Dear John, Jerry R.,
Thank you very much, John for your brilliant summary on the relation
between nominalism and pragmaticism & Einstein and his theorizing.
And Jerry, I would recommend a very detailed study of the two
formulations by CSP, given in his first Harward Lecture (EP vol. 2)
before jumping into hasty conclusions on "the best formulation"… of the
pragmatic maxim. – I do find your messages "somewhat blinded by
nominalism" – I phrase CSP once used about his own earlier writings.
Jerry Rhee kirjoitti 14.10.2016 02:15:
Dear John, list:
Thank you for your statement but I'm not sure to what you are
Is it that the pragmatic maxim does not achieve the stated goal: "Each
abstraction is either pronounced to be gibberish or is provided with a
plain, practical definition."
...or that _this_ pragmatic maxim ("Consider what effects...") does
That is, are you saying that this one, ("Consider...") is nominalist
What then, in your opinion, is the best pragmatic maxim that does
justice to the purposes of pragmaticism?
Which maxim best summarizes the logic of abduction?
Which is the strongest argument?
Is CP 5.189 not a pragmatic maxim; the best one?
Thank you for your time.
On Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 5:21 PM, John F Sowa <s...@bestweb.net> wrote:
On 10/13/2016 5:24 PM, Jerry Rhee wrote:
[Peirce's pragmatic axiom] once accepted, – intelligently
in the light of the evidence of its truth, – speedily sweeps
metaphysical rubbish out of one’s house. Each abstraction is
pronounced to be gibberish or is provided with a plain, practical
No! That is the fallacy of the extreme nominalists, such as Ernst
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
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:
quantum mechanics, and Brownian motion. No nominalist could ever
make those discoveries without ceasing to be a nominalist.
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