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The Half-life of Facts.

 
 
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 09:12 am
@IRFRANK,
The sky is not always blue indeed, but if you attach date, time and place to an observation, i.e. if you say "the sky over Dorktown-sur-Seine on Sunday 20 oct. 2013 @ 10am was blue", then that fact has an infinite life. Probably false in this case as I invented the town's name...

Fresco likes to confuse himself and others in the grand rollercoster of words, and we can indeed reassess our understanding of facts (how they came about, what they mean or imply - you are right that knowledge is understanding of facts, via invented theories), but facts themselves, when defined precisely as observations, are true or false forever.

Do you think there will come a time when Hitler never existed? 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 09:15 am
@fresco,
Sorry. Im going to pass on this discussion. Its been said that 80% of communication is NON-VERBAL.

That 20% were stuck with seems to be investing several participants with "mean as a snake" attitudes.



fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 10:39 am
@farmerman,
I'm pleased you participated. It is indeed a pity that some contemporary participants refuse to read anything in the spirit of inquiry and are fixated on a posturing exercise.
contrex
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 11:31 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
It is indeed a pity that some contemporary participants refuse to read anything in the spirit of inquiry


Translation: It is indeed a pity that some people don't agree with me.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 11:52 am
@contrex,
Thank you for illustrating my point.
Quote:
..... fixated on a posturing exercise.


I couldn't care less if some A2K members agree with me or not. I have encountered sufficient "real life" agreement for some of my views from professional philosophers to allow me to smile at some of the lay assumptions being spouted here. What really annoys me here is people who refuse to read on the subject, especially those who ignore references I am accustomed to providing as a stimulus for discussion elsewhere.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 01:21 pm
@fresco,
You're right Fresco. Usually we (myself included) do not deserve the efforts you make on our behalf.
0 Replies
 
IRFRANK
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 01:53 pm
@Olivier5,
No, I think he is alive and well and in the TEA party. 😉

Anyway, what good are historical facts, other than reference points, if they depend on place and time. What about scientific facts? Such as gasoline fumes are flammable, then and now? Fuel, oxygen and temperature provide ignition?

I guess there can always be changes to the paradigm.
IRFRANK
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 01:57 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
mean as a snake" attitudes.


They are non-poisonous.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 02:47 pm
Fresco...as I said earlier...and others have said several times in great detail...

...you are confusing our perceptions of REALITY and our ability to describe those perceptions...with REALITY.

You are an intelligent individual...and by now you must understand this.

But you persist in arguing what is a self-defeating case.

REALITY is whatever IS.

It is independent of our perception of it...or our ability to describe our perceptions of it...

...EVEN IF IT IS DEPENDENT UPON OUR PERCEPTIONS OF IT.

If REALITY is only our perception of it...then that IS the REALITY.

This entire "half-life of facts" fiasco seems contrived...something you saw and decided to introduce because you have been taken to task so often by so many people on your thesis.

This particular effort in that direction has been a disaster.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 02:48 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:
I invented the town's name...


Tu nous rigoles, toi !
0 Replies
 
raprap
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 03:55 pm
Query--

Aa bridge is built using standard 'facts' that are known to be in error. The bridge was built in 1856. The basic scientific tenet used for the construction was found to be in error in 1903. The bridge has been maintained, is in good shape and is still in use today.

Would you use this bridge?

Rap
raprap
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 04:00 pm
@Olivier5,
But even scientific facts are lost and rediscovered.

Example--a crystalline edge is one of the sharpest edges possible. This edge was first discovered in the 'stone age'. Then we learned how to forge metal and this knowledge was lost. It was only rediscovered recently.

Rap
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 04:01 pm
@raprap,
Depending upon the error ( foundation snafu, suspension calcs etc) , Id at least ask for appropriate monitors to provide us with real time data on bridge responses, and, then,,, Id probably use it,(with my camera in the backseat at all times)
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 11:02 pm
@fresco,
What is hilariously ironic here is that you are denying that there are any such things as facts, and yet you insist upon your world view (largely built upon appeals to authority) in which process you inferentially label your opinion as fact. The essential failing of your position is that we exist and are, or are attempting to communicate. So whence hunanity? If reality is just a construct of human cultural communication, where did humans come from.? If anyone is invoking god here, it is you with your insistence upon reality being only a human construct--because a god as creator would be the only way to posit the human existence from which reality allegedly derives.

You also cracked me up with your claims about other "professional" philosophers with whom you discuss these topics. I'm sure that when members of the Flat Earth Society congregate, they all readily agree with one another's points of view.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Oct, 2013 12:11 am
@Setanta,
Are you really too pig-headed to read what I have actually written ?
1.Where have I said "there are no such things as facts"?
2.Where have "reality is just a construct" ?

1. "Facts" are STATEMENTS about agreements as to "what is the case". Such statements are prone to continuouss revision and re-interpretation as indicated by my first citation.
2. "Reality" is A WORD USED in contextual negotiations about facticity. Anything more is unsupported speculation.

My focus has been on that seemingly unique ability of humans to use language as a means of attempting to control their lives. In doing so I am following the acception academic convention of refereing to some of the thoughts of acclaimed philosophers such as Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Rorty and Quine, who reject language as mere "description".

Whose thoughts are you following ? Mo the bartender ? Or maybe all you need is Setanta the historian who doesn't want to look a fool on philosophy threads ?

And if you really want to discuss "existence" with me, you have a lot of reading to do !



Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Oct, 2013 04:37 am
@fresco,
You really have a hard time governing your temper when you are questioned, and your opinion rejected. Apparently, you can't discuss something like this for any length of time with someone who disagrees without sinking to personal slurs.

" 'Reality' is A WORD USED in contextual negotiations about facticity. Anything more is unsupported speculation."

I see no functional difference between that and saying that reality is just a construct, nor that there are no such thing as facts. (You really need to drop the silly practice of putting words in quotes.) If it had been your intent to discuss how humans use language to attempt to control their lives, you ought to have said so at the outset, rather than pussyfooting around with a discussion of facts and facticity. Of course, you drag in your appeals to authority, but hilariously, you say they are rejecting language as mere description. That's precisely what i have been criticizing in your presentation--that you don't distinguish between reality and descriptions of reality. I have no objection to your claims about descriptions of reality, but i do dissent from a claim that any evidence of reality which is not couched in the terms you prefer is nothing more than unsupported speculation. You make that claim (and you offer nothing more than your opinion here, no matter how many rock stars of philosophy about whom you name-drop) which are only your opinion, but you want to treat them as fact. You want people to accept them without question because the gods of your preferred subject have so ordained. You sedulously avoid answering a question such as "whence humanity," because it involves a reality which clearly cannot be contingent on human language. That humans cannot infallibly and accurately describe objective reality is not evidence that such a reality does not exist. The last time i asked you such questions you got nasty like this and indulged outright name-calling. See if you can actually discuss such things, and deal with the rejection of your cherished shibboleths without resorting to nasty personal reflections.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Oct, 2013 06:05 am
@raprap,
Society can forget some facts but they don't become untrue as a result.

Beside, a flintstone is not actually crystalline so not sure your example is well chosen.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Oct, 2013 06:12 am
@IRFRANK,
Quote:
Anyway, what good are historical facts, other than reference points, if they depend on place and time. What about scientific facts? Such as gasoline fumes are flammable, then and now? Fuel, oxygen and temperature provide ignition?

That's a generalisation of individual facts, and indeed is more useful than any single fact. But it still has a certain domain of validity, eg in terms of temperature range or presence of oxygen. These "generalised facts" are also quite durable. I doubt think there ever comes a time when gazoline isn 't flammable.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Oct, 2013 06:17 am
@Olivier5,
You might want to revise your second statement.

Quote:
Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz . . .


Source at Wikipedia
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Oct, 2013 07:36 am
@Setanta,
You appear to want to play the chicken and egg game and look for "ultimate stuff" to be called "objective reality". Why ? Maybe because what we call "cognition" feels comfortable with a causal chain argument, even though "causality" and "time" are recognized in both physics and philosophy as psychological constructs.

As for your "evidence of existence" argument. How is your assumption of an objective reality from whence all comes any different from a theistic argument for a god which also "cannot be described accurately". Note the denial of language as description here. Both gods and ultimate stuff can be considered functional cognitive constructs.

IMO there are two possible ways to go with respect to language.
Either (1)we deflate language as (just) a complex form of communicative behavior in our species or (2) we assign language to the role of a creative agent with respect to a transient constructed species specific reality. I have sympathy for the first, but I am drawn to the second.

I do not treat my opinions as "facts" in your lay sense of the word. I treat them as informed statements about the latest views of language and cognition supported by other thinkers in the field.

As for this pseudo-handwringing over name calling of which you are the acknowleged arch-offender, its about time you stopped hiding behind it as excuse for doing a bit of research outside your comfort zone. Most of us acknowledge your quite interesting historical research which you eagerly exposite at the drop of a hat, but philosophy is another ball game irrespective of your rather childish attempt at denigration of its status by use of the term "pop-star".
 

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