On 10/13/2016 5:24 PM, Jerry Rhee wrote:
[Peirce's pragmatic axiom] once accepted, – intelligently accepted, in the light of the evidence of its truth, – speedily sweeps all metaphysical rubbish out of one’s house. Each abstraction is either pronounced to be gibberish or is provided with a plain, practical definition.
No! That is the fallacy of the extreme nominalists, such as Ernst Mach and Rudolf Carnap. They claimed that all scientific theories are *nothing but* summaries of observations. The critical aspect that distinguishes a scientific law from a mere summary of data is its ability to make predictions about the future in areas that had never been previously tested. The method of induction generates summaries of past observations. Abduction is a leap beyond the data. It's an unjustified guess, hypothesis, or insight that adds information beyond what was observed. The justification for that addition is in its predictions in areas for which no previous data had been available. Einstein said that Mach was "a good experimental physicist, but a miserable philosopher." He criticized the "Angst vor der Metaphysik", which he called "eine Krankheit der gegenwärtigen Philosophie" (a sickness of modern philosophy) -- i.e., Mach, Russell, Carnap, and the Vienna Circlers. Einstein admitted that Mach's emphasis on careful observation was important. But AE applied that idea to his *Gedanken experiments* which Mach would never approve. By observing those imaginary experiments, Einstein got the insights for the abductive leaps in his spectacular papers of 1905: relativity, quantum mechanics, and Brownian motion. No nominalist could ever make those discoveries without ceasing to be a nominalist. John
----------------------------- PEIRCE-L subscribers: Click on "Reply List" or "Reply All" to REPLY ON PEIRCE-L to this message. PEIRCE-L posts should go to peirce-L@list.iupui.edu . To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message not to PEIRCE-L but to l...@list.iupui.edu with the line "UNSubscribe PEIRCE-L" in the BODY of the message. More at http://www.cspeirce.com/peirce-l/peirce-l.htm .