On 12/29/2012 7:07 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 29 Dec 2012, at 03:20, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 12/28/2012 7:46 PM, meekerdb wrote:
On 12/28/2012 4:09 PM, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 12/28/2012 1:29 PM, meekerdb wrote:
On 12/28/2012 4:45 AM, Roger Clough wrote:
Can you suggest a scientific method to prove or disprove
the solipsism puzzle ?
Everybody solves it by the scientific method: they observe other
people, they create a model in which other people are like
themselves, they test the model and it works. Problem solved -
except for people who don't know what the scientific method is.
This is how things actually work! We don't need to have an
exact definition of this or that, we operate with FAPP models and
'as if' definitions, we don't need exactness, so why is it treated
as so important? I invite you to check out any of Jon Barwise'
books, I like/The Liar/
the most. It is a nice change of pace from the ordinary treatments
of logic and semantics and might help you understand this issue of
What makes you think I don't understand it?
Oh, well good, please go on and finish the point that you where
making with : "Everybody solves it [the solipsism puzzle] by the
scientific method: they observe other people, they create a model in
which other people are like themselves, they test the model and it
works. Problem solved - except for people who don't know what the
scientific method is. ... "
You cannot make a comment by saying "read that book and you will
understand". You must make your point explicit (and you can add: see
that book which inspired my point). If not, you are just saying "I
know, you don't", and you stop to appear like the beginners/student
you pretended to be. You appear as the one using argument per authority.
I would be Brent, I would be rather angry. You did this to many other
people (including me) too, and it just doesn't work. Always make your
point explicit, and refer to the book or paper if you have use some
idea there, but gives the idea explicitly. If not, it is an
authoritative argument of the form "I know better than you". Only bad
philosophers and fundamentalist do this.
In this precise case, I don't follow your point, and I don't see how
Barwise's book can help. Nor do I see that book as a change from
Please re-read the content of the thread above.
I did exactly what you are asking, but I could have added another
sentence to my initial remark: "There is no need for a priori knowledge
of 'scientific method'." So to restate my remark on Brent's comment
above: We do not need exact definitions of models to reason, all we
actually use is 'for all practical purpose' and 'as if' models to come
to conclusions and thus we can see the same at work in solving the
solipsism puzzle. Not having an explicit a priori synthetic knowledge of
'the scientific method' in the sense of a memorized sequence of symbols
such as "...systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the
formulation, testing, and modification ofhypotheses
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothesis>." does not change a thing. It
does, however, allow some people that are skilled in symbol manipulation
to feel superior to others that are not so well endowed.
Brent seemed to take for granted this point in his remark to
Roger's request and seemed to be merely casting aspersions. I then tried
to cast Brent's remark in a different light to make a point. The
reference to Barwise's book was, as you write, "..add: see that book
which inspired my point.." Barwise, with his co-writers, does a
magnificent job, IMHO, of illustrating how non-well foundedness and
reflexivity allow for understanding and knowledge to occur in a world
where entities are not omniscient. We are fallible, finite and
definitely not all skilled in linguistics. Some of us have disabilities
and can still think deeply about complicated ideas. ;-)
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