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:
Hi meekerdb
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.

Brent
Hi Brent,

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/ <http://projecteuclid.org/DPubS?verb=Display&version=1.0&service=UI&handle=euclid.bams/1183555025&page=record> 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 'as if'.

What makes you think I don't understand it?

Brent

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. ... "


Stephen,

Frankly.

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 ordinary logic.

Bruno


Dear Bruno,

    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. ;-)


--
Onward!

Stephen

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