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The solution to induction
Posted: 25 June 2011 09:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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dougsmith - 25 June 2011 05:34 PM

Given what I’ve read in this thread, I don’t believe you are familiar with the definitions. And don’t be so quick to think you are better at figuring things out than people who have gone before. First try to learn what they’ve said. The mere fact that they are not you is not sufficient to prove them wrong.

Exactly. You started a thread ostensibly soliciting us to validate your reasoning.  But you’ve behaved as if you’re already certain you’re right and are merely being defensive and argumentative—in other words, you’re acting like a troll. 

Substantively, you can’t misuse philosophical terms in a philosophical argument and then hand wave that those who disagree with your usage are just bounded by the past.  Philosophy is precise; if you use a term in a non-traditional sense, you need to define it, which you haven’t done.  And that makes your reasoning at best squishy, though I think muddled is more accurate.

Also, it’s “existence”.

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Posted: 25 June 2011 10:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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The manner I had tackled descartes was pushed to the back of mine mind years ago, and I misremembered my solution.

“I am, therefore I think I am”

Everything that has the concept of self exists. Everything that can identify concepts thinks. Therefore, anything that recognizes itself must think it exists.

Deductive reasoning is defined as ‘if the premise istrue the conclusion must be true’ while inductive reason is defined as ‘if the premise is true the conclusion is probably true.’ Any argument that is broken down enough will arrive at a point where the only reason for it is inductive.

I understand this is a classic example; all men are mortal, I am a man, therefore I am mortal. But how can one assert true that all men are mortal? Induction.

So, if all premises might fundamentally be false by virtue of being inductive, then that implies all conclusions produced by arguments of deduction might be false by virtue of being built on arguments of induction. My supposition is that this is acceptable, as they are both needed to, and are part of, reason and niether will produce anything alone.

Edit - I realize this position is more than a little different than where I started this thread, I think it would be fair to say my understanding is still evolving. Whether that takes me to the same place as my predeccessors, or someplace new I don’t yet know. I will use the maps, insights and descriptions mine forefathers left me, but I will forge my own path and not accept the broken paths as the only valid ones.

[ Edited: 26 June 2011 06:11 AM by Stormy Fairweather ]
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Posted: 26 June 2011 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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The solution to induction is not epistemic, but pragmatic.  Put simply, if induction is not reliable, then no other method of prediction is.

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Posted: 26 June 2011 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Mingy Jongo - 26 June 2011 09:00 AM

The solution to induction is not epistemic, but pragmatic.  Put simply, if induction is not reliable, then no other method of prediction is.

Right. Indeed, induction is simply a way of formalizing a rational notion of “prediction”; viz., asserting that the future will be a certain way because the past was that way. There is no other reliable notion of prediction.

(Of course, the whole notion of ‘reliability’ assumes induction—that something can be relied upon in the future assumes the future is like the past in that regard).

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Posted: 26 June 2011 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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SF
I understand this is a classic example; all men are mortal, I am a man, therefore I am mortal. But how can one assert true that all men are mortal? Induction.

Because all men who came before have died. It is the “proof” offered in a deductive proposition.

all men who came before have died, therefore man is mortal.

[ Edited: 26 June 2011 05:02 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 26 June 2011 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Write4U - 26 June 2011 04:38 PM

Because all men who came before have died. It is the “proof” offered in a deductive proposition.

all men who came before have died, therefore man is mortal.

This is inductive, not deductive.

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Posted: 26 June 2011 06:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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dougsmith - 26 June 2011 06:03 PM
Write4U - 26 June 2011 04:38 PM

Because all men who came before have died. It is the “proof” offered in a deductive proposition.

all men who came before have died, therefore man is mortal.

This is inductive, not deductive.

Yes I see, but is that not the beginning of any premise which is based on evidence? Once the premise has been established, everything else is deductive from that point on, no?
Would it not be useless to make deductions from a premise, then question the premise itself?

Learning question: All men who came before have died. I am a man, therefore I will die. Where does that fall?

[ Edited: 26 June 2011 06:57 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 27 June 2011 01:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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That is what my suppostition is; human reason is the proper use of both induction and deduction in harmony.

Each validates the other.

Your example is deductive, but is built from induction.

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Posted: 27 June 2011 04:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Write4U - 26 June 2011 06:48 PM

Learning question: All men who came before have died. I am a man, therefore I will die. Where does that fall?

Inductive. “All X’s up till now have been Y” does not logically imply anything whatever about future X’s.

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Posted: 27 June 2011 06:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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I stand corrected on my evaluation of Write4U’s example.

I had equated “All men who came before have died” with “All men from long enough ago died.”

Edit - Actually, I am not so sure I was wrong. The premise is inductive, which is what you and I both said, doug, but if that premise is true then the conclusion is neccessarily true. Once again, it just seems as though the distiction muddles communication and reason.

Exaclty what good has come out of dividing reason into induction and deduction, and what good may come from recognizing them both as parts of the same function?

[ Edited: 27 June 2011 06:54 AM by Stormy Fairweather ]
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Posted: 27 June 2011 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 27 June 2011 06:11 AM

Edit - Actually, I am not so sure I was wrong. The premise is inductive, which is what you and I both said, doug, but if that premise is true then the conclusion is neccessarily true.

The conclusion does not deductively follow. Just because all men in the past have died doesn’t mean you will. The entire argument is inductive.

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Posted: 27 June 2011 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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domokato - 27 June 2011 02:08 PM
Stormy Fairweather - 27 June 2011 06:11 AM

Edit - Actually, I am not so sure I was wrong. The premise is inductive, which is what you and I both said, doug, but if that premise is true then the conclusion is neccessarily true.

The conclusion does not deductively follow. Just because all men in the past have died doesn’t mean you will. The entire argument is inductive.

I see that, but indulge me for one more question,

All men die from old age if not from other causes, I am a man, therefore I will die from some cause.

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Posted: 27 June 2011 02:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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I think my problem with “I think, therefore I am” is that, while true, it doesn’t really seem to say much unless you define what “I” is, and what it means to exist. But the argument seems to at least bound the meanings of the words; it implicitly defines “I” as “that which thinks” and “existence” as “that which is required for thinking”, as such:

1. Existence is a prerequisite for being able to think.
2. I think.
3. Therefore I must exist.

We see that it is valid, but is premise 1 true? It seems we have to accept it as an axiom (i.e. a definition for “existence”).

In order for induction to work, you have to assume that the universe is consistent. And for the most part, it is (aside from quantum effects). Induction is generalizing from specifics. Theoretically, in a universe without quantum effects, if you work down to the basic physics of any argument, you can unify deduction and induction. In our universe, I don’t think there is any hope of that.

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Posted: 27 June 2011 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Write4U - 27 June 2011 02:26 PM
domokato - 27 June 2011 02:08 PM
Stormy Fairweather - 27 June 2011 06:11 AM

Edit - Actually, I am not so sure I was wrong. The premise is inductive, which is what you and I both said, doug, but if that premise is true then the conclusion is neccessarily true.

The conclusion does not deductively follow. Just because all men in the past have died doesn’t mean you will. The entire argument is inductive.

I see that, but indulge me for one more question,

All men die from old age if not from other causes, I am a man, therefore I will die from some cause.

It is also inductive. The only difference is dying “from some cause”, but the form of the argument is the same.

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Posted: 27 June 2011 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Notice how the standard example of deduction is rendered into one of induction by slightly different phrasing that has the same meaning.

What does that imply?

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