Le 27-déc.-06, à 02:46, Jef Allbright a écrit :

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

But our main criterion for what to believe should be
what is true, right?

I find it fascinating, as well as consistent with some difficulties in
communication about the most basic concepts, that Stathis would express
this belief of his in the form of a tautology. I've observed that he is
generally both thoughtful and precise in his writing, so I'm very
interested in whether the apparent tautology is my misunderstanding, his
transparent belief, a simple lack of precision, or something more.

I don't see any tautology in Stathis writing so I guess I miss something.

If he had said something like "our main criterion for what to believe
should be what works, what seems to work, what passes the tests of time,
etc." or had made a direct reference to Occams's Razor, I would be
comfortable knowing that we're thinking alike on this point.

This would mean you disagree with Stathis's tautology, but then how could not believe in a tautology?

But I've
seen this stumbling block arise so many times and so many places that
I'm very curious to learn something of its source.

From your "working" criteria I guess you favor a pragmatic notion of belief, but personally I conceive science as a search for knowledge and thus truth (independently of the fact that we can never *know* it as truth, except perhaps in few basic things like "I am conscious" or "I am convinced there is a prime number" etc.). To talk like Stathis, this is why science is by itself always tentative. A scientist who says "Now we know ..." is only a dishonest theologian (or a mathematician in hurry ...).



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