frame

Epistemology

Opening Argument

DrCerealDrCereal 99 Pts
edited November 2017 in Philosophy
I wish to start a debate regarding this topic because of ViceRegent. Though he is not a very pleasent person to discuss with (specifically if you disagree with him), he has sparked my keen interest in this field of philosophy.
I have some proposed "truisms" that could be debated:
1. Logic is trustworthy.
2. I [i.e., humans] think.
3. I perceive reality (albeit it's independent or not).

Care to refute or expand on any of these or add anything else you wish to regarding epistemology.
(NOTE: Please attempt to keep this debate civil and intellectual; do not be a fool.)
Bis das, si cito das.
«1

Debra AI Prediction

Predicted To Win
Predicted 2nd Place
11%
Margin

Details +


Status: Open Debate


Arguments

  • The issue of logic is not relevant until you establish that your worldview can account for its existence.  And then you must prove what its rules are and their objectivity.  And then you must provide the way you know you use of it is sound.

    Prove you are not merely a  determinist machine, that you do not really think, but actually just react to environmental stimuli in keeping with your biological make up and the laws of nature.

    So what if you do?  How do you know your perceptions accurately reflect reality, that you are not some delusional idiot?

    BTW, nice hypocrisy in calling others both unpleasant and fools.  That is awesome.


  • DrCerealDrCereal 99 Pts
    edited November 2017
    The issue of logic is not relevant until you establish that your worldview can account for its existence.  And then you must prove what its rules are and their objectivity.  And then you must provide the way you know you use of it is sound.

    Prove you are not merely a  determinist machine, that you do not really think, but actually just react to environmental stimuli in keeping with your biological make up and the laws of nature.

    So what if you do?  How do you know your perceptions accurately reflect reality, that you are not some delusional idiot?

    BTW, nice hypocrisy in calling others both unpleasant and fools.  That is awesome.


    I. "The issue of logic is not relevant until you establish that your worldview can account for its existence.  And then you must prove what its rules are and their objectivity.  And then you must provide the way you know you use of it is sound."

    I was stating that it was a truism, though I will admit that it isn't really apparent. I will support this point later when I get back online.

    II. "Prove you are not merely a  determinist machine, that you do not really think, but actually just react to environmental stimuli in keeping with your biological make up and the laws of nature."


    You're assuming that my definition of thinking depends on free will.
    It doesn't.

    III. "So what if you do?  How do you know your perceptions accurately reflect reality, that you are not some delusional idiot?"
    Unless you (or I) can prove there is an independent reality, I will not assume that there is, and because of this, I will argue that my perceptions are reality.
    I must ask, why would being delusional makes someone an idiot? Or are you just insulting me for no reason?

    IV. "BTW, nice hypocrisy in calling others both unpleasant and fools.  That is awesome."
    How am I being hypocritical?
    To be specific, I called you unpleasent when I disagreed with you, and I told anyone willing to participate in this discussion not to be fools. I never said that they were.


    Bis das, si cito das.
  • On saying that his perceptions define reality, this fool confirms he is mentally ill.  I will waste no more time on him.
    DrCerealFascismMissDMeanorSilverishGoldNova
  • On saying that his perceptions define reality, this fool confirms he is mentally ill.  I will waste no more time on him.
    Good bye. It was nice (?) discussing (??) this with you.
    It is a shame you don't have more to say; you do provoke thought.
    FascismMissDMeanor
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • @ViceRegent
    And I do want to specify that "reality" in my post was supposed to mean things that are real not things that are independently real.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • @ViceRegent
    You have some good arguments. Instead of just insulting people try to make some good conversations out of them. 
    DrCerealMissDMeanor
  • @Fascism

    i do not converse with the mentally ill.  Waste of time.
    DrCerealFascismMissDMeanorNonCredentiSilverishGoldNova
  • NonCredentiNonCredenti 44 Pts
    edited November 2017
    DrCereal said:

    I have some proposed "truisms" that could be debated:
    1. Logic is trustworthy.
    2. I [i.e., humans] think.
    3. I perceive reality (albeit it's independent or not).

    Could you say how you're defining "truism"?   

    If we're talking epistemology, I would say there are some axioms from which I work, but I don't know if we mean the same thing. For example, I accept as an axiom that reality exists, that an outside world exists, that other minds exist, etc... But they are axioms in the sense that we cannot "prove" them--because to try to use logic to 'prove' logic is circular--they must merely be accepted.

    However, this does not give us cause to believe any old thing and call it an axiom. Axioms are what we reach when we get to the end of the chain of "why X?" For example, Why A? Because B. Why B? Because C. Why C? Because D.... Why X? Because it is axiomatically true. As Wittgenstein said, “If I have exhausted the justifications, I have reached bedrock and my spade is turned. Then I am inclined to say: 'This is simply what I do.'"

    Edit: Removed principles of logic, because they don't really fit.
  • @DrCereal

    Never mind. I saw the post you're referring to, and it looks like we're describing the same concepts. Your "truism" is my "axiom" 
  • @DrCereal

    Never mind. I saw the post you're referring to, and it looks like we're describing the same concepts. Your "truism" is my "axiom" 
    Yes, I did mean "truism" as a synonym for axiom; I was trying to stress that they are self-evident.
    In hindsight, I just realized that "I think" isn't really an axiomatic statement.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • I guess I'll expand your list with a few more.  These are generally called our Properly Basic Beliefs:
    You are a self, an agent:
    There is a mind-independent reality:
    Deduction:
    Induction:
    Causation:
    Concept of truth and falsity:
    Existence of other minds
    Trust in your memory and perception:
    The reality of the past

    Note that, especially for the last two, I'm not saying we axiomatically trust all of our memories and perception, I'm saying we accept that there is a past (no last-Thursdayism).
  • I guess I'll expand your list with a few more.  These are generally called our Properly Basic Beliefs:
    You are a self, an agent:
    There is a mind-independent reality:
    Deduction:
    Induction:
    Causation:
    Concept of truth and falsity:
    Existence of other minds
    Trust in your memory and perception:
    The reality of the past

    Note that, especially for the last two, I'm not saying we axiomatically trust all of our memories and perception, I'm saying we accept that there is a past (no last-Thursdayism).
    Your second claim isn't really apparent.
    What is your proof that "There is a mind-independent reality"?
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • @NonCredenti

    And what if someone denies your faith in yourself?
    DrCereal
  • NonCredentiNonCredenti 44 Pts
    edited November 2017
    DrCereal said:
    I guess I'll expand your list with a few more.  These are generally called our Properly Basic Beliefs:
    You are a self, an agent:
    There is a mind-independent reality:
    Deduction:
    Induction:
    Causation:
    Concept of truth and falsity:
    Existence of other minds
    Trust in your memory and perception:
    The reality of the past

    Note that, especially for the last two, I'm not saying we axiomatically trust all of our memories and perception, I'm saying we accept that there is a past (no last-Thursdayism).
    Your second claim isn't really apparent.
    What is your proof that "There is a mind-independent reality"?
    My second claim... there is a mind-independent reality?  It just means there is an external world. I accept as axiomatically true that the external world exists. 

    The point is that there isn't any proof for any of these things. They all must simply be accepted, because at the end of the day, any "proof" we could provide for them would rely on the very reasoning faculties (sense perceptions, memory, cognitive faculties) we're trying to justify. There is no non-circular way to do it. You can't build a ladder to get to the same ladder. So I don't try to get around that with mental acrobatics, I simply accept that, ultimately, rationality is made up of assumptions which are not themselves rationally justifiable. It would be great if they were, but they're not. 

    Edit: To clarify, saying "any proof" is probably misleading. There is proof as in "evidence" or "reason to accept" something. But we don't have incontrovertible full-proof way of establishing these things that aren't ultimately circular.

  • DrCereal said:
    I guess I'll expand your list with a few more.  These are generally called our Properly Basic Beliefs:
    You are a self, an agent:
    There is a mind-independent reality:
    Deduction:
    Induction:
    Causation:
    Concept of truth and falsity:
    Existence of other minds
    Trust in your memory and perception:
    The reality of the past

    Note that, especially for the last two, I'm not saying we axiomatically trust all of our memories and perception, I'm saying we accept that there is a past (no last-Thursdayism).
    Your second claim isn't really apparent.
    What is your proof that "There is a mind-independent reality"?
    My second claim... there is a mind-independent reality?  It just means there is an external world. I accept as axiomatically true that the external world exists. 

    The point is that there isn't any proof for any of these things. They all must simply be accepted, because at the end of the day, any "proof" we could provide for them would rely on the very reasoning faculties (sense perceptions, memory, cognitive faculties) we're trying to justify. There is no non-circular way to do it. You can't build a ladder to get to the same ladder. So I don't try to get around that with mental acrobatics, I simply accept that, ultimately, rationality is made up of assumptions which are not themselves rationally justifiable. It would be great if they were, but they're not. 


    But then, if it were equally valid to assume that there wasn't a mind-independent reality, then why should either statement be accepted as true?
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • NonCredentiNonCredenti 44 Pts
    edited November 2017

    And what if someone denies your faith in yourself?
    We don't reach these axioms by faith in ourselves. We justify beliefs with prior beliefs. At some point (very quickly, actually) we reach a point where there is no prior belief we can use to justify a current belief. As I said earlier, A because B. B because C. C because D, but there is no E to justify D. I simply accept it. 

    This doesn't mean that we can take any old belief and call it an axiom. If we want to call ourselves rational, we must justify our beliefs until it becomes logically impossible to do so (because we would end up using rationality to justify rationality).   

    But to your point, what if someone denies, for example, the axiom that an external world exists?  Great for them. Why do they deny it? If you start asking them to justify themselves, you quickly see that they are not being rational. These Properly Basic Beliefs (PBB) are irrevisable (though they are not inerrant or a priori). They are the foundations of rationality; they are what make up rationality. To deny them is an example of irrationality. A person who acts as if they don’t trust their memory, senses, or cognitive faculties will be diagnosed as a mad person. So, yes, if someone could deny the existence of the external world without rejecting rationality, then I would have a reason to reject that axiom. But how could they do that? 
    DrCereal
  • @NonCredenti

    And what if someone denies your faith in yourself?
    I wrote a response to this, but when making a minor edit, it looks like it's lost. This is the second time this has happened. I'm going to wait a while and see if I can recreate the post later if it doesn't show up.
  • DrCereal said:
    But then, if it were equally valid to assume that there wasn't a mind-independent reality, then why should either statement be accepted as true?
    We're not equally valid to assume there isn't a mind-independent reality. Our senses, memory, and cognitive faculties tell us there is an outside world. The issue here is that we cannot rationally justify our belief in it without appealing to the same faculties that delivered the belief in the first place. But that doesn't mean we throw our hands up and decide it's not real; it only means we must accept it without rational justification.

    Let's say you're a police officer, testifying in traffic court that I was going 99 MPH. I'm going to challenge you at every step of the way to justify your testimony. So you say you used a radar gun. I ask you to justify your belief that the radar gun is accurate. You say "I know it's accurate because it clocked you going 99 MPH." I'm going to object because you can't use your radar gun's measurement of my speed to justify your radar gun's measurement of my speed! That's circular. You might then say that you have it professionally calibrated at a facility which measures objects of known speed, blah blah blah.  OK, so now you have some other thing to use to justify the reading of your radar gun.

    But we don't have some "other thing" to justify our rationality. We only have our rationality--our senses, memory, cognitive faculties.
    DrCereal
  • DrCereal said:
    But then, if it were equally valid to assume that there wasn't a mind-independent reality, then why should either statement be accepted as true?
    We're not equally valid to assume there isn't a mind-independent reality. Our senses, memory, and cognitive faculties tell us there is an outside world. The issue here is that we cannot rationally justify our belief in it without appealing to the same faculties that delivered the belief in the first place. But that doesn't mean we throw our hands up and decide it's not real; it only means we must accept it without rational justification.

    Let's say you're a police officer, testifying in traffic court that I was going 99 MPH. I'm going to challenge you at every step of the way to justify your testimony. So you say you used a radar gun. I ask you to justify your belief that the radar gun is accurate. You say "I know it's accurate because it clocked you going 99 MPH." I'm going to object because you can't use your radar gun's measurement of my speed to justify your radar gun's measurement of my speed! That's circular. You might then say that you have it professionally calibrated at a facility which measures objects of known speed, blah blah blah.  OK, so now you have some other thing to use to justify the reading of your radar gun.

    But we don't have some "other thing" to justify our rationality. We only have our rationality--our senses, memory, cognitive faculties.
    Where is the contradiction in the assumption that reality is mind-dependent? If there is none, then you can't say that it isn't equally valid.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • I didn't say there was a contradiction. I said it's not equally valid to assume the two different things. 

    How could you rationally tell me you think there is no world outside your brain? By talking to me you are showing that you think I exist, so there must be some outside world. If you tell me "You don't exist," you are not being rational
  • I didn't say there was a contradiction. I said it's not equally valid to assume the two different things. 

    How could you rationally tell me you think there is no world outside your brain? By talking to me you are showing that you think I exist, so there must be some outside world. If you tell me "You don't exist," you are not being rational
    You existing and you existing independently are two different propositions. I do not at all deny the former; I'm saying that there is no way for me to prove that you exist independent of mind (of what I perceive).
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • @DrCereal
    So you're saying I could be a figment of your imagination? That there might really be no outside world, and you're just imagining it all, including me?
  • DrCereal said:
    You existing and you existing independently are two different propositions. I do not at all deny the former; I'm saying that there is no way for me to prove that you exist independent of mind (of what I perceive).
    I think we're in furious agreement. I believe that the world existed before I began to exist. I don't think it's all a figment of my imagination. I cannot justify this belief in a way that would be non-circular, so I simply accept it as an axiom upon which I can build other beliefs. 

    But that lack of final justification doesn't mean it's equally valid to believe it is all a figment of my imagination. 
  • @DrCereal
    So you're saying I could be a figment of your imagination? That there might really be no outside world, and you're just imagining it all, including me?
    Strange way of phrasing it, but yes.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • DrCereal said:
    You existing and you existing independently are two different propositions. I do not at all deny the former; I'm saying that there is no way for me to prove that you exist independent of mind (of what I perceive).
    I think we're in furious agreement. I believe that the world existed before I began to exist. I don't think it's all a figment of my imagination. I cannot justify this belief in a way that would be non-circular, so I simply accept it as an axiom upon which I can build other beliefs. 

    But that lack of final justification doesn't mean it's equally valid to believe it is all a figment of my imagination. 
    "But that lack of final justification doesn't mean it's equally valid to believe it is all a figment of my imagination."
    Incorrect. Either there is a contradiction, or it's completely valid to accept.

    For example in geometry, Euclid's fifth postulate doesn't necessarily have to be true. Similar - yet contradictory - postulates could also be given that rise to Hyperbolic and Elliptic geometry.
    They are all equally valid logically and mathematically.
    Bis das, si cito das.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Back To Top

DebateIsland.com | The Best Online Debate Website!

| The Best Online Debate Experience!
2018 DebateIsland.com, All rights reserved. DebateIsland.com | The Best Online Debate Experience! Debate topics you care about in a friendly and fun way. Come try us out now. We are totally free!

Contact us

customerservice@debateisland.com
Awesome Debates
BestDealWins.com
Terms of Service

Get In Touch