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Three refutations

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MadArchitect

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Re: Three refutations

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Interbane: He makes a very strong argument for the existance of objective knowledge.Can you bottom-line his argument for me. Otherwise, I don't see that we can make much short-term progress on that particular topic.Yes, that was the direction I was heading. Men like Popper keep the philosophy of science in check, though I'd say that it's not a theory.It's not a theory in the sense imparted to that word by scientific method, no, but if it isn't a philosophical theory, then what could it be?You can never know if a hypothesis or theory is true, but you can know if it is false.I still think there's room for disagreement over that claim, but to begin to examine the question, let's start by examining how claims are (presumably) falsified.It is either false, or has some verisimilitude at time t.And, again, I don't see how science can impart verismilitude. But maybe you (or Popper) mean verisimilitude differently than I do. Let's talk about that, first.And if it turns out that verisimilitude is the same to you as it is to me, then it seems to me that we're back at square one, where science is presuming to unearth the truth, to varying degrees, or castigate some ideas as false. I don't think that's the case, though I'm more receptive to the idea that it falsifies than to the idea that it produces the the truth.The same is true of the tests that we employ to falsify hypotheses, yet objective reality is the judge in the case of falsification, not so in the conception of the solutions.I would say that objective reality presents limitations on the practical application of any given hypothesis, but to use the word "judge" in reference to those limitations seems to me to presume too much.The mistake, I believe, is that science and religion are not alike in many ways that people assume, they are apples and oranges in many respects.That may account for the perpetuation of such controversies, but I think their functional basis lies elsewhere. We discussed this a little before the forum crash. What makes such controversies potent (though not necessarily salient) is the fact that belief may be converted into political power, that is: power over the decisions that shape society. Otherwise, I'm not sure that there would be any practical (or memetic, to borrow an analogy from Dawkins) reason for such controversies to arise and take hold.Show me major religion without the bible.Shinto has no central textual tradition that I know of (which makes it a beast to study). Buddhism and Hinduism have a plurality of texts, and doctrinal emphasis may fall in varying places depending on your tradition within those religions. But more importantly, we may look at the Traditions of the Books themselves -- Judaism, Christianity, and to a lesser degree, Islam. The canonization of the Torah and the Bible are rather late developments in both of the earlier traditions. The meat of each religion developed out of traditions that were no textual but ritual and communal.Then show me a bible that greatly evolves.Any descent New School study of the Bible ought to show that the Bible itself has gone through a rather vast evolution over the years. The Koran is the only textual religious tradition I know of that hasn't gone through a similar evolution, and even if has a continually evolving body of related literature in the hadith.
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Interbane

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Re: Three refutations

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I've done some searching around, and have found Ziman speak of Objective Knowledge. Nothing so far has been an argument against Popper's ideas, though the arguments do take into account Poppers ideas and explains different aspects of science. This leads me to think that Ziman has assimilated Popper's ideas, but does not address them as they've already been thoroughly addressed. I'm sure I've missed some essays that address the assimilation, but it may be possible to find some common ground on our own.MA: "Ideas must be testable, which means they must be amenable to experimentation."I understand more how theories are programs of action, but it must be said that they are first and foremost explanations. If it happens that a theory is proposed that can't be corroborated, then the shift in terminology may be that it isn't viable as a program of action. In this case, they aren't very good theories, if they are theories at all. Ziman and Popper seem to agree here.MA: "The designation of what constitutes "results" is somewhat arbitrary within the methodology of science itself, and must be determined by the judgement of the experimenters, which is already a strike against the objectivity of experimentation"Experimentation was never proposed to be objective by Popper. That theories and hypotheses are human products, and that corroboration is fallible as it is the action of fallible people is addressed, and it does nothing to refute the idea of objective knowledge. Ziman actually wrote on how the influence of individual scientists negatively affects objective knowledge, and he uses the phrase "objective knowledge" verbatim. It was said in the sense that there is objective knowledge, and clarified some problems on scientists' influence of objective knowledge and vice versa. ... I just searched for that essay and couldn't find it again. It's out there though.MA: "We're almost talking about two different models of the central activity of science."While I'd like to agree here for the sake of debate, I think that this isn't the case. The model of science in both cases seems very similar, though I think "Reliable Knowledge" addresses a slightly different aspect of scientific knowledge. There can be more than one way of speaking about the same thing. The preference of verbiage of philosophers shouldn't create a rift where there isn't one, though it is still a problem in light of coming to an agreement.
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Re: Three refutations

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Interbane: Nothing so far has been an argument against Popper's ideasThat isn't Ziman's style. He isn't out to discredit the ideas of others, and he doesn't mind borrowing the useful ideas of others, even if the whole work does not entirely conform to his own theory. As of yet, though, I'm in no position to say whether or not Ziman and Popper's respective theories are in conflict. I'll be checking "Objective Knowledge" out in a few days, and we can start discussing the specfics then.Incidentally, I should note that I'm not arguing for Ziman's thesis, though his ideas do play into the ideas that I'm expressing and developing here.I understand more how theories are programs of action, but it must be said that they are first and foremost explanations.I don't understand how you can assert that they are, first and foremost, explanations if theories that cannot be corraborated by experimentation, as you say, "aren't very good theories, if they are theories at all."That theories and hypotheses are human products, and that corroboration is fallible as it is the action of fallible people is addressed, and it does nothing to refute the idea of objective knowledge.I'll be looking forward to reading precisely how Popper manages that.The model of science in both cases seems very similar, though I think "Reliable Knowledge" addresses a slightly different aspect of scientific knowledge.If Popper's program and Ziman's program are aiming towards different forms of knowledge (and it seems clear to me that they are) then it only stands to reason that their methodology should change to suit the kind of knowledge it hopes to produce, right? Ziman isn't striving for objective knowledge at all. His central thesis, expressed in the consensibility model of science, is that the best we can shoot for with a program of inquiry like modern science is knowledge that is mutually agreeable. That is not, by a strict interpretation of the word, objective; if Popper has asserted something to the effect that it is, then I suspect Popper has begun his substantiation of objective knowledge by changing the terms in question.
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Interbane

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Re: Three refutations

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MA: "That is not, by a strict interpretation of the word, objective; if Popper has asserted something to the effect that it is, then I suspect Popper has begun his substantiation of objective knowledge by changing the terms in question."Popper does indeed start out by saying that he prefers terminology that highlights his ideas objectively. His reinforcement of that can be found in books prior to "Objective Knowledge" I believe, but that might very well be a sticking point. In any case, I'm fairly new to the philosophy of science, so I have little reference to judge what I read.
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Re: Three refutations

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Checked the Popper book out of the library today. I'll be starting it shortly, so our discussion can go a little more in depth soon enough.
MadArchitect

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Re: Three refutations

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Psst! Interbane! Check the "Other Book Discussions" forum. I'm gonna start a thread there about "Objective Knowledge". I think that's the way that forum is supposed to work, although I don't see why a book about philosophy shouldn't have a thread in the philosophy forum...
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