The ontological error of Philosophy

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Logik
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The ontological error of Philosophy

Post by Logik » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:11 pm

There is a mantra in the field of scientific inquiry: If you ask a stupid question - you will get a stupid answer.

I am of the opinion that all ontological questions in the form of "What is X?" are stupid questions.
We live in a dynamic universe. Change is the only constant is colloquial wisdom.

Time and time I observe that ontological questions lead to answers which are untestable and unfalsifiable. e.g not even wrong
This happens so frequently that I am convinced ontological inquiry is a procedural error in this universe.

So I pose a question to all which deem themselves wise philosophers: Do you recognize that the question "How does X behave?" is infinitely more useful than the question "What is X?"

uwot
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Re: The ontological error of Philosophy

Post by uwot » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:47 pm

Logik wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:11 pm
There is a mantra in the field of scientific inquiry: If you ask a stupid question - you will get a stupid answer.

I am of the opinion that all ontological questions in the form of "What is X?" are stupid questions.
We live in a dynamic universe. Change is the only constant is colloquial wisdom.

Time and time I observe that ontological questions lead to answers which are untestable and unfalsifiable. e.g not even wrong
This happens so frequently that I am convinced ontological inquiry is a procedural error in this universe.
Well yeah, but then Einstein's ontological thesis that 'spacetime' is a 'material' substance that has mechanical properties is the hypothesis that informs general relativity. On the plus side, you could dismiss string theory on that analysis. I entirely agree that ontological claims that admit no conceivable falsification, 'there exists a god that moves in mysterious ways' for instance, have no scientific merit.
Logik wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:11 pm
So I pose a question to all which deem themselves wise philosophers: Do you recognize that the question "How does X behave?" is infinitely more useful than the question "What is X?"
That's instrumentalism for you.

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HexHammer
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Re: The ontological error of Philosophy

Post by HexHammer » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:41 am

Logik wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:11 pm
So I pose a question to all which deem themselves wise philosophers: Do you recognize that the question "How does X behave?" is infinitely more useful than the question "What is X?"
You have no idea what you are talking about, you are in the same classification as those you accuse of being poor philosophers, which I call "cozy chatters". It's only when you are a genius that you can do philosophy on a high lvl, else it just end up with the mental aptitude as a dog chasing its own tail.

Most who ask "what is X" need to know what it is before they will ask "what does X do?" It's a natural process of thought and you shouldn't attack it the way you do.
Neither is your approach better "how does X behave" what you should encourage people to do, is reading up on science, psychology, general news, Sun Tzu philosophy etc etc, but everybody are glaringly ignorant and will always ask others to provide them some half assed answers and explanations, so it ends up blind leading blind.

Logik
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Re: The ontological error of Philosophy

Post by Logik » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:07 am

HexHammer wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:41 am
Most who ask "what is X" need to know what it is before they will ask "what does X do?"
I have a trivial way to test your claim...

HexHammer wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:41 am
science, psychology, general news
Please can you tell us what "science", "psychology" and "news" ARE without telling us what they DO?

e.g don't use any verbs to describe them.

Logik
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Re: The ontological error of Philosophy

Post by Logik » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:30 am

uwot wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:47 pm
Well yeah, but then Einstein's ontological thesis that 'spacetime' is a 'material' substance that has mechanical properties is the hypothesis that informs general relativity.
And it's still a dynamic ontology. It DOES something - hence its mechanics.
uwot wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:47 pm
On the plus side, you could dismiss string theory on that analysis.
Interesting example actually. Because for all the things string theory doesn't do, it does predict gravity. And that's all it does.

I am not sure how we'd falsify gravity?

uwot
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Re: The ontological error of Philosophy

Post by uwot » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:18 am

Logik wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:30 am
uwot wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:47 pm
Well yeah, but then Einstein's ontological thesis that 'spacetime' is a 'material' substance that has mechanical properties is the hypothesis that informs general relativity.
And it's still a dynamic ontology. It DOES something - hence its mechanics.
Ok. So rather than...
Logik wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:11 pm
I am of the opinion that all ontological questions in the form of "What is X?" are stupid questions.
...is it your opinion that none dynamic ontological questions are stupid?
Logik wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:30 am
uwot wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:47 pm
On the plus side, you could dismiss string theory on that analysis.
Interesting example actually. Because for all the things string theory doesn't do, it does predict gravity. And that's all it does.
Well, that and predict one dimensional 'strings' vibrating in at least ten 'dimensions'.
Logik wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:30 am
I am not sure how we'd falsify gravity?
More to the point, how would we discover the 'graviton' that string theory predicts?

Logik
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Re: The ontological error of Philosophy

Post by Logik » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:23 am

uwot wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:18 am
...is it your opinion that none dynamic ontological questions are stupid?
I am not nit-picking on categorization. If you want to categorize both of the following as ontological questions - whatever.

"What does X do?" is a useful question.
"What is X?" is a dead-end question.

e.g "What is science?"
the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
So the question is still being answered by what science DOES.

But to answer your question directly: Yes. Non-dynamic questions in a dynamic reality seem rather moot.

Behaviour, action, interaction - it conveys far more information about any "ontology".

uwot
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Re: The ontological error of Philosophy

Post by uwot » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:09 am

Logik wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:23 am
"What is X?" is a dead-end question.
As it happens, I wrote an article on Thomas Kuhn which appears in the current edition of Philosophy Now.https://philosophynow.org/issues/131/Th ... _1922-1996 Kuhn made the point that whether or not it is a dead end question "What is X?" is a typical feature of most 'paradigms' that scientists actually work within. Since 'The Structure of Scientific Revolutions' was published in 1962, scientists have wised up to the situation, as can be seen in this clip of Richard Feynman. At around the 3 minute mark Feynman talks about the "philosophies" - the 'What X is' - pointing out that they are simply tools that allow people to explore ideas more quickly than doing the sums or the experiments. (Oops. Forgot the link. Here ya go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM-zWTU7X-k&t=74s )
Logik wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:23 am
But to answer your question directly: Yes. Non-dynamic questions in a dynamic reality seem rather moot.
Yup. As I said:
uwot wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:47 pm
I entirely agree that ontological claims that admit no conceivable falsification, 'there exists a god that moves in mysterious ways' for instance, have no scientific merit.

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HexHammer
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Re: The ontological error of Philosophy

Post by HexHammer » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:12 am

Logik wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:07 am
Please can you tell us what "science", "psychology" and "news" ARE without telling us what they DO?

e.g don't use any verbs to describe them.
If you really are THAT ignorant about such basic things in life, then I can't help you!

Logik
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Re: The ontological error of Philosophy

Post by Logik » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:19 am

HexHammer wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:12 am
Logik wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:07 am
Please can you tell us what "science", "psychology" and "news" ARE without telling us what they DO?

e.g don't use any verbs to describe them.
If you really are THAT ignorant about such basic things in life, then I can't help you!
If you were unable to make a worth-while argument you should've remained silent.

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Speakpigeon
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Re: The ontological error of Philosophy

Post by Speakpigeon » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:47 am

HexHammer wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:41 am
Logik wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:11 pm
the question "How does X behave?" is infinitely more useful
Neither is your approach better "how does X behave" what you should encourage people to do, is reading up on science, psychology, general news, Sun Tzu philosophy etc etc,
So, not so much "How does X behave?", but "How should X behave?", yes?
Still, me, I would certainly want to know what is this X you're all talking about...
EB

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Speakpigeon
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Re: The ontological error of Philosophy

Post by Speakpigeon » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:55 am

Logik wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:07 am
HexHammer wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:41 am
Most who ask "what is X" need to know what it is before they will ask "what does X do?"
I have a trivial way to test your claim...
HexHammer wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:41 am
science, psychology, general news
Please can you tell us what "science", "psychology" and "news" ARE without telling us what they DO? e.g don't use any verbs to describe them.
???
Where's the problem exactly?
Science n.
1.a. The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena
: new advances in science and technology.
See?
That's all essentially irrelevant to the issue, of course, but you've yet again proved you're abysmally ignorant.
You're also a triple idiot since you can't even think of checking a dictionary whether your question won't reflex badly on your mental abilities.
EB

Logik
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Re: The ontological error of Philosophy

Post by Logik » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:58 am

Speakpigeon wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:55 am
1.a. The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena[/b]: new advances in science and technology.
Thank you for proving my point. You are telling me what science DOES not what science IS.


observation. verb
identification verb
description verb
investigation verb
explanation verb

I know the dictionary says they are "nouns", but the dictionary is wrong. The dictionary makes the exact same ontological error I am trying to point out.

Noun. a word used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things.

Observation is not a THING. Observation is something you DO. It's a process/activity.
Identification is not a THING. Identification is something you DO. It's a process/activity.
description is not a THING. Description is something you DO. It's a process/activity.

etc. etc.
Speakpigeon wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:55 am
You're also a triple idiot since you can't even think of checking a dictionary whether your question won't reflex badly on your mental abilities.
Appeal to authority.

No wonder you can't think for yourself. You keep outsourcing your faculties for thought to a dictionary. Silly logocentrist.

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Speakpigeon
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Re: The ontological error of Philosophy

Post by Speakpigeon » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:46 am

Logik wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:58 am
observation. verb
identification verb
description verb
investigation verb
explanation verb
LOL.
observation
a. The act of observing: observations of a rare bird.
b. The power or faculty of observing.
c. The fact of being observed: kept the suspect under observation.
Science IS observation, observation IS a fact, a fact IS etc ...
EB

Logik
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Re: The ontological error of Philosophy

Post by Logik » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:57 am

Speakpigeon wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:46 am
observation
a. The act of observing: observations of a rare bird.
Speakpigeon wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:46 am
observation
a. The act of observing: observations of a rare bird.
Speakpigeon wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:46 am
observation
a. The act of observing: observations of a rare bird.
Speakpigeon wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:46 am
observation
a. The act
So observation is a verb then. Just like I said.

Thank you for making my argument.

What does science DO? Science observes.

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