

          Only if causality isn’t universal; that some events can be without cause.

          “An omnipotent God”

          I’ve already shown that the scholastics showed in what sense God is omnipotent, and that their conception actually make sense.

          Then for the scholastics, it’s the belief in a limited-unlimited God that’s an additional example of an illogical belief.

          “Reasoning where a generalization is hypothesized from perceived patterns, which is then tested for consistency and against accepted principles, with the goal of establishing a theory.”

          This just seems like “hypothetical detuctive method”, not induction in the classical sense.

          Generalization from many examples to an underlying concept is the basic principle of induction in the same way that non-contradiction is the basic principle of deductive inference.

          If you’re looking for elaboration, it’s too vast a subject for me to attempt, especially in a comment box.

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