21
   

The Half-life of Facts.

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 02:47 pm
@parados,
That's the conundrum faced by anyone who denies facts, since any such denial must come in the form of a fact-like statement. For instance, somebody who says "there are no such things as facts" is making a fact-like statement. If the statement is correct, then the statement is non-factual, which means it is not stating, as a fact, that there are no facts. It's a bit like the Liar's Paradox.

As you note, fresco has the same problem with asserting that facts are merely discursive. If facts are what everyone agrees upon at that time, then it's a fact that most people agree that facts aren't what everyone agrees upon at that time. That would mean that some facts are, in fact, non-facts. In other words, since fresco's position is a minority position, that means that some facts - such as the fact that facts are what people agree upon - are not what people agree upon.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 02:47 pm
Since people won't sit quietly and listen to the lecture series, the Perfesser has left the building.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 02:48 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
Argumentum ad frescam

Of course! It's almost too easy. Laughing
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  4  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 03:10 pm
@joefromchicago,
Your logical point is well-taken.

In addition, I notice that Fresco's original post is a classical example of what the philosopher Daniel Dennett calls "a deepity". (Fresco did invite philosophical objections, didn't he?) As the Rational Wiki explains, "[t]he term [deepity] refers to a statement that is apparently profound but actually asserts a triviality on one level and something meaningless on another. Generally, a deepity has (at least) two meanings: one that is true but trivial, and another that sounds profound, but is essentially false or meaningless and would be "earth-shattering" if true. "

Consider, then, the statement that "facts are transient and decay over time like radioactive substances do". If construed as conventional English, this is false --- but it would be profound if true. If construed as Fresco's Constructivist-Philosophish, the statement is true, but trivial. Facts are defined as whatever people agree on; what people agree on changes over time; therefore, facts are transient. Big deal. So what?

So Fresco has created a deepity. Now he wants to sell it to us as a profound philosophical insight, and is annoyed that we're not buying. My sympathy is limited.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 03:28 pm
@Thomas,
Ah, that was priceless.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 07:40 pm
@Thomas,
Joe, Thomas, Frank and Set are bright guys and participants in an archaic but nevertheless colloquial "culture" consistent with the now defunct logical positivism and naive realism. Fresco is, as I aspire to be, in tune with the complex and everchanging orientation of post-modernism. In other words his formal perspective is contemporary, and as such he should expect to be at odds with the worldview of the three muskateers and what's his name.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 07:46 pm
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:

Joe, Thomas, Frank and Set are bright guys and members of a metaphysical "culture" consistent with the now defunct logical positivism. Fresco is, as I aspire to be, consistent with the complex and everchanging orientation of post-modernism. In other words his perspective is contemporary, and as such he should expect to be at odds with the worldview of the three muskateers and what's his name.


Nothing really wrong with Fresco's perspective...or yours, JL. It's just that neither of you allows for the possibility of being wrong. (He would go into nonsense about the meaning of "wrong.")

I do not know the true nature of the REALITY of existence. It could be any of the possibilities offered for consideration here...and elsewhere in philosophic literature.

It may be something humans cannot even come close to understanding.

Whatever it is...IT IS.

You have a chance actually to do what you claim to be doing.

Take that opportunity.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  4  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 08:30 pm
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:
Joe, Thomas, Frank and Set are bright guys and participants in an archaic but nevertheless colloquial "culture" consistent with the now defunct logical positivism and naive realism. Fresco is, as I aspire to be, in tune with the complex and everchanging orientation of post-modernism.

Are you suggesting that your intellectual cliquishness and identity politics rise to the level of a coherent argument against our views?
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 08:38 pm
@JLNobody,
I see you decided to "everchange" your orientation just between your statement and your signature.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 10:22 pm
@JLNobody,
Addendum:
That was a sloppy post, off the top of my head. But I'll make only one qualification: My reference to Fresco's "formal perspective" refers to his intellectual position, but with the acknowledgement that he (as well as I) operates in everyday "colloquial" life from a stance of naive realism--I think everyone does. But he is (as well as I) aware of the severe limitations of its epistemology. And he is (as well as I) simply pointing this out to the muskateers.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 10:27 pm
@parados,
I don't understand, parados. Sounds like it may be interesting.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Oct, 2013 05:21 am
@JLNobody,
Jl, this thread includes powerful arguments against constructivism, including a few logical paradoxes presented by Parados, Joe and Thomas, that IMO definitively destroy Fresco's position. I have myself raised the moral dimension of saying the truth, asking if it was ok to lie in a post-modern perspective. He hasn't shown any interest in discussing any of it...

Will you?
0 Replies
 
Ding an Sich
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Oct, 2013 06:10 am
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:

Joe, Thomas, Frank and Set are bright guys and participants in an archaic but nevertheless colloquial "culture" consistent with the now defunct logical positivism and naive realism. Fresco is, as I aspire to be, in tune with the complex and everchanging orientation of post-modernism. In other words his formal perspective is contemporary, and as such he should expect to be at odds with the worldview of the three muskateers and what's his name.


Their positions may be consistent with logical positivism and naive realism, but that doesn't imply that their positions are still prone to the same errors as the aforementioned positions.

Imo, Fresco's position is not too terribly exciting or fruitful. Nor is it all that contemporary. Maybe 50 years ago contemporary, but nothing interesting. Or, on the face of it, consistent (unless that's what he's aiming for).
parados
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Oct, 2013 06:57 am
@JLNobody,
In your post you attempt to overturn the observations of the three musketeers, as you call them.

Then your signature says this:
Quote:
The spirit of civil conversation consists in building on another's observation, not overturning it.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Oct, 2013 07:18 am
@Ding an Sich,
I of course agree that the constructivist postion is nothing new. Vico, the first acknowledged constructivist dates to the 17th. century. What is new is the terminology used in the book I cited at the start of this thread coupled with the analyses of language as non-representational and cognitively directive, from the 1930's onwards.(In opposition to logical positivism as cited by JLN) If the ephemeral nature of "facts" is acknowledged, it seems to me at least, to undermine any attempts at pursuing or referring to "reality" as though it were a domain of "facts" or some sort of fixed existential or epistemological state independent of the activities and needs of its advocates or pursuers. Indeed, it seems as though "reality" were like the apocryphal carrot attached by a stick to the head of a donkey. What "science" functionally pursues is enhanced control practices whose elegance and cohesion is less likely to be expressible in terms everyday language or logic as its history unfolds. And donkeys are thankfully in the minority amongst scientists.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Oct, 2013 07:34 am
@parados,
parados wrote:

In your post you attempt to overturn the observations of the three musketeers, as you call them.

Then your signature says this:
Quote:
The spirit of civil conversation consists in building on another's observation, not overturning it.



As evidenced by the post above, Fresco's main difficulty is in acknowledging that there is a huge difference between "knowing or understanding the REALITY and being able to describe it"...and THE REALITY ITSELF.

He insists that humans determine REALITY.

Now don't get me wrong...there is, of course, the possibility that humans do indeed determine the REALITY...and that the REALITY is totally dependent upon human observation.

But that may be a crock. Humans may be as insignificant in the nature of the REALITY as the planet Earth is to the entire of the cosmos.

I am among the group JL dismissively refers to as the Three Musketeers and What’s His Name. All I’ve ever said is that I do not know the true nature of the REALITY of existence…and I am not willing to accept what he and Fresco are accepting as truth.

This discussion is a farce. JL and Fresco’s dismissal of logical positivism and naïve realism is absurd…and offered as it is (as though it is revelation from on high) is best described as slap-stick philosophy.
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Oct, 2013 08:51 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Your logical point is well-taken.

Thanks. That isn't said nearly enough.

Further, since you noted that fresco wants actual philosophical comments, I'll add to my previous remarks that fresco's position suffers from something akin to G.E. Moore's naturalistic fallacy. If facts are whatever everyone agrees upon, then that leaves an open question: "does everyone agree on that?" And it's turtles all the way down after that unless fresco can point to something and say "that's a fact and it's not subject to general agreement."

Thomas wrote:
In addition, I notice that Fresco's original post is a classical example of what the philosopher Daniel Dennett calls "a deepity".

That's awesome - I'll have to use that. If anyone is interested in Dennett's take on "deepities," skip to the 30:00 mark of this YouTube video.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Oct, 2013 08:53 am
@Frank Apisa,
Here's a revelation from on low . Twisted Evil
"Reality" is a human concept !
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Oct, 2013 09:03 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Here's a revelation from on low . Twisted Evil
"Reality" is a human concept !


Here's a better one:

REALITY may be a human concept.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Oct, 2013 09:05 am
@Frank Apisa,
And if you had viewed Joe's link...

The concept of REALITY is a human concept!
 

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