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What kind of universe do we need to live in for induction to work?
 Posted: 16 November 2011 07:03 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 November 2011 08:38 AM

I think I’m perfectly happy with this answer suprisingly. So if that’s the case what do I really want to know?

The problem is, abduction is a form of induction. So, back to animal faith.

I want to know what kind of universe do we need to live in for induction to work?  And failing that, at least what can’t the universe be like.

A completely deterministic universe (from the micro to the macro) throughout all of time, a clockwork universe and utterly boring with no degree of freedom.

However, the universe is evolutionary, diverse and thus, not completely inductive as such.

Specifically would induction work in a universe in which laws of nature are just regularities as Norman Swartz describes?

In such a universe, as finite beings with animal faith (that an approximation of induction is good enough to fix our beliefs), we can have inquiry and fallible knowledge of reality.

From this article HERE

On one hand, we don’t know the real probability due to our finite existence. However, given a large number of cases, we can approximate the actual probability. We don’t have to know everything to know something. Also, we don’t have to know every case to get an approximation. This approximation is sufficient to fix our beliefs and lead us to further inquiry.

From the conclusion:

For Peirce a reasoner should apply abduction, deduction and induction altogether in order to achieve a comprehensive inquiry. Abduction and deduction are the conceptual understanding of a phenomena, and induction is the quantitative verification.

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 Posted: 17 November 2011 12:38 AM [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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kkwan - 16 November 2011 07:03 PM

The problem is, abduction is a form of induction. So, back to animal faith.

But I can only think about one thing at a time.

A completely deterministic universe (from the micro to the macro) throughout all of time, a clockwork universe and utterly boring with no degree of freedom.

I really have little time for that point of view, I can only agree to disagree.

Specifically would induction work in a universe in which laws of nature are just regularities as Norman Swartz describes?

In such a universe, as finite beings with animal faith (that an approximation of induction is good enough to fix our beliefs), we can have inquiry and fallible knowledge of reality.

Can we? I’d say no it’s impossible because tht’s how it seem to me but what I’m looking for is A) why I’m wrong so I can change my mind or B) What does work.

From this article HERE

I’ll have a look.

On one hand, we don’t know the real probability due to our finite existence. However, given a large number of cases, we can approximate the actual probability. From the conclusion:

I think we don’t know how or why probability works, in the case of induction, which is perhaps another way of putting the problem.

Stephen

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 Posted: 19 November 2011 07:09 AM [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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StephenLawrence - 17 November 2011 12:38 AM

Can we? I’d say no it’s impossible because tht’s how it seem to me but what I’m looking for is A) why I’m wrong so I can change my mind or B) What does work.

I think you are wrong because it is not necessary to know everything in order to know something.

For induction to work, we need the following:

1. The past, present and the future of all events in the universe are exactly knowable.

2.  We must be immortal and omniscient as well.

1. is not found in the universe as such and 2. is impossible.

Thus, Hume’s challenge on induction is unanswerable.

From this article HERE

The question posed by Hume is: What rational justification is there for making this inference? More generally, what reason do we have to believe that our conclusions about observed instances may be extended (even with probability) to include unobserved instances? The same basic question is most frequently framed in temporal terms: What reason do we have to think that we can draw reliable conclusions about future (unobserved) instances on the basis of past (observed) instances?

So, what does work?

If regularities exist in the universe it is possible to know and describe them to fix our beliefs with the caveat that it is provisional, possibly false and subject to revision. That is all we humans can achieve.

This is the problem of verisimilitude. From the wiki HERE

The problem of verisimilitude is the problem of articulating what it takes for one false theory to be closer to the truth than another false theory. This problem was central to the philosophy of science of Karl Popper, largely because Popper was among the first to affirm that truth is the aim of scientific inquiry while acknowledging that most of the greatest scientific theories in the history of science are, strictly speaking, false. If this long string of purportedly false theories is to constitute progress with respect to the goal of truth then it must be at least possible for one false theory to be closer to the truth than others.

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 Posted: 19 November 2011 11:00 AM [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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kkwan - 19 November 2011 07:09 AM

If regularities exist in the universe it is possible to know and describe them to fix our beliefs with the caveat that it is provisional, possibly false and subject to revision.

How?

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 Posted: 19 November 2011 11:56 AM [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Kkwan,

I think the thing to do is pick a candidate for a regularity and then answer why it is more probable that it is a regularity than not?

To have knowledge the probability has to be way over 50/50 but even just getting it to budge a little would be a promising start.

Stephen

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 Posted: 25 November 2011 04:58 AM [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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GdB - 12 November 2011 06:46 AM

BTW, I ordered ‘Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics’ of D. M. Armstrong. Thanks for the hint.

Stephen, if you buy it too we can discuss it here!

Just letting you know I’ve read through it once fairly quickly.  Will need to go back over it.

Off the top of my head things that stick out as significant to me are he believes all that exists is the physical world. i.e ‘mere possibilities’ are not part of what exists.

He believes he has some kind of solution to induction, involving universals, some kind of nomic necessity and abduction.

And he has an answer to the question what is the truthmaker wrt ‘mere possibilities’ .

Stephen

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 Posted: 26 November 2011 10:02 AM [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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StephenLawrence - 25 November 2011 04:58 AM

Just letting you know I’ve read through it once fairly quickly.  Will need to go back over it.

Take your time… I need mine. First want to finish the book I am reading now. I only had a glance in Armstrong’s book. It certainly looks interesting.

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 Posted: 26 November 2011 12:23 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Well, I’ll be interested to hear what Armstrong says as well (though maybe in a separate thread?) He was always an extremely lucid and interesting metaphysician.

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 Posted: 26 November 2011 04:02 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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dougsmith - 12 November 2011 07:03 PM
Write4U - 12 November 2011 05:10 PM

IMO, yes, in the beginning the potential existed for everything that ever was, is, and will be, i.e. universal potential.
Does that need to mean the “potential image” of the horse existed?  Is that necessary?
IMO, potential is dualistic. Sufficient potential of a kind allows things to happen, but insufficient potential or incompatible potentials also restrict things from happening.

Again, there needs to be a scientific law involving the property in order for it to be real. I don’t think there will be such laws for every potential thing.

But is a “probability wave” physical (real), or metaphysical with potential to become real? I like the direction of this line of thought…

[ Edited: 26 November 2011 04:08 PM by Write4U ]
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 Posted: 26 November 2011 04:10 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Write4U - 26 November 2011 04:02 PM

But is a “probability wave” physical (real), or metaphysical with potential to become real? I like the direction of this line of thought…

Whether or not probability waves are real things depends on the terms quantified over in the relevant law. I don’t know enough about quantum mechanics to know what the laws say or how they should be properly interpreted.

I’m not sure I understand your distinction between a real thing and a “metaphysical” thing. All things are metaphysical. There may be real, noninstantiated properties, but that doesn’t make them any more “metaphysical” than real, instantiated properties would be.

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 Posted: 26 November 2011 04:15 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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For clarification: is “becoming real” not the same as “instantiated properties”?

Potential: that which may become reality (instantiated).

[ Edited: 26 November 2011 04:19 PM by Write4U ]
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 Posted: 26 November 2011 04:20 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Write4U - 26 November 2011 04:15 PM

For clarification: is “becoming real” not the same as “instantiated properties”?

Oooof. “Becoming real” isn’t a phrase I like very much, because it’s redundant. Something just ‘becomes’ or ‘begins existing’. A property, presumably, is real whether or not it has instantiations. That’s to say, the property of being a biological organism was real before there were biological creatures. (Assuming this is a real property, i.e. one that fits into real scientific laws).

So when the first biological thing existed (leaving aside the thorny problems of vagueness) the (real) property of being a biological organism was first instantiated.

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 Posted: 26 November 2011 04:21 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Write4U - 26 November 2011 04:15 PM

Potential: that which may become reality (instantiated).

I prefer to say that properties are real which can become instantiated.

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 Posted: 26 November 2011 04:40 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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dougsmith - 26 November 2011 04:10 PM
Write4U - 26 November 2011 04:02 PM

But is a “probability wave” physical (real), or metaphysical with potential to become real? I like the direction of this line of thought…

Whether or not probability waves are real things depends on the terms quantified over in the relevant law. I don’t know enough about quantum mechanics to know what the laws say or how they should be properly interpreted.

I’m not sure I understand your distinction between a real thing and a “metaphysical” thing. All things are metaphysical. There may be real, noninstantiated properties, but that doesn’t make them any more “metaphysical” than real, instantiated properties would be.

I probably know even less about quantum that you do, but as I understand it (from the double slit experiment), we cannot measure the probability wave until it has instantiated as physical particles, which then show the wavelike function, i.e [ l l l l l l l ].
Does that make the probability wave a metaphysical phenomena, i.e. pure potential? I believe Bohm referred to that as the “implicate and explicate order”.

[ Edited: 26 November 2011 04:47 PM by Write4U ]
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 Posted: 26 November 2011 04:46 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Write4U - 26 November 2011 04:40 PM

I probably know even less about quantum that you do, but as I understand it (from the double slit experiment), we cannot measure the probability wave until it has instantiated as particles, which then show the wavelike function, i.e [ l l l l l l l ].

Right, yes. And I believe that independent of measurement all there are are the probability waves. There are various metaphysical interpretations of the equations (Bohm, the many-worlds interpretation, etc.) and I am not familiar enough with them or expert enough in the equations to be able to distinguish between them, except to discard some of the more outrageous. (E.g. that the human mind creates reality and that sort of nonsense).

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