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Is there such a Thing as Good Philosophy vs Bad Philosophy?

Is there such a Thing as Good Philosophy vs Bad Philosophy?  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Is there such a Thing as Good Philosophy vs Bad Philosophy?

    • All philosophy is useless/too arbitrary/self-serving... (all bad)
      1
    • All philosophy has interesting points to consider (all good)
      2
    • There are good philosophies and bad philosophies
      8


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40 minutes ago, cladking said:

This simply isn't true for all branches of study and it's not as true for astronomy. 

It is absolutely true for astronomy. And you have said nothing to suggest otherwise.

41 minutes ago, cladking said:

Most of astronomy has far more to do with observation and the explanation of observation derived from experiments on earth rather than doing experiments with stars.

That is true of physics generally.

"rather than doing experiments with stars"

Oh good grief. This isn't the idiotic "if you can't do the experiment in a lab it isn't science" is it? (often followed by "therefore the big bang / origin of species / whatever is not science")

43 minutes ago, cladking said:

If you lose sight of axioms it's easy to lose sight of the meaning of experiment. 

Another random non sequitur.

43 minutes ago, cladking said:

It's impossible to know the limitations of your knowledge.

Well, there is (of course) a whole branch of philosophy devoted to what knowledge is, what it means to know something, what it is possible to know, etc. so I think your statement is a little too reductionist.

45 minutes ago, cladking said:

I believe astrology is a confusion of a science.

It is not science at all. (But I am not surprised you don't know that.)

45 minutes ago, cladking said:

whether you believe that 2 + 2 = 4

That is not a matter of belief.

 

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I can't begin to imagine how such a discussion arose.

Geodesy is the Science of the Measurement of the Earth.

Astronomy is the Science of the Measurement (nothing else) of the Heavens.

Astrophysics is the Science which includes the study of stellar processes.

 

Surely there is nothing to argue about, we just use the definitions and get on with the meat of the real issue to hand.

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1 hour ago, cladking said:

Most of astronomy has far more to do with observation and the explanation of observation derived from experiments on earth rather than doing experiments with stars.   

That’s a very narrow view of “experiment”

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16 hours ago, cladking said:

Why are you assuming the story never changed before it became writ in stone?

I interpreted a text, not what somebody once might really have meant, said or written down. 

16 hours ago, cladking said:

Eise quoted it and claimed it was the King James version. 

Eh? I claimed it was the New International Version. I got it from www.biblegateway.com, where it obviously is the default.

16 hours ago, cladking said:

An axiom is something that is assumed to be true because it is fundamental and not subject to experimentation or other scientific process.  

I agree, except maybe with that 'it is fundamental'. But that also means axioms have no fixed place in science and philosophy. Honest observations and reflection can lead you anywhere, and axioms would work out as a dogmas, blocking ways to real understanding. Axioms surely can have a place in theory development: assume something to be true, and find out where the theory leads you too. (Maybe to nonsense, so then your axiom was wrong, or your theory is wrong, or both).

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, studiot said:

Astronomy is the Science of the Measurement (nothing else) of the Heavens.

Your definition makes a bee's waggle dance "astronomy".  

I have no problem at all with this but still would point out that it is more measurement than experiment.  

16 hours ago, swansont said:

That’s a very narrow view of “experiment”

A lot of the disagreement is really semantical.  Obviously, there are "expermental" qualities to things other than pure experiment.  I would go so far as to say there can be such qualities to almost all thought and action (including observation of course).  But it is necessary still to tie theory to reality through experiment.  It is also necessary to periodically revisit axioms and metaphysics.

5 hours ago, Eise said:

I interpreted a text, not what somebody once might really have meant, said or written down. 

The only thing that matters is what he meant.   He did not specifically say how many trees there were or even that one tree didn't have two names.  

16 hours ago, Strange said:

This isn't the idiotic "if you can't do the experiment in a lab it isn't science" is it?

No!

One thing all nonsense and poppycock have shared in the last century is that it had no tie to experiment.   I am not claiming ANYTHING not tied to experiment is nonsense but that real science actually works and is tied to experiment.  

5 hours ago, Eise said:

But that also means axioms have no fixed place in science and philosophy.

Everything must begin with what is accepted as true.   Everything follows from this.  

Edited by cladking

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17 hours ago, cladking said:

Nobody escapes fundamental beliefs and most individuals vote the same "party" and attend the same church as their parents.

The very definition of a non-sequitur and trivially wrong, since I did/didn't...

15 minutes ago, cladking said:

Everything must begin with what is accepted as true.

Indeed, but first we must agree what an axiom is; for instance 2+2 could equall 22, where as an object that has four equal side's and 90 degrees in one, is a square...

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26 minutes ago, cladking said:

The only thing that matters is what he meant.   He did not specifically say how many trees there were or even that one tree didn't have two names.  

You can read:

o Yes

o No

Two trees are explicitly mentioned: the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 

29 minutes ago, cladking said:

Everything must begin with what is accepted as true.   Everything follows from this.  

'Accepted as true' is not the same as 'true'. Therefore no science should stick to axioms, and philosophy neither. Taking them temporary for granted is ok, but one should always be prepared to drop these 'axioms'. I slowly get the impression you have no idea how science and philosophy work.

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2 minutes ago, Eise said:

I slowly get the impression you have no idea how science and philosophy work.

You haven't met Cladking before, then.

He said he was leaving some time ago because we weren't sympathetic to his special type of insights and "knowledge".

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2 hours ago, cladking said:

 I have no problem at all with this but still would point out that it is more measurement than experiment.  

...

A lot of the disagreement is really semantical.  Obviously, there are "expermental" qualities to things other than pure experiment.  I would go so far as to say there can be such qualities to almost all thought and action (including observation of course).  But it is necessary still to tie theory to reality through experiment. 

None, of this clarifies what you mean by "experiment" (or worse, "pure experiment" — what is a "pure experiment"?) and why observations don't count under that category.

If I observe cloud-chamber tracks and identify particles, is that an experiment? 

 

2 hours ago, Eise said:

 'Accepted as true' is not the same as 'true'. Therefore no science should stick to axioms, and philosophy neither. Taking them temporary for granted is ok, but one should always be prepared to drop these 'axioms'. 

And to extend this: every new observation/experiment is a test of the validity of the axioms. So even though an axiom can't be proven true (which is something one must deal with in math) in science you can potentially falsify anything you have provisionally accepted as being true.

 

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3 hours ago, cladking said:

Your definition makes a bee's waggle dance "astronomy".  

Only I if the bees were in space (in which case it would be astronomy).

3 hours ago, cladking said:

But it is necessary still to tie theory to reality through experiment. 

And, obviously, astronomy does that all the time. Hence it is a science.

3 hours ago, cladking said:

 I am not claiming ANYTHING not tied to experiment is nonsense but that real science actually works and is tied to experiment.  

So, astronomy is a science then. Good. Glad we have settled that.

 

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21 hours ago, swansont said:

None, of this clarifies what you mean by "experiment" (or worse, "pure experiment" — what is a "pure experiment"?) and why observations don't count under that category.

The ability to use things seen in nature, the lab, or in the bathtub do not confer understanding.   Of course if observation does not conform to theory the cause must be reconciled but when observation does conform to theory it does not mean that theory is correct.   If I put bird food out and observe what birds come to feed it is hardly an experiment at all and hardly can say much about what types of birds and animals live here or how they interact.   Like all words the referent for "experiment" is a continuum from good solid relevance to hardly experiment at all.   Experiment design is one of the hardest parts of science and interpretation of experiment is necessarily dependent on the design and axioms.   

22 hours ago, swansont said:

If I observe cloud-chamber tracks and identify particles, is that an experiment? 

People and animals have been employing and building counterweights for countless millions of years yet we still don't understand the cause of the gravity that allows them to work.

22 hours ago, swansont said:

And to extend this: every new observation/experiment is a test of the validity of the axioms.

Yes and no.  

Just because we don't notice an anomalous property or find a way to explain the unexpected; just because we can justify all observation with theory don't mean that the axioms are necessarily the simplest ones to use to understand experiment.   Since axioms can't be proven or disproven the task isn't to justify them but rather to select the set which explain experiment in the simplest terms.  

23 hours ago, Eise said:

Two trees are explicitly mentioned: the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 

There are red pills and blue pills just as there are red and blue pills.   It's also possible to have a single red and blue pill that some might see as red and others as blue.  Any pill, every single individual pill, has many names.   Why do you suppose a tree would be known by a single name?   

 

People get hung up on ideas that come from language and the models they engender.   "Philosophy" is no different at all.  Just as "experiment" lies on a continuum so too does "philosophy.  We each take many beliefs as being axiomatic and then generate an entire "philosophy" around it.  We each see what we expect and believe until in time we become those beliefs, never realizing that every individual has a unique perspective that he believes is justified by experiment, religion, or common sense.  

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21 minutes ago, cladking said:

Of course if observation does not conform to theory the cause must be reconciled but when observation does conform to theory it does not mean that theory is correct.

Obviously. This is why science never "proves" theories. Contradictory observations can disprove a theory. 

You say this trivially true (and well understood) things as if you were providing some deep insight. Instead all you do is demonstrate how little you understand of either science or philosophy (or any other subject, as far as I can tell).

22 minutes ago, cladking said:

People and animals have been employing and building counterweights for countless millions of years yet we still don't understand the cause of the gravity that allows them to work.

Another bizarre non-sequitur. Dodging the question again.

And we do understand gravity. We understand it so well we have two theories!

 

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38 minutes ago, cladking said:

People get hung up on ideas that come from language and the models they engender.   "Philosophy" is no different at all.  Just as "experiment" lies on a continuum so too does "philosophy.  We each take many beliefs as being axiomatic and then generate an entire "philosophy" around it.  We each see what we expect and believe until in time we become those beliefs, never realizing that every individual has a unique perspective that he believes is justified by experiment, religion, or common sense.  

I think you're living the "deductive only" delusion. Either that, or completely missing the essential connection between induction and deduction. Plus, may I say, everything most people are telling you here. There's a common understanding in science and rational thinking that apparently you're not privy to: All thinking starts with induction/observation (that comes first) Then: --> inference of patterns --> proposing definitions and laws --> deduction of both seen and previously unforeseen consequences --> Testing --> Refinement of induction --> confirmation/rejection of theory --> formulation of new theory or refinement of previous one.

Something like that. It's long, it's arduous; it takes time, effort, money, and many brains working together. That is the process. You need to get over the axiomatic dream, or the illusion that induction and deduction occur in completely separate levels that don't talk to each other. That's not how it works.

And the absolutely essential piece that closes the circle is experiment.

As to connecting experiment, religion, and common sense as different motifs for "belief"... I think you've really lost your bearings there.

Evidence and belief are not the same thing. It is true that the evidence is always affected by the theory as to its format; the language, if you will, in which the answer is presented. But the process by which we acquire evidence, and the one by which we acquire belief; plus the degree of certainty of both, the objectivity the achieve... It could hardly be more different.

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7 hours ago, cladking said:

The ability to use things seen in nature, the lab, or in the bathtub do not confer understanding. 

You shouldn’t speak for others

Quote

 Of course if observation does not conform to theory the cause must be reconciled but when observation does conform to theory it does not mean that theory is correct.   

Nobody has claimed otherwise

Quote

If I put bird food out and observe what birds come to feed it is hardly an experiment at all and hardly can say much about what types of birds and animals live here or how they interact.   Like all words the referent for "experiment" is a continuum from good solid relevance to hardly experiment at all.   Experiment design is one of the hardest parts of science and interpretation of experiment is necessarily dependent on the design and axioms.   

It depends on the details. I would think some information can be obtained.

Are you going to answer my question about what you mean by experiment (and pure experiment)? Or can we expect the tap-dance to continue?

 

Quote

People and animals have been employing and building counterweights for countless millions of years yet we still don't understand the cause of the gravity that allows them to work.

We understand that mass (Newton) and more specifically energy-momentum (Einstein) cause gravity.

 

Quote

Yes and no.  

Just because we don't notice an anomalous property or find a way to explain the unexpected; just because we can justify all observation with theory don't mean that the axioms are necessarily the simplest ones to use to understand experiment.   Since axioms can't be proven or disproven the task isn't to justify them but rather to select the set which explain experiment in the simplest terms.  

You are moving the goalposts. We were discussing testing whether an axiom was true, not whether they are the simplest ones. Simple may be a goal, but it’s not a requirement.

We might find one day e.g. that an axiom can actually be experimentally confirmed - that does not make it wrong.

Science is concerned with testing its models to see if they explain how nature behaves. Observation is part of that process.

 

 

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Well, at least cladking has shown us extensively one example of bad philosophy. Ill informed about what science and philosophy are, or better, what scientists and philosophers do, cladking vents his ideas about them.

To look back one the criteria I proposed earlier in this thread:

On 7/23/2020 at 9:40 AM, Eise said:

Good philosophy, in modern times:

  1. Is well informed about relevant science, culture and politics
  2. Takes into account other viewpoints about the topic at hand
  3. Confirms or refutes other viewpoints with good arguments, i.e. arguments that are relevant and well supported by sciences and other well argued philosophical viewpoints
  4. Is extremely aware of the methods it uses to argue for a certain position.
  1. Nope
  2. Hardly
  3. Nope
  4. Nope.

Done.

 

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I wonder,

Does Good Philosophy v Bad Philosophy equate to Autobots v Decepticons?

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1 hour ago, studiot said:

I wonder,

Does Good Philosophy v Bad Philosophy equate to Autobots v Decepticons?

Well, the Decepticons don't seem to learn.

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On 7/30/2020 at 10:35 AM, joigus said:

I think you're living the "deductive only" delusion. Either that, or completely missing the essential connection between induction and deduction. Plus, may I say, everything most people are telling you here. There's a common understanding in science and rational thinking that apparently you're not privy to: All thinking starts with induction/observation (that comes first) Then: --> inference of patterns --> proposing definitions and laws --> deduction of both seen and previously unforeseen consequences --> Testing --> Refinement of induction --> confirmation/rejection of theory --> formulation of new theory or refinement of previous one.

Something like that. It's long, it's arduous; it takes time, effort, money, and many brains working together. That is the process. You need to get over the axiomatic dream, or the illusion that induction and deduction occur in completely separate levels that don't talk to each other. That's not how it works.

And the absolutely essential piece that closes the circle is experiment.

As to connecting experiment, religion, and common sense as different motifs for "belief"... I think you've really lost your bearings there.

Evidence and belief are not the same thing. It is true that the evidence is always affected by the theory as to its format; the language, if you will, in which the answer is presented. But the process by which we acquire evidence, and the one by which we acquire belief; plus the degree of certainty of both, the objectivity the achieve... It could hardly be more different.

I don't like inductive reasoning but that's NOT the point.  I don't like it for myself because I don't believe in taxonomies.   I wouldn't mind it in others except almost invariably they lose sight of the definitions, axioms, and premises upon which the results depend.  

But this still isn't my point neither is the fact that many other including the Nacenes believe the Tree of Life is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  My point is merely that "good Philosophy" must be logical and not contradict known fact.  It MUST serve man and his needs.   It must hold people up as the sole good and all that works against people and individuals as EVIL.    Any other philosophy is harmful, unimportant, incorrect or some combination of these.  

My own philosophy is deductive and presumes the fewest possible axioms and avoids taxonomy and induction.  

On 7/30/2020 at 1:27 PM, swansont said:

Are you going to answer my question about what you mean by experiment (and pure experiment)? Or can we expect the tap-dance to continue?

I am excluding "look and See Science" and science by consensus.  I am excluding all expert opinion and poorly designed experiment.   I am excluding experiment that can be interpreted in ways that don't conform to theory.   

A great deal of what we call "science" simply is not.   

Explaining observation is not "science"; interpretation of experiment is.  

On 7/30/2020 at 1:27 PM, swansont said:

You are moving the goalposts. We were discussing testing whether an axiom was true, not whether they are the simplest ones.

We can define the world as flat if we don't mind the math.   

Reductionistic science works but it might not be the ONLY science.   

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The only widely known philosophical idea that I think that I have heard that is actually bad is "Patience is a virtue".  If you really take this idea to heart, you basically just end up sitting around your whole life waiting for something that never happens.  Someone that is a real go "getter" will always beat you to everything you are waiting for to happen.

Maybe, it would be better if instead it was, "All patience is worth while of being is a virtue".  Then that may be the reason why people stated it to be that to begin with, because that is the only thing they could actually conclude what it actually is in every case.  Then maybe it was actually a good philosophy, but it just creates stumbling blocks down the road for the person hearing about it. 

It doesn't actually have to provide a positive outcome on your life to be a good philosophy.  It only matters if that it got you to think about something more deeply to arrive at a better conclusion or understanding of the world around us.  That it has accomplished.  

Edited by Conjurer

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27 minutes ago, cladking said:

My own philosophy is deductive and presumes the fewest possible axioms and avoids taxonomy and induction. 

Told you. Thinking is hard, and you have opted for a simplified version of it. You've thrown away tens of thousands of years of human knowledge right there.

22 minutes ago, Conjurer said:

The only widely known philosophical idea that I think that I have heard that is actually bad is "Patience is a virtue".  [...]

Hardly the point.

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5 minutes ago, joigus said:

Hardly the point.

That is exactly why I wrote a couple of paragraphs after that.  That was hardly touching on the point I was making.  Maybe, some patience here would do some good?  IDK?  Is there some greater point to be had from waiting around here for clarification of why you posted this comment?  Or, will I just end up practicing some Hinduistic ritual while I sit here and hum while I meditate on it?

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13 minutes ago, joigus said:

Told you. Thinking is hard, and you have opted for a simplified version of it. You've thrown away tens of thousands of years of human knowledge right there.

Hardly the point.

Sorry. You're right. You do make a point. I was under the influence of the last couple of comments I've had to answer to, which were quite pointless. Thank you. +1

34 minutes ago, Conjurer said:

It doesn't actually have to provide a positive outcome on your life to be a good philosophy.  It only matters if that it got you to think about something more deeply to arrive at a better conclusion or understanding of the world around us.  That it has accomplished.  

You do make a good point here.

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12 hours ago, joigus said:

Thinking is hard, and you have opted for a simplified version of it. You've thrown away tens of thousands of years of human knowledge right there.

I remember when I gave it up as a child.  That it was hard was certainly known to me but had little to do with why I quit it.  Certainly intuition is orders of magnitude faster and easier though honing that intuition required far more effort than I'd have ever predicted.   I gave it all up principally because I realized that none of life's important questions could ever be addressed through science in my lifetime but also because I never wanted to believe something that wasn't true and it's quite apparent that induction can lead straight to such beliefs.  I don't believe that any amount of poison that might or might not have been consumed can possibly have any effect at all on the population of felines because there's no such thing as "cats" and the question lies outside my metaphysics.  

While inductive reasoning has been around for only 4000 years, science has been around for only 400.   I am not rejecting "science" but merely the interpretations based on taxonomies.  Reality can be seen through experiment though only the narrowest spectra at a time.  The real irony here is that I believe we can't see 40,000 years of deduction based science that was supplanted by induction based on taxonomies that led us through many centuries of dark ages and may now be leading us back into a new one.

Again though the subject is good and bad philosophy.  False taxonomies, bad science, and poor metaphysics can easily drive a bad philosophy;  So, too, can beliefs that are not consistent with the point of philosophy; to better humans and to better understand our humanity both collectively and individually.  I am holding out certain yardsticks and definitions against which almost any philosophy can be measured and adjudged. All philosophy is not created equally and much of it ruinous to not only the philosopher but to everyone.   

One can't practice real science by means of any sort of philosophy but I do agree that at this juncture our science is still highly dependent on inductive reasoning.  This will remain true until we know a great deal more but in the meantime, I believe it is critically important that we each consider the degree to which our thinking is dependent on definitions and axioms.  

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2 minutes ago, cladking said:

there's no such thing as "cats"

Even for you, that is a pretty bold position.

2 minutes ago, cladking said:

I never wanted to believe something that wasn't true

 

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