Philosophical Fallacies

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Philosophical Fallacies

Postby romansh » Sat May 27, 2017 8:18 am

Bill wrote:I try to relate the concept of an unfolding universe with the mulitude of mental attributes we posses and, it is said, not one of them is what it appears to be.

Perhaps we have some non-sequitur logic going on here, Maybe:

    The universe appears to us to be in a state consistent with it being in a process of unfolding
    We are inside the univese
    Therefore none of our mental perceptions are what they seem to be.

This is called a non-sequitur argument because whether the premises are true or not, the conclusion does not depend upon them.

    The wild turkey is a bird that lives within the American continent
    It has a brightly colored neck
    Therefore wild turkeys wear ladies' scarves.

The premises in this case are reasonably accurate but the conclusion is not. The conclusion is a perfact example of a non-sequitur.

This type of argument turns up regularly in many forums... (I prefer forums to the more technically correct "fora" but that is because I am exercising a personal preference, even though it is not impossible that a personal preference is not what it appears to be. It may, on the other hand, be exactly what it appears to be despite the fact we live in an unfolding universe.)

Bill posted an error in logic here. And as written I would tend to agree ... eg
We appear to be inside an unfolding universe therefore everything is not as it seems. The logic is false but the conclusion might not be.
Luckily I am not aware of any one claiming this bit of dubious logic.
So it could be argued ... that this type of argument could be classified as a straw man fallacy.
    an argument based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position


Here is Wiki list of different types of fallacies I suspect we all make from time to time.
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Re: Philosophical Fallacies

Postby gilnv » Sun May 28, 2017 8:20 am

Speaking of possible fallacies that we humans make from time to time, I would like to point out one that doesn't get much mentioning.
Specifically, I think the science community does their own sort of anthropomorphism. Just as humans tend to judge non-human events in human ways (anthropomorphism), I think the science community judges non-science events in scientific ways, I'll call this 'scientifimorphism'.
I don't have much talent in the English grammar, so maybe someone could refine the word scientifimorphism.
Maybe scientificallycentric would be better. :?:
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Re: Philosophical Fallacies

Postby Dissily Mordentroge » Sun May 28, 2017 5:43 pm

gilnv wrote:Speaking of possible fallacies that we humans make from time to time, I would like to point out one that doesn't get much mentioning.
Specifically, I think the science community does their own sort of anthropomorphism. Just as humans tend to judge non-human events in human ways (anthropomorphism), I think the science community judges non-science events in scientific ways, I'll call this 'scientifimorphism'.
I don't have much talent in the English grammar, so maybe someone could refine the word scientifimorphism.
Maybe scientificallycentric would be better. :?:

How does something qualify as a 'non-science-event'?
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Re: Philosophical Fallacies

Postby gilnv » Mon May 29, 2017 6:36 am

Theology, psychology, art, emotions, love, etc., are non-science areas. They are located in different building of colleges.

When I'm around born again type people, they ask the questions, "What is not bible related?". They think everything is related to God.
Science people think everything is science and science relatable (I may have made up another word) to math equations, physics laws, and other commonly accepted present day beliefs of the science community. The science community once thought the Earth was flat and used that info to make further decisions.

Maybe I'm saying there should more than just a separation of church and state. I notice the science community stepping into areas that require an aptitude for stuff like psychology when most of the science community lacks those skills and has never been trained in them, yet they act as though they have expert knowledge and training and aptitude.
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Re: Philosophical Fallacies

Postby Dissily Mordentroge » Mon May 29, 2017 8:00 am

"Theology, psychology, art, emotions, love, etc., are non-science areas.?" Indeed from one perspective but from mine they are all productions of the human mind and/or instincts. As such irrationalism does make them unscientific in one sense but to assert science will never understand them is a big jump. Maybe there's an underlying suspicion science has no part in investigating such matters because it's thought by many to be 'heartless'? Taking psychology however as an example, advances in neuroscience are throwing new lights on our species psychology. Even the state of falling in love is disrespectfully being put under the microscope.
Theology however, which I cannot distinguish from superstition, may never be illucidated in full by science apart from branches of empirical psychology which examine 'group think' and our species vulnerability to fully repressing our rational processes and following whichever guru, holy book or whatever hypnotises us.
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Re: Philosophical Fallacies

Postby romansh » Mon May 29, 2017 8:14 am

gilnv wrote: Theology, psychology, art, emotions, love, etc., are non-science areas. They are located in different building of colleges.

And yet all these can viewed through a scientific lens should we choose to do so. Particularly psychology ... like economics it is a dismal science but a relatively new one and in practice a very difficult one. I am reminded of Asimov's Hari Seldon here.
gilnv wrote:When I'm around born again type people, they ask the questions, "What is not bible related?". They think everything is related to God.
Science people think everything is science and science relatable (I may have made up another word) to math equations, physics laws, and other commonly accepted present day beliefs of the science community. The science community once thought the Earth was flat and used that info to make further decisions.

And in a sense everything is related to the Bible ... it took a whole universe to make it.
For me the scientific method is a more reliable way of sorting the wheat from the chaff. It is not infallible, but it is willing to go back and try and correct mistakes that have come into the scientific scriptures. Now things like intuition and the like I would argue are more fallible than the scientific method but are a relatively low cost method of divining answers. Now if we find our intuitions are accurate then we should factor the years of experience and hard won lessons we have experienced in that cost.
gilnv wrote:Maybe I'm saying there should more than just a separation of church and state. I notice the science community stepping into areas that require an aptitude for stuff like psychology when most of the science community lacks those skills and has never been trained in them, yet they act as though they have expert knowledge and training and aptitude.

Again psychology I would argue is very definitely science. As I have mentioned before my post grad department shared a building with the psychology department and I think most psychologists would be perplexed if you did not think of them as scientifically minded.
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Re: Philosophical Fallacies

Postby Bill » Tue May 30, 2017 9:11 am

Rom and I seem to agree on one point. No case has been made that links unfolding universes with lack of mental acumen. Well, not lack, just that whatever it may be it is not what we think it is.

And if I had opined that one of our members had argued that wild turkeys wear scarves, I would have been way out of order.

But it has been argued that the existence of free will would require an exception to the Laws of Thermodynamics. And no matter how you try to stack the premises and conclusion, you invariably end up with a non-sequitur argument. And a strawman as well, I would be not at all surprised to learn.
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Re: Philosophical Fallacies

Postby Dissily Mordentroge » Tue May 30, 2017 1:15 pm

romansh wrote:
gilnv wrote: Theology, psychology, art, emotions, love, etc., are non-science areas. They are located in different building of colleges.

And yet all these can viewed through a scientific lens should we choose to do so. Particularly psychology ... like economics it is a dismal science but a relatively new one and in practice a very difficult one. I am reminded of Asimov's Hari Seldon here.
But Asimov never gave away any details of Hari Seldon's methodology so we never really know if his process was really a science or something else.
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Re: Philosophical Fallacies

Postby romansh » Tue May 30, 2017 3:19 pm

Bill wrote: But it has been argued that the existence of free will would require an exception to the Laws of Thermodynamics. And no matter how you try to stack the premises and conclusion, you invariably end up with a non-sequitur argument. And a strawman as well, I would be not at all surprised to learn.

If we define free will being able to do stuff without prior cause then that would implyif we had free will then the second (and first laws) would not hold as the second law is a description of the direction the causes will ultimately take. Now of course activation energies, kinetics and the like which to some degree are embedded in the second law make it hard to accurately predict outcomes.

We should not confound not understanding something with a non sequitur.
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Re: Philosophical Fallacies

Postby gilnv » Tue May 30, 2017 4:05 pm

romansh wrote:
Bill wrote: But it has been argued that the existence of free will would require an exception to the Laws of Thermodynamics. And no matter how you try to stack the premises and conclusion, you invariably end up with a non-sequitur argument. And a strawman as well, I would be not at all surprised to learn.

If we define free will being able to do stuff without prior cause then that would implyif we had free will then the second (and first laws) would not hold as the second law is a description of the direction the causes will ultimately take. Now of course activation energies, kinetics and the like which to some degree are embedded in the second law make it hard to accurately predict outcomes.

We should not confound not understanding something with a non sequitur.


I would never be comfortable with that definition that says "If we define free will being able to do stuff without prior cause". I don't think the word 'cause' can be used there, because 'cause' can't be proved. Whatever is considered 'cause', can only be a contributing factor if 'free will' exists.
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