Re: [peirce-l] Proemial: On The Origin Of Experience

2012-03-13 Thread John Collier
I agree with that, Steven. We forget how many bad paths Einstein went down 
before he relied on a friend for key input when working on General Relativity. 
It's all in his notebooks from the time.
 
John


 
 
Professor John Collier  
Philosophy, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292
F: +27 (31) 260 3031
email: colli...@ukzn.ac.za On 2012/03/13 at 08:38 AM, in message 
5a506354-b312-4ebf-b5c9-7ee33401a...@iase.us, Steven Ericsson-Zenith 
ste...@iase.us wrote:


Thanks John. 

If the right question is asked and understood, then the answer is readily 
apparent if the data that confirms or denies it is accessible. In effect, the 
answers are all out there, we need only craft the right question. Scientific 
interpretation of data is but a process of question refinement and this can be 
generalized to all forms of interpretation. Contrary to the common idea that 
interpretation is some posterior act.

When we have the answer, we tend to forget the paths that either failed or were 
incomplete on our way to it.

With respect,
Steven

--
Dr. Steven Ericsson-Zenith
Institute for Advanced Science  Engineering
http://iase.info







On Mar 12, 2012, at 1:58 AM, John Collier wrote:

 
 
  
  
 Professor John Collier  
 Philosophy, University of KwaZulu-Natal
 Durban 4041 South Africa
 T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292
 F: +27 (31) 260 3031
 email: colli...@ukzn.ac.za On 2012/03/06 at 11:03 PM, in message 
 4a39e6c5-939f-49ba-bc6b-8af976028...@iase.us, Steven Ericsson-Zenith 
 ste...@iase.us wrote:
 
 I'm not sure I would say that the Mars lander computational analysis of data 
 is interpretation. It seems to me to be a further representation, although 
 one filtered by a machine imbued with our intelligence. Interpretation would 
 be the thing done by scientists on earth.
 
 As a former planetary scientist, I would agree in general with this, but I 
 also experienced new data that pretty much implied directly (along with other 
 well-known principles) that lunar differentiation had occurred. (Even then, 
 scientists had to interpret the results, but they were clear as crystal 
 relative to the question.) I relied on much less direct data (gravity 
 evidence and some general principles of physics and geochemistry) to argue 
 for the same conclusion. My potential paper was scooped, and I hadn't even 
 graduated yet. Both Harvard and MIT people in the field found my paper very 
 interesting but lost complete interest when I was retrospectively scooped by 
 firmer evidence. The moral is that nothing in science beats direct evidence, 
 even the most appealing hypothesis. Nonetheless, your book sound interesting.
  
 Regards,
 John
 
 Please find our Email Disclaimer here--: http://www.ukzn.ac.za/disclaimer
 


Please find our Email Disclaimer here: http://www.ukzn.ac.za/disclaimer/

-
You are receiving this message because you are subscribed to the PEIRCE-L 
listserv.  To remove yourself from this list, send a message to 
lists...@listserv.iupui.edu with the line SIGNOFF PEIRCE-L in the body of the 
message.  To post a message to the list, send it to PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU


Re: [peirce-l] Proemial: On The Origin Of Experience

2012-03-12 Thread John Collier


 
 
Professor John Collier  
Philosophy, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292
F: +27 (31) 260 3031
email: colli...@ukzn.ac.za On 2012/03/06 at 11:03 PM, in message 
4a39e6c5-939f-49ba-bc6b-8af976028...@iase.us, Steven Ericsson-Zenith 
ste...@iase.us wrote:


I'm not sure I would say that the Mars lander computational analysis of data is 
interpretation. It seems to me to be a further representation, although one 
filtered by a machine imbued with our intelligence. Interpretation would be the 
thing done by scientists on earth.

As a former planetary scientist, I would agree in general with this, but I also 
experienced new data that pretty much implied directly (along with other 
well-known principles) that lunar differentiation had occurred. (Even then, 
scientists had to interpret the results, but they were clear as crystal 
relative to the question.) I relied on much less direct data (gravity evidence 
and some general principles of physics and geochemistry) to argue for the same 
conclusion. My potential paper was scooped, and I hadn't even graduated yet. 
Both Harvard and MIT people in the field found my paper very interesting but 
lost complete interest when I was retrospectively scooped by firmer evidence. 
The moral is that nothing in science beats direct evidence, even the most 
appealing hypothesis. Nonetheless, your book sound interesting.
 
Regards,
John

Please find our Email Disclaimer here: http://www.ukzn.ac.za/disclaimer/

-
You are receiving this message because you are subscribed to the PEIRCE-L 
listserv.  To remove yourself from this list, send a message to 
lists...@listserv.iupui.edu with the line SIGNOFF PEIRCE-L in the body of the 
message.  To post a message to the list, send it to PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU


Re: [peirce-l] Community of Inquiry: maybe incorporated in Royce?

2011-11-03 Thread John Collier


At 06:20 PM 2011/11/02, Terry Bristol wrote:
Greg ­
I take your point. 
The difficulty that needs to be resolved is, given that we can and do
disagree, how is it that we come to tentative consensus ­ and as Peirce
and Royce both project ­ that we can eventually come to a common
understanding of the universe. The Kuhnian argument ­ which should not be
taken to preclude either a local or global consensus ­ simply presents
the difficulty.
What is most important in Kuhn's version (and it is prominent in
(pragmatist) Quine as well) is that there are no 'basic statements' ­
evidence ­ that is neutral between perspectives. The existence/reality of
neutral basic statements was central to the positivist representation of
the scientific process ­ in other words that 'the evidence' would 'speak
for itself' and adjudicate between alternative hypotheses (and
perspectives).
The current display of republicans and democrats 'talking past each
other' is a common display of the lack of neutral evidence.
One way this has been discussed is in terms of how to compare different
hypotheses, different theories. If theories and the evidence that they
'see' (can make sense of) are incommensurable then we have an apparently
unsolvable problem in accounting for agreement. This difficulty leads
many back to a positivist attitude ­ a sort of naive realism where
everything that we see is common and neutral. But this doesn't work and
is certainty not helpful in the actual process, in the trenches of
debate. It leads to characterizations of those with whom you disagree as
being ignorant, irrational ­ disingenuous and so forth.
I think that the pragmatic theory of knowledge/understanding resolves the
question, but it would be inappropriate to try to lay it out
here.
My soon to be completed book 'supposedly' deals with all this and lays
out the implications of the pragmatic resolution.
Anyone want to critique the readers draft in December?

Hi Terry,
I argued in my dissertation, Revolutionary Progress in Science: The
Problem of Semantic Commensurability (1984) that Kuhnian problems are
typically, if not always, pragmatic (Pragmatic incommensurability, PSA
84, P. D. Asquith and P. Kitcher (eds) (East Lansing: Philosophy of
Science Association, 1984): 146-153.). The different meanings come from
different expectations different sides have, and there evaluation of the
results of experiments allow these to be maintained. The differing
evaluations depend on implicit (tacit) presuppositions. The route to
resolution is to tease out where these presuppositions differ, make them
explicit, and render them into a common language (e.g., affine geometry
in the case of relativity versus Newtonian mechanics). 
It is basically a Peircean work, but in 1984 I did not want to embroil
myself in the widely differing interpretations of Peirce that were
prevalent but inimical to my treatment (e.g., Putnam and Rescher in their
idiosyncratic ways).
I've been returning to some of the technical aspects of the required
underlying continuity between differing paradigms treating the same
phenomena that float on tacit presuppositions recently, but
it isn't my most urgent interest right now. I only published one chapter
of my dissertation as I got side-tracked by applications of information
theory and statistical mechanics in biology in 1981, and this has been my
main focus since then. 
John





Professor John
Collier
colli...@ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South
Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292 F:
+27 (31) 260 3031


-
You are receiving this message because you are subscribed to the PEIRCE-L listserv.  To remove yourself from this list, send a message to lists...@listserv.iupui.edu with the line "SIGNOFF PEIRCE-L" in the body of the message.  To post a message to the list, send it to PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU


Re: [peirce-l] community of inquiry

2011-11-02 Thread John Collier

At 07:13 AM 2011/11/02, Terry Bristol wrote:

I think that it might be helpful to explore the meanings of:
Community of inquiry and Community of interpretation

I think that these are very close if not the same.
The aim of inquiry in pragmatism is no longer 
knowledge in the mechanical sense ­ 
logic-mathematical, where there are no real 
qualitative differences or advances in HOW we understand reality.
The logico-mathematical model of the Logical 
Positivists saw each advance in knowledge as a 
generalization over the previous knowledge. This 
was codified as the Correspondence Principle ­ 
but understood alternatively as 'advance as 
generalization' versus 'advance as a qualitative 
improvement in our understanding' (viz the 
latter being qualitatively better 
was  logic-mathematically incommensurable with the former).


So the eventual end of the community of inquiry 
would be the fully agreed upon understanding ­ or interpretation ­ of reality.


In Peirce, at least, I am pretty sure that this 
is an ideal that may well not be reached 
eventually. Peirce, of course, ties the notion 
of truth to this ideal. Joe Ransdell argued 
(convincingly for me) that this notion of truth 
serves as a regulative principle, not a 
definition. In my opinion Putnam (among others, 
but perhaps most famously) takes the definition 
side, and rejects metaphysical realism as a 
consequence. Peirce, of course, was a 
metaphysical realist, so either he committed a 
philosophical howler, or else he did not mean the 
convergent point of inquiry to define truth. I 
also think it is too weak, in the case of Peirce, 
to limit the convergence to an agreed upon understanding or interpretation.


It is crucial that the advance is qualitative, 
since as Dewey emphasized, the search/inquiry 
was for the 'better' understanding of 'how we 
should live' and that was an advance in an 
understanding of the good. Real, meaningful 
knowledge in the pragmatist program was always 
'potentially beneficial' to someone's life, and 
for Dewey potentially beneficial in 'the 
construction of the good.' (Viz We being the 
little beavers bringing forth the large structures of the universe.)


Peirce doesn't talk much about the good, but he 
does think that inquiry should be guided by 
practical consequences. That doesn't mean that we 
have to like them, even if we revise our theories 
so that we accept them as following from our 
theories. I think it is overly optimistic to 
think that the world is good, ultimately.


Regards,
John



--
Professor John Collier colli...@ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292   F: +27 (31) 260 3031

-
You are receiving this message because you are subscribed to the PEIRCE-L listserv.  To 
remove yourself from this list, send a message to lists...@listserv.iupui.edu with the 
line SIGNOFF PEIRCE-L in the body of the message.  To post a message to the 
list, send it to PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU