21
   

The Half-life of Facts.

 
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 12:06 pm
@fresco,
You should know, you always pretend to possess it, and so charitably dispense it to we, poor, ignorant and uncomprehending peasants . . .
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 12:10 pm
@Setanta,
Cue for the Peasant's Revolt ? Mr. Green
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 12:11 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
We could carry on ad infinitum about the concept of "evidence". But surely such a concept is meaningful in what we call scientfic or causal paradigms but not when facticity itself is under scrutiny.

I'm a simple-minded man, so can you translate this into actions for me, please? Suppose I have stolen your wallet. A security camera has recorded me doing it, and you have the relevant footage. What do you do next? Do you sue me in court for your wallet back, presenting the footage as evidence? If so, why? Also, should the judge accept my defense that with evidence and facticity themselves being philosophically-shaky concepts, she has no grounds on which to rule, so she'll need to let me walk? If not, why?
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 12:34 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
Since when did lexicographers need to study philosophy ?

They didn't. But language bears whatever meaning grammar and common usage give it, and lexicographers are the curators of language. Philosophers who claim to speak English need to play by the dictionary's rules just like everybody else.

Of course, philosophers have the right to speak philosophese rather than English. But then their words, as construed under the rules of English, become nonsense. It's like me saying: "mist stinks by definition" because, in my native language, the word "Mist" means "animal dung". While this statement would be true in my private little language, my audience will meet me with well-deserved ridicule if I pretend that I am speaking English with it. And that's what you're doing here. (With your Philosophese words standing in for my German word.)
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 12:42 pm
@Thomas,
The word "evidence" has agreed meaning in specific contexts such as court proceedings, or scientific experiments. The production of such evidence is part of a functional decision procedure usually regarding what to do next. But there is a failure of agreement in other contexts such those involving questions about the "existence of a deity" or "existence of an ultimate reality". In these cases, what some call "evidence" others dismiss as irrelevent.

Now the word "fact" implies it is supported by "evidence", but from the above such status depends on degree of agreement in particular contexts. Thus in the context we might call the Middle Ages, when there was general agreement as to the evidence for the four elements, that was "a fact". As the context shifts, so too does the status of former "facts". What worked (socially) in context 1, ceases to work in context 2. But there is no indication that there is an ultimate context involving permanent facts.





Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 12:49 pm
@fresco,
So is it okay to negotiate the holocaust out of historical existence, or is it not okay?

Same thing with global warming. Is it morally okay to deny its existence when one has clear proof of it?

In other words, is it ever immoral to lie, in a post-modern, constructivist perspective?
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 12:53 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
The word "evidence" has agreed meaning in specific contexts such as court proceedings, or scientific experiments.

And how do you decide that this is appropriate? How did you come to the conclusion that whoever drafted the scientific process and the Federal rules of evidence didn't make a mistake in bestowing its meaning on it?

fresco wrote:
But there is a failure of agreement in other contexts such those involving questions about the "existence of a deity" or "existence of an ultimate reality".

Only in academic seminars. The writers and readers of the Bible did agree on what constitutes good evidence for god, and for Jesus being his son. Each miracle in the Bible would constitute superb evidence of apologists' theological claims if it had actually happened. But beginning in the 18th century, scientists began to test putative miracles like bleeding statues and the shroud of Turin, exposing them all as forgeries. It was only then that theologians started dodging the lack of evidence on their side by claiming ipse dixit that the concept of evidence does not apply in theology.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 12:56 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Quote:
And yet another argumentum ad verecundiam.

Yet far superior to argumentum ad populum or argumentum ad tonsor tabernam

No, they're all equally fallacious.
fresco
 
  0  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 01:00 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
Philosophers who claim to speak English need to play by the dictionary's rules just like everybody else.

Laughing
Alas much of contemporary philosophy is focussed on the pitfalls of common language.

Look, I have no wish to be condescending (despite cackles from certain members of this forum), but you have not as yet offered anything in the way of a philosophical argument about the issue of "decay of facts". You have given a good account of "a common sense" view, but philosophers attempt to go beyond that and rigorously examine what we normally take to be "obvious". There are philosophical objections to the constructivist account I favor, but nobody appears to have raised them here.

Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 01:13 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
Alas much of contemporary philosophy is focussed on the pitfalls of common language.

That's okay. Physicists have the same problem when they talk about quantum mechanics. Their findings are clearly-enough expressed in mathematical models, but often have no adequate translation into plain English. But good physicists are forthright about the language they're speaking. They don't pretend to speak English when in fact they're speaking Math. Also, they can demonstrate that math is a superior language for talking about quantum phenomena. By contrast, philosophy as you practice it is just an exercise in obscurity and willful eccentricity.

fresco wrote:
I have no wish to be condescending

Is that a fact, huh.

fresco wrote:
but you have not as yet offered anything in the way of a philosophical argument about the issue of "decay of facts".

I have no obligation to. False statements are false, whether you cloak them in the mantle of philosophy or not.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 01:28 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
Now the word "fact" implies it is supported by "evidence", but from the above such status depends on degree of agreement in particular contexts.

If "facts" only exist when there is a degree of agreement then it's clear that the author's comment about "facts having a half-life" is not factual based on the degree of disagreement evidenced here.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 01:33 pm
@joefromchicago,
Joe, for my education, what are the Latin phrases for the following terms?
  • "The fallacy that you're substantively right because you claim to speak as a philosopher and your opponent does not", and
  • "The fallacy that you can wiggle your way out of losing a substantive argument with evasive jokes"
I want to impress my readers with my Latin, too, but I'm just not as good at it as Fresco.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 01:37 pm
@parados,
parados wrote:
If "facts" only exist when there is a degree of agreement then it's clear that the author's comment about "facts having a half-life" is not factual based on the degree of disagreement evidenced here.

That's a very good point. I hereby revise my answer to the original article as follows:

parados
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 01:48 pm
@Thomas,
The OP also leaves us with a logical conundrum.

Let's assume for a moment that the original theory is true, "All facts have a limited lifetime."
If something is true, then it must be a fact.
That means the original theory must be a fact.
In order for the statement to be a fact, it must mean that at some point the statement will no longer be a fact. At that point the statement will no longer be true.

That would mean the statement can't put a nail in anything since the nail will disappear releasing whatever it was supposed to have nailed down.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 01:51 pm
There actually is a logical fallacy known as argument by gibberish . . .

An explanation of the use of meaningless jargon in order to appear knowing.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 02:18 pm
@Setanta,
That's a good one. (If only it had a Latin name!) I'm surprised the argument by gibberish didn't make the top 25 on the guy's home page.
0 Replies
 
timur
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 02:22 pm
Thomas wrote:
(If only it had a Latin name.)


Argumentum ad inanis strepitus verborum.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 02:27 pm
Thankyou for those who took the trouble to look up "facticity".

However, the posturing here is getting a little tedious. If anybody has anything philosophically significant to say rather than lay platitudes about "right and wrong", " truth and falsity", or "what does he know" they are most welcome to pm me to exchange references.

I leave the thread to those who wish to indulge in the aforementioned activities.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 02:36 pm
@timur,
timur wrote:
Argumentum ad inanis strepitus verborum.

Thanks!
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 02:39 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Joe, for my education, what are the Latin phrases for the following terms?
  • "The fallacy that you're substantively right because you claim to speak as a philosopher and your opponent does not", and
  • "The fallacy that you can wiggle your way out of losing a substantive argument with evasive jokes"


Argumentum ad frescam
 

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 © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/25/2021 at 07:36:11