Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

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Skepdick
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Re: Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

Post by Skepdick »

Terrapin Station wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:59 am You also can't plausibly do probabilities for stuff like this (I don't buy Bayesian probability).

Basically, you're calling reasons to believe something a "proof"?
Bayesian probability is just counting your own hits and misses.

It rests upon deciding which observations are not predicted by your hypothesis (miss) and which observations are predicted by your hypothesis (hit).

Naturally, this process requires imposing limits/contexts of applicability: a model.

Otherwise you end up in the situation where the existence of reality is a hit for the God hypothesis.
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Re: Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

Post by Terrapin Station »

commonsense wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 1:35 pm
Terrapin Station wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:59 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:55 am I am not using 'prove' in the strictest sense of logic or mathematics.

I am using 'prove' generally in the sense of justification.

One can easily 'prove' the Sun will rise tomorrow' and in the next thousand years based on evidence from the past and past-futures [Russell's term].
The theory has hold true that all past predictions-of-the-future that 'the sun will rise tomorrow' has turned out to be true.
Therefore empirical claims can be 'proven' [justified] to be true with high probability [not 100% certainty] via induction.
You also can't plausibly do probabilities for stuff like this (I don't buy Bayesian probability).

Basically, you're calling reasons to believe something a "proof"?
Proof is a reason to believe and conversely one reason to believe an empirical claim is an inductive proof.
That doesn't really square with conventional usage, though. As typically people have reasons for believing whatever they do, but we don't typically say that Betty has proved that the noise her car is making stems from a lack of transmission fluid while Jane has proved that it stems from too much transmission fluid, even though they both have reasons that they believe this to be the case.

"Proof" is stronger than that, where if P has been proved, not only belief that not-P, but the possibility of not-P isn't warranted (by any "rational" person). And Bayesian probability can't factor into this if there's a fundamental problem with Bayesian probability.
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Re: Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

Post by Skepdick »

Terrapin Station wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:02 pm That doesn't really square with conventional usage, though. As typically people have reasons for believing whatever they do, but we don't typically say that Betty has proved that the noise her car is making stems from a lack of transmission fluid while Jane has proved that it stems from too much transmission fluid, even though they both have reasons that they believe this to be the case.
*yawn*

Jane can never prove that the noise is caused by too much transmission fluid.
What Jane did was she drained some transmission fluid and the noise stopped.

It's a sufficiently strong correlation to infer causation.

But any number of manipulations/changes in the system could've made the noise go away.

Terrapin Station wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:02 pm "Proof" is stronger than that, where if P has been proved, not only belief that not-P, but the possibility of not-P isn't warranted (by any "rational" person). And Bayesian probability can't factor into this if there's a fundamental problem with Bayesian probability.
Ability to control the outcome is "proof".

Add fluid -> noise appears.
Remove fluid -> noise disappears.

Put new gears in transmission -> noise disappears.
Put old gears in transmission -> noise appears.
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Re: Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Terrapin Station wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:59 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:55 am I am not using 'prove' in the strictest sense of logic or mathematics.

I am using 'prove' generally in the sense of justification.

One can easily 'prove' the Sun will rise tomorrow' and in the next thousand years based on evidence from the past and past-futures [Russell's term].
The theory has hold true that all past predictions-of-the-future that 'the sun will rise tomorrow' has turned out to be true.
Therefore empirical claims can be 'proven' [justified] to be true with high probability [not 100% certainty] via induction.
You also can't plausibly do probabilities for stuff like this (I don't buy Bayesian probability).

Basically, you're calling reasons to believe something a "proof"?
You seem to be lost in reality.
Since there is no absolute certainty, everything we believe and do in reality ultimately depend on probability.
You deny this?

What is "proof" [QED] is your sense is only theoretical and confined to Pure mathematics, Geometry, logic and the likes.
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Re: Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

Post by Terrapin Station »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:35 am
Terrapin Station wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:59 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:55 am I am not using 'prove' in the strictest sense of logic or mathematics.

I am using 'prove' generally in the sense of justification.

One can easily 'prove' the Sun will rise tomorrow' and in the next thousand years based on evidence from the past and past-futures [Russell's term].
The theory has hold true that all past predictions-of-the-future that 'the sun will rise tomorrow' has turned out to be true.
Therefore empirical claims can be 'proven' [justified] to be true with high probability [not 100% certainty] via induction.
You also can't plausibly do probabilities for stuff like this (I don't buy Bayesian probability).

Basically, you're calling reasons to believe something a "proof"?
You seem to be lost in reality.
Since there is no absolute certainty, everything we believe and do in reality ultimately depend on probability.
You deny this?

What is "proof" [QED] is your sense is only theoretical and confined to Pure mathematics, Geometry, logic and the likes.
So again, I'm the guy who stresses that:

(1) We can't prove empirical claims.
(2) It's pointless to worry about certainty.
(3) Bayesian probability has serious problems.

And who instead stresses that what we should worry about instead are the simple reasons that we consider to be good or bad reasons, sufficient or insufficient reasons, etc. to believe any claim over a competing/contradictory claim when we believe something. Our discussions should focus on those reasons.
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Re: Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

Post by Age »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am In Russell's book, The Problems of Philosophy, he raised the point,
"Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?
Russell did not ultimately prove there is a real independent table at all.
Peter Holmes wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:43 pm perhaps you could get straight to the point I'm making.
For example, do you think that everything that was, is and will be the case in the universe exists only if and because humans exist?
The way you phrased the question is not my point.

My point is,
everything that was, is and will be the case in the universe CANNOT exist independently of the human conditions.
To me this is close enough to the question "peter holmes" is asking you.

If everything CANNOT exist independently of the human conditions, then everything CAN ONLY exist because of the human conditions, and OBVIOUSLY the human conditions CAN ONLY exist if humans exist.

You will have to learn how to better word "yourself", "veritas aequitas", if what you really want what you want to say to be better heard and understood.

Obviously thee One and ONLY Universe existed BEFORE human beings came into existence, and could exist without human beings, but 'things', with an 's', can and do only exist because of the human conditions, or 'human beings'.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am The above is arrived by starting with what is really real empirically and philosophically at present plus being experienced directly.

Btw, have your read Russell's Problem of Philosophy?
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Prob ... Philosophy

I'll borrow from Russell to explain my point.
  • https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Prob ... /Chapter_1

    In daily life, we assume as certain many things which, on a closer scrutiny, are found to be so full of apparent contradictions that only a great amount of thought enables us to know what it is that we really may believe.
What other 'life' is there besides the 'daily life'?

Some may assume certain things, but not all of us do.

Contradictions are VERY EASILY and VERY SIMPLY NOTICED, SEEN and OBSERVED when one is NOT believing and assuming.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am In the search for certainty, it is natural to begin with our present experiences, and in some sense, no doubt, knowledge is to be derived from them [experience].
But any statement as to what it is that our immediate experiences make us know is very likely to be wrong.
Why are 'you', people, 'searching' for things?

All there is is HERE, right in front of 'you', to be NOTICED, RECOGNIZED, SEEN, and UNDERSTOOD.

I suggest just expressing what has been 'experienced', correctly, instead of expressing that what has been experienced is correct.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am Here we have already the beginning of one of the distinctions that cause most trouble in philosophy -- the distinction between 'appearance' and 'reality', between what things seem to be and what they are.[/list]

Russell used the example of a Table and demonstrate the uncertain reality of the properties [color, sound, shape, texture] of the table via sense-data
But what is absolutely CERTAIN is just so OBVIOUS. And, WHY 'you', human beings, OVERLOOK the OBVIOUSNESS just makes this more ridiculous and humorous.

When this, what thee True CERTAIN Reality is, is KNOWN, then WHY it took so long to SEE and UNDERSTAND becomes just blatantly obvious.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am
  • It is plain that if we are to know anything about the table, it must be by means of the sense-data -brown colour, oblong shape, smoothness, etc. -- which we associate with the table; but, for the reasons which have been given, we cannot say that the table is the sense-data, or even that the sense-data are directly properties of the table.
So, I suggest just expressing thee ACTUAL ONLY, instead. That way only thee ACTUAL Truth is being made, shared, and KNOWN.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am Thus a problem arises as to the relation of the sense-data to the real table, supposing there is such a thing.
WHY is there ANY doubt that such a, so called, "real table" actually exists or not?

Does the same doubt exist in regards to whether the arm or nose of that body is 'real', also?
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am It will be remembered that we asked two questions; namely,
(1) Is there a real table at all?
(2) If so, what sort of object can it be?
Define the words 'table', and, 'real' here.

What sort of object 'it' (ANY 'thing') can be, is depended upon 'agreement'.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am Thus what we directly see and feel is merely 'appearance', which we believe to be a sign of some 'reality' behind.
If that is what 'you', human beings, do, then I suggest STOP 'believing' this, and EVERY thing else. That way you will not get so disillusioned.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am But if the reality is not what appears, have we any means of knowing whether there is any reality at all?
Yes.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am And if so, have we any means of finding out what it [the object] is like?
Yes.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am Such questions are bewildering, and it is difficult to know that even the strangest hypotheses may not be true.
Thus our familiar table, which has roused but the slightest thoughts in us hitherto, has become a problem full of surprising possibilities.
The one thing we know about it [the table] is that it is not what it seems.
But what does 'it' 'seem like', to you?

And, HOW do you KNOW that 'it' is NOT what 'it' 'seems like', to you?
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am Among these surprising possibilities, doubt suggests that perhaps there is no table at all.
[/list]

Throughout his book, Russell never proved there an an independent real table or rather there is a real independent external world,
If ANY one can NEVER prove to "them self" that there is an independent real table or rather that there is a real independent external world, then I suggest that take a GOOD HARD LOOK at their pre-existing and current ASSUMPTIONS and BELIEFS.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am he conceded;
  • Of course it is not by argument that we originally come by our belief in an independent external world.
    We find this belief ready in ourselves as soon as we begin to reflect: it is what may be called an instinctive belief.
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Page%3AR ... 12.djvu/41
So what if "he" conceded this?

Many things are 'conceded', but they have NO relation to Reality nor thee Truth, Itself.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am So he concluded,
  • Thus, to sum up our discussion of the value of philosophy;
    Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions
    since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true,
    but rather for the sake of the questions themselves ......
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Page%3AR ... 2.djvu/253
If this human being's BELIEFS and ASSUMPTIONS are NOT BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS here, by now, which led to this OBVIOUSLY False, Wrong, and Incorrect conclusion, then WHY is this?
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am There is no definiteness to the existence of an independent external world other than by subjective instinctive beliefs.
If ANY one is NOT definite that an independent external world existed BEFORE 'you', human beings, came to exist, then how do they EXPLAIN how human beings came to exist?
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am It is on this basis that there is no proven independent external world and that it cannot be proven, that I state,
everything that was, is and will be the case in the universe CANNOT exist independently of the human conditions.
So, how do you EXPLAIN how 'you', human beings, came to exist if there is, supposedly, NO proven independent external world?
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am The onus is on the realists if they insist,
to prove the real universe can exists independent of the human conditions.
WHY is the onus on the "other" to prove things?
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:38 am Proofs? anyone?
If there is NO independent, of human conditions, thus independent of human beings, "themselves", external world, then HOW did human beings come to exist?
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Re: Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

Post by Age »

Terrapin Station wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:48 am So:

(1) Empirical claims are not provable. Period.

(2) Worrying about certainty is stupid. Certainty can't be had.
Is this a certainty?
Terrapin Station wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:48 am Worry instead about (what one takes as) good reasons for believing P vs not-P.
Why worry about ANY thing?

Also, why believe ANY thing?
Terrapin Station wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:48 am (3) Re remarks such as "any statement as to what it is that our immediate experiences make us know is very likely to be wrong," well, based on what? And how could that be based on anything that doesn't arrive with at least an implicit claim that "something our immediate experiences make us know" is in fact right? In other words, it's impossible to know that P is wrong if we don't know that not-P is right, but then that means that we can know what's the case, contra this sort of skepticism. Otherwise we'd have no grounds for saying that P is (very likely to be) wrong.
Yes it is very contradictory to say and write that "what 'it' is that our immediate experiences make us know, is very likely to be wrong".

What is obvious here is the pre-existing and current BELIEF one had, and was 'trying' their hardest to fight for. Which, obviously, could NOT be fought, logically and rationally, for.
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Re: Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

Post by Age »

Skepdick wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:06 am
Terrapin Station wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:48 am (2) Worrying about certainty is stupid. Certainty can't be had. Worry instead about (what one takes as) good reasons for believing P vs not-P.
Given that there's a very large (perhaps infinite) number of reasons for believing P vs not-P. Which ones are the "good" ones?
But there is NO actual sound and valid, rational nor logical reason to believe P, not-P, nor ANY thing else.
Skepdick wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:06 am Oh, but waaaait! Isn't that the exact same problem?

You believe that some reasons are good (G) and some reasons are not good (not-G).

So there's G vs not-G reasons for believing P vs not-P.

So now we are uncertain about goodness. Awkward!
The only True 'awkwardness' here was caused by BELIEVING ANY thing, is true, right, and/or correct.
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Re: Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

Post by Age »

Terrapin Station wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:48 am So:

(1) Empirical claims are not provable. Period.

(2) Worrying about certainty is stupid. Certainty can't be had. Worry instead about (what one takes as) good reasons for believing P vs not-P.
Define what an 'empirical claim' is EXACTLY, to you.

And, is it a 'certainty' that, "Empirical claims are not provable"? Your "Period" word seems to indicate that that statement is a 'certainty', to you. Which would obviously, contradict your claim that, "Certainty can not be had".
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Re: Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Terrapin Station wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:22 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:35 am
Terrapin Station wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:59 am

You also can't plausibly do probabilities for stuff like this (I don't buy Bayesian probability).

Basically, you're calling reasons to believe something a "proof"?
You seem to be lost in reality.
Since there is no absolute certainty, everything we believe and do in reality ultimately depend on probability.
You deny this?

What is "proof" [QED] is your sense is only theoretical and confined to Pure mathematics, Geometry, logic and the likes.
So again, I'm the guy who stresses that:

(1) We can't prove empirical claims.
(2) It's pointless to worry about certainty.
(3) Bayesian probability has serious problems.

And who instead stresses that what we should worry about instead are the simple reasons that we consider to be good or bad reasons, sufficient or insufficient reasons, etc. to believe any claim over a competing/contradictory claim when we believe something. Our discussions should focus on those reasons.
Note your 2 and 3 is a contradiction.
If you are not to focus on certainty, then the focus should be on probability.

The point is the what is most probable is reinforced with verification and justification empirically and philosophically within a credible FSK.

But re the OP, the problem is you are merely asserting a supposed-physical table exists independent of mind when you have no way of verifying and justifying that supposed physical table at all.
Note Meno's paradox, how can you know 'what you cannot know'.
i.e. how can you know that supposed-physical-table when that physical table is merely supposed, i.e. circularity and begging the question if you insist you can.

What you can be acquainted with and hence know is merely the sense-data from the supposed-physical-table via various intermediaries.
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Re: Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

Post by Terrapin Station »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:42 am
Note your 2 and 3 is a contradiction.
What's the P that I'm both affirming and denying unequivocally?
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Re: Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

Post by Belinda »

How large or how horizontal is any plane surface?

'Table' is a linguistic artefact and tableness relates to social norms.Social norms are the only norms we can know. That is to say, unless and until we can empathise with others' social norms.
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Re: Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Terrapin Station wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:46 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:42 am
Note your 2 and 3 is a contradiction.
What's the P that I'm both affirming and denying unequivocally?
Your +P is +Probability - because certainty is impossible, thus probability is possible [2]
Your not-P is not-probability - because probability is problematic (negative).[3]
Last edited by Veritas Aequitas on Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Belinda wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:27 am How large or how horizontal is any plane surface?

'Table' is a linguistic artefact and tableness relates to social norms.Social norms are the only norms we can know. That is to say, unless and until we can empathise with others' social norms.
Not sure what is your point.

The OP is about whether
a common and conventional sense, scientifically verified and justified empirical table
exists as a physical object or not in the ultimate sense of reality.
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Re: Russell: "Perhaps There is No Table At ALL?"

Post by Belinda »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:04 am
Belinda wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:27 am How large or how horizontal is any plane surface?

'Table' is a linguistic artefact and tableness relates to social norms.Social norms are the only norms we can know. That is to say, unless and until we can empathise with others' social norms.
Not sure what is your point.

The OP is about whether
a common and conventional sense, scientifically verified and justified empirical table
exists as a physical object or not in the ultimate sense of reality.
Sorry . I agree in "a common and conventional sense, scientifically verified and justified empirical table
exists as a physical object or not in the ultimate sense of reality."

I insist that social reality, as above, is only a component part of total reality most of which is unknowable for us.
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