Principles vs Pragmatism

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Judaka
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Re: Principles vs Pragmatism

Post by Judaka »

Logik, you believe in objective meaning and morality? As a nihilist, I reject those two things but not more, I believe in the value of my created meaning and morality.

Also as a nihilist and a pragmatist, I believe moral arguments lack any inherent validity. Morality is a product of evolution and we're hardwired for it. Any argument about morality can either appeal to our nature, our beliefs or our goals - argumentation in morality relies almost exclusively on validity arguments or offering new interpretations in the hope they'll be accepted. I agree with the para-consistent logic approach to dealing with the problem of explosion and contradictions, I don't know why you're accusing me of using the law of non-contradiction, perhaps more character assassination idk. I'll tell you that I had no idea what any of these things were until today, where I googled what they were because you talked about paraconsistent logic in this thread earlier. I expressed some views about contradictions to Nick_A but I don't see how they could've been construed as following any law, just my own ideas really.

Got no idea what question you're referring to though.

We cannot provide objectively correct reasons for why someone "ought" to do something but we can provide subjectively valid reasons and possibly even objectively valid reasons given their axioms. That's the magic trick I suppose.

You are a constructivist in what sense? You don't believe knowledge is mind-independent? You're a post-modernist who believes in objective morality and meaning?

Are you saying you think human beings are 100% nurtured and nature plays no role? I'm not saying you are any of these things... clarify.

That's because I don't care to share my concepts with you if we don't share a common goal.

Without a common criteria for success/failure - all arguments are masturbatory power-struggles. With each person trying to frame the interpretative context.
Common goal? This thread is not about goals, it's about understanding and exploring concepts which require us to talking about the same things and definitions are most pertinent here.

It's not realistic because people won't agree on definitions and not just because people think it's a bad idea. You say you're a constructivist which perhaps you have some special opinions about definitions idk.

The problem with universal terminology isn't merely that it's impossible, there's also reason for people to think it's a bad idea. Since in words hold power, I for one would never allow others to tell me what definitions for words must be. There are scientific, political, social, psychological, philosophical and so on, positions which necessarily change the definitions of words. Consider in today's society words like racism and gender or for you and me, morality and logic.

Given that I would never willingly consent to anyone trying to monopolise definitions that conformed to their world-views, how do you intend to deal with the problem of me being unwilling to relinquish my definitions which are different from others? I don't assume that's what you'd do, you may have something else in mind but I can't imagine what.
surreptitious57
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Re: Principles vs Pragmatism

Post by surreptitious57 »

This thread has been going on for a very long time and I can not remember everything that has been said here
So much energy being wasted about subject matter that I know absolutely nothing about a total waste of time
Nick_A
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Re: Principles vs Pragmatism

Post by Nick_A »

Judaka
You cannot take the concept of principles and stack them up against pragmatism since pragmatism relies on principles to function. What your OP shows is the problem of conflicting valid arguments where the only difference is interpretation. A better question to your problem isn't principles vs pragmatism but from a pragmatic perspective what's the best choice, from the perspective of my ideals what's the best choice?

There are some ways to reconcile interpretations but it's possible that they cannot be reconciled.
1. Question the validity of the interpretation
2. Question whether the truth of the premises in your interpretation
3. Interpret the various interpretations using a new framework like a value or desired result

Alternative interpretations give rises to contradictions even when the interpretations themselves are both true.

I don't really think contradictions in matters that are completely subjective are noteworthy. If I say a show is both amazing and terrible, it's not a contradiction, I'm saying that there are amazing and terrible aspects, I'm saying part of me thinks its amazing and part terrible. I'm saying that the it met some of my standards and failed others or whatever else. I can love and hate my father, I can want to protect strangers while also wanting to protect myself and when helping strangers means endangering myself and what am I supposed to do then?

Technically, they're contradictions, however, we don't need to reconcile anything, we don't need to untie the knot. The only question is what you will prioritise when it comes to making decisions, judgements and developing understanding. The true answer is the valid answer with valid premises, there's no way to call one answer better than the other without creating a subjective framework and creating an answer which is "true only for you".
Do you agree with how I explain the question in terms of the goal of science?

Many believe that the goal of science is to reveal the truth of things and their relationships. that would be the objective ideal.

The pragmatic ideal in contrast is how to use science to assert selective truths in order to serve pragmatic interests. Take the current climate change debate as an example.

Political interest have demanded the perversion of science to support a political goal. On the one hand science can further the cause of truth and on the other be used to serve pragmatic concerns through selective facts.

Principles serve the cause of objective truths while pragmatism serves the goal of selective truths at the expense of objective truths.

A person can be called to the experience of objective truth as with science but at the same time be drawn to selective truths which serve pragmatic interests made possible through the corruption of science. How does a person reconcile the attraction to two goals: the attraction to truth certain principles support and the attraction to temporal goals pragmatism defines as the important truth?

What if Socrates voluntarily died to complete a cycle of objective truth rather than escape in accordance with a pragmatic selective truth? If there is any truth to the concept of karma perhaps becoming open to objective truth has karmic benefits those caught up in pragmatic benefits remain unaware of so destined to continue their journey on the wheel of samsara.
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bahman
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Re: Principles vs Pragmatism

Post by bahman »

In practice the decision depends on the situation and personality too.
surreptitious57
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Re: Principles vs Pragmatism

Post by surreptitious57 »

Logic wrote:
My expert opinion is that you are in fact too dumb to recognise that all descriptions / philosophical interpretations /
conceptual schemes of reality are equally valid without an objective value system to discriminate and rank them by
I can only understand two basic systems of communication : English and mathematics
I do not know if they qualify as objective value systems or not but they are all I have
Charm
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Re: Principles vs Pragmatism

Post by Charm »

Nick_A wrote: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:27 am Simone Weil — 'When a contradiction is impossible to resolve except by a lie, then we know that it is really a door.'

I remember during my first year of high school I experienced a contradiction I couldn’t resolve. In those days students were taught about the obligation to vote. I being the type who would seek to find holes in any argument reasoned that since a person just has one vote and elections are decided by millions, why bother? There are more important uses for their time. At the same time if everyone thought this way we would be living by dictatorship. I was faced with two contradictory but equal truths. Voting is necessary but one vote is virtually meaningless.

When I got older I saw the problem in a new light which is the relationship between the truths of principles and pragmatic truths. Both are true but how does a person balance them?

When I learned of Socrates’ willingness to die it seemed absurd at first? What is gained by it? Why not take the pragmatic alternative and escape with the help of friends? Evidently Socrates acted in accordance with the truths of principles. What could be possibly gained by it and willingly die? Jesus also willingly died. It was known at his birth. So what gives? Why bother with principles and just live according to pragmatic desires? Yet if everyone did that we would soon perish. Both are true. A classic contradiction Simone suggests opens a door. Does logic pass through the door? If not, what does?

Now I read that being confronted with a contradiction and contemplating it as it is without judgment is a door. But a door leading to what and how does a person contemplate in this way? Socrates was teaching something and Simone Weil known as Plato’s spiritual child understood it. Why don’t more? What does this door separate?
I love Simone Weil.. This is really a fundamental question because the use of principals to guide political behavior is an extreme, dangerous, and deadly problem.. Essentially, it is idealism; and the problem with idealism is that people are judged by ideals when they should be the judge of ideals.. Failed Ideas should not leave a trail of corpses before people recognize them as failed.. Principal is prejudice, but if I had a principal in regard to physics, such as a law, then every new fact either challenges my principal, or destroys it.. It does not matter how true you think your principal is because if the result is millions of dead bodies or a destroyed world, then you will not convince me it is true.. In our failed form of government we have had the highest judges in the land as well versed in the principals that imbued the average capitalist.. Social Darwinism, or the misunderstood edicts of Adam Smith are principals that have caused untold suffering, and that suffering often destroyed people and their progeny.. Who is there to ask if these principals are truly true but the very people who must suffer them.. It is not on principal that democracy is tolerated but on practical, that is, pragmatic considerations.. And the rich have no respect for democracy even when under the protection of democracy they have grown rich while the many have grown poor.. We make the mistake of believing the Greek Democracy was their invention.. No one would invent democracy if they did not have it because the rich would not want it, and the want of the people would be meaningless.. Greek democracy always existed, and democracy has existed universally.. It is defensive as a form of social organization, and no people would be denied their own voice and then answer yes to defending the wealth of the wealthy- and their own poverty.. Pragmatism like social justice demands the people judge what is best for themselves.. Principals are judgements made by others, authorities.. It is common to let the past determine our future on principal, but that is not democratic or pragmatic, or in the least- wise.. We need to judge on the facts.. All concepts as principals need to be judged against reality, and it is only the people who are capable of making that judgement.. How well do your principals work because in the past judging people against principals has been murder.. Judge principals against the welfare of the people, and allow the people to hear the case..
surreptitious57
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Re: Principles vs Pragmatism

Post by surreptitious57 »

Logic wrote:
If we share no common goals then we need not share opinions
Tell me what your goals are and I will tell you if I agree with them
Charm
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Re: Principles vs Pragmatism

Post by Charm »

surreptitious57 wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:24 pm
Logic wrote:
My expert opinion is that you are in fact too dumb to recognise that all descriptions / philosophical interpretations /
conceptual schemes of reality are equally valid without an objective value system to discriminate and rank them by
I can only understand two basic systems of communication : English and mathematics
I do not know if they qualify as objective value systems or not but they are all I have
Number is pure concept, and it is as concept that Pythagoras thought numbers were the reality, and reality was unreal.. Consider, that communication is truth, and if not true, is not communication but mis-communiation. Then consider that communication is meaning.. When we talk of something, we give its meaning.. When we talk of a volcano we do not give the thing, but the meaning of the thing.. When we look at the world, to see it we conceive of it (as through number), And our conceptions are meanings.. Nothing is what it is- for being is beyond our grasp, and instead, everything IS what it means.. In regard to numbers what language communicates is feeling.. If you prefer, number is to value what language is to meaning... Morally, what we value more has more meaning, so they are equals..
Logik
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Re: Principles vs Pragmatism

Post by Logik »

surreptitious57 wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:47 pm Tell me what your goals are and I will tell you if I agree with them
Moral progress.
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bahman
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Re: Principles vs Pragmatism

Post by bahman »

surreptitious57 wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:24 pm
Logic wrote:
My expert opinion is that you are in fact too dumb to recognise that all descriptions / philosophical interpretations /
conceptual schemes of reality are equally valid without an objective value system to discriminate and rank them by
I can only understand two basic systems of communication : English and mathematics
I do not know if they qualify as objective value systems or not but they are all I have
You need some basic physics too.
surreptitious57
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Re: Principles vs Pragmatism

Post by surreptitious57 »

Logic wrote:
Not only am I not a nihilist but I believe in objective morality and objective meaning . Of the inter subjective kind

If you believe in mind independent anything you are a theist in my books
I completely understand this but I have already explained to you I am not interested in knowledge any more
I do not want to claim anything as knowledge because it may not be knowledge but hypothesis or conjecture

I used to label myself a nihilist but no longer do even though I do not think my life has any real meaning any more
Maybe I am a nihilist in all but name but your opinion of my philosophical position is not really any of my business

As for Camus well the only reason I cannot kill myself is because I have no courage so have to wait for Nature to do it instead
surreptitious57
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Re: Principles vs Pragmatism

Post by surreptitious57 »

Logic wrote:
Moral progress
Can you be a bit more specific because that could mean absolutely any thing given how vague it is
Do you mean moral progress of the individual or of society and what kind of progress would this be
Logik
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Re: Principles vs Pragmatism

Post by Logik »

surreptitious57 wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:18 pm Do you mean moral progress of the individual or of society and what kind of progress would this be
They are one and the same thing.

As society becomes better the potential of more and more individuals is realised.
As more and more individuals realise their potential society becomes better.

Competent people drive positive change.

There are no individuals without society (not for very long anyway) and no society without individuals.

Now we can get bogged down into nitpicking (2 world wars in the last 100 years, bunch of other fucked up shit in Russia and China etc.)
but if we are to look at the scientific data - the world is better off today than it was 200 years ago.

https://ourworldindata.org/

Lots of people seem to disagree with the way things are headed and yet - nobody can tell me what other century they would've preferred to live in except this one...
Logik
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Re: Principles vs Pragmatism

Post by Logik »

Judaka wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:50 pm Logik, you believe in objective meaning and morality? As a nihilist, I reject those two things but not more, I believe in the value of my created meaning and morality.
That is a very peculiar position since the concept of "objectivity" and the meaning of "objective morality" is created by humans. And yet we have given those invented concepts meaning. Then somewhere along the line we seem to have deified them and rather than remembering that we invent language and concepts for our own use, we have decided to give them power over us.

Objectivity: a high-fidelity conceptual model of reality.
That's all that logic/mathematics is good for. Building models - LEGO bricks for the conceptual mind.

That is not to say that all logics are made equal. Logic has cardinality - higher order logics have far more expressive semantics and grammar allowing one to model/form propositions that you can't put together in classical logics.
Judaka wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:50 pm Also as a nihilist and a pragmatist, I believe moral arguments lack any inherent validity. Morality is a product of evolution and we're hardwired for it.
Yes, but there are two ways to go about playing the game of evolution, like playing the games of poker. Wing it, or strategise.

I don't know what your thoughts are on game theory in general, but luck isn't a great strategy.

And yet nobody can tell me how it's going to be better if we ever found it.
Judaka wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:50 pm Any argument about morality can either appeal to our nature, our beliefs or our goals - argumentation in morality relies almost exclusively on validity arguments or offering new interpretations in the hope they'll be accepted.
I am simply appealing to the fact that for 2000 years people have been trying to contrive an argument to begin with.

So clearly there is a need/desire for this thing "objective morality". Clearly we, humans think it will be wayyyy beter than what we have now!

Judaka wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:50 pm I agree with the para-consistent logic approach to dealing with the problem of explosion and contradictions, I don't know why you're accusing me of using the law of non-contradiction, perhaps more character assassination idk. I'll tell you that I had no idea what any of these things were until today, where I googled what they were because you talked about paraconsistent logic in this thread earlier. I expressed some views about contradictions to Nick_A but I don't see how they could've been construed as following any law, just my own ideas really.
No, you seem to express sentiment as to how I am a "hypocrite" - seemingly because I (seem to) contradict myself.

I find it peculiar - a performative contradiction - that a nihilist would insist on any standards for validity, consistency, whatsoever. Since they are all human values/judgments.

In fact, put any of your arguments under a microscope. Do you use adjectives? Value judgments. To insist on this notion if "objectivity" is to insist on language free from values. Go ahead and try to string together any English sentence without using adjectives...
Judaka wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:50 pm We cannot provide objectively correct reasons for why someone "ought" to do something but we can provide subjectively valid reasons and possibly even objectively valid reasons given their axioms. That's the magic trick I suppose.
We invented the concept of objectivity. Ask why? Also ask why we can invent an unattainable ideal and then hold ourselves accountable to it.
Seems to be setting ourselves for failure?
Judaka wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:50 pm You are a constructivist in what sense? You don't believe knowledge is mind-independent? You're a post-modernist who believes in objective morality and meaning?
I agree with post-modernists I don't identify as one. Philosophy strikes me as very surface-level analysis of social phenomena - personally I like to get right down to the bottom of the details. That is to say I find both analysis and synthesis as useful tools for understanding.

The wikipedia definition describes it well enough as a point of departure: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Construct ... istemology
Judaka wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:50 pm Are you saying you think human beings are 100% nurtured and nature plays no role? I'm not saying you are any of these things... clarify.
I don't know the answers to such questions. What I do know is that even with insufficient information good judgment calls can be made to manage any and all risk. The precautionary principle leads the way.
Judaka wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:50 pm Common goal? This thread is not about goals, it's about understanding and exploring concepts which require us to talking about the same things and definitions are most pertinent here.

It's not realistic because people won't agree on definitions and not just because people think it's a bad idea. You say you're a constructivist which perhaps you have some special opinions about definitions idk.
The pragmatic motto is "The truth is what works" no? Define "works". You can't. Utility is an elusive concept and I won't be trying to define it beyond that which utility/expected value theory has to say about it.

To speak of something "working" without stating one's goals and criteria for success/failure is to be guilty of vagueness.
At the other end of the extreme - because language is imprecise, I can never quite hit the mark with what "Pragmatism" means either.

Suffice to say that while may agree on a lot of the details, a high-level utility-function for humans can be conceptualised. Broadly one following Manslow's hierarchy.

On that (if nothing else) we could (and have?) agreed on. Common law hasn't changed much in a few centuries.
Judaka wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:50 pm The problem with universal terminology isn't merely that it's impossible, there's also reason for people to think it's a bad idea. Since in words hold power, I for one would never allow others to tell me what definitions for words must be.
Words are tools. Use them how you see fit. That's part and parcel with the problem of language - you speak the one you have been given.
I speak the one I invented.

Needless to say I fully believe (having anecdotally experienced) the truth of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.

Judaka wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:50 pm There are scientific, political, social, psychological, philosophical and so on, positions which necessarily change the definitions of words. Consider in today's society words like racism and gender or for you and me, morality and logic.

Given that I would never willingly consent to anyone trying to monopolise definitions that conformed to their world-views, how do you intend to deal with the problem of me being unwilling to relinquish my definitions which are different from others? I don't assume that's what you'd do, you may have something else in mind but I can't imagine what.
Part of being a constructivist is that I don't associate my concepts with words. I construct meaning as I go along. Which is why my use of language is peculiar.I invent/re-purpose words on the fly. I use language metaphorically more than I do literally.

I am no linguistic prescriptivist, but if we are to make language free-for-all then we all need skills to navigate around the inevitable ambiguity and mis-communication that will ensue. Some people are not cut out for so much entropy/flux in their day-to-day life.

People in my field don't mind it. Because we understand how language works as a system.

The purpose of language is effective communication. Truth - be damned.
surreptitious57
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Re: Principles vs Pragmatism

Post by surreptitious57 »

Logic wrote:
Lots of people seem to disagree with the way things are headed and yet - nobody can tell me
what other century they would have preferred to live in except this one
Nobody wants to live in the past because the quality of life was comparatively worse than it is today
Society progresses over time despite the human condition which unfortunately will always be with us
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