Philosophy is actually dead because...

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Obvious Leo
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Re: Philosophy is actually dead because...

Post by Obvious Leo » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:31 pm

I reckon Gottfried Leibniz was possibly the clearest thinker on the subject of the interface between philosophy and science. He formulated the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) as a metaphysical first principle from which all truth must ultimately derive. The PSR is basically just a restatement of Aristotle's universal doctrine of causality but Leibniz examined this Aristotelian doctrine from the perspective of a modern scientist. He concluded that because there was a regularity and order in the processes of nature then it must be true that all effects must be preceded by causes in an orderly and generative fashion. He developed this idea in great depth in his philosophical work but when we trim it to the bone the PSR can stand alone as the only metaphysical first principle which is truly fundamental and thus not further reducible. Nothing can happen unless it has been caused to happen by other events which have occured within the physical universe.

Leibniz was adamant that any models of science which failed to conform to the PSR could not possibly be models of the real world. All of the models currently being used in the science of physics fail Gottfried's test.

cladking
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Re: Philosophy is actually dead because...

Post by cladking » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:08 am

BigWhit wrote:It's not necessarily that philosophy is dependent upon language but that communication is dependent upon language.
It very much is dependent on language because language is the operating system of the human mind. This is virtually invisible to us because of the nature of modern language. It is solely complex language which has always lay at the root of human progress. This is no longer visible to us because the brain can't percieve it from our vantage. It was best expressed as "I think therefore I am". The reality is that "thought" is language as we do it now days. The reality is you can't think without language and you can't make trite statements without it.
This isn't a barrier, but an obstacle. Each discussion requires an agreement upon definitions of the core subjects of debate in order to avoid confusion.
I couldn't agree more. It's a wonder people don't sit down and define terms. The reason we do so poorly at this is that modern language always assumes a shared perspective and shared definitions. Misunderstanding and confusion are rampant.
I refuse to accept your premise that we can't build on the works of the past greats.
It's not so much that we can't build on the works of past greats as that we've done a poor job of it.
This is why philosophy is folly without science. Philosophy needs firm empirical grounds from which to operate and this is what science provides.
Philosophy must incorporate experimental results. It must always be consistent with known facts and established theory.
Take for instance the deduction that heavier object fall faster than light objects. Using logic and experience, this is a perfectly sound hypothesis and was beleived to be true for centuries until it was scientifically tested. This is no longer a philosophical or scientific discussion, but understood as the way the universe operates. If we cannot find progress in any philosophy it is because it requires the application of science.
This knowledge is rarely incorporated correctly into peoples' understanding of reality. Almost everyone will agree that a ton of gold weighs the same as a ton of feathers without considering the reality which is far more complex. The reality of how we weigh and measure such things is that the ton of feathers is much heavier. The reality depends on myriad forces and considerations that people simply ignore because their models are reflective of experiment rather than reality.

cladking
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Re: Philosophy is actually dead because...

Post by cladking » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:16 am

Obvious Leo wrote:I reckon Gottfried Leibniz was possibly the clearest thinker on the subject of the interface between philosophy and science. He formulated the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) as a metaphysical first principle from which all truth must ultimately derive.
There's a lot of genius in this idea probably.

This is hard to see from our perspective but was painfully obvious from the perspective of ancient and animal languages.

Science really needs to adopt this as well as a second science that runs concurrently.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Philosophy is actually dead because...

Post by Obvious Leo » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:44 am

cladking wrote:. It's a wonder people don't sit down and define terms.
Some of the most bitterly fought arguments in this very forum arise purely because the protagonists have failed to first agree on a common definition of the terms they're using.

God, Capitalism, Socialism, Conciousness, Free will, etc etc etc. I could go an ad nauseam with more examples but note with interest that in many cases people show willing to strangle each other when in fact they're basically saying the same thing.
cladking wrote: It's not so much that we can't build on the works of past greats as that we've done a poor job of it.
Once again there is an over-emphasis on subtle points of disagreement between major schools of philosophy instead of a quest for common threads of thought which run through all of them. These common threads are what we can build on, not the nuances of interpretation which are invariably due to historical and cultural factors only. For example pre-Socratic philosophy is almost word for word the same as the philosophies of the early Hindus and the ancient Chinese and yet much of this synonymity is obscured by the cultural realities of their roles in world history. The main ideas are just as relevant in the present day as they ever were but now we have a vastly augmented portfolio of empirical knowledge on which to ground these ideas.
cladking wrote: Philosophy must incorporate experimental results. It must always be consistent with known facts and established theory
I don't agree with this. There's no such thing as a known fact which stands apart from the theoretical framework within which it is interpreted and no theory of the world can define its own metaphysical principles and them claim them as ontological truth. This is putting des Cartes before des Horse in a process of transparently tautologous reasoning. This in fact is what physics does with its insidious doctrine of logical positivism. By claiming that the universe can only be understood in the language of mathematics the physicist is ontologising his toolkit, thus conflating his map with the territory it's intended to be mapping.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Philosophy is actually dead because...

Post by Obvious Leo » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:48 am

cladking wrote:
Obvious Leo wrote:I reckon Gottfried Leibniz was possibly the clearest thinker on the subject of the interface between philosophy and science. He formulated the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) as a metaphysical first principle from which all truth must ultimately derive.
There's a lot of genius in this idea probably.

This is hard to see from our perspective but was painfully obvious from the perspective of ancient and animal languages.

Science really needs to adopt this as well as a second science that runs concurrently.
As a process philosopher I regard Leibniz's PSR as the ONLY metaphysical first principle which needs to be accepted as an a priori truth in order to make the entire universe comprehensible.

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SpheresOfBalance
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Re: Philosophy is actually dead because...

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:09 am

Obvious Leo wrote:
cladking wrote:
Obvious Leo wrote:I reckon Gottfried Leibniz was possibly the clearest thinker on the subject of the interface between philosophy and science. He formulated the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) as a metaphysical first principle from which all truth must ultimately derive.
There's a lot of genius in this idea probably.

This is hard to see from our perspective but was painfully obvious from the perspective of ancient and animal languages.

Science really needs to adopt this as well as a second science that runs concurrently.
As a process philosopher I regard Leibniz's PSR as the ONLY metaphysical first principle which needs to be accepted as an a priori truth in order to make the entire universe comprehensible.
I disagree that there is such a thing as a-priori knowledge. Truth, yes, but not in terms of one being necessarily mindful of it! That to make a distinction of any knowledge being a-priori says nothing of any importance. All knowledge can only ever be, in fact, a-posteriori. In truth, all one can say is that there is knowledge that is of the past, being formulated in the now, and that may be formulated in the future. And that truth existed long before there was such a thing as a mind, that it has nothing 'necessarily' to do with a mind.

We started with a an electrical spark, striking a mixture of element's, or so it's believed by some. There is no proof that in that moment we were mindful of it or anything else, a-posteriori, 'certainly not a-priori.' From that moment on we evolved, learning as we went, a-posteriori, learning ever 'additive' to that first thing learned, until this very day. We, an accumulation of a vast amount of a-posteriori knowledge. That we take some things for granted, as fundamental knowledge, a basic knowledge set, should not be cause to give it the name "a-priori." To say that everything we are already mindful of is a-priori, and that everything we will be mindful of is a-posteriori is ridiculous to consider as true or an important distinction. Unless of course one realizes, that then all that is believed as a-priori should be questioned because it's been taken for granted, such that it may not really be knowledge at all. Is the fact that someone told you something is knowledge make it 'necessarily' knowledge?

From that initial spark some of our a-posteriori knowledge was 'so important' to the survival of earliest life, that it's strength forced it to be passed between generations, now termed instinctual, thus the 'illusion' of there being a-priori knowledge.

In fact, cause can only ever precede effect, so knowledge can only ever be a-posteriori.

There is truth contained in some minds, and falsehoods contained in others, yet there are truths contained in no minds...

...yet!

(To my mind, facts and truths are synonymous, they already exist universally, and they must be found in order to be added to ones mind. Sure, one could take another's words for them. And we do so everyday! But do they 'necessarily' count as knowledge?) ;)

Is the concept of a-priori knowledge, a scheme to keep everyone in line, a method to blur the lines, so we don't question what we've been told? ;)

Obvious Leo
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Re: Philosophy is actually dead because...

Post by Obvious Leo » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:26 am

SpheresOfBalance wrote: In fact, cause can only ever precede effect, so knowledge can only ever be a-posteriori.
This was what Leibniz meant when he said that the PSR must be the ONLY a prori truth which could be regarded as a metaphysical first principle. Only effects could be observed as a consequence of the cause-effect relationship and although causes could be inferred from these effects, and even tested, they could only ever be tested within the context of a theoretical narrative which first had to be specified. Kant made precisely the same point when he spoke of Noumenal and Phenomenal reality and no philosopher of science since has never laid a glove on these principles. Or tried to, for that matter.

Naturally it had been known for milllennia prior to these guys that if effects were not ALWAYS preceded by causes in an orderly and self-generative fashion then physical reality could have no structure of any description, let alone contain a mind capable of comprehending and codifying such a structure.

Walker
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Re: Philosophy is actually dead because...

Post by Walker » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:22 am

BigWhit wrote:For philosophy to be useful it requires empirical observation and the scientific method provides the most accurate observations.
Did Einstein use the scientific method?

If so, how? What were his experiments?

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SpheresOfBalance
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Re: Philosophy is actually dead because...

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:45 pm

Obvious Leo wrote:
SpheresOfBalance wrote: In fact, cause can only ever precede effect, so knowledge can only ever be a-posteriori.
This was what Leibniz meant when he said that the PSR must be the ONLY a prori truth which could be regarded as a metaphysical first principle. Only effects could be observed as a consequence of the cause-effect relationship and although causes could be inferred from these effects, and even tested, they could only ever be tested within the context of a theoretical narrative which first had to be specified. Kant made precisely the same point when he spoke of Noumenal and Phenomenal reality and no philosopher of science since has never laid a glove on these principles. Or tried to, for that matter.

Naturally it had been known for milllennia prior to these guys that if effects were not ALWAYS preceded by causes in an orderly and self-generative fashion then physical reality could have no structure of any description, let alone contain a mind capable of comprehending and codifying such a structure.
Wikipedia:
"The principle of sufficient reason states that everything must have a reason or a cause. The modern[1] formulation of the principle is usually attributed to Gottfried Leibniz,[2] although the idea was conceived and utilized in various philosophers who preceded him, including Anaximander, Parmenides, Archimedes,[3] Plato and Aristotle,[4] Cicero,[5] Avicenna,[6] Thomas Aquinas, Anaximander of Miletus,[7] and Spinoza.[8] Some philosophers have associated the principle of sufficient reason with "ex nihilo nihil fit".,[9][10] Hamilton identified the laws of inference modus ponens with the "law of Sufficient Reason, or of Reason and Consequent" and modus tollens with its contrapositive expression."

So seemingly it goes back as far as Anaximander, and even if it went back further, probably not further back than homo erectus, my point is that it makes no difference as far as our mindfulness of it, (knowledge of it) goes, as it could only ever be a-posteriori knowledge. The fact of anything being a universal truth, (absolute truth), [cause], can only ever come before our knowledge of it, [effect], thus a-posteriori knowledge of a, before we ever existed, truth.

Here's the examples for a-priori and a-posteriori on wikipedia:

"A priori
Consider the proposition, "If George V reigned at least four days, then he reigned more than three days." This is something that one knows a priori, because it expresses a statement that one can derive by reason alone.
A posteriori
Compare this with the proposition expressed by the sentence, "George V reigned from 1910 to 1936." This is something that (if true) one must come to know a posteriori, because it expresses an empirical fact unknowable by reason alone."


But in fact they are comparing apples and oranges, then saying, 'see they are different fruits.' I could rewrite them to make them exactly the same type fruit, ultimately proving that there is only ever a-posteriori knowledge. The fact that they mix two fruits lends to the illusion that a-priori knowledge exists, it doesn't. All knowledge is built upon previous knowledge, such that our current wealth of knowledge, if represented by a polygon, would be a triangle sitting on it's point. The point being that very first bit of knowledge, when life began on earth, which obviously had to do with nothing more than, we die, thus survival; what we need to survive. Which is why fear is so ingrained in us, it's tied to the very oldest bit of knowledge.

BigWhit
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Re: Philosophy is actually dead because...

Post by BigWhit » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:28 pm

Walker wrote:
BigWhit wrote:For philosophy to be useful it requires empirical observation and the scientific method provides the most accurate observations.
Did Einstein use the scientific method?

If so, how? What were his experiments?
He relied on the scientific method to verify his hypothesis. That hypothesis was formed in a thought experiment and verified as plausible through mathmatical proofs, but was only validated by empirical observation. If science had not observed what he had predicted his hypothesis would have been scrapped as junk. But it wasn't. Let's not forget that he did have a rather extensive education in science which allowed him to channel his thoughts in such a way. Would you suggest that he would have been able to come up with this thiught experiment, and the correct answer, in the absence of scientific knowledge?

BigWhit
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Re: Philosophy is actually dead because...

Post by BigWhit » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:31 pm

SpheresOfBalance wrote: "A priori
Consider the proposition, "If George V reigned at least four days, then he reigned more than three days." This is something that one knows a priori, because it expresses a statement that one can derive by reason alone.
A posteriori
Compare this with the proposition expressed by the sentence, "George V reigned from 1910 to 1936." This is something that (if true) one must come to know a posteriori, because it expresses an empirical fact unknowable by reason alone."


But in fact they are comparing apples and oranges, then saying, 'see they are different fruits.' I could rewrite them to make them exactly the same type fruit, ultimately proving that there is only ever a-posteriori knowledge. The fact that they mix two fruits lends to the illusion that a-priori knowledge exists, it doesn't. All knowledge is built upon previous knowledge, such that our current wealth of knowledge, if represented by a polygon, would be a triangle sitting on it's point. The point being that very first bit of knowledge, when life began on earth, which obviously had to do with nothing more than, we die, thus survival; what we need to survive. Which is why fear is so ingrained in us, it's tied to the very oldest bit of knowledge.
This is something a lot of people tend to ignore. In order to know that the first proposition of George V ruling for more than 3 days if he ruled for at least 4 requires that one know 3<4, at the very least, let alone that this is true only IF George V ruled for at least 4 days. The logic is valid but it is by no means "true" unless the proposition can be verified.

Walker
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Re: Philosophy is actually dead because...

Post by Walker » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:51 pm

BigWhit wrote:
Walker wrote:
BigWhit wrote:For philosophy to be useful it requires empirical observation and the scientific method provides the most accurate observations.
Did Einstein use the scientific method?

If so, how? What were his experiments?
He relied on the scientific method to verify his hypothesis. That hypothesis was formed in a thought experiment and verified as plausible through mathmatical proofs, but was only validated by empirical observation. If science had not observed what he had predicted his hypothesis would have been scrapped as junk. But it wasn't. Let's not forget that he did have a rather extensive education in science which allowed him to channel his thoughts in such a way. Would you suggest that he would have been able to come up with this thiught experiment, and the correct answer, in the absence of scientific knowledge?
Well, since he didn’t use step 4, I was looking for an insight as to why his method was scientific.

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... thod.shtml

BigWhit
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Re: Philosophy is actually dead because...

Post by BigWhit » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:04 pm

As far as I know he never conducted experiments himself but they were conducted by 3rd parties. Either way I don't get the point you're trying to make.

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SpheresOfBalance
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Re: Philosophy is actually dead because...

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:20 pm

BigWhit wrote:
SpheresOfBalance wrote: "A priori
Consider the proposition, "If George V reigned at least four days, then he reigned more than three days." This is something that one knows a priori, because it expresses a statement that one can derive by reason alone.
A posteriori
Compare this with the proposition expressed by the sentence, "George V reigned from 1910 to 1936." This is something that (if true) one must come to know a posteriori, because it expresses an empirical fact unknowable by reason alone."


But in fact they are comparing apples and oranges, then saying, 'see they are different fruits.' I could rewrite them to make them exactly the same type fruit, ultimately proving that there is only ever a-posteriori knowledge. The fact that they mix two fruits lends to the illusion that a-priori knowledge exists, it doesn't. All knowledge is built upon previous knowledge, such that our current wealth of knowledge, if represented by a polygon, would be a triangle sitting on it's point. The point being that very first bit of knowledge, when life began on earth, which obviously had to do with nothing more than, we die, thus survival; what we need to survive. Which is why fear is so ingrained in us, it's tied to the very oldest bit of knowledge.
This is something a lot of people tend to ignore. In order to know that the first proposition of George V ruling for more than 3 days if he ruled for at least 4 requires that one know 3<4, at the very least, let alone that this is true only IF George V ruled for at least 4 days. The logic is valid but it is by no means "true" unless the proposition can be verified.
Thanks for getting it BigWhit, you'd be surprised how many don't!

bergie15
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Re: Philosophy is actually dead because...

Post by bergie15 » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:52 am

Yes I think that knowledge is built upon previous knowledge. You would need to verify the facts of the statement to know if it is true or not, even if it is a valid statement.

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