1
   

facts in the courtroom v. facts in the laboratory

 
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 09:18 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil. Albuquerque;126148 wrote:
From the sentence did they found it or not ? What do you conclude ?


That they found it or not. I don't understand your question. They found the cause of polio. That is an historical fact. Do they know the analysis of cause. No. They are not even philosophers, and I am sure thay had more urgent things to do than investigate the analysis of cause. Like finding out the cause of polio. Why don't you take a breath or two, think about what you are asking, and then ask it?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 09:24 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;126150 wrote:
That they found it or not. I don't understand your question. They found the cause of polio. That is an historical fact. Do they know the analysis of cause. No. They are not even philosophers, and I am sure thay had more urgent things to do than investigate the analysis of cause. Like finding out the cause of polio. Why don't you take a breath or two, think about what you are asking, and then ask it?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 09:27 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil. Albuquerque;126152 wrote:


But they don't know what causation is, and they did find the cause (and cure) or polio. So, how do you explain that? I doubt whether most working scientists even care much about what causation is. If asked, many would say that they leave that to philosophers. Most would ask you not to bother them with irrelevant philosophical questions. And I would say they are right to say so.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 09:30 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
But they don't know what causation is, and they did find the cause (and cure) or polio. So, how do you explain that? I doubt whether most working scientists even care much about what causation is. If asked, many would say that they leave that to philosophers. Most would ask you not to bother them with irrelevant philosophical questions. And I would say they are right to say so.


As it is, that implies that they know what cause is even if they cannot explain it, witch is different of course...

---------- Post added 02-08-2010 at 10:34 AM ----------

So you beg the question again you say, or agree, its irrelevant...Okidoki !

---------- Post added 02-08-2010 at 10:37 AM ----------

...I have this awkward impression that if you had an argument with yourself in a parallel reality you would say to your clone exacly what you just have said to me...now, I wonder why ? Very Happy
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 10:55 am
@Deckard,
[QUOTE=kennethamy;126117] "truth values" do you think there are. And, by the way, what do you mean by "truth-value"? In classical logic we have the saying, "partly false, completely false".[/QUOTE] I tend to think "absolute truth" and "absolute certainty" are not possible to obtain in the "real" world. At best we get approximations to truth to which we lend more or less credibility. The same applies to assertions of "fact". The factual testimony of the twice convicted felon given a plea deal for his "cooperation" is less credible, less reliable, has less truth value, than that of the responsible member of the community known for his honesty.
DNA evidence has more truth value than fingerprint evidence.
Newton's law of gravity has more truth value than speculations about the exact history of biological evolution.

It is precisely in assigning probabilities of being true or various weightings of truth value to the various pieces of evidence or facts that one makes a decision about the likely "truth" and reaches a decision or verdict. In all complex decision making situations the various facts are examined and weighted and a decision is reached (medicine, law, politics) which may or may not be accurate, reliable and predictive. People who assign equal value to all facts are the ones that can not make good decisions. Knowing what facts are important and what facts are relevant is the key to good judgment. "Partly false, completely false" does not work outside the perfect realm of logic. "Partly true, partly false" or "probably true, possibly false" or some other weighted judgment about the probability (not the certainty) of propositions factuality (probability of being true) is the pragmatic and practical truth.

A fact is a known truth. Known how and by whom? Truth as correspondence, consistency, coherence or consensus? Facts of law and facts of science are different both in their epistemology and their definition of truth. Not all facts are equal. Not all truths are equal. To label something as "scientific truth" generally lends a greater degree of confidence and reliability to the assertion precisely because the epistemology and definition of truth in science is different than that in other areas of "knowledge".
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 11:13 am
@prothero,
prothero;126169 wrote:
I tend to think "absolute truth" and "absolute certainty" are not possible to obtain in the "real" world. At best we get approximations to truth to which we lend more or less credibility. The same applies to assertions of "fact". The factual testimony of the twice convicted felon given a plea deal for his "cooperation" is less credible, less reliable, has less truth value, than that of the responsible member of the community known for his honesty.
DNA evidence has more truth value than fingerprint evidence.
Newton's law of gravity has more truth value than speculations about the exact history of biological evolution.

It is precisely in assigning probabilities of being true or various weightings of truth value to the various pieces of evidence or facts that one makes a decision about the likely "truth" and reaches a decision or verdict. In all complex decision making situations the various facts are examined and weighted and a decision is reached (medicine, law, politics) which may or may not be accurate, reliable and predictive. People who assign equal value to all facts are the ones that can not make good decisions. Knowing what facts are important and what facts are relevant is the key to good judgment. "Partly false, completely false" does not work outside the perfect realm of logic. "Partly true, partly false" or "probably true, possibly false" or some other weighted judgment about the probability (not the certainty) of propositions factuality (probability of being true) is the pragmatic and practical truth.

A fact is a known truth. Known how and by whom? Truth as correspondence, consistency, coherence or consensus? Facts of law and facts of science are different both in their epistemology and their definition of truth. Not all facts are equal. Not all truths are equal. To label something as "scientific truth" generally lends a greater degree of confidence and reliability to the assertion precisely because the epistemology and definition of truth in science is different than that in other areas of "knowledge".


What is truth value? Importance, confirmation weight? what? In classical logic there are two truth values: true and false. Truth values have to do with whether a proposition is true or false. I have no idea what you have in mind by the term, "truth value" and, to tell you the truth, it does not interest me.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 12:02 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;126175 wrote:
What is truth value? Importance, confirmation weight? what? In classical logic there are two truth values: true and false. Truth values have to do with whether a proposition is true or false. I have no idea what you have in mind by the term, "truth value" and, to tell you the truth, it does not interest me.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 12:59 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;126153 wrote:
But they don't know what causation is, and they did find the cause (and cure) or polio. So, how do you explain that? I doubt whether most working scientists even care much about what causation is. If asked, many would say that they leave that to philosophers. Most would ask you not to bother them with irrelevant philosophical questions. And I would say they are right to say so.


How would they know they found the cause, if they didn't know what a cause was? I can find a dime on the street, but if I don't know what a dime is, I won't know what I've found.

Clearly if a scientist said, "I found the cause of polio", he would presumably know what a cause is. Otherwise, he was just be being nonsensical.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 02:19 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;126194 wrote:
How would they know they found the cause, if they didn't know what a cause was? I can find a dime on the street, but if I don't know what a dime is, I won't know what I've found.

Clearly if a scientist said, "I found the cause of polio", he would presumably know what a cause is. Otherwise, he was just be being nonsensical.



They can know that a cause is what explains an event (or a kind of event). But I am talking about an analysis of the concept of causation. Anyone who speaks English knows what the word "cause" means. It is a common term in English. There is a difference between knowing the meaning of a term, and knowing the philosophical analysis of the concept. I was talking about the latter.
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 03:52 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;126175 wrote:
What is truth value? Importance, confirmation weight? what? In classical logic there are two truth values: true and false. Truth values have to do with whether a proposition is true or false. I have no idea what you have in mind by the term, "truth value" and, to tell you the truth, it does not interest me.
Well like it or not, in the real world, dealing with real decisions in law, in medicine, in almost any area we do not know with absolute certainty if a proposed fact or set of facts is/are "true or false" but we tend to have varying degrees of confidence or lack of confidence dependent on the source asserting, previous experience and the method of determining the "facts".

Facts determined by the scientific method tend to be given more weight than facts of history, or facts of testimony (recall or memory). Facts which can be directly demonstrated by experiment tend to be given more weight than "facts" for which there is only the preponderance of evidence. It is not possible to determine "true or false" in many if not most instances or in any highly complex situation, so we weigh the evidence (the facts) assign various probablities of truth, apply reason and make a decision. Not too different from philosophy as reasoned speculation as opposed to metaphysical truth.

There is a reason we talk about hard and soft sciences. Some legal facts are also scientific facts but most legal facts are not scientific facts. Legal facts generally do not have the reliability or predictive power of scientific facts. We all know and accept this but it creates difficulty with the concept of "knowing", the concept of "fact" and the concept of "truth". It is because scientific truth is often truth by correspondence, coherence, consistency and consensus together and the predictive power and reliability of science that we find scientific facts so attractive. A beacon of relative certainty in an uncertain world.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 04:33 pm
@prothero,
prothero;126245 wrote:
Well like it or not, in the real world, dealing with real decisions in law, in medicine, in almost any area we do not know with absolute certainty if a proposed fact or set of facts is/are "true or false" but we tend to have varying degrees of confidence or lack of confidence dependent on the source asserting, previous experience and the method of determining the "facts".

Facts determined by the scientific method tend to be given more weight than facts of history, or facts of testimony (recall or memory). Facts which can be directly demonstrated by experiment tend to be given more weight than "facts" for which there is only the preponderance of evidence. It is not possible to determine "true or false" in many if not most instances or in any highly complex situation, so we weigh the evidence (the facts) assign various probablities of truth, apply reason and make a decision. Not too different from philosophy as reasoned speculation as opposed to metaphysical truth.

There is a reason we talk about hard and soft sciences. Some legal facts are also scientific facts but most legal facts are not scientific facts. Legal facts generally do not have the reliability or predictive power of scientific facts. We all know and accept this but it creates difficulty with the concept of "knowing", the concept of "fact" and the concept of "truth". It is because scientific truth is often truth by correspondence, coherence, consistency and consensus together and the predictive power and reliability of science that we find scientific facts so attractive. A beacon of relative certainty in an uncertain world.


I did not claim that we knew anything with absolute certainty. But, if we know some proposition is true, then it is true. How could we know it is true, and it not be true? If a statement is true, then it is true. How much weight we give to a true statement has to do which how much evidence it adds. That is a logical matter. For instance. suppose it is true that there are dark clouds gathering. We may conclude from that that it is going to rain. But if it is true that dark clouds are gathering, it is true. Whether or not we are certain of it, is a different matter. And, of course, how much we should weigh that fact as evidence that it is going to rain, is still a different matter. Once we believe it is true, how much it weighs as evidence has nothing to do with its truth. And now it is determined that it is true does not matter in regard to its weight as evidence, given that it is true.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 10:38 pm
@kennethamy,
Facts are the object of science.
Laws are the object of the legal profession.

Laws trump facts in the courtroom.
e.g. some facts are inadmissible

Facts trump the law in the laboratory.
e.g. even if the law forbids the belief that the earth to go round the sun the facts would still prove otherwise. (I guess I'm thinking of Galileo in this example. The facts of his observations v. the laws of the inquisitors. )

Laws are related to authority.
Facts are related to observation (empiricism).
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 11:39 pm
@Deckard,
Are we interested in facts in court vs facts in science
or
laws versus facts?
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 12:22 am
@prothero,
prothero;126315 wrote:
Are we interested in facts in court vs facts in science
or
laws versus facts?


Yes I know. But still I think comparing laws to facts the way I am trying to do may shed some light on the comparison of facts in the court with facts in science.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 06:45 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;126302 wrote:
Facts are the object of science.
Laws are the object of the legal profession.

Laws trump facts in the courtroom.
e.g. some facts are inadmissible

Facts trump the law in the laboratory.
e.g. even if the law forbids the belief that the earth to go round the sun the facts would still prove otherwise. (I guess I'm thinking of Galileo in this example. The facts of his observations v. the laws of the inquisitors. )

Laws are related to authority.
Facts are related to observation (empiricism).


It is a fact that there are laws, and it is a fact that a law is a law. The fact that some facts are inadmissible in a court does not mean that laws trump facts in court. The fact is still a fact. But for certain reasons (usually good ones) certain facts are not allowed to count.

It is ironic and amusing that you say that facts "trump" anything in the laboratory in the wake of Climategate. Apparently, in science, ideology trumps facts in Climate science, anyway. I would rather have the law trump facts than ideology, any day of the week.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 04:14 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;126381 wrote:
It is a fact that there are laws, and it is a fact that a law is a law. The fact that some facts are inadmissible in a court does not mean that laws trump facts in court. The fact is still a fact. But for certain reasons (usually good ones) certain facts are not allowed to count.

I don't understand the distinction you are making between trumping and rendering inadmissible. If a lawyer uses a law to get some factual evidence ruled out as inadmissible hasn't the law trumped the fact. But I'm not attached to the word "trump" so we don't need to quibble over this any more than necessary. Maybe there's a better word. In any case, you seem to have gathered my general meaning.
kennethamy;126381 wrote:

It is ironic and amusing that you say that facts "trump" anything in the laboratory in the wake of Climategate. Apparently, in science, ideology trumps facts in Climate science, anyway. I would rather have the law trump facts than ideology, any day of the week.

I suppose you think that ideology never finds its way into the law books?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 04:54 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;126545 wrote:


I suppose you think that ideology never finds its way into the law books?


No, I don't think that at all. But what has that to do with it? You (and others) think that ideology does not and ought not to operate in science. And I agree it ought not to do so. But it certainly does, as we have seen it does. I don't know whether it is even wrong for it to do so in law, but if it is, two wrongs, as they say, don't make a right. There is no question but that it is wrong in science.
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 05:14 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;125900 wrote:
Facts are facts, namely truths. But, according to the rules of evidence, some facts are admissible in court, and some facts are not admissible. This will vary as between criminal and civil cases, and also as among states depending on whether the action is federal or state.



There is no fact uninterpreted.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 05:34 pm
@GoshisDead,
kennethamy;126381 wrote:
I would rather have the law trump facts than ideology, any day of the week.


Deckard;126545 wrote:

I suppose you think that ideology never finds its way into the law books?


kennethamy;126560 wrote:
No, I don't think that at all. But what has that to do with it?


kennethamy;126381 wrote:
I would rather have the law trump facts than ideology, any day of the week.



...............................................................................................................
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 12:58 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead;126570 wrote:
There is no fact uninterpreted.


Depends how, and depends when, and depends by whom. Scientists should interpret scientific facts. But not ideologists masquerading as scientists.
 

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
Proof of nonexistence of free will - Discussion by litewave
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
Destroy My Belief System, Please! - Discussion by Thomas
Star Wars in Philosophy. - Discussion by Logicus
Existence of Everything. - Discussion by Logicus
Is it better to be feared or loved? - Discussion by Black King
 
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 08/07/2020 at 10:00:44