What is a Fact?

Should you think about your duty, or about the consequences of your actions? Or should you concentrate on becoming a good person?

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Veritas Aequitas
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What is a Fact?

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

One of the most contentious issue within a discussion of Morality and Ethics is the question of "what is a fact".

What is a fact?

The general dictionary meaning; To be more specific:
A fact is a thing that is known to be consistent with objective reality and can be proven to be true with evidence.
For example, "This sentence contains words." is a linguistic fact, and
"The sun is a star." is a cosmological fact.
Further, "Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States." and "Abraham Lincoln was assassinated." are also both facts, of history.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact#In_law
From the above 'what is fact' is justified from a specific Framework and System of Knowledge, i.e. linguistic, cosmological, history and thus, others.

In other frameworks of knowledge,
  • In mathematics, a fact is a statement (called a theorem} that can be proven by logical argument from certain axioms and definitions.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact#In_mathematics

    In science, a fact is a repeatable careful observation or measurement (by experimentation or other means), also called empirical evidence. Facts are central to building scientific theories. Various forms of observation and measurement lead to fundamental questions about the scientific method, and the scope and validity of scientific reasoning.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact#In_science

    In most common law jurisdictions,[30] the general concept and analysis of fact reflects fundamental principles of jurisprudence, and is supported by several well-established standards.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact#In_law
Note this peculiar characteristics of Historical Facts.
  • A common rhetorical cliché states, "History is written by the winners." This phrase suggests but does not examine the use of facts in the writing of history.
    Historical truth and facts therefore change over time, and reflect only the present consensus (if that).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact#In_history
From the above it is obvious 'what is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
Note in the case, facts of history are facts nevertheless but they are very subjective and depend on intersubjective consensus.
If such is the case, why is the dispute and rejection of moral facts which are more soundly justified than historical facts?

Thus;
  • P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
    P2 Morality is managed via a specific Framework and System of Morality
    C1 Therefore Moral facts exists as justified and derived from a specific Framework and System of Morality
From the above who would still insist there are not moral facts which are justified and derived from a specific Framework and System of Morality
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: What is a Fact?

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Now this is contentious re What is fact?
1. In philosophy, the concept fact is considered in epistemology and ontology.

2. Questions of objectivity and truth are closely associated with questions of fact.

3. A "fact" can be defined as something that is the case—that is, a state of affairs.[12][13]

4. Facts may be understood as information that makes a true sentence true.[14]

5. Facts may also be understood as those things to which a true sentence refers.
The statement "Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system" is about the fact Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system.[15]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact#In_philosophy
I agree with points 2-5.
All of these facts must be related to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.

However point 1 need further qualifications.
The concept 'fact' is not restricted to epistemology and ontology but include Morality & Ethics and Logic.

Thus my point;
There are moral facts as justified from a specific Framework and System of Morality and Ethics.
Since such moral facts are relative to a framework, they are not absolute moral facts [e.g. of Plato's ideas or God given command] but they are relative moral facts.
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HexHammer
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Re: What is a Fact?

Post by HexHammer »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:43 amWhat is a fact?
Dear clueless person, please go elsewhere and pest people.
If you actually had a clue, you would know in least 40% of science papers are flawed, then scientists can lie their ass off, when they're "sponsored" by big crony businesses, etc.
FlashDangerpants
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Re: What is a Fact?

Post by FlashDangerpants »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:43 am
  • P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
    P2 Morality is managed via a specific Framework and System of Morality
    C1 Therefore Moral facts exists as justified and derived from a specific Framework and System of Morality
Your P2 would work if morality was managed via a specific framework of moral knowledge, but the argument would be circular so you can't do that. As 'system of morality' it fails.

That's why your argument structure applied to to other things would have perverse outcomes:

P1: P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
P2: Star Wars is a specific framework of fiction (one of those fictional universes, similar to Marvel and DC and so on)
C: Therefore Star Wars facts exist as justified from a specific Framework of Fiction.

P1: P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
P2: Chinese Traditional Medicine is a framework and system of medicine
C: Therefore it is a derived fact that ground up rhino horn cures droopy cock syndrome

You have confused yourself by conflating all systems with these "systems of knowledge". Thus you haven't been precise enough to exclude frameworks and systems based on unreliable knowledge. If you address that problem, you will inevitably exclude morality.

If you don't do that, then all that happens is that "moral fact" is downgraded to the level that openly contradictory facts are both true, so you will have no authority to say that anyone is wrong to believe their "moral truth" if it contradicts yours, which would appear to be the point of this excercise.
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Re: What is a Fact?

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

FlashDangerpants wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:56 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:43 am
  • P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
    P2 Morality is managed via a specific Framework and System of Morality
    C1 Therefore Moral facts exists as justified and derived from a specific Framework and System of Morality
Your P2 would work if morality was managed via a specific framework of moral knowledge, but the argument would be circular so you can't do that. As 'system of morality' it fails.

That's why your argument structure applied to to other things would have perverse outcomes:

P1: P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
P2: Star Wars is a specific framework of fiction (one of those fictional universes, similar to Marvel and DC and so on)
C: Therefore Star Wars facts exist as justified from a specific Framework of Fiction.

P1: P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
P2: Chinese Traditional Medicine is a framework and system of medicine
C: Therefore it is a derived fact that ground up rhino horn cures droopy cock syndrome

You have confused yourself by conflating all systems with these "systems of knowledge". Thus you haven't been precise enough to exclude frameworks and systems based on unreliable knowledge. If you address that problem, you will inevitably exclude morality.

If you don't do that, then all that happens is that "moral fact" is downgraded to the level that openly contradictory facts are both true, so you will have no authority to say that anyone is wrong to believe their "moral truth" if it contradicts yours, which would appear to be the point of this excercise.
You are ignorant of the related 'nuances' I have discussed somewhere related to the degree of justification, degree of veracity and confidence level in correspondence to the continuum of what is held to be true from;
  • 1. Opinion to
    2. Beliefs to
    3. Knowledge/facts
The above principles are from Kant's scholarship not pulled out of the air from nowhere.

Note if we rate the above on the basis of 'fact' then,
  • 3. Knowledge/facts at 100 degree of veracity and fact, then relatively
    2. Beliefs can be rated at 50/100 fact at 50 degree of veracity then
    1. opinion as 0.1/100 fact
This similar to the analogy of the continuum of black and white;
  • 1. Pure Black is 0.1 white 99.9% black
    2. Grey is 50% white and 50% black
    3. White is 0.1% black and 99.9% white
So,
  • P1: P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
    P2: Star Wars is a specific framework of fiction (one of those fictional universes, similar to Marvel and DC and so on)
    C: Therefore Star Wars facts exist as justified from a specific Framework of Fiction.
What you have failed to take into account is the degree of justifications, degree of veracity and potential confidence level with the Scientific Framework as the base standard.

As explained above, the facts justified from Star Wars will carry a degree of veracity of perhaps zero or <10% depending on which features we are referring to.
If the veracity is <10% then the falsity [falsehood] is >90%.

As for TCM, there is no thorough investigation on the various things that supposedly has medicinal values. There could be some degree of veracity when more indepth research is done to be concluded based on evidences.

However note this;
  • P1: P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
    P2: Theology is a specific framework of Divine facts
    C: Therefore divine facts exist as justified from a specific Framework of theology.
It is very common for theists to claim "God exists as real" as an objective fact.
So again the above faced the degree of justifications, the degree of veracity and degree of confidence level.
Based on what I have investigated and in the absence evidence to justify God exists as real, I would rate that 'divine fact' as a fact with zero degree of veracity and 100% falsity [falsehood].

Thus in my case;
  • P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
    P2 Morality is managed via a specific Framework and System of Morality
    C1 Therefore Moral facts exists as justified and derived from a specific Framework and System of Morality
You cannot deny there are no moral facts.
The only question you can raised is to the question of its degree of justification, degree of veracity, degree of confidence relative the scientific facts from the Scientific Framework and a base standard.
I would claim moral facts to be say at 90% veracity with possibility of 10% falsity.
(note the case of what are historical facts above - what is fact is conditioned upon winners)

Even Scientific facts as asserted by Popper are at best, merely "polished conjectures".

What are linguistic facts are at best chasing after illusions. Note Russells' "perhaps there is no real table [the referent] at all"

I have already argued all over the place, the justification process of the Moral Framework and System is very close the the Scientific Framework as a base standard.
Therefore the moral facts generated should be very close to certain sets of of the Scientific Framework -especially those that are theoretical.
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Stach77
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Re: What is a Fact?

Post by Stach77 »

Thus my point;
There are moral facts as justified from a specific Framework and System of Morality and Ethics.
Since such moral facts are relative to a framework, they are not absolute moral facts [e.g. of Plato's ideas or God given command] but they are relative moral facts.
If i understand well, you basically say, that moral facts are relative. I disagree with this view. I hold that morality is something natural in human beings and it emerged in evolution as a favorable trait, being one of the many advantages that made us better survivors and pro-creators than other primates. If one thinks as i do, it logically follows, that i have to support this view with universal moral facts, which will be absolute for the whole of our specie.

I will keep to the most basic definition of a fact - A thing that is known or proved to be true.


Let us consider an act of 'murder'. By a definition it is "the crime of intentionally killing a person". Now, it is obvious, that by the very definition it is always morally wrong. But still, although in today's mexico ritual killing would be condemned as murder, since it is prohibited by the law, it was not so 600 years ago, when Aztecs lived there. Now. Although different moral systems will judge what murder is or is not exactly, in all human societies there is a condemnation of an act of unlawful killing. If after Aztecan ritual of feeding god with prisoners' blood some guy would murder his neighbor on the street, he would bear the consequences proper to Aztec society. It is so, because by our nature we cannot build a well-functioning society with people (insiders) being under constant threat of death.

Upon observation, that it is physically not possible to live together without constructing a moral code, people living in tribes have seen, what is and what is not favorable for them to progress and what is favorable. Then, the approved behaviors were encouraged, and the disapproved were discouraged. Moral code seems to be an introduction to law. To have moral code, you simply need a group of people, to have a law, you need to be more sophisticated and in power to make it common in your society.

Here we get to the nature of moral facts. Although each system will differ in nuances, fundamentals appear to be the same in all cultures. There are some basic moral facts considered as such by universal humanity. From this facts, people build their particular moral codes.

- unlawful killing of other person
- taking somebody else's property without his consent
- betrayal
- helping another without expecting a reward
- any act of empathy or sympathy

All these will be judged in the same way independently of frameworks and systems of knowledge.

Simple analogy. All people of all races drink water, if not, they would die. They might do it in different ways, and in those nuances like type of vessels used, the source, time, amount etc. relativity is true. Naturally people will be more attracted to the ways more familiar to them. Morality is similar. It is necessary and has a set of facts universal to all, like water is a universal substance. The way you apply and classify them depends on your culture, but in themselves they are independent of whatever you think.

There are some substantial moral facts, universally judged by people. For example holocaust or charity actions.

Because i try to be realistic, i regard much of what is said in ethical philosophy as sophisticated nonsense. There is a certain point, when argumentation goes far beyond common sense and consensus. It becomes unpractical. Morality can be discussed as much as we wish, but there are moral decisions in front of all men all the time, and on this decisions depends the outlook of our world.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: What is a Fact?

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Stach77 wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:22 am
Thus my point;
There are moral facts as justified from a specific Framework and System of Morality and Ethics.
Since such moral facts are relative to a framework, they are not absolute moral facts [e.g. of Plato's ideas or God given command] but they are relative moral facts.
If i understand well, you basically say, that moral facts are relative.
I disagree with this view.
I hold that morality is something natural in human beings and it emerged in evolution as a favorable trait, being one of the many advantages that made us better survivors and pro-creators than other primates. If one thinks as i do, it logically follows, that i have to support this view with universal moral facts, which will be absolute for the whole of our specie.

I will keep to the most basic definition of a fact - A thing that is known or proved to be true.

Simple analogy. All people of all races drink water, if not, they would die. They might do it in different ways, and in those nuances like type of vessels used, the source, time, amount etc. relativity is true. Naturally people will be more attracted to the ways more familiar to them. Morality is similar. It is necessary and has a set of facts universal to all, like water is a universal substance. The way you apply and classify them depends on your culture, but in themselves they are independent of whatever you think.

There are some substantial moral facts, universally judged by people. For example holocaust or charity actions.

Because i try to be realistic, i regard much of what is said in ethical philosophy as sophisticated nonsense. There is a certain point, when argumentation goes far beyond common sense and consensus. It becomes unpractical. Morality can be discussed as much as we wish, but there are moral decisions in front of all men all the time, and on this decisions depends the outlook of our world.
From the above there are two types of moral facts to be considered there, i.e.
  • 1. Absolutely absolute objective moral facts.

    2. Relatively absolute objective moral facts.
Absolutely-absolute objective moral facts are totally unconditional of any human involvement at all, like those of God given commands or Plato's form.
These are impossible to be really real.
The way you apply and classify them depends on your culture, but in themselves they are independent of whatever you think.

Yes they [moral facts] are independent of what you, me and all individuals' opinion and belief and fundamentally they are not independent of humans [subjects] involvement and participation at the collective level.

In this case, ultimately they are relative not absolutely absolute.

In this sense, if there are no humans at all, there will be no moral facts related to humans.
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Re: What is a Fact?

Post by FlashDangerpants »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am
FlashDangerpants wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:56 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:43 am
  • P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
    P2 Morality is managed via a specific Framework and System of Morality
    C1 Therefore Moral facts exists as justified and derived from a specific Framework and System of Morality
Your P2 would work if morality was managed via a specific framework of moral knowledge, but the argument would be circular so you can't do that. As 'system of morality' it fails.

That's why your argument structure applied to to other things would have perverse outcomes:

P1: P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
P2: Star Wars is a specific framework of fiction (one of those fictional universes, similar to Marvel and DC and so on)
C: Therefore Star Wars facts exist as justified from a specific Framework of Fiction.

P1: P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
P2: Chinese Traditional Medicine is a framework and system of medicine
C: Therefore it is a derived fact that ground up rhino horn cures droopy cock syndrome

You have confused yourself by conflating all systems with these "systems of knowledge". Thus you haven't been precise enough to exclude frameworks and systems based on unreliable knowledge. If you address that problem, you will inevitably exclude morality.

If you don't do that, then all that happens is that "moral fact" is downgraded to the level that openly contradictory facts are both true, so you will have no authority to say that anyone is wrong to believe their "moral truth" if it contradicts yours, which would appear to be the point of this excercise.
You are ignorant of the related 'nuances' I have discussed somewhere related to the degree of justification, degree of veracity and confidence level in correspondence to the continuum of what is held to be true from;
  • 1. Opinion to
    2. Beliefs to
    3. Knowledge/facts
The above principles are from Kant's scholarship not pulled out of the air from nowhere.

Note if we rate the above on the basis of 'fact' then,
  • 3. Knowledge/facts at 100 degree of veracity and fact, then relatively
    2. Beliefs can be rated at 50/100 fact at 50 degree of veracity then
    1. opinion as 0.1/100 fact
So your second premise assumes that this "Framework and System of Morality" produces what ... 50% probable truths, or 100% probable truths?
If you go with the former, your argument fails as this is a foundation of beliefs that do not amount to knowledge.
If you with the latter your argument is circular as it requires for a premise that which it purports to demonstrate in its conclusion.

Argument structure my friend, learn it or you will never get this stuff right.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am This similar to the analogy of the continuum of black and white;
  • 1. Pure Black is 0.1 white 99.9% black
    2. Grey is 50% white and 50% black
    3. White is 0.1% black and 99.9% white
So,
  • P1: P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
    P2: Star Wars is a specific framework of fiction (one of those fictional universes, similar to Marvel and DC and so on)
    C: Therefore Star Wars facts exist as justified from a specific Framework of Fiction.
What you have failed to take into account is the degree of justifications, degree of veracity and potential confidence level with the Scientific Framework as the base standard.
I obviously haven't failed to take that into account, my point is that your argument tries to ignore exactly that sort of thing. Except, frameworks of knowledge can either point to something empirical as their evidence base, or to something imaginary, and morality is entirely imaginary.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am As explained above, the facts justified from Star Wars will carry a degree of veracity of perhaps zero or <10% depending on which features we are referring to.
If the veracity is <10% then the falsity [falsehood] is >90%.

As for TCM, there is no thorough investigation on the various things that supposedly has medicinal values. There could be some degree of veracity when more indepth research is done to be concluded based on evidences.
There is no convincing method in TCM of discovering medical fact and seperating it from fabricated imaginings. Whichever bits of it turn out to be true will have to be justified as something we would call fact or knowledge via a different method.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am However note this;
  • P1: P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
    P2: Theology is a specific framework of Divine facts
    C: Therefore divine facts exist as justified from a specific Framework of theology.
But they aren't facts though are they? I mean, it's a fact that the Bible teaches us that 2 of every animal went into a boat and none of them ate each other, but it being a truth that the Bible says so is not something we typically think of as meaning that it is a truth that it happened.

If that sort of truth, one of those "my truths" that doesn't need to correspond to any fact, is all that you want from your moral knowledge, I am happy to grant that, it's a freebie we can give away to people who claim silly things as known. It doesn't corresond to Kantian ideal of 100% verifieda belief though. But neither does the 'divine fact', so you are arguing against yourself here anyway.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am It is very common for theists to claim "God exists as real" as an objective fact.
So again the above faced the degree of justifications, the degree of veracity and degree of confidence level.
Based on what I have investigated and in the absence evidence to justify God exists as real, I would rate that 'divine fact' as a fact with zero degree of veracity and 100% falsity [falsehood].
Which all leads us to the question of why you chose to illuminate your point with a "Framework of Knowledge" that spits out false facts and untrue knowledge? It would make sense if I had chosen that to demonstrate your argument wrong.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am Thus in my case;
  • P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
    P2 Morality is managed via a specific Framework and System of Morality
    C1 Therefore Moral facts exists as justified and derived from a specific Framework and System of Morality
Why does your P2 in the religion case above say Facts - but your P2 for your own thing never uses that word?
I presume it is because you have noticed that your argument is circular when you do.

At some point though you have to insert something to show that some frameworks do emit facts, while others such as religion do not, and then you have to show why morality is in the camp you want it to be. So you have a choice whether your argument is bad because it is begging the above question, or bad because it is circular. There is no circumstance in which that argument is good though.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am You cannot deny there are no moral facts.
Obviously that is not a fact, I have. I do claim that 'fact' is a description that cannot be applied directly to any evaluative judgment. Just as there are no 'facts' to tell us that one painting is better than another, and there are no 'facts' about whether sneezing feels nicer than pooping. So it is a matter of evaluation that stealing is bad and lying is naughty.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am The only question you can raised is to the question of its degree of justification, degree of veracity, degree of confidence relative the scientific facts from the Scientific Framework and a base standard.
Technically it's not so much a matter of degree, it is a matter of type of justification. If the scientific claim that the sun does not orbit the earth, but quite the reverse is true, then among other things the sun probably orbited the earth before mankind existed to question that matter. Some other claims of science are true or untrue only when the universe is too new for any suns or earths to yet exist.

The type of test that applies to the type of knowledge claims that are made are fundamentally very different to the tests you could propose for whether it is rude to ask a ladies age, and whether it is always wrong to be rude anyway.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am I would claim moral facts to be say at 90% veracity with possibility of 10% falsity.
(note the case of what are historical facts above - what is fact is conditioned upon winners)

Even Scientific facts as asserted by Popper are at best, merely "polished conjectures".

What are linguistic facts are at best chasing after illusions. Note Russells' "perhaps there is no real table [the referent] at all"

I have already argued all over the place, the justification process of the Moral Framework and System is very close the the Scientific Framework as a base standard.
Therefore the moral facts generated should be very close to certain sets of of the Scientific Framework -especially those that are theoretical.
All that Kant you boast of reading and yet here you are trying to create an a posteriori framework for discovering moral fact.
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Re: What is a Fact?

Post by Sculptor »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:43 am One of the most contentious issue within a discussion of Morality and Ethics is the question of "what is a fact".

What is a fact?
You seem to think that it is anything you want it to be.
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Re: What is a Fact?

Post by Stach77 »

In this sense, if there are no humans at all, there will be no moral facts related to humans.
Here we have to come back to the evolutionary approach. If human faculty of morality is really an effect of natural selection, there has to be a presence of simpler moral behaviors in our biological ancestors and closest evolutionary relatives, ie. primates. And actually there is scientific evidence that primates, particularly chimpanzees, can behave in a 'moral' or 'immoral' (in reference to their specie of course). In the basis of human 'moral' behavior are: emotional contagion, retributive emotions and empathy. Some of these are observable in chimpanzees.

One danger here is anthropomorphism, that is, projection of our norms onto animals and then misinterpretation of their behaviors. Having this in mind, we have to be precise with what we mean by 'morality'. Until today this term is solely human, and is read as such, because we have been always considering morality as exclusively human characteristic. One reason for this, is that morality originated from religion, and this one usually draws dichotomy between animals and humans. Only in the last century our laws started to encompass animals.

I hope that observations of animals will slowly produce accurate understanding of morality, not as exclusively human faculty but a shared characteristic among evolutionary relatives. This, of course, does not put animals on the same level as humans in moral judgment. Animals have intelligence, but ours is so sophisticated, that you can't put us with gorillas, in some iq contest. Some animals can recognize themselves in the mirror, that is, they can be self-conscious in a small degree, but it is to small to make them equal or even close in this category with mature and healthy humans.

To put it simply, i think that morality has to be recognized as a mean of getting representatives of one specie closer to one another by a proper reciprocity in actions, which produce: social bonds, close relations, order, possibility of stable lifestyle and progress.

Humans, of course, have morality on a much greater scale and complication than any other living thing. Our intelligence allows us to create very explicit norms and systems. It is obvious, that other animals do not share this capacity.

If it is true, then your sentence:
Absolutely-absolute objective moral facts are totally unconditional of any human involvement at all, like those of God given commands or Plato's form.
These are impossible to be really real.
Can be wrong. Concerning God or ideas the evolutionary approach has nothing to say, but concerning "unconditional of any human involvement at all [...] These are impossible to be really real." has a lot to say, since it would mean, that from a certain point in earth's history morality could exist without us, and if we accidentally kill ourselves, it could still exist as a faculty present in other animals. Same with intelligence, expression of emotions and communication. Animals are perfectly capable of those without us and will be, if we disappear. The degree of those is tiny compared to ours, but it does not mean, that they do not have it.
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Re: What is a Fact?

Post by Skepdick »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:44 am Now this is contentious re What is fact?
1. In philosophy, the concept fact is considered in epistemology and ontology.

2. Questions of objectivity and truth are closely associated with questions of fact.

3. A "fact" can be defined as something that is the case—that is, a state of affairs.[12][13]

4. Facts may be understood as information that makes a true sentence true.[14]

5. Facts may also be understood as those things to which a true sentence refers.
The statement "Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system" is about the fact Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system.[15]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact#In_philosophy
I agree with points 2-5.
All of these facts must be related to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.

However point 1 need further qualifications.
The concept 'fact' is not restricted to epistemology and ontology but include Morality & Ethics and Logic.
You've taken a conceptually wrong turn here.

In information/computer science the notion of a knowledge ontology is perfectly coherent. Ontology and epistemology are not separate notions - they interact.

An ontology is simply the information which answers a well-formed epistemic questions. It is the location of the information necessary to answer the question.

If no ontology can provide an answer to the question - neither ontology nor epistemology matter. The question is simply bullshit.

The key insight here though is that ontologies can be engineered. Ontologies are mental constructs - which goes against the intuition of just about.... everyone.
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Re: What is a Fact?

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

FlashDangerpants wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:04 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am
FlashDangerpants wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:56 am
Your P2 would work if morality was managed via a specific framework of moral knowledge, but the argument would be circular so you can't do that. As 'system of morality' it fails.

That's why your argument structure applied to to other things would have perverse outcomes:

P1: P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
P2: Star Wars is a specific framework of fiction (one of those fictional universes, similar to Marvel and DC and so on)
C: Therefore Star Wars facts exist as justified from a specific Framework of Fiction.

P1: P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
P2: Chinese Traditional Medicine is a framework and system of medicine
C: Therefore it is a derived fact that ground up rhino horn cures droopy cock syndrome

You have confused yourself by conflating all systems with these "systems of knowledge". Thus you haven't been precise enough to exclude frameworks and systems based on unreliable knowledge. If you address that problem, you will inevitably exclude morality.

If you don't do that, then all that happens is that "moral fact" is downgraded to the level that openly contradictory facts are both true, so you will have no authority to say that anyone is wrong to believe their "moral truth" if it contradicts yours, which would appear to be the point of this excercise.
You are ignorant of the related 'nuances' I have discussed somewhere related to the degree of justification, degree of veracity and confidence level in correspondence to the continuum of what is held to be true from;
  • 1. Opinion to
    2. Beliefs to
    3. Knowledge/facts
The above principles are from Kant's scholarship not pulled out of the air from nowhere.

Note if we rate the above on the basis of 'fact' then,
  • 3. Knowledge/facts at 100 degree of veracity and fact, then relatively
    2. Beliefs can be rated at 50/100 fact at 50 degree of veracity then
    1. opinion as 0.1/100 fact
So your second premise assumes that this "Framework and System of Morality" produces what ... 50% probable truths, or 100% probable truths?
If you go with the former, your argument fails as this is a foundation of beliefs that do not amount to knowledge.
If you with the latter your argument is circular as it requires for a premise that which it purports to demonstrate in its conclusion.

Argument structure my friend, learn it or you will never get this stuff right.
On first look it appear to be so but as I had stated you missed the 'nuances' of the argument or you missed my explanation re the continuum of black and white that followed, i.e. the continuum of;
  • 1. 99.99% knowledge to 50%knowledge to 0.01% Knowledge
    2. 99.99% Fact to 50%Fact to 0.01% Fact
    The above opposite corresponding continuum is;
    3. 0.01% falsehood to 50%falsehood to 0.01 99.99 falsehood
There is no absolute certainty.
Thus 99.99% falsehood is 0.01% knowledge

Therefore my structure is still valid,
The "Framework and System of knowledge" e.g. Divinity produce 0.01 knowledge and 99.99 falsehood.

The "Framework and System of knowledge/morality" e.g. Divinity produce 0.01% knowledge/moral facts and 99.99% falsehood.

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am This similar to the analogy of the continuum of black and white;
  • 1. Pure Black is 0.1 white 99.9% black
    2. Grey is 50% white and 50% black
    3. White is 0.1% black and 99.9% white
So,
  • P1: P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
    P2: Star Wars is a specific framework of fiction (one of those fictional universes, similar to Marvel and DC and so on)
    C: Therefore Star Wars facts exist as justified from a specific Framework of Fiction.
What you have failed to take into account is the degree of justifications, degree of veracity and potential confidence level with the Scientific Framework as the base standard.
I obviously haven't failed to take that into account, my point is that your argument tries to ignore exactly that sort of thing. Except, frameworks of knowledge can either point to something empirical as their evidence base, or to something imaginary, and morality is entirely imaginary.
Note a Framework of Knowledge e.g. Framework of Beauty produced the fact,
Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa is Miss Universe 2019.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_Universe_2019
Do you deny the above is a fact, albeit of beauty contests?

The sense of beauty is not purely empirical based.
It is based on feelings and subjectivity and worst one's man meat is another's poison.
What is critical here is there is a Framework and System, i.e. the criteria of judging established by the Miss Universe organization that support the fact.

My argument here is;
  • P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
    P2 Morality is managed via a specific Framework and System of Morality
    C1 Therefore Moral facts exists as justified and derived from a specific Framework and System of Morality
You pointed out the term 'knowledge' in 1 do not follow with any 'beliefs' or 'opinion' within a Framework and System of Knowledge.
I have explained that above.

Morality is not imaginations.
What is moral fact is justified from within a specific Framework and System of Morality based on empirical evidence and supported with philosophical reasoning.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am However note this;
  • P1: P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
    P2: Theology is a specific framework of Divine facts
    C: Therefore divine facts exist as justified from a specific Framework of theology.
But they aren't facts though are they? I mean, it's a fact that the Bible teaches us that 2 of every animal went into a boat and none of them ate each other, but it being a truth that the Bible says so is not something we typically think of as meaning that it is a truth that it happened.

If that sort of truth, one of those "my truths" that doesn't need to correspond to any fact, is all that you want from your moral knowledge, I am happy to grant that, it's a freebie we can give away to people who claim silly things as known. It doesn't corresond to Kantian ideal of 100% verifieda belief though. But neither does the 'divine fact', so you are arguing against yourself here anyway.
Based on the Principles of Continuum,
The facts of Genesis in the Bible or 'God exists as real' as claimed by Christians, they are merely 0.1 facts and 99.1% falsehood.
There is nothing wrong with the above as long as the context and perspective is given.

Nope.
In the case of moral facts which I had claimed, they are fully justified from within the Framework and System of Morality with empirical evidence and philosophical reasoning which is very close to how the Scientific Framework produces scientific facts.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am It is very common for theists to claim "God exists as real" as an objective fact.
So again the above faced the degree of justifications, the degree of veracity and degree of confidence level.
Based on what I have investigated and in the absence evidence to justify God exists as real, I would rate that 'divine fact' as a fact with zero degree of veracity and 100% falsity [falsehood].
Which all leads us to the question of why you chose to illuminate your point with a "Framework of Knowledge" that spits out false facts and untrue knowledge? It would make sense if I had chosen that to demonstrate your argument wrong.
"Framework of Knowledge" is purely a semantic issue which I had explained above with the concept of a continuum.
I could have named it "Framework of Claims" or something with the same meaning and explained with the right context.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am Thus in my case;
  • P1 'What is fact' is relative to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.
    P2 Morality is managed via a specific Framework and System of Morality
    C1 Therefore Moral facts exists as justified and derived from a specific Framework and System of Morality
Why does your P2 in the religion case above say Facts - but your P2 for your own thing never uses that word?
I presume it is because you have noticed that your argument is circular when you do.

At some point though you have to insert something to show that some frameworks do emit facts, while others such as religion do not, and then you have to show why morality is in the camp you want it to be. So you have a choice whether your argument is bad because it is begging the above question, or bad because it is circular. There is no circumstance in which that argument is good though.
I was not consistent with the words used but they meant the same.
  • Re Theology
    P2: Theology is a specific framework of Divine facts
    I could do the same for morality;
    P2: Morality is a specific framework of Moral facts
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am You cannot deny there are no moral facts.
Obviously that is not a fact, I have. I do claim that 'fact' is a description that cannot be applied directly to any evaluative judgment. Just as there are no 'facts' to tell us that one painting is better than another, and there are no 'facts' about whether sneezing feels nicer than pooping. So it is a matter of evaluation that stealing is bad and lying is naughty.
You are caught in and is too dogmatic with the Philosophical Realism paradigm.

I understand from Philosophical Realism, 'what is fact' cannot be evaluative. That is a very superficial view.
But as I have shown above, I have argued 'what is fact' is conditioned to a specific framework of knowledge'.

I agree what is fact cannot be value in one perspective, but the the value-of-a-fact within a System of knowledge is a fact.
E.g. the the valuation of a fact-of-a-diamond generate facts-of-valuations.
That 'one carat of diamond' cost $5000' is a fact.

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am The only question you can raised is to the question of its degree of justification, degree of veracity, degree of confidence relative the scientific facts from the Scientific Framework and a base standard.
Technically it's not so much a matter of degree, it is a matter of type of justification. If the scientific claim that the sun does not orbit the earth, but quite the reverse is true, then among other things the sun probably orbited the earth before mankind existed to question that matter. Some other claims of science are true or untrue only when the universe is too new for any suns or earths to yet exist.

The type of test that applies to the type of knowledge claims that are made are fundamentally very different to the tests you could propose for whether it is rude to ask a ladies age, and whether it is always wrong to be rude anyway.
The "type" correspond to the "degree" of justification.
In general, the degree of justification within a court of law or other framework will be different from that of Scientific justifications. Even with Science itself, the degree will vary for different types of fact. The BB cannot tested for repeatability buy yet the BB and similar knowledge are scientific facts.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:27 am I would claim moral facts to be say at 90% veracity with possibility of 10% falsity.
(note the case of what are historical facts above - what is fact is conditioned upon winners)

Even Scientific facts as asserted by Popper are at best, merely "polished conjectures".

What are linguistic facts are at best chasing after illusions. Note Russells' "perhaps there is no real table [the referent] at all"

I have already argued all over the place, the justification process of the Moral Framework and System is very close the the Scientific Framework as a base standard.
Therefore the moral facts generated should be very close to certain sets of of the Scientific Framework -especially those that are theoretical.
All that Kant you boast of reading and yet here you are trying to create an a posteriori framework for discovering moral fact.
When I turned to the DNA/DNA as empirical evidence to justify the moral facts, that is a priori.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: What is a Fact?

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Skepdick wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:02 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:44 am Now this is contentious re What is fact?
1. In philosophy, the concept fact is considered in epistemology and ontology.

2. Questions of objectivity and truth are closely associated with questions of fact.

3. A "fact" can be defined as something that is the case—that is, a state of affairs.[12][13]

4. Facts may be understood as information that makes a true sentence true.[14]

5. Facts may also be understood as those things to which a true sentence refers.
The statement "Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system" is about the fact Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system.[15]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact#In_philosophy
I agree with points 2-5.
All of these facts must be related to a specific Framework and System of Knowledge.

However point 1 need further qualifications.
The concept 'fact' is not restricted to epistemology and ontology but include Morality & Ethics and Logic.
You've taken a conceptually wrong turn here.

In information/computer science the notion of a knowledge ontology is perfectly coherent. Ontology and epistemology are not separate notions - they interact.

An ontology is simply the information which answers a well-formed epistemic questions. It is the location of the information necessary to answer the question.

If no ontology can provide an answer to the question - neither ontology nor epistemology matter. The question is simply bullshit.

The key insight here though is that ontologies can be engineered. Ontologies are mental constructs - which goes against the intuition of just about.... everyone.
Where did I dispute;
"Ontology and epistemology are not separate notions - they interact."

What I stated was;
The concept 'fact' is not restricted to epistemology and ontology but include Morality & Ethics and Logic.
Skepdick
Posts: 5136
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Re: What is a Fact?

Post by Skepdick »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:01 am Where did I dispute;
"Ontology and epistemology are not separate notions - they interact."

What I stated was;
The concept 'fact' is not restricted to epistemology and ontology but include Morality & Ethics and Logic.
I figured "I agree with points 2-5" means you don't agree with point 1.
FlashDangerpants
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Re: What is a Fact?

Post by FlashDangerpants »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Mon Jun 08, 2020 6:53 am There is no absolute certainty.
Thus 99.99% falsehood is 0.01% knowledge
Erm ok. So what is the value of moral facts after we take all of that stuff into account? You've given away the right to say that 'this is demonstrated fact so that contradictory statement is thus demonstrated false'.

Everything else doesn't really merit any further investigation, either you are ok with the above, in which case the concepts of fact and knowing are out the window, or we keep those things and the rest of your argument is moot.

We just have no space within our conceptual framework to discuss the notion that Miss world actually measures beauty itself, just as we don't have any linguistic means to discuss mutually exclusive facts that are both 50% correct, were I even to bother with that discussion.
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