the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

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Advocate
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Re: the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

Post by Advocate »

[quote=Atla post_id=682127 time=1701362477 user_id=15497]
[quote=FlashDangerpants post_id=682122 time=1701360620 user_id=11800]
Except Wittgenstein was dismissing the Problems Of Philosophy when he suggested that none of them amounts to anything more than linguistic confusion.
[/quote]
On a side note, I really don't know how someone can get away with claiming something this stupid..
[/quote]

All meaningful philosophy is linguistic.
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Harbal
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Re: the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

Post by Harbal »

Advocate wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 9:14 pm
Atla wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 5:41 pm
FlashDangerpants wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 5:10 pm Except Wittgenstein was dismissing the Problems Of Philosophy when he suggested that none of them amounts to anything more than linguistic confusion.
On a side note, I really don't know how someone can get away with claiming something this stupid..
All meaningful philosophy is linguistic.
Says somebody who can't even figure out the forum quote function. :roll:
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Re: the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

Post by Atla »

Advocate wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 9:14 pm All meaningful philosophy is linguistic.
:lol:

Personally I think that people who think in language are disadvantaged in philosophy. It's limited and limiting.
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Re: the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

Post by Wizard22 »

Advocate wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:18 pm a) There is such a thing as a false Scotsman
b) There is such a thing as a true Scotsman
c) The end
Why was it a "problem" in the first place?
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Re: the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

Post by Iwannaplato »

Atla wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 9:26 pm
Advocate wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 9:14 pm All meaningful philosophy is linguistic.
:lol:

Personally I think that people who think in language are disadvantaged in philosophy. It's limited and limiting.
If you look closely enough, thinking in language is thinking in stuff that isn't language. But people are mostly in too much of a hurry to see what's going on in there. And then there's also thinking when no language is present.
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Trajk Logik
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Re: the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

Post by Trajk Logik »

Iwannaplato wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 4:27 pm
Trajk Logik wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 3:59 pm All I've been asking is how does one even determine if the counter-example actually falsifies the premise? From where does one acquire that authority? This has to be determined before we can even say a fallacy has been committed and find use in the NTS idea.
Sure. I gave an answer to this earlier. If you'd wanted information about that, you could have asked.
I did ask in what you just quoted.
Iwannaplato wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 9:59 am
So it seems to me, based on what you have said, we need to solve the problem of defining Scotsman to even determine if a fallacy was even committed and who committed it.
Sure. I don't think I've said something else.
You did. Let's take another look at the OP:
You didn't quote this correctly so it's confusing. You are the one that said "Sure. I don't think I've said something else.", not me.

You and many others seem to be going beyond what the OP actually states, not to mention the ad hominems that were the immediate response to the OP. No one seemed to want to take the OP at face value but would rather engage in personal attacks and straw-man arguments.

The OP is simply stating that there is such a thing as a false Scotsman and a true Scotsman. That's it. Do you agree with that or not? If not, then you've effectively eliminated the NTS as an actual fallacy because if you can't declare that there is an actual authority that defines "Scotsman" then you've rendered the counter-example as no better of a description of a Scotsman then the initial premise. If you do agree, then you've effectively agreed with me and the OP. It's really that simple. Anything else is assuming more than what the OP is stating and a straw-man.
Iwannaplato wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 4:27 pm
Trajk Logik wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 3:59 pm It is simply implying that there exists an authority for determining a false Scotsman from a true Scotsman.
I think charitable readings are a good thing, but this is going way beyond a charitable read of those posts.
No, it is you that is going way beyond the reading of the OP. Do you agree that there is such a thing as a false Scotsman and a true Scotsman, yes or no? It's an easy question. Maybe you might find it easier to answer the question, "is there such a thing as a Scotsman?" If yes, then define it. If not, then there is no NTS fallacy as what a Scotsman is is subjective and both Person A and Person B are right in what a Scotsman is and the whole exchange is an example of talking past each other, not a logical fallacy.
Iwannaplato wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 4:27 pm
Trajk Logik wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 3:59 pm What do you think that authority is? This is the problem that needs to be solved - who has the authority and what does that look like - a dictionary, a linguist, an observation, a Scotsman?
I think my earlier answer was something like the people involved need to justify their arguments for inclusion and exclusion. It's possible a dictionary could resolve it. It might need an expert. It might require hermeneutics - thinking of possible Christians excluding certain Christians.

And, of course, the issue may not resolve. If the two sides don't believe in the same authority and their authorities don't agree. Which as we all know is common.
Right, so there is no fallacy until an authority is agree upon, which you admit may never happen and is common. Sticking to the definitions makes communication easier and more efficient.
Iwannaplato wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 4:27 pm
Trajk Logik wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 3:59 pm Here is the original example in my first post:
Person A: "No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."
Person B: "But my uncle Angus is a Scotsman and he puts sugar on his porridge."
Person A: "But no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."

What if the fallacy looked like this:
Person A: "No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."
Person B: "Look Scotsman up in a dictionary and you will find that being a Scotsman has nothing to do with what one eats"
Person A: "But no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."

If Person A is rejecting the authority by which you are falsifying their premise, then what are we to do?
It depends. There are certainly situations where there's an impasse. You might be able to take other angles on the disagreement. The person simply repeated their position/assertion. You could ask for more justification. Maybe they think it is a self-evident truth. Maybe they agree that they need to justify it. That might open some doors. A whole range of next steps are possible until a final dead end is reached.
What you seem to be saying is that no fallacy has been committed until the final dead end is reached, which may never happen, which is to say that you can never know when the NTS fallacy is being committed because all Person A needs to do is continually reject any counter-example to avoid the fallacy.
Iwannaplato wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 4:27 pm
Trajk Logik wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 3:59 pm Doesn't the dictionary have the authority to falsify their premise?
If both sides agree on the particular dictionary and that this dictionary is likely to be correct. Two physicists might not find a dictionary enough evidene, both knowing that it's meant for the general public. I think many religious people would question its final authority and while not Christian, I have sympathy for that, depending on the point in question.

And then even with mundane things like chairs, a dictionary might not be able to resolve it. More or less thinking of the fuzzy boundaries of nouns and Wittgenstein.
Which is to agree with what I have said that all one needs to do is reject any counter-example to avoid committing the fallacy. We can use any scribble to refer to anything. If you find a fuzzy boundary, then redefine the term, or incorporate multiple related terms to resolve the fuzziness. Anything other than this effectively eliminates the NTS as a fallacy because we might never agree on what it is we are talking about or one can simply reject any counter-example to avoid the fallacy.
Iwannaplato wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 4:27 pm
Trajk Logik wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 3:59 pm Is it more of an authority than an observed counter-example? Is the counter-example even valid considering that the dictionary does not even mention anything about what one eats? It seems to me that Person B is committing another fallacy by being caught up in assuming the premise has some merit to even go down the road of trying to prove a Scotsman is defined by what one eats. Just use the dictionary to determine what a true and false Scotsman is.
I don't think that's the best solution, though I think it could certainly work in some.

The solution you have proposed ends up rendering the NTS as non-sensical or non-existent, as both parties could just reject the other's counter-examples. The only way to make the NTS relevant is to assert that there is an authority that makes the counter-example valid.
Iwannaplato wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 9:59 am Let's look at his second post:
In what sense is the argument not technically accurate? In what sense does it not accurately represent reality? How is it wrong? and Nuh-UH!
He refers to his OP as an argument. It's not an argument. It is three assertions with no justification for any of them.
Either you are blind or stupid, or both.
You've read my posts so far. You really think I am either blind or stupid? Oh, is being blind like when you act like I didn't give an answer to the question you say above you wanted an answer to? Or were you being stupid? Or was it simply: I didn't say dictionary, so that means I didn't answer?

I suggest you look in a dictionary to see if you are using those terms correctly and perhaps that's help you rethink your insulting false dilemma.[/quote]
Oh, so now you assert that the dictionary is the authority for defining words. Thanks for finally agreeing with me and the OP.

Again, you are not reading his post simply as stated. Is it accurate that there is such a thing as a Scotsman and not a Scotsman? Your suggestion that I look in a dictionary for the meaning of words shows that you do agree with his second post that there is such a thing stupid and blind and not stupid and not blind, so what's the difference with the term, "Scotsman"? You keep contradicting yourself with your effort to win a gold medal in mental gymnastics.

Iwannaplato wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 4:27 pm
Trajk Logik wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 3:59 pm As I pointed out, and if I am interpreting the OP correctly, the problem is that the person is not providing the best counter-example and is assuming that the premise has some merit by trying to play along as if the premise isn't a simple category mistake. In other words, I would never allow the NTS fallacy to be committed as my response to, "No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge." would be "Go read a dictionary".
Yes, I think I've got it that you think the dictionary is the solution or should solve all such situations. I don't agree with it as the solution to all such situations or even that it should be....
Yet you told me to go read a dictionary for the meaning of "stupid" and "blind". You can't even be consistent in one post.
Trajk Logik wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 3:59 pmBut more importantly...fuck you for insulting me for no reason.

I'll leave you to Atla and FDP.

You deserve what they will dish out.
You insulted my intelligence and wasted my time with your non-sensical, contradictory posts. The Advocate was personally attacked from the get-go and you didn't say shit about that but jumped on the bandwagon in purposely misinterpreting what was said, so good riddance to you bowing out of the conversation.
Last edited by Trajk Logik on Fri Dec 01, 2023 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

Post by Trajk Logik »

Harbal wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 4:26 pm
Trajk Logik wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 3:14 pm
Atla wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 5:24 am Now there are two of them. With such skills how do they stay alive in adulthood?
Now there are three of them. With such an inability to read and properly address others' posts in a logical way how are we suppose to take anything they say about logical fallacies seriously?
You seem to interpret the fact that nobody agrees with you as a sign that you must be right. :?
This is wrong on so many levels it's pathetic. Not only is this a logical fallacy of appealing to popularity, it's flat out wrong. I quoted the comments in the video that Flash provided that support what I've been saying. It's not my fault you are unwilling to read my posts and would rather make statements that are utterly false and invalid.

And then there's the fact that not one of you has made a legitimate argument against anything I have said but has actually ended up agreeing with what I have said in both yours and Flash's admission that an authority or definition exists that resolves the problem. If there isn't then the meaning of Scotsman is subjective which then makes the NTS non-sensical.
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Re: the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

Post by Trajk Logik »

FlashDangerpants wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 5:01 pm I didn't bother with your thing about it being impossible to commit a fallacy without using language because that was fallacious reasoning. You can't tell a lie without using language, but lying is its own thing and declaring it an "improper use of language" adds no information about what that is. You can't break a promise to an orphan without language either, there is no useful information int he idea that such language use is improper (but if you want to lie to orphans it isn't).

Aside form merely and uninformatively using words, you also can't commit a fallacy without infering from one set of information to another on an unreliable basis. Broadly speaking that second thing is what a fallacy actually is.

When I told you to use a dictionary to find out what a fallacy is, it wasn't an actual recommendation. I was mocking you for using a dictionary definition of Scotsman. It concerns me that this was somehow too subtle for you, so I will be blunt. Do we need to make exceptions for you on the grounds of something like autism that prevents you from picking up on subtext?
An improper use of language is one that does not invoke a conceivable idea in another's mind (Language is used to communicate after all, which is to say that we use scribbles and sounds to invoke ideas that are not more scribbles and sounds in other minds). A lie can invoke an idea in another's mind, just a false one. A married bachelor cannot invoke anything in another's mind because one term effectively cancels out the other as they are opposites. "Santa Claus exists" is a proper use of language. "Santa Claus exists and does not exist" is not a proper use of language.

If either the speaker and the listener are not understanding each other then there is some faulty use of language going on somewhere, either in the speaker's words, or in what the listener interprets. This is what is happening with the NTS.

If using a dictionary isn't the authority, and there is no authority on defining the terms we use, then one can simply reject any counter-example made and avoid the NTS fallacy.

So either there is a an authority and the NTS is a valid fallacy, or there isn't and the NTS fallacy can never be committed.
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Re: the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

Post by Trajk Logik »

FlashDangerpants wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 5:10 pm
Atla wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 5:02 pm Out of curiosity I googled the expression "a fallacy is an improper use of language", it says 0 hits. Maybe if I rearrange the words?
It's his take on Wittgenstein. Except Wittgenstein was dismissing the Problems Of Philosophy when he suggested that none of them amounts to anything more than linguistic confusion. Trajik Log has takent this so much to heart that he is addressing trivial matters of reasoning as if they are the problem of other minds or mereological nihilism without (ironically) understanding that the misunderstandings involved are deeply dissimilar.
It seems to me that you have proved Witt's point in not accepting that there is an authority on defining Scotsman, effectively rendering the NTS as meaningless.

Words mean things, and we all have a decent grasp on what they mean or we would never be able to communicate in the first place. Sure, there are fuzzy boundaries, but this is simply an indication that we need to adjust our definitions.
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Re: the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

Post by Trajk Logik »

Atla wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 5:02 pm Out of curiosity I googled the expression "a fallacy is an improper use of language", it says 0 hits. Maybe if I rearrange the words?
https://pressbooks.pub/lcubbison/chapte ... s/#201aaf4
4. What is an informal fallacy?
Informal fallacies take many forms and are widespread in everyday discourse. Very often they involve bringing irrelevant information into an argument or they are based on assumptions that, when examined, prove to be incorrect. Formal fallacies are created when the relationship between premises and conclusion does not hold up or when premises are unsound; informal fallacies are more dependent on the misuse of language and of evidence.

It is easy to find fairly well-accepted lists of informal fallacies, but that does not mean that it is always easy to spot them. Some moves are always fallacious; others represent ways of thinking that are sometimes valid and reasonable but which can also be misused is ways that make them fallacies.
We commit logical fallacies when we use language, and only when we use language. If you want to talk about ways of thinking, then thinking typically includes talking to yourself in your mind, but not always. We can think in colors, shapes, sounds, smells, feelings, etc., of which words are made of. Words are scribbles you see, or sounds you hear. So we effectively think in sensory data. Those scribbles and sounds invoke other ideas that are not typically other scribbles and sounds. When I write the scribbles, "Santa Claus" on the screen, and you read it, what comes to your mind - the visual of a fat man in a red suit, or more scribbles?

A misuse of language would be one in which no image or sensory data other than the scribbles themselves you are looking at, comes to mind. The scribbles do not invoke an image in your mind of what the scribbles refer to, if they refer to anything at all. It can be because the reader doesn't understand the scribbles, or that the writer used the scribbles incorrectly.

With the NTS, both people are not using the same definition of Scotsman which is the cause of the confusion. The imagery they have of a Scotsman is not the same, so they end up talking past each other and no fallacy is ever committed because they both reject each other's definition effectively not invoking their idea of a Scotsman in each other's minds. They are not invoking a conceivable Scotsman in each other's minds because they are using definitions that the other rejects.
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Re: the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

Post by Harbal »

Trajk Logik wrote: Fri Dec 01, 2023 3:53 pm
Harbal wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 4:26 pm
Trajk Logik wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 3:14 pm
Now there are three of them. With such an inability to read and properly address others' posts in a logical way how are we suppose to take anything they say about logical fallacies seriously?
You seem to interpret the fact that nobody agrees with you as a sign that you must be right. :?
This is wrong on so many levels it's pathetic. Not only is this a logical fallacy of appealing to popularity, it's flat out wrong. I quoted the comments in the video that Flash provided that support what I've been saying. It's not my fault you are unwilling to read my posts and would rather make statements that are utterly false and invalid.

And then there's the fact that not one of you has made a legitimate argument against anything I have said but has actually ended up agreeing with what I have said in both yours and Flash's admission that an authority or definition exists that resolves the problem. If there isn't then the meaning of Scotsman is subjective which then makes the NTS non-sensical.
You are living in a little world of your own, aren't you? 🙂
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Re: the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

Post by FlashDangerpants »

Trajk Logik wrote: Fri Dec 01, 2023 3:53 pm The Advocate was personally attacked from the get-go
You haven't read a lot of what Advocate has written have you? Check out his spredsheet where he fixes all the problems of philosophy. Or the many claims he has made to be ther single greatest philosopher that has ever lived. There might be a good reason why we are so mean to him.
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Re: the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

Post by Trajk Logik »

Something else:
In the link above there's this:
2. What is a formal fallacy?
Most formal fallacies are errors of logic: the conclusion doesn’t really “follow from” (is not supported by) the premises. Either the premises are untrue or the argument is invalid. Below is an example of an invalid deductive argument.

Premise: All black bears are omnivores.
Premise: All raccoons are omnivores.
Conclusion: All raccoons are black bears.

Bears are a subset of omnivores. Raccoons also are a subset of omnivores. But these two subsets do not overlap, and that fact makes the conclusion illogical. The argument is invalid—that is, the relationship between the premises doesn’t support the conclusion.
The conclusion is only understood to be false by accessing information that isn't stated in either premise, namely that black bears and raccoons are different species even though they are omnivores. In other words, for the conclusion to be false you have to already know what a black bear is in relation to a raccoon. They both are defined in such a way that they are not the same animal. But to a person that has no idea what a black bear or racoon are then the conclusion could be true.

Take this for example bit of computer code:
x=1
y=1
If x=y then:
print x and print y

the computer will interpret x=y as true because x and y have only one definition, "1" and print two 1s on the screen.

Racoons and black bears have more than just one property. They aren't just omnivores. They look and behave differently. They can only mate with others of their kind to produce more of their kind. These are facts that are not part of the argument but are used to determine the truth or false of the conclusion, and those facts are only available via real-world experience, not by the structure of the argument.

If we were to rewrite the above code like this, to represent the fact that black bears and racoons have other properties that they do not share, then it would look like this:
x=[1,2,3,4]
y=[1,5,6,7]
If x=y then:
print x and print y

Here the computer would interpret x=y as false because they do not share all properties (they share only one) and more accurately reflects what is going on in the argument above.

So it all comes down to how the terms are defined to then find if the conclusion is true or false. As the argument is written, one has to go beyond what the argument is stating to know that the conclusion is false. One has to have more information than what the premises are stating to classify the conclusion as true or false.
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Re: the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

Post by FlashDangerpants »

This thread has somehow become even more stupid since it was taken over by some new weird fucker.
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Re: the "no true Scotsman" problem solved

Post by Trajk Logik »

FlashDangerpants wrote: Fri Dec 01, 2023 4:38 pm
Trajk Logik wrote: Fri Dec 01, 2023 3:53 pm The Advocate was personally attacked from the get-go
You haven't read a lot of what Advocate has written have you? Check out his spredsheet where he fixes all the problems of philosophy. Or the many claims he has made to be ther single greatest philosopher that has ever lived. There might be a good reason why we are so mean to him.
I don't see any reason to be mean to anyone, unless they were mean first, as you were to me, then I treat others as they treat me. If what they say is nonsense, the show how it is nonsense (without being mean) and if they still reject valid arguments then stop wasting your time. Simple.
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