A statement implies a speaker

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Deckard
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 11:09 pm
A statement implies a speaker. (I mean "speaker" in a general sense not necessarily vocalizing the statement.) Statements do not materialize out of thin air.
When making the statement there are a number of possibilities with regards to the speaker.

The speaker can make a true statement because they know it to be true
The speaker can make a true statement because they believe it to be true but for the wrong reasons.
The speaker can make a false statement because they believe it to be true
The speaker can make a false statement because they know it to be true but have chosen to lie.
The speaker could be a machine that randomly produced a true statement.
The speaker could be a machine that randomly produced a false statement.

There are at least a few more. Would anyone like to add to this list?

I think after compiling a list it will be possible to reduce the list down to a finite number of categories. There are only so many states of the speaker that are relevant to the quality of the statements the speaker produces. (for example ignorant, informed, random, lying, and at least a few more.)

Usually in logic the speaker is not considered. Logos is not ethos. The statements are handed over to logic (from wherever) and logic receives them as if they were produced by that random machine I mentioned.

Would it be possible to incorporate the attitude and understanding of the speaker into a formal system of logic? This would be a logic that looked both backwards to the origins of its statements as well as forward to the conclusions that those statements imply.


--------------------------Added much later-----------------------
As i expected I eventually would, I've found what I was looking for already in existence. For more information google terms: "Epistemic logic" and "propositional attitudes."
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 04:41 am
@Deckard,
Isn't this the gist of the Turing Test?

Quote:
The Turing test is a proposal for a test of a machine's ability to demonstrate intelligence. It proceeds as follows: a human judge engages in a natural language conversation with one human and one machine, each of which tries to appear human. All participants are placed in isolated locations. If the judge cannot reliably tell the machine from the human, the machine is said to have passed the test


If, as you suggest, the rules of logic and language could be reduced to a machine-readable form, then it should be possible to build a computer that could pass the Turing test.

It has never been done.

Furthermore, I would dispute that any machine 'makes a statement'. A machine can 'play a recording of a statement' in the same way as it can display any other information. However it is an open question, I suppose, whether a machine can generate meaningful information. I suppose if you programmed it with a vocab, lexicon and sentence-structure, it might turn out meaningful statements, but a 'boundary condition' of the experiment would be that a person would be required to ascertain the meaning of the statements, and so this would be rather contrived.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 06:40 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;111748 wrote:
Isn't this the gist of the Turing Test?


Turing test did cross my mind as well when I mentioned the machine but no its not the Turing test.

jeeprs;111748 wrote:


If, as you suggest, the rules of logic and language could be reduced to a machine-readable form, then it should be possible to build a computer that could pass the Turing test.


I'm not suggesting this at all. I was suggesting that the logician receives statements for analysis as if they were a random subject and predicate generated by a machine. There is no consideration for the state of mind of the speaker. The speaker might as well be a machine.

I realized yesterday that what I am really concerned with is the first principles that are handed over to logic so logic can draw its conclusions. I just got hung up on this idea of a "speaker" as the source of the first principles. Whatever, I'm learning. It's a process. Sometimes you have to reinvent the wheel to understand it.

Anyway, It is still worth emphasizing how important and how different the generation of first principles is from the generation of logical conclusions once these first principles are provided.

Logic can work with whatever first principles are provided - even if these first principles were spat out randomly by a machine.

Logic cannot provide the first principles, the axioms, or the definitions upon which to build a philosophy. It can only judge whether they are logically consistent with each other.

Sometimes when people say that something isn't logical they are really objecting to the first principles of the argument. And those principles are not logic's fault. Provided those first principles are logically consistent with each other that is.

Is there a name for the study of first principles, where they come from, how they are generated and so on? Is this epistemology?

Finally, my strange ill-fated idea about a logic that includes the attitude of the speaker does bring to mind an interesting question. Philosophy is divided up in a certain way. Logic has its own little house. Epistemology another, ethics another and so on. What if the lines were redrawn so that, for example, logic and a good part of epistemology were smooshed together into one are of study...into one calculus? I now realize that I was attempting to do something like this in this post. Is this even possible? But I guess that's a metaphilosophical question for another thread.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 09:27 am
@Deckard,
For the most part, the motivation of the speaker is considered in informal logic, since logic only examines the forms of the argument to determine if it is valid (follows certain rules and procedures correctly).

Thus logic is a tool to be applied to "translated" arguments, and does not concern itself in determining whether the contents of a proposition are "true" or not. That is the business and object of philosophy itself, and it employs argumentation (in different ways) to determine the truth of a proposition, which may be at times "first principles."

Logic is one of the tools a philosopher has in his toolbox that enables him to articulate his first principles (Aristotle defined metaphysics as "first philosophy"). Like any workman who wishes to build something, the better the tools, the easier the process and the more certain the final product.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 10:05 am
@Deckard,
Deckard wrote:

Would it be possible to incorporate the attitude and understanding of the speaker into a formal system of logic? This would be a logic that looked both backwards to the origins of its statements as well as forward to the conclusions that those statements imply.


Formal logic is not a matter of opinion, attitude, or feeling.

What exactly do you mean by incorporate an attitude of the speaker into a formal system of logic? You can surely write out that someone is angry (a change in attitude) and incorporate that into a formal logic proof. All you need do is formalize "he is angry", or whatever else you wanted to express.

But, if you mean to ask, "Will one's attitude ever change the truth or falsity of a conclusion in logic", the answer is of course not! We cannot just say something is true because we feel like it is. This, in fact, would be denying logic. Even informal logic, which does not follow formal guidelines, still uses reasoning - and one's attitude towards the matter has (or ought to have) nothing to do with this.

jgweed wrote:

Thus logic is a tool to be applied to "translated" arguments, and does not concern itself in determining whether the contents of a proposition are "true" or not. That is the business and object of philosophy itself, and it employs argumentation (in different ways) to determine the truth of a proposition, which may be at times "first principles."


I don't think this is completely true. What about a tautological truth? Under any interpretation, they are true. And formal logic does concern itself with these.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 10:51 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;111781 wrote:


Logic is one of the tools a philosopher has in his toolbox that enables him to articulate his first principles (Aristotle defined metaphysics as "first philosophy"). Like any workman who wishes to build something, the better the tools, the easier the process and the more certain the final product.


"Informal logic". Got it thanks.

I'm a little fuzzy on logic qua tool helping to articulate axioms. I can see how this tool would allow one to establish the consistency of the axioms but I'm not sure what you mean by "articulate".

Aren't the axioms delivered over to logic already articulated?

It seems the articulation of the axiom involves language, grammar and meaning. These are outside of what I normally think of as logic the tool.

Ah! Cool. I just realized I'm getting close to Peirce's conception of Logic as a part of Semiotics. :bigsmile:

If you accept this categorization then we can say that:
Statements are composed of symbols.
A symbol qua symbol, considered by itself, is not really subject to logical analysis but rather to semiotic analysis.
and
It is this semiotic analysis more than logical analysis that aids in the articulation of an axiom.

Following Peirce I have called logic a part of semiotics. So what do we call the part of semiotics that is not logic? There ought to be a term for non-logical semiotic analysis. I'm not sure if Peirce had a term for it. "Articulation" might work in this case. I don't think Peirce used that but it might work. Yeah maybe not. Articulation isn't the right word. (Now that's ironic.)

In any case, once we start discussing the meaning of the symbol then we can start talking about things like the triadic sign. Representamen, Object, Interpretant. I think the attitude of the speaker (lying, ignorant, informed, random etc) would depend upon the relationship between the representamen and the object (roughly Saussure's signifier and signified). Or maybe the immediate object and the dynamic object (yeah, this one). But this is getting too weighed down with jargon that I'm not exactly fluent in.

The semiotic approach does bring the speaker into the analysis. I'm not sure if semiotics overlaps or dovetails with informal logic but it seems like it should. I need to know a bit more about both to say. I'll see if I can get through Stanford's Informal Logic entry today maybe some Peirce stuff as well.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 02:15 pm
@Deckard,
Articulation is an active creation of the intellect ("art" being emphasized) that attempts to give both clarity and linkage between positions and ideas in an architectonic way to philosophical thinking; or---it is the process of thinking itself, as well as its goal.

One might go further and say that part of this process involves questioning and subsequent testing of conclusions and answers with the help of logic, broadly conceived and not without a sideways glance at the scientific method. But in the toolbox are many different tools that can be used depending on circumstances and what one is trying to do---often it is a matter of picking the right tool for the job.

The demonstrations (the showing) of philosophy are methodologically bound up with its articulation.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 04:48 pm
@Deckard,
hmmm. I am having a bit of trouble working out exactly what the OP is getting at. I think perhaps you are asking if logic can be reduced to relations between a finite set of statements - in other words, reduced to the level of symbolic code. In which case, I am inclined to say the answer is 'no'. My general attitude anti-reductionist; so when you say 'a statement implies a speaker', what I take that to mean is that 'the speaker' is 'an intelligence capable of understanding the meaning of what is said'.

Consider this quote concerning the five levels that make up a spoken literary composition. Of course, a 'spoken literary composition' is more complex than 'a statement'; however, many of the same principles appy.

Quote:
The lowest level is the production of a voice; the second, the utterance of words; the third, the joining of words to make sentences; the fourth, the working of sentences into a style; the fifth, and highest, the composition of the text.

The principles of each level operate under the control of the next higher level. The voice you produced is shaped into words by a vocabulary; a given vocabulary is shaped into sentences in accordance with grammar; and the sentences are fitted into a style, which in its turn is made to convey the ideas of the composition. Thus each level is subject to dual control: (i) control in accordance with the laws that apply to its elements in themselves, and (ii) control in accordance with the laws of the powers that control the comprehensive entity formed by these elements.

Such multiple control is made possible by the fact that the principles governing the isolated particulars of a lower level leave indeterminate conditions to be controlled by a higher principle. Voice production leaves largely open the combination of sounds into words, which is controlled by a vocabulary. Next, a vocabulary leaves largely open the combination of words to form sentences, which is controlled by grammar, and so on.

Consequently, the operations of a higher level cannot be accounted for by the laws governing its particulars on the next lower level. You cannot derive a vocabulary from phonetics; you cannot derive grammar from a vocabulary; a correct use of grammar does not account for good style; and a good style does not supply the content of a piece of prose.


Michael Polanyi, 'Life's Irreducible Structure'
 
Deckard
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 04:58 pm
@jgweed,
jgweed;111839 wrote:
Articulation is an active creation of the intellect ("art" being emphasized) that attempts to give both clarity and linkage between positions and ideas in an architectonic way to philosophical thinking; or---it is the process of thinking itself, as well as its goal.

One might go further and say that part of this process involves questioning and subsequent testing of conclusions and answers with the help of logic, broadly conceived and not without a sideways glance at the scientific method. But in the toolbox are many different tools that can be used depending on circumstances and what one is trying to do---often it is a matter of picking the right tool for the job.

The demonstrations (the showing) of philosophy are methodologically bound up with its articulation.

I misused "articulation" in the previous post.

I'm a little unsure what you mean by articulation being the "process of thinking itself as well as the goal" though I do like the sound of it.
Is articulation the toolbox or one of the tools in the toolbox or that for which the tools are employed - articulation the end, tools (logic, et al) the means?

The tools (organon) of logic are a framework, a description of how statements can be related to each other and how they can be used to generate more statements (through deductions (demonstrations), inductions, abductions).

However the statements upon which the tools are to be used are not included in the toolbox. These statements are either defined (as in the geometries) or they have to come from somewhere else...empirical evidence, innate ideas, authoritative text and so on.

Is there an accepted general term for the defining/receiving of these statements?

---------- Post added 12-16-2009 at 05:23 PM ----------
jeeprs;111882 wrote:
hmmm. I am having a bit of trouble working out exactly what the OP is getting at. I think perhaps you are asking if logic can be reduced to relations between a finite set of statements - in other words, reduced to the level of symbolic code. In which case, I am inclined to say the answer is 'no'. My general attitude anti-reductionist; so when you say 'a statement implies a speaker', what I take that to mean is that 'the speaker' is 'an intelligence capable of understanding the meaning of what is said'.

I've been skimming some material on "propositional attitudes" and "epistemic logic". These appear to be related to what I was getting at with the original post.

I am interested in Logic as Semiotics and I thought I might have found a door into that system of thought. However, on this thread I think there may be parallel systems with competing jargon. Which is interesting in itself but a little confusing.

I don't have a reductionist agenda. I am interested in the border line between logic and not-logic and in the movement of information back and forth across that border.
jeeprs;111882 wrote:

[/QUOTE]
Interesting. Quantum leaps of meaning between the levels. Logic would be on level 4 or 5 I think. Logic could be a style which would make it level 5. The logical style.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 09:17 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;111748 wrote:
I suppose if you programmed it with a vocab, lexicon and sentence-structure, it might turn out meaningful statements, but a 'boundary condition' of the experiment would be that a person would be required to ascertain the meaning of the statements, and so this would be rather contrived.

Language does have a virus -like quality in its written form, but like a virus it requires a truly living host. Burroughs used a cut-up method for inspiration. I've always like the phrase "sentences are viruses."

---------- Post added 12-16-2009 at 10:22 PM ----------

Deckard;111427 wrote:

Logos is not ethos.

I sometimes think that ethos is the turtle and logos is the shell. But ethos can be modified by logos. I believe we have us a Moebius strip here.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 09:41 pm
@Deckard,
I could use some more learning on semiotics. I know hardly anything about it, and it sound very interesting. But there is so much information coming out of this forum on topics of interest I am just not going to get it for the time being. I can read the signs.:bigsmile:
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 09:46 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;111973 wrote:
I could use some more learning on semiotics. I know hardly anything about it, and it sound very interesting. But there is so much information coming out of this forum on topics of interest I am just not going to get it for the time being. I can read the signs.:bigsmile:


Ah, there's so much out there. Too much. I need a lifespan like Methuselah's. Perhaps this is a Faustian age after all.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 11:16 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;111966 wrote:
Language does have a virus -like quality in its written form, but like a virus it requires a truly living host. Burroughs used a cut-up method for inspiration. I've always like the phrase "sentences are viruses."

---------- Post added 12-16-2009 at 10:22 PM ----------


I sometimes think that ethos is the turtle and logos is the shell. But ethos can be modified by logos. I believe we have us a Moebius strip here.


Don't forget pathos. Can there be a three sided mobius strip? Triangular contortions. I guess it would require a 4th spacial dimension.

This post eventually led me to Epistemic Logic and propositional attitudes (yes "attitude" turned out to be the same word they used - I got one right for a change).

"Epistemic logic gets its start with the recognition that expressions like "knows that' or 'believes that' have systematic properties that are amenable to formal study..."

Epistemic Logic (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

So what is the propositional attitude of Burroughs toward his cutup? Suppose he randomly grabs the cut up paper from a hat and the statement that is generated turns out to be:

The dinosaur is taking a photograph

He doesn't look at the statement he just hands it over to the logician.
Does Burroughs know that the dinosaur is taking a photo? No.
Does Burroughs believe that the dinosaur is taking a photo? No.
Was he lying? No.
He has no propositional attitude towards the statement that he made.
That is indeed the whole point of the little dadaist inspiration game.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 11:30 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;111998 wrote:
Don't forget pathos. Can there be a three sided mobius strip? Triangular contortions. I guess it would require a 4th spacial dimension.


You're right. I was making ethos do double duty, as I associate it with pathos directed at the ego-ideal. Are pathos and ethos conjoined twins?

I love the dimensions theme. Also topology. Lacan has an interesting knot. Perhaps you've seen it. Lacan
 
Deckard
 
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2009 06:24 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;111839 wrote:
Articulation is an active creation of the intellect ("art" being emphasized) that attempts to give both clarity and linkage between positions and ideas in an architectonic way to philosophical thinking; or---it is the process of thinking itself, as well as its goal.


I just have to say that this is such a good definition of articulation. Articulation is such an essential part of philosophy. It doesn't get enough attention. If I can fromulate a specific enough question I may start a thread devoted to the what and how of articulation.

Reconstructo;112004 wrote:
You're right. I was making ethos do double duty, as I associate it with pathos directed at the ego-ideal. Are pathos and ethos conjoined twins?


I believe the three parts are to be equally related conjoined triplets (three sides of the same coin). They correspond to the Necessary the Virtuous and the Beautiful which together comprise the Good.

Has there ever been a conjoined triplet? Google here I come...
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2009 08:43 am
@Deckard,
If you think of it, much of early philosophy beginning with the Presocratics was various attempts to find the kind of articulation that separated thinking from myth and poetic views. And moreover, much of the philosophic tradition is a prolonged discussion (often heated) about what articulation is and the appropriate means to achieve it for philosophy (think, for example, of the Existentialists rejection of a certain kind of articulation because it distorted reality).

For example, as I have suggested elsewhere in different threads, philosophic articulation often requires specialised uses of common words to give a satisfactory account of events.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2009 09:08 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;112360 wrote:
If you think of it, much of early philosophy beginning with the Presocratics was various attempts to find the kind of articulation that separated thinking from myth and poetic views. And moreover, much of the philosophic tradition is a prolonged discussion (often heated) about what articulation is and the appropriate means to achieve it for philosophy (think, for example, of the Existentialists rejection of a certain kind of articulation because it distorted reality).

For example, as I have suggested elsewhere in different threads, philosophic articulation often requires specialised uses of common words to give a satisfactory account of events.


Articulation is also separate from persuasion and mere sophistry (rhetoric coming up a lot in other threads so it's on my mind). The intent to articulate an idea does not imply an intent to persuade an audience. Articulation is about communication not persuasion.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 08:52 am
@Deckard,
Perhaps my use of "argument" was not clear. In today's world in which discussion usually turns into a shouting match, and propaganda seems to dominate, most would understand by the word something akin to debate. My own use of the word reflected another sense, more akin to "indication" or "presentation of warranted support," or "expostulation."
*****
In philosophy, it does seem that there is some kind of effort to persuade its audience that the perspective or position held is somehow more "true" than other possible perspectives. One commonly sees in the dialogue called history of philosophy either acceptance of prior thinking as true enough to provoke elaboration, or on the other hand a rejection of prior theories as "false."
*****
Let us say that philosophy provides warrants for a conclusion, at least in a general way, and that the kinds of warrants are what is in the toolbox. The toolbox contains many different tools, one of which is logic, another of which is rhetoric (the art or skill of using language "effectively," of saying [words] well). It it always open to debate whether a philosopher has chosen the right tool to "say well what is."
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 03:11 pm
@Deckard,
Logic has to do with internal relations among propositions. Propositions are usually thought of as the bearers of truth values. Truth (except for formal truth) has to do with the external relation between a proposition and the world.

The motivation of a statement which expresses a proposition has nothing to do with the truth or falsity of the proposition (again, with the exception of formal truth) since whether the proposition is truth of false concerns (as I said) the relation between the proposition and the world.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 04:25 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;112722 wrote:
Logic has to do with internal relations among propositions. Propositions are usually thought of as the bearers of truth values. Truth (except for formal truth) has to do with the external relation between a proposition and the world.

The motivation of a statement which expresses a proposition has nothing to do with the truth or falsity of the proposition (again, with the exception of formal truth) since whether the proposition is truth of false concerns (as I said) the relation between the proposition and the world.


Here are two relations:

1) The relation between proposition and the world

2) The relation between the proposition and what the speaker actually thinks/understand/knows/believes about that proposition.

Are they commensurable? If so how?
 
 

 
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