Intelligent Design

Calling KN Out On His Sophistry

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Sophistry: “n. a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning.”

In a comment earlier today Kantian Naturalist stated: “The idea that the capacity to engage in reasoned discourse depends upon a commitment to ‘the rules of right reason’ is silly (at best). For one thing, there are no such rules.”

KN, I am calling you out on your sophistry.  I challenge you to answer the following three simple true/false questions.

For any proposition A:

1: A=A. True or False.

2: “A is B” and “A is not B” are mutually exclusive. True or False.

3: “A is B” and “A is not B” are jointly exhaustive. True or False.

KN knows as well as anyone that the three classic laws of thought, i.e., the rules of right reason, are logical axioms that cannot be denied on pain of self-referential incoherence. In other words, in order to deny one of the three laws, one must first affirm it.  What will he do now?

Prediction: KN will either ignore this challenge or dig deeper into the hole of sophistry he has dug for himself.

66 Replies to “Calling KN Out On His Sophistry

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    A is A.

    The Law of Identity. Just try to reason without it.

    A is not ~A (not A).

    The Law of Non-Contradiction. Just try to reason without it.

    These aren’t rules, per se. Rules can be broken.

    That’s why they are called laws. To deny them is to engage in self-contradiction. To deny them is to embrace absurdity and irrationality, the enemies of reason.

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    I don’t think KN will ignore this, that’s just not his style. And for that I respect him. That ought to be worth about 20 rupee.

  3. 3
    Box says:

    About the second law: “A is B” and “A is not B” are mutually exclusive. How about mixed emotions? Let’s say that a person (A) is 50% in fleeing mode (B) and 50% in attack (not B) mode. Or sad and happy, or afraid and unafraid.
    What do we say? “A is B” and “A is not B”?
    In these scenarios it is probably more accurate to say that A is partly B and partly not B. So the second law states that it is impossible for A to be completely B and to be completely not B at the same time. Right?

  4. 4
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    I’ll be out of town for a while, so I won’t be commenting much. In the meantime, here’s some reading for you:

    Paraconsistent logic (Wikipedia)

    Dialetheism (Wikipedia)

    Dialetheism (SEP)

  5. 5
    JGuy says:

    @KN

    Reminiscent of the answer to the universe’s fine-tuning, we now see invoked logic’s multiverse option. 😛

  6. 6
    LT says:

    Is dialetheism true or false?

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Barry Arrington says:

    KN @ 4. I predicted you would ignore the questions and/or double down on your sophistry. You did both. Predictable. And boring.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    KN:

    Pardon a thought or two even while you have to be away.

    In each and every case you cite, scratch beneath the surface and you see a weird “logical race hazard” feedback oscillation in which they use the first principles of right reason implicitly (so we can make sense of what they are saying, insofar as they are making sense . . . ) while on the surface seeming to deny such. So, the issue is, which state will the outcome settle in? And, if that is out of control, something is wrong. (That is why in certain flip flop circuits, the digital feedback problems that lead to such hazards are either locked out by specifying forbidden i/p conditions, or else the circuitry is “loaded” so that one side will predictably win the race. Hence, one trick behind JK flip flops. And, this should let us know that these matters are a commonplace of digital electronics, which underlies calculators and computers as well as cell phones. if you trust such devices, you implicitly trust the first principles of right reason, expressed in Boolean forms. [That background knowledge is part of why I do not take the debates on alternatives overly seriously.)

    Let us take SEP on Dialetheism:

    A dialetheia is a sentence, A, such that both it and its negation, ¬A, are true (we shall talk of sentences throughout this entry; but one could run the definition in terms of propositions, statements, or whatever one takes as her favourite truth-bearer: this would make little difference in the context). Assuming the fairly uncontroversial view that falsity just is the truth of negation, it can equally be claimed that a dialetheia is a sentence which is both true and false.

    Dialetheism is the view that there are dialetheias. One can define a contradiction as a couple of sentences, one of which is the negation of the other, or as a conjunction of such sentences. Therefore, dialetheism amounts to the claim that there are true contradictions. As such, dialetheism opposes the so-called Law of Non-Contradiction (LNC) (sometimes also called the Law of Contradiction). The Law can, and has been, expressed in various ways, but the simplest and most perspicuous for our purposes is probably the following: for any A, it is impossible for both A and ¬A to be true.

    For this discussion to work at all, each assertion has to be taken as making a definite claim, not both the claim and its opposite. Each entity asserted has to be seen as having a stable identity, and where a distinction is made, it has to be seen that one is either in A or NOT_A, not in both or a blend.

    For instance, the first sentence:

    Dialetheism is the view that there are dialetheias.

    Notice the perspective, and the two assertions of existence: There exists a certain view, V, and that holders thereof assert that there exist a certain type of entity, D?

    At that level, we have a very ordinary composite assertion, pivoting on an existential quantification:

    There exists a non-empty set V: v, any given member, believes that D is so.

    Does this also mean its opposite? Does this mean that we cannot expect to find a stable identity of V and v’s in it? Or that D, a definite assertion, means both what it asserts and what it denies by implication?

    What about D:

    There exists a non-empty set, D: d, a given member of D, is such that A AND NOT_A is true.

    There is a trivial case.

    If A is a proposition that amounts to an assertion concerning an empty set, to assert A and NOT_A is vacuously true. All Martians are red AND All Martians are green bespeaks an evidently empty set and so neither speaks about anything, strictly. Where the universal quantifier [all or none] has no existential import.

    But that is literally speaking about nothing. Non-being. Non_being presumably has no properties so to assert a claim and a counter claim about such is equally vacuous.

    But, this is meant to speak of non-empty cases.

    Let us look at some examples from the SEP article:

    In Western Philosophy, a number of the Presocratics endorsed dialetheism. At least, Aristotle takes them to have done it, and with apparent justification. For example, in Fragment 49a, Heraclitus says: “We step and do not step into the same rivers; we are and we are not” (Robinson, 1987, p. 35). Protagorean relativism may be expressed by the view that man is the measure of all things. According to Aristotle, since “Many men hold beliefs in which they conflict with one another”, it follows that “the same thing must be and not be” (1009a10–12) . . . . During the Middle Ages, the problem surfaced in connection to the paradoxes of the divine omnipotence — for instance: can God make a stone too heavy for Him to raise? . . . . According to some interpretations, Meinong, too, was a dialetheist, holding that some non-existent objects, such as the round square, have inconsistent properties (see Routley, 1980, Chapter 5). But the most obvious dialetheists since the Presocratics and before the 20th century are Hegel and his successors in dialectics, such as Marx and Engels (see Priest 1990, 1991). According to them, reality (in the form of Geist for Hegel, or social structures for Marx) may be literally inconsistent. For example, in the Logic Hegel says: “Something moves, not because at one moment it is here and another there, but because at one and the same moment it is here and not here, because in this ‘here’, it at once is and is not” (1831, p. 440). Indeed, it is the resolution of these contradictory states that drives the development of the history of thought (or society) forwards.

    Each of these is radically flawed, in my view:

    1 –> The declaration about stepping into the same and not the same river pivots on not using the term river in the same sense in reference to the same time and circumstances, in each case.

    2 –> That men differ in their opinions and views has nothing to do with which or any of such is actually true. And yes, in the human mind, a contradiction can happily reside unresolved or even unrecognised, leading to endless confusion. That is why we need to recognise the principles of right reason involved.

    3 –> Does Omnipotence require that God be able to make a stone so heavy that he cannot move it? Or, is this a case of being able to use words to say nonsense, similar to saying that if God cannot make a square circle then he is not capable of anything. In both cases, we are asserting an empty set (a contradiction in terms) and speaking about nothing, hence the vacuity.

    4 –> Round squares simply do not and cannot exist, so they are getting us to a statement about an empty set, about non-being.

    5 –> And finally, we wend our way to the orthodox hegelians and their heretic descendants, the marxists. That conflicts in thought or between parties and classes may obtain is not the same as that contradictions of form A AND NOT_A exist, and the resolution of same into some sort of synthesis, does not imply A and NOT_A.

    6 –> As for:

    “Something moves, not because at one moment it is here and another there, but because at one and the same moment it is here and not here, because in this ‘here’, it at once is and is not”

    . . . I would say that Hegel here failed to avail himself of the powers of Calculus and Physics to resolve Zeno’s paradoxes. That at a given snapshot instant an entity is in a given location does not mean that it does not possess momentum, i.e. there is no contradiction between location and motion, and what happens is that the infinite series involved resolve themselves by converging to finite times, speeds, overtake points and times, etc. The interested party is pointed to L’Hospital’s Rules (based on Calculus and series theory) for resolving ratios of apparent form 0/0, infinity/infinity etc.

    But, what about that suspect notion, the principle of explosion, whereby a contradiction is false and a false proposition materially implies any consequent?

    Material implication is a partial model of implication.

    That is, it is telling us a partial truth, and the core of that truth is that true propositions will only properly imply true consequences, but false ones are unstable in that regard. In modelling theory we routinely use this, setting up simplifications of reality — thus, strictly false — and drawing out correct consequences in regions of validity. But, there is no guarantee that this will hold in all regions of conceivable operation, as say was found out for Newtonian Dynamics for the worlds of the very small and the very fast [about 10% of c up].

    Accordingly, models are subject to validation testing, and to correction or replacement. Which BTW, obtains for theories of science.

    Which is again one reason why I will never accept that a theory is definitively a “fact” or “true.” It is accurate and confirmed as empirically reliable in a given zone of operations, but is subject to correction. Scientific knowledge is a weak form: at best, more or less warranted per empirical testing, as empirically reliable, but inherently and inescapably provisional.

    But also, notice something in all of the above: at each step, even where on the surface some seem to be denying it, we see stability of identity, coherence of meaning and preservation of distinctions. That is, we are seeing the logical oscillatory race hazard in action. In effect, behind the scenes, we have to accept the first principles of right reason even while on the surface we are seeing people arguing against them. If you doubt me, start from the distinct and clear identity required for glyphs used to express the words and sentences above.

    That pattern, on my considered view, is consistently present in discussions. Something I noticed in exchanges with Marxists long ago, even as I puzzled over their use of “contradictions.”

    Conflicts of interest, parties, classes and views or halting puzzled between opinions, is entirely consistent with the first principles of right reason.

    KF

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    DiEb: Observe the same logical race hazard oscillation in the discussion of the alternative logic you propose. KF

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Box: You are hitting on cases where superposition is possible, and we may have blends (in principle to infinite fineness). Such a superposition is precisely not a case where we are asserting a dichotomy, but of course once we hit on a value such as 70%A + 10% B + 20%C –> 100% D, we are asserting a definite point. In Zadehan, Fuzzy logic, we are not even confined to having the percentages of membership in sets [–> much better than degrees of “truth”] adding up to 100% [e.g. a certain sensed temperature may be deemed 60% cold, 40% warm and 20% hot], but on the output end of the blend, we do have a specific crisp control action. You had better, or your robot can get dangerously out of control. KF

  12. 12
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    We’ve known for a while now that there are alternative logics, sometimes referred to as non-classical logics. Even such a seeemingly transparent idea as implication turns out to be not so simple once one considers the paradoxes of material implication, the idea of strict implication, the debates between intensionalism and extensionalism within the history of modal logic, and so on. Nothing is simple, transparent, or obvious.

    The hard-and-fast distinctions that traditional philosophers have clung to, like a priori/a posteriori, analytic/synthetic, and fact/value, all become terribly complicated once one looks at them seriously and carefully, and all the more so if one considers Hegel, Meinong, Lewis, Carnap, Quine, Putnam, and Priest.

    Robert Hanna has argued that logic is grounded in the very nature of rational cognition as such, and while it’s an attractive option, I do wonder how he treats alternative or non-classical logics. If a logic is a set of rules, then alternative logics means that there isn’t any single correct set of rules. But there could be what I’m inclined to call “logicality” or “discursivity” — what is “a priori“, in a very odd sense of a priori, isn’t any specific set of inferential rules, but rather the pragmatic demand that there be some set of inferential rules.

  13. 13
    William J Murray says:

    This is why I tend to believe that some people – if not most – really are nothing but Turing machine, programmed, biological automatons. What else could spout such nonsense?

    What does a phrase so simple as “We’ve known for a while now…” even mean from the “alternative logics” or “pragmatic demand” perspective? Is this supposed to be interpreted as a “true” statement? True according to which kind of logic? Can I use a different logical heuristic to infer what this means? Is “true” even a valid concept under those alternative logics?

    Every sentence and meaning in KN’s post relies upon the very same “classical” logic he argues against as being universally valid and necessary to be understood and evaluated.

    Otherwise – if he is not making either/or truth claims, and if he is not expecting “classic” inference to understanding of his assertive sentence structures, then we are free to make of his post whatever we wish, using whatever metric of evaluation we wish.

    If I interpret from #12 that KN has just said that he is nothing but a sophist and is here just to see how long we put up with his nonsense, KN has no supposedly valid and binding means by which to claim that interpretation is erroneous.

  14. 14
    Box says:

    Things in the subatomic world of quantum mechanics seems to defy all logic. I’m waiting on Bornagain77’s participation in this threat.
    How about particle wave duality for instance?

  15. 15
    niwrad says:

    Alternative “logics” are of course elements of a dissolutive thinking, whose target is no more simply intelligence, reason, religion, ethics, morality or whatever but directly the Truth, the Absolute. No more something can be simple, transparent, or obvious. All must be relative, muddy and confused so that the new emperor Error can finally reign undisturbed. This dissolutive thinking in philosophy and science (among many other things) is specific of the post-materialist phase that will finally led humanity to its end. (About materialism, post-materialism and dissolution see René Guénon’s “The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times”.)

  16. 16
    William J Murray says:

    One cannot attempt to make sound, meaningful arguments, descriptions or predictions about any phenomena – quantum or not – without adhering to the rules of right reason and expecting others to adhere to those rules for a correct interpretation.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    KN (& WJM):

    Way back in M100, Prof Neiderriter asked the question, what is mathematics, and answered it thusly: the study of structure. To that, I would add the reasoned study of structure, quantity and related things.

    What you have said is that in effect one can construct a set of axioms and see where it carries you as a right of exploration in mathematics. Indeed, and in so doing, as Godel reminds, we face the challenge that — for a reasonably complex entity — we have no set of such axioms that will be both complete and coherent, and that there is no constructive procedure that will guarantee the coherence of a set of axioms.

    Already, that is a hint of the problem with the suggestion of alternatives — why is coherence so prized in mathematics? Why was Godel’s result, and Turing’s in its train about what an algorithm implementing abstract machine could or could not do, so devastating?

    Because, precisely identity, distinction and non-confusion are absolutely vital in reasoning.

    When an axiomatic system, relations, variables etc and rules of inference are set up in a logic system, it is implicitly assumed that there is sufficient stability of identity that we can safely use such symbols etc. Blow that up, and the whole process disintegrates. (This BTW, is why I highlighted that in regards to Quantum Physics, the other field where the errors we are dealing with are ever so common.)

    So, we are back at the logic race hazard, between identity and its correlates, non-contradiction and whatever novelty is being put up that tries to dismiss such. Somehow, we are being invited to split our minds and act on one hand as though the first principles of right reason obtain, then we are to turn around and announce hey, presto, we have a new mathematical logical system and it does not rely on such outdated notions.

    The self referential incoherence is blatant, but to those who deny such as having any force, that has no power to move them. Only, seeing the absurd results will.

    And yes, unless you can show why symbols, relations, inferences and actions should have a stable identity, your system is irretrievably confused.

    I have no problem with saying that material implication is a limited model of what implication is, and so we should not rely on it to tell us everything. But the bedrock point is there, that from truth one may properly infer only truth. And, once that is surrendered, we potentially have confusion. For, we now have a system that — standing on a false premise — will imply true and false statements alike. Indeed, if we believe the false, we may be in the position where we reject the true because it cuts across the false we believe.

    Ex falso quotlibet, as the prof used to remind us.

    So, truth is important, stability of identity is important, distinction is important, and coherence is important. So is proper inference.

    Where, for a claimed implication, the issue is always, why: why is it that we say P => Q?

    That is, once P is so, Q must also be so, and if Q is not so, P cannot be so?

    GROUNDS, are also important.

    Which BTW, is one reason why I much favour the old fashioned way of writing Math:

    Given . . .

    Then . . . , as . . .

    So . . . , as . . .

    Therefore, . . . , as . . .

    QED

    (Thank you Fr Raftery, back in 3rd Form Geometry taught a la Euclid, you with your beloved coloured chalks that made connexions so clear. [And objectors who love to mock my use of colours for clarity, now you know where they come from, a didactic purpose.])

    Bare, naked assertions chained too often do not acknowledge the obligation of reasonable inference.

    KN, WJM has raised a crucial issue, to which you must answer convincingly, cogently and clearly, or the whole edifice collapses. (Observe the cases I picked up from SEP above to see some of what I am getting at. And note, I have no problem whatsoever with extensions of logic, indeed I think the idea of necessarily, P => Q and possibly, P => Q are very useful, as are many other things. It is also important to see what happens if we drop axioms [as with the parallel lines postulate], but when we are put in the position that we CANNOT in practice drop an axiom, it is not optional, it is a necessary truth. And it won’t do to publicly kick it out the front door then sneak it back in through the back window on the alley.)

    KF

  18. 18
    William J Murray says:

    I wonder if “alternative logics” is what those with “compatibilist free will” use to arrive at the conclusion that blind, material forces can construct highly complex, hierarchical, integrated functional machines that are assembled and operate via sets of control codes?

    That would explain a lot.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    Box, Cf the WAQ here and its extension on that case. KF

  20. 20
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    For one thing, truth is not a logical notion, but a pre-logical, semantic notion we bring with into the study of logics. Logics study a particular class of inferences, “formal inferences”. By contrast, “material inferences” (such as, “if yesterday was Monday, then tomorrow will be Wednesday” or “if it was raining, then the streets will be wet”) depend on extra-logical terms.

    Here’s another illustration of what I mean. Consider the old quip, “one person’s modus ponens is another person’s modus tollens”. Why should this be so? Because at root both “rules” say the same thing: that one should not accept all of “p”, “~q” and “p–>q”. Neither rule specifies what one ought to do — which of those three premises ought to be tossed out. There could be all sorts of good reasons for justifying one’s choice, but those reasons are not to be found in rules of logic.

    I think that one reason my views seem odd is that I think of logic in the narrow sense of modern symbolic logic. And that would be constitutive of rationality as such only if the mind was a Turing machine, which it is not.

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    KN:

    Pardon, but it seems to me a little late in the day to so confine logic.

    Merriam-Webster online:

    log·ic
    noun \?lä-jik\
    Definition of LOGIC
    1 a (1) : a science that deals with the principles and criteria of validity of inference and demonstration : the science of the formal principles of reasoning (2) : a branch or variety of logic (3) : a branch of semiotics; especially : syntactics (4) : the formal principles of a branch of knowledge
    b (1) : a particular mode of reasoning viewed as valid or faulty (2) : relevance, propriety
    c : interrelation or sequence of facts or events when seen as inevitable or predictable
    d : the arrangement of circuit elements (as in a computer) needed for computation; also : the circuits themselves
    2
    : something that forces a decision apart from or in opposition to reason
    — lo·gi·cian noun
    See logic defined for English-language learners »
    See logic defined for kids »
    Examples of LOGIC

    If you just use a little logic, you’ll see I’m right.
    There’s no logic in your reasoning.
    There’s some logic to what he says.
    There’s a certain logic in what he says.
    The revolution proceeded according to its own logic.
    the logic of the situation

    Origin of LOGIC
    Middle English logik, from Anglo-French, from Latin logica, from Greek logik?, from feminine of logikos of reason, from logos reason — more at legend
    First Known Use: 12th century

    KF

  22. 22
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    I fail to see how appealing to “ordinary usage”, much less dictionary definitions, is going to illuminate anything of philosophical substance. You can’t just say, “there aren’t alternative logics” just because there’s no room in the ordinary lay conception of “logic”.

    It’s precisely because there are alternative axiomatic systems that I think that rationality must be more primitive or foundational than what is captured by any logic. But if a logic is a system of rules, then if there are “rules of right reason,” those rules would have to be meta-rules. And at this point the paradoxes of rule-following familiar to us since Wittgenstein and Kripke kick in with a vengeance.

    As I see it, the best solution is Bob Brandom’s: norms are not rules.

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    KN: I am pointing out that logic has a natural meaning, the the study and practice of right and responsible reasoning, wherein various systems based on axioms, symbols etc are, strictly, models. Further, in the case of first principles of right reason, every attempt to create a novel system that rejects such, ends up being self referentially incoherent by implicitly using what it would deny. These first principles are necessarily so, on pain of such incoherence and consequent confusion. As has been pointed out. and notice, consistently I have spoken of first principles, underscoring their essential, foundational and non-arbitrary character. In your statements above, you intend to affirm certain things, which have a stable identity, showing just my point. KF

  24. 24
    owendw says:

    Reason is whatever compels belief among reasonable people. Even David Berlinski says as much:
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....70051.html

    Mr. Berlinski defines for us what a proof should do: It “compels belief.” But Mr. Berlinski seems to have a controversial understanding of this compulsion. For him it is more psychological than logical, more rhetorical than mathematical, more feeling than fact. Take the author’s discussion of Euclid’s first proof, a demonstration of the proposition that on a given straight line segment it is always possible to construct an equilateral triangle. After agreeing with modern mathematicians that there are numerous logical lapses in Euclid’s argument, Mr. Berlinski nevertheless concludes that his proof succeeds — because, again, its combination of logic and illustration “compels belief.”

    Of course my formulation is circular – but I don’t see any way out of it – perhaps someone at UD can help?
    I still go with Feyerabend (whose thinking was focused on Science) . . . anything goes.

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    OD: The issue is when a conclusion rightly follows from premises, and for this, the question of grounds becomes vital. For instance classical syllogisms are assertions about set membership and the meaning of clusters of such assertions. KF

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: and all of this seemingly rarefied ivory tower stuff is important because we need to think straight, to act sensibly. Good reasoning is one of the most important, most practical things we need, especially in a world that seems to be going collectively mad with irrationality and folly. And so, getting things straight is vital. KF

  27. 27
    Barry Arrington says:

    KN, I notice you continue studiously to avoid answering the three questions in the OP. That says a lot.

    I invite the onlookers to see what KN is doing here. It is so typical. It could be a case study in sophistry. KN says, “Nothing is simple, transparent, or obvious” (the sophist’s mantra by the way) and refuses to answer the question. But in refusing to answer he has answered.

    Consider KN’s proposition, “Nothing is simple, transparent, or obvious.” He has stated the matter in the disjunctive (i.e., he has used “or,” not “and”). Therefore, his statement can be broken down into three simpler statements: Nothing is simple. Nothing is transparent. Nothing is obvious.

    Let’s take the first statement (“Nothing is simple”) and substitute it for A in the three classic laws.

    1. Law of Identity.

    “Nothing is simple” is the same as “Nothing is simple.”

    Check.

    2. Law of Non-contradiction.

    Either “Nothing is simple” is true or its negation (“At least one thing is simple”) is true. They cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense. They are mutually exclusive.

    Check.

    3. Law of Excluded Middle.

    “Nothing is simple” and its negation (“At least one thing is simple”) are the only two possibilities with respect to whether “nothing is simple” is true or its negation (“At least one thing is simple”) is true. They are jointly exhaustive.

    Check.

    KN’s proposition is obviously false. 1=1 is simple and true.

    But notice that it does NOT matter whether KN’s proposition is true or false for the three classic laws to hold. It is indisputable that whether “nothing is simple” is true or false it cannot be other than itself. It cannot be both true and false at the same time and in the same sense. And it is either true or false; there is no third possibility.

    As I predicted, KN would not be able to deny the three laws without affirming them, and this leads to self-referential incoherence. KN is the living embodiment of the proverb, “Professing to be wise, they became fools.” He thinks he is oh so wise and sophisticated, but he is really just a fool.

  28. 28
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    Responding to the “challenge” is of no interest to me, nor are your assessments of my character. I’m interested in doing philosophy and pointing out various errors I see bejng committed — such as the error that rationality can be captured in anything that deserves to be called a “rule” or “law.”.

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    KN, pardon but your statements just above pivot on the first principles of right reason you refuse to either affirm or deny. And in particular to identify something, E as an error, is to imply, NOT_E in contradistinction to E. KF

  30. 30
    William J Murray says:

    …such as the error that rationality can be captured in anything that deserves to be called a “rule” or “law.”.

    Without “rules” or “laws” of rational thinking that are assumed valid and binding upon both speaker and listener, asserting that an “error” of rational thinking has taken place is absurd.

    GIGO, apparently.

  31. 31
    StephenB says:

    Kantian Naturalist: “As I see it, the best solution is Bob Brandom’s: norms are not rules.”

    For Kantian Naturalist, the laws of identity, non-contradiction, and causality are nothing more than socially constructed “norms.” Obviously, anything that can be socially “constructed” can also be socially “deconstructed,” which means that the philosophers of one era can abrogate the logical principles (arbitrarily) established by philosophers of another era.

    So, what does this mean? On Monday, one gathers, a reasonable person can, if it serves some useful purpose, assume that Jupiter cannot exist and not exist at the same time, but on Tuesday, he is perfectly free to change his mind, especially if he can gain some practical advantage in doing so. The idea is to transform the knowable, objective truth into an unknowable, relative truth that can be twisted and used.

    Man was designed to know the truth, which is the mind’s destination: Reason is the vehicle that makes that journey possible. To destroy the vehicle is to end the journey even before it starts. Thus, the sophist need not militate against truth directly when he can, more surreptitiously, render reason incapable of doing its job, reducing its non-negotiable rules into negotiable, arbitrary norms.

  32. 32
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    At no point did I so much as suggest that the norms constitutive of practical and theoretical reason are socially “constructed,” though I do think of them as fundamentally social in character. (The norms are not socially constructed because there is no coherent notion of society as something that exists prior to norms.)

  33. 33
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    I am not in the slightest bit surprised that authoritarians who distrust and fear science and democracy — and who really think that the Enlightenment was a bad idea — would be made deeply anxious at the thought that there is no Bronze Age sky-god to establish the so-called “rules of right reasons.”

  34. 34
    JGuy says:

    Nothing is simple, transparent, or obvious.

    If you say “Nothing is simple” is true, then how did you determine this to be true? Seem to me for it to be asserted as true, there would have to have been an infinite regress in the reasoning process whereby this statement was derived (i.e. things would always be complex).

    Responding to the “challenge” is of no interest to me, nor are your assessments of my character.

    I don’t get it. If you answered his question, and you were correct in your thinking about no rules to right reasoning. You would prove your point, wouldn’t you?

  35. 35
    Barry Arrington says:

    Ah, having been called out on his sophistry KN throws a tantrum and starts spewing ad hominem. And the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening. Sad really. Pathetic, yes, but mainly sad.

  36. 36
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    I have not yet been called out on anything, because the so-called “challenge” here has nothing to do with either of the philosophical points I’m making here: the plurality of logical systems, each with its own rules, or that norms are not rules, which is the Sellars-Brandom solution to Wittgenstein’s thoughts on the paradoxes of rule-following.

  37. 37
    Upright BiPed says:

    #33 is a head-shaker.

    Just because something cannot both be and not be at the same time.

    Here’s to fragile convictions.

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    KN: are you sure you want to play by Dawkins-type rhetoric games? [Cf here on on such.) It is more than enough, that we can all see how self evident it is that if we mean A we do not mean NOT-A also, and so forth. Indeed, all of your comments trying to dismiss such, pivot on the very same principle; which, let us observe, were put on record by C5 – 4 BC pagan Greek philosophers. Please, think again. KF

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: The plurality of axiomatic models of logic has not escaped the point that just to write them out and mean something definite, the first principles of right reason are being implicitly relied on.

  40. 40
    Alan Fox says:

    Barry states:

    For any proposition A:

    1: A=A. True or False.

    2: “A is B” and “A is not B” are mutually exclusive. True or False.

    3: “A is B” and “A is not B” are jointly exhaustive. True or False.

    Just for laughs, can I just clarify what is meant by Barry, when he uses the word “proposition”? Does he mean a factual statement about reality? If so, at both the scale of fundamental particles and the scale of large object such as galaxies, I can see problems as well as in the realm of biological entities.

  41. 41
    Barry Arrington says:

    KN, I notice you are still dodging the three simple T/F questions in the OP.

  42. 42
    Barry Arrington says:

    Alan Fox, your additions are as predictable as they are wearisome. Run along now and let the grownups talk.

  43. 43
    William J Murray says:

    Barry called it here:

    He thinks he is oh so wise and sophisticated ….

    Note the dripping condescension and the blatant sense of superiority:

    I am not in the slightest bit surprised that authoritarians who distrust and fear science and democracy — and who really think that the Enlightenment was a bad idea — would be made deeply anxious at the thought that there is no Bronze Age sky-god to establish the so-called “rules of right reasons.”

    But then, to one that needn’t abide by the rules of right reason, ad hominem is just as good as anything else in a rational debate, right?

    He’s the very embodiment of those whom Plato warns against, as KF often qoutes.

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    AF:

    Pardon, but let us avoid another distraction:

    In philosophy and logic, the term proposition refers to either (a) the “content” or “meaning” of a meaningful declarative sentence or (b) the pattern of symbols, marks, or sounds that make up a meaningful declarative sentence. The meaning of a proposition includes having the quality or property of being either true or false, and as such propositions are claimed to be truthbearers.

    Yes, that is Wiki, which has it right on this one (certain ideologies not being at stake).

    The focal issue remains on the table: why first principles of right reason are not mere optional conventions that can be taken or set aside as one pleases. and, why that matters if one is to reason seriously and correctly.

    KF

  45. 45
    StephenB says:

    Kantian Naturalist

    At no point did I so much as suggest that the norms constitutive of practical and theoretical reason are socially “constructed,” though I do think of them as fundamentally social in character.

    If, as you say, they are social in character, then they were socially constructed. That follows as surely as the night follows the day. It was you who characterized reason’s rules as “norms,” not me.

    Definition: “Social norms are group-held beliefs about how members should behave in a given context.” For you, the Laws of Non-Contradiction, Identity, and Causality are group held beliefs subject to change and dependent on context.

    (The norms are not socially constructed because there is no coherent notion of society as something that exists prior to norms.)

    One’s perception or notion of a cause is not the same thing as the cause itself. Your subjectivism is overwhelming your capacity to think clearly.

    I am not in the slightest bit surprised that authoritarians who distrust and fear science and democracy — and who really think that the Enlightenment was a bad idea — would be made deeply anxious at the thought that there is no Bronze Age sky-god to establish the so-called “rules of right reasons.”

    On the contrary. The authoritarians are those who use power and force rather than reason arguments to achieve their ends. Anyone who denies reason’s rules, which apply to everyone, will always align themselves with the arbitrary rules established by tyrants, which are designed for the benefit of a few at the expense of many.

    By the way, this is the third time I have asked you to define your standards for rationality and rational discourse. Will it be necessary to ask yet a fourth time?

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM:

    Time for that Plato quote, from The Laws, Bk X, c. 360 BC:

    Ath. . . . [[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that . . . The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only. [[In short, evolutionary materialism premised on chance plus necessity acting without intelligent guidance on primordial matter is hardly a new or a primarily “scientific” view! Notice also, the trichotomy of causal factors: (a) chance/accident, (b) mechanical necessity of nature, (c) art or intelligent design and direction.] . . . .

    [[Thus, they hold that t]he Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made. – [[Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT.] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [[ Evolutionary materialism leads to the promotion of amorality], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [[Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others [[such amoral factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless tyranny], and not in legal subjection to them.

    Evolutionary materialist philosophy — on very long history — naturally leads to radical relativism, and opens the door to nihilism, ruthless factionalism and a certain kind of domineering elitism. So those who advocate it should at minimum be aware of and address these moral hazards.

    In the context of this thread, while I do not think KN is likely ever to become an Alcibiades or the like, he does need to address the issue that straight thinking on first principles of right reason is really important, and that in that context — and I here cut clean across Copi whom I studied from years ago — it is evident that certain first principles really are vital, pivotal to sound reasoning. Vital in ways that are evident form the fact that those who try to dismiss or deny end up implicitly using the very same principles.

    And no, that is not something I got from reading biblical texts; though I do see in such texts a strong emphasis on sound thinking that contrasts refusal of wisdom as folly that is ultimately ruinous.

    I also find this in Paul, who is most definitely of C1 Iron age:

    1 Cor14:7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air . . .

    In short, using apt examples, he here sees how distinctness and intelligible identity are foundational to communication, meaningfulness and benefit to the listener. In so speaking, he is evidently reasoning with his audience, trying to help them see clearly and act sensibly and reasonably. This is clear communication, and even education, not emotional frothiness or manipulation.

    Speaking of which, this is what he later said to the same audience:

    2 Cor 4: 1 . . . having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God . . . .
    10: 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ . . . [Cf here on for a 101 on why he thought the gospel of the Christ was well-warranted truth commendable to every man, on what sort of evidence . . . ]

    In short, the apostle appealed to reason and evidence, not to blind emotions or blind adherence to authority, overturning misleading arguments and systems of thought that set up roadblocks against coming to know God. It seems, there has been some strawmannising and dismissive stereotyping of the biblical mindset here.

    I trust KN will think again and do better than his recent intemperate remark. (I have no confidence that the likes of a Sandwalk or a TWT or that ilk, short of a miracle, will be open to simple, basic evidence, as I recently have had to address here, cf. F/N 2 especially.)]

    Nor is this mere authoritarianism, blindly citing sources. We have been showing that the principles are self evident and self referential in all serious discourse. We cannot but use them, they are that fundamental.

    So, we only end up in absurdity if we try to deny or dismiss or set aside.

    They really are fundamental.

    KF

  47. 47
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    “I am not in the slightest bit surprised that authoritarians who distrust and fear science and democracy — and who really think that the Enlightenment was a bad idea — would be made deeply anxious at the thought that there is no Bronze Age sky-god to establish the so-called “rules of right reasons.”

    There is the confession. This is why accepting reason’s rules is absolutely off the table. If the rules exist then the implication is clear. The proposition, There is no god, is for some its own non-negotiable first principle, reasoned from and not to.

  48. 48
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    It’s funny when people deny the LNC and yet spout utterances as if they think they are rationally coherent. There is no reason to argue with every little fly that buzzes the head. Sometimes you just have to swat the annoyance and move on.

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I think I also need to correct KN on the assertion that suggests that Christians seemingly inevitably fear and are enemies of science and democracy.

    In fact, contrary to such long past sell-by date rationalistic myths — cf here on and here on — it can fairly easily be documented beyond reasonable doubt that the Christian Faith and adherents acting out of the Judaeo-Christian worldview (read Boyle on “The Christian Virtuoso” . . . ) have had much positively to do with the rise of both modern science and modern liberty and self-government by a free people.

    For simple example, it is no accident that so many of the founders of modern science saw science as thinking God’s [creative and sustaining] thoughts after him, and similarly it is not at all accidental that the First Amendment of the 1787 US Constitution (which is the one that protectively states the pivotal civil liberties at the behest of Dissenter . . . especially Baptist, it seems . . . Christians in the early US) pivots on freedom of conscience, worship, assembly, petition and expression, carefully applying the locality principle of Westphalia of 1648 to the circumstances of a fundamentally democratic [“We, the People . . . “], federal republic.

    To my mind, this clinging to rationalist myths of an irreconcilable and inevitable war of Christianity against genuinely progressive knowledge and genuine liberation is pernicious and vicious, especially where in some key cases [Evil Bible, Sandwalk and TWT, I specifically mean you . . . ] it is multiplied by an attempt to taint the Christian Faith with the only generally admitted case of widespread evil in our time, Nazism.

    Such is commonly seen in the attempt to pretend that Hitler was a Christian acting out of the tenets of his faith — where, even if you refuse to look at the plain facts in the abundant and easily found documentation, the very IMAGERY of Nazism will show that this type of idolatrous political messianism was specifically (and . . . as the White Rose martyrs explicitly pointed out at the cost of their lives . . . literally devilishly) Anti-Christian. Too often, such is joined to willfully obtuse refusal to simply acknowledge patent and easily shown facts concerning the historic and worldview roots of Nazism.

    If physicists can face our collective responsibility for too much of modern weaponry, and especially for was it 1/4 million lives from the nuke bombings of 1945 on, surely evolutionary biology can face the ways that evolutionary theory — per all too abundant documentation — sustained “scientific” racism and eugenics and also the support it has given to the nihilistic tendencies of evolutionary materialism as a worldview? It is high time that there was a seriousness about the responsibilities of science in society over moral hazards connected to the sciences.

    And, for sure — as Ac 27 warns by pointed historical example — we must never let ourselves be gulled into allowing democracy to become the “might makes right” manipulated march of folly.

    KF

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 2: Let me document from the draft NCSTS sampler course unit on the sins of Christendom . . .

    [BREAK IN TRANSMISSION: TWT, I know in your obsessive hostility you will see this, your repeated assertion that I blame all of the world’s ills on Darwinism, is patently false and irresponsibly sustained in the teeth of easily seen facts to the contrary . . . cf. here on just what it is you are doing. And Mr Moran et al, is this what you want to harbour?]

    . . . what the White Rose martyrs had to say about Hitler:

    It is important as well, to cite here the assessment of the martyrs of the White Rose Movement of exposure and passive resistance [–> ask yourself why we so seldom hear of this movement . . . ], from their Leaflets II and IV (of six), knowing that the following expose of the Holocaust, assessment and prophetic indictment of a false political messiah were paid for in martyr’s blood; Christian martyr’s blood:

    WR, II: Since the conquest of Poland three hundred thousand Jews have been murdered in this country in the most bestial way [–> one of the first documentations in public of the holocaust] . . . The German people slumber on in their dull, stupid sleep and encourage these fascist criminals . . . Each man wants to be exonerated of a guilt of this kind, each one continues on his way with the most placid, the calmest conscience. But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty, guilty, guilty!

    WR, IV: Every word that comes from Hitler’s mouth is a lie. When he says peace, he means war, and when he blasphemously uses the name of the Almighty, he means the power of evil, the fallen angel, Satan. His mouth is the foul-smelling maw of Hell, and his might is at bottom accursed. True, we must conduct a struggle against the National Socialist terrorist state with rational means; but whoever today still doubts the reality, the existence of demonic powers, has failed by a wide margin to understand the metaphysical background of this war.

    This happened in living memory, we must never forget it.

    It is high time to stop the madness of business as usual smear- the- Christians talking point games, and face some terrible facts about living memory history.

    KF

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 3: In case we have a problem understanding that evolutionary materialism is a longstanding worldview with definite implications and tendencies, let me take Plato’s remark of warning in the Laws, Bk X already cited in steps:

    Step 1: the worldview

    Ath. . . . [[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that . . . The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only.

    Here, we see evolutionary materialism laid out as a seemingly plausible avant garde worldview, then dressed up in the sophisticated rhetorical guise of the sophists.

    STEP 2: First consequences . . . radical relativism

    [[Thus, they hold that t]he Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made

    This is of course couched in the terms of the pagan views of Plato’s time. But, it is instantly recognisable to our own time.

    And, we see why there is this casting of the issue of first principles of right reason in terms of a dubious authoritarianism led by that notoriously genocidal Bronze age sky God, YHWH. NOT

    For, those who are caught up in evolutionary materialism can only seemingly think in rhetorical terms, and see all as a power struggle, who holds the power makes the rules.

    The idea that we can genuinely see that some things are self evidently, objectively and undeniably true and so binding freely on those who value the truth and the right by virtue of simply being self-evidently true and right, is alien to such.

    STEP 3: The open door to amorality and nihilism . . .

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might

    If all boils down to power games, it is a matter of who is more cleverly manipulative and powerful, so if you want to be the more respected and feared, you have to be the more ruthless. Cats have no sympathy for mice.

    STEP 4: The nihilistic, domineering factions arrive

    and hence arise factions [[Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others [[such amoral factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless tyranny], and not in legal subjection to them.

    Somebody opened the door . . .

    (resemblance to our recent history as a civilisation and current trends is NOT coincidental.)

    KF

    PS: The evolutionary materialist WORLDVIEW — not science, philosophy [where insofar as there may be evidence of common descent etc, it is entirely compatible with common design . . . as say Alfred Russel Wallace, co-founder of the modern theory of evolution believed] — is inherently, inescapably self referentially incoherent and self-undermining. It refutes itself. But, if you can be led to reject the first principles of right reason such as the law of non-contradiction, you can be gulled into accepting and trying to live by an absurdity.

    PPS: In case you cannot follow the steps of argument in the just linked, let noted evolutionist J B S Haldane put it in a nutshell:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [[“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.]

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: And it may be worth pausing to see a different perspective on the nature of Fascism as an ideology and where (never mind Stalin’s talking points) it fits on the “left-right” spectrum. Don’t forget, that the ideological colouring in the Nazi — National Socialist — party flag was red. And, visually, the key Nazi symbol, the swastika, is a broken, twisted cross. Sometimes, it is as obvious as that.

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPPS: Mr Moran of Sandwalk and TWT of a certain serially slanderous hate speech blog, you in particular need to read and ponder the just above.

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    P^5S: Mr Moran, you need to pause, think twice and see just what you have been harbouring.

  55. 55
    DiEb says:

    3: “A is B” and “A is not B” are jointly exhaustive. True or False.

    Maybe neither 🙂 e.g., in the Scottish legal system, the verdicts are “guilty”, “not guilty” and “not proven”.

    When you write down your laws in the clinical way of a mathematician, you have to allow for a mathematical approach. And then you see that your no. 3 is like Euclid’s fifth postulate – you can develop a system in which it is not necessarily true, and which – like non-Euclidian geometries – may nevertheless reflect some parts of reality…

    As for the law of identity: philosophers have thought about it for thousands of years. A=A is unproblematic, but what about Barry is Barry? Is the Barry at the begin of the sentence really the same Barry as some microseconds later at the end of it? Hasn’t reading the sentence changed him?

  56. 56
    Barry Arrington says:

    DiEb @55, see the definition at the head of this post and reconsider.

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    DiEb: Did you notice, how to make your comment, you relied on the distinct identity and non-ambiguous meaning of the symbols you used? Did you notice that when there is a distinction, there is a distinction? Those are the sorts of things that are at stake here, not just whether one can argue that changing things change — that is itself a distinct thing. Much less, that we can define a non-euclidean geometry, which still relies on the same pattern of distinct identities and contrasts. The objections sound ever so clev er until they are seen to be self referential, then they fall apart. Again and again. Please, think again. KF

  58. 58
    DiEb says:

    kairosfocus: above you referred to your background knowledge of computer science. Then you should know how convenient intuitionistic logic can be. And though I prefer the classical approach in mathematics, when I reread by comments I found no place where I have used tertium non datur: you can held interesting discussions without taking it as a law, a rule or whatever.

    Did you notice that when there is a distinction, there is a distinction?

    Yes, there may be a distinction, there may be no distinction, or it may be impossible to decide (yet) whether there is a distinction.

    As for the use of symbols: in ordinary language, there is much place for ambiguity: see #40.

    The objections sound ever so clev er until they are seen to be self referential, then they fall apart.

    I don’t think so. I do think that intuitionists miss a lot of interesting results, but intuitionism doesn’t fall apart.

    Another non-self referential example: Schrödinger’s cat with its various interpretations…

  59. 59
    Alan Fox says:

    …but what about Barry is Barry? Is the Barry at the begin of the sentence really the same Barry as some microseconds later at the end of it? Hasn’t reading the sentence changed him?

    And Barry is in dynamic equilibrium with his environment; food goes in, faeces come out, hydration levels vary, nails and hair grow and get trimmed, tissues are continually replaced, brain cells die off, skin sloughs off. Is Barry still Barry?

    UD Editors: Sigh.

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    DiEb: Pardon, but once there is a distinction and so a distinct entity, the relevant principles follow. That there may be cases where there is not a distinction does not erase the fact that in a great many relevant cases [I keep on highlighting the glyphs used in text and the scratches used on chalk boards], there are. The rest follows, as we are now self-referential. If your scheme of reasoning cannot accommodate the implications of definite, distinct symbols, relationships, structures, it is little better than confusion. and one does not need to explicitly appeal to or be directly conscious of underlying principles to be using them. KF

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    AF: you are on the verge of seeing why personal identity does not depend on the particular molecules in one’s body at a given time. So, ask yourself real hard, why you cannot but see yourself as a unified, stable, experiencing, conscious, knowing, choosing, morally governed self. Then, ask whether a materialist view can adequately ground such a self. Then, ask whether such a view, having failed the test of the very first and central fact of our experience [and yes, I allude to the so-called hard problem of consciousness], is anything beyond a late non-starter. KF

  62. 62
    Mung says:

    Surely a true Kantian would know better.

  63. 63
    Mung says:

    I don’t care how many “logics” there are if they are illogical.

    They are called laws not because they came from the sky, but because to deny them is to be self-contradictory. To deny them is to say that there is no such thing as reason, which is itself contradictory.

    It’s like asserting that one is a “KantianNaturalist” while also denying that one is a “KantianNaturalist.”

    Imagine the following exchange:

    Student: What is truth?

    KN: There is no truth.

    Student: Is it true that there is no truth?

    KN: It’s true for me.

    Student: I want a refund.

  64. 64
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: This, from Wiki speaking against known ideological inclination, on the Laws of Thought c. Feb 2012 [cf Rationale], may help in understanding how the three key first principles of right reason are inextricably linked:

    The law of non-contradiction and the law of excluded middle are not separate laws per se, but correlates of the law of identity. That is to say, they are two interdependent and complementary principles that inhere naturally (implicitly) within the law of identity, as its essential nature . . . whenever we ‘identify’ a thing as belonging to a certain class or instance of a class, we intellectually set that thing apart from all the other things in existence which are ‘not’ of that same class or instance of a class. In other words, the proposition, “A is A and A is not ~A” (law of identity) intellectually partitions a universe of discourse (the domain of all things) into exactly two subsets, A and ~A, and thus gives rise to a dichotomy. As with all dichotomies, A and ~A must then be ‘mutually exclusive’ and ‘jointly exhaustive’ with respect to that universe of discourse. In other words, ‘no one thing can simultaneously be a member of both A and ~A’ (law of non-contradiction), whilst ‘every single thing must be a member of either A or ~A’ (law of excluded middle).

    See what happens so soon as we make a clear and crisp distinction?

    Therefore, why I highlight how we are using glyphs, characters, words, sentences, symbols, relations, expressions etc in trying to make all of these novel “logics” or Quantum speculations, etc?

    That is, we inescapably are marking distinctions and are dichotomising reality, into (T|NOT-T) . . . (H|NOT_H) . . . A|NOT_A) . . . (T|NOT_T) etc. just to type out a sentence. The stability of identity of T, H, A, T then leads straight to the correlates, that we have marked a distinction that is “‘mutually exclusive’ and ‘jointly exhaustive’ with respect to that universe of discourse.”

    The implication is, that so soon as we make sharp distinctions and identify things on the one side thereof, we are facing the underlying significance of such distinctions: A is A, A is not NOT_A, and there is not a fuzzy thing out there other than A and NOT_A. of course, there are spectra or trends or timelines that credibly have a smooth gradation along a continuum, there are superpositions and there are trichotomies etc [which can be reduced to structured sets of dichotomies). But so soon as we are even just talking of this, we are inescapably back to the business of making (A|NOT_A) distinctions.

    KF

  65. 65
    Phinehas says:

    And Barry is in dynamic equilibrium with his environment; food goes in, faeces come out, hydration levels vary, nails and hair grow and get trimmed, tissues are continually replaced, brain cells die off, skin sloughs off. Is Barry still Barry?

    I wanted to respond with a hearty, “Yes,” to Alan Fox, but I obviously cannot, since Alan Fox is no longer Alan Fox.

    In fact, since no one is still who they were, all communication suddenly became impossib…

  66. 66
    tgpeeler says:

    Is KN making claims about how the world actually is? It sure looks like it. But then he must admit that it is also not like it is – at the same time and in the same way – since he rejects the laws of rational thought. I don’t think reasoning with this person will get anywhere. Given his epistemology he can’t even say for sure that KN is KN. He doesn’t need a philosopher, he needs a psychiatrist. Why argue with someone to whom yes means no and no means yes?

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