ontology is fallible

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Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2010 03:21 pm
Quote:
This still leaves unanswered the question of how we can attain knowledge of being, or of reality 'as it is in itself', especially if ontology is conceived to be not an empirical but an a priori science. The answer that I favour divides the task of ontology into two parts, one which is wholly a priori and another which admits empirical elements. The a priori part is devoted to exploring the realm of metaphysical possibility, seeking to establish what kinds of things could exist and, more importantly, co-exist to make up a single possible world. The empirically conditioned part seeks to establish, on the basis of empirical evidence and informed by our most successful scientific theories, what kinds of things do exist in this, the actual world. But the two tasks are not independent: in particular, the second task depends upon the first. We are in no position to be able to judge what kinds of things actually do exist, even in the light of the most scientifically well-informed experience, unless we can effectively determine what kinds of things could exist, because empirical evidence can only be evidence for the existence of something whose existence is antecedently possible.
This way of looking at ontological knowledge and its possibility demands that we accept, whether we like it or not, that such knowledge is fallible - not only our knowledge of what actually does exist, but also our knowledge of what could exist. In this respect, however, ontology is nowise different from any other intellectual discipline, including mathematics and logic. Indeed, it is arguable that it was the mistaken pursuit of certainty in metaphysics that led Kant and other philosophers in his tradition to abandon the conception of ontology as the science of being for a misconception of it as the science of our thought about being, the illusion being that we can attain a degree of certainty concerning the contents of our own thoughts which eludes us entirely concerning the true nature of reality 'as it is in itself'.


from : RECENT ADVANCES IN METAPHYSICS


So The task of ontology is:
1. Explore what could exist.
2. What science tell us what actually exist.

Both 1, and 2 is fallible, thus, ontology is fallible
 
amist
 
Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2010 03:27 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
Where the hell are you getting that the a priori part is fallible? Also I disagree with the claim that science is universally accepted as a tool for acquiring ontological knowledge. There are highly respected immaterialists within the scientific community, so I don't see how science at all could be a tool for acquiring ontological knowledge, it's ontologically ambiguous except with respect to which particular things probably exist either materially or immaterially.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2010 04:39 pm
@amist,
amist;145287 wrote:
Where the hell are you getting that the a priori part is fallible?


Why the hell not?

There a lot of examples in this categories, and they are mainly from science. There are everyday intuition of what is a priori true, but turns out to not be at all true.


Quote:

There are highly respected immaterialists within the scientific community, so I don't see how science at all could be a tool for acquiring ontological knowledge, it's ontologically ambiguous except with respect to which particular things probably exist either materially or immaterially.


Is that an argument, or a joke? what the hell is a "immaterialists"?
 
amist
 
Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2010 04:48 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
Quote:
Why the hell not?
There a lot of examples in this categories, and they are mainly from science. Where are everyday intuition of what is a priori true, but is not at all true.
First of all, if something is actually true a priori, there is no possible way which science could disprove it, if it is true a priori, it is what way necessarily.

The a priori element of ontology merely explores what could exist, as you said. Not what does exist as you said. If science discovered that unicorns existed tomorrow, the statement 'there is a possible world where there are no unicorns' remains true.

Quote:
what the hell is a "immaterialists"?
Immaterialism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

P.S.
I'd also like to point out that you are equivocating science and ontology, which are definitely not the same things.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2010 05:24 pm
@amist,
Quote:
First of all, if something is actually true a priori, there is no possible way which science could disprove it, if it is true a priori, it is what way necessarily.


No. It is not a strict implication. eg: It is a priori true that "gravity is a force", but this is not so in general relativity.



Quote:
The a priori element of ontology merely explores what could exist, as you said. Not what does exist as you said. If science discovered that unicorns existed tomorrow, the statement 'there is a possible world where there are no unicorns' remains true.


That is true, but it is still fallible. Our notion of "what could exist" does not at all need to be true. I can imagine, a priori of a possible world where:

1. the laws of nature is time-invariant.
2. The conservation of energy does not hold.

Both 1, and 2 is conceivable, a priori, but not logically possible, due to a mathematical result known as Neother ` s theorem.


Quote:
P.S.
I'd also like to point out that you are equivocating science and ontology, which are definitely not the same things.


..then you have never heart of the naturalistic turn in philosophy, or naturalistic philosophy Naturalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
 
amist
 
Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2010 05:40 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
Quote:
No. It is not a strict implication. eg: It is a priori true that "gravity is a force", but this is not so in general relativity.


I really don't know how you're understanding a priori here. Gravity itself doesn't follow a priori from anything, and I don't believe that general relativity changes the nature of gravity as a force that pulls at things at all. Perhaps you are talking about gravity's definition? But why would you even be talking about that? But I digress.

If it did as you are suggesting then it seems we would have two conflicting theories, but neither of them have been constructed purely a priori so seems entirely irrelevant to me.

Quote:

Both 1, and 2 is conceivable, a priori, but not logically possible, due to a mathematical result known as Neother ` s theorem.


Even if I take you at your word that they are not logically possible(which I am sceptical of), then it follows from this that these concepts are false on a priori grounds.

Quote:
then you have never hear[d] of the naturalistic turn in philosophy, or naturalistic philosophy


Of course I've heard of naturalistic philosophy, it certainly falls far short of being all of philosophy though.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2010 10:14 pm
@amist,
Quote:
really don't know how you're understanding a priori here.


A priori is a epistemic notion. It means knowing something before any sense experience.

Quote:
Gravity itself doesn't follow a priori from anything,


Since when is a priori knowledge need to follow from anything?

Quote:
I don't believe that general relativity changes the nature of gravity as a force that pulls at things at all.


than you don` t know General relativity. In GR, gravity is due to the curvature of space-time.

Quote:

If it did as you are suggesting then it seems we would have two conflicting theories, but neither of them have been constructed purely a priori so seems entirely irrelevant to me.


Then you do not know the example i gave you..

I gave you the example of a conceivable, a priori possible world that is:
1. the laws of nature is time-symmetric.
2. the conservation of energy does not hold

Since, 1 & 2 is a priori conceivable, but logically impossible due to Neother` theorem, then we have an example of something that is a priori, but not true.

Quote:

Even if I take you at your word that they are not logically possible(which I am sceptical of)


Go read about Neother ` s theorem, and conservation laws. You never know, i might be lying.


Quote:
then it follows from this that these concepts are false on a priori grounds.


The example is just to show that our notion of what is a priori possible turns out to be logically impossible.

Quote:

ourse I've heard of naturalistic philosophy, it certainly falls far short of being all of philosophy though.


It is very popular is modern metaphysics, and philosophy of science.
 
jack phil
 
Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2010 11:19 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;145284 wrote:
from : RECENT ADVANCES IN METAPHYSICS


So The task of ontology is:
1. Explore what could exist.
2. What science tell us what actually exist.

Both 1, and 2 is fallible, thus, ontology is fallible



This thread sounds a lot like your other one, on the universal theory of everything-- which is metaphysics, right?

There was some talk in that thread about how there could be many 'unifying theories of everything' or whatever. And that, if there were, ... well I don't know how you could falsify one over the other.

But this talk is just nonsense. One premise you have is that exploring what could exist is falsifiable. One question: How?

Have you not seen the gazillion threads on freewill vs determinism? Or the hundreds of years of Muslim and Christian conflict? Etc.?

I might enjoy reading Leibniz, and maybe I prefer him to Spinoza, but hell if I know how to prove the Monadology and disprove the Ethics.

Monads exist, not substance.

I would not know how to prove that wrong, nor right. But that is the problem with philosophers. Too often they ask whether it exists and they fail to ask what it means.

Which brings us to premise numero duo: that science tells us what exists and what does not exist. This is an utter confusion of language. For example, if someone says they believe in God, it may not mean that they believe in some transcendental being or whatever, but that they think no matter what happens things will turn out alright.

But that is the scientism of the day... the new high priests... not everything is a hypothesis, or an if/then claim... and to think so is daft... a bias... and completely oblivious to the elephant in the room... or lion, if you will.
 
amist
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 12:41 am
@TuringEquivalent,
Quote:
A priori is a epistemic notion.


You obviously have no idea what you're talking about. I'm done here.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 01:42 am
@jack phil,
jack;145431 wrote:


But this talk is just nonsense. One premise you have is that exploring what could exist is falsifiable. One question: How?


One way is to see if it logically possible. We can imagine X, and the properties of X. If we find something inconsistent about the properties, the there is a good chance that X probable don` t exist.

Quote:

Have you not seen the gazillion threads on freewill vs determinism? Or the hundreds of years of Muslim and Christian conflict? Etc.?


No, have you?

Quote:

But that is the scientism of the day... the new high priests... not everything is a hypothesis, or an if/then claim... and to think so is daft... a bias... and completely oblivious to the elephant in the room... or lion, if you will.


?

---------- Post added 03-29-2010 at 02:48 AM ----------

amist;145452 wrote:
You obviously have no idea what you're talking about. I'm done here.


It is a god damn joke, right? You are saying "i have no idea"? A priori , and a posteriori are epistemic notions, while, necessity, and possibilities are metaphysical notions. What the hell is wrong? Why don ` t you google it if you don` t believe me?


Here is a quote:

Quote:
Issues concerning epistemic distinctions such as that between experience and apriori as means of creating knowledge.


from Epistemology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A priori is a epistemic notion, because it deals with ways of knowing.
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 01:57 am
@amist,
amist;145452 wrote:
You obviously have no idea what you're talking about. I'm done here.


[CENTER]:nonooo::nonooo:
Do no go. Stay. Xplain

MNEMESCYNE



Dank je wel al-vast,

Pepijn the Sailor:lol:
[/CENTER]
 
amist
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 02:49 am
@TuringEquivalent,
A priori and a posteriori - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Imbibe this article.

P.S. You'll know you have imbibed it when you admit that a priori knowledge is infallible.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 02:52 am
@TuringEquivalent,
Science has not found anything which can be said to absolutely exist. They have built the world's most expensive machine to find such a thing. And even if they do find it, what they find will be, to all intents and purposes, an abstraction.

There is nothing which can be said to truly or absolutely exist. Yet life itself is full of unavoidable consequences if you don't take it seriously (i.e. obey the law and pay your taxes.) It is, all in all, a very perplexing set of circumstances.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 04:04 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;145483 wrote:
Science has not found anything which can be said to absolutely exist. They have built the world's most expensive machine to find such a thing. And even if they do find it, what they find will be, to all intents and purposes, an abstraction.

There is nothing which can be said to truly or absolutely exist. Yet life itself is full of unavoidable consequences if you don't take it seriously (i.e. obey the law and pay your taxes.) It is, all in all, a very perplexing set of circumstances.


scientists tell us what actually exist, but they are fallible.
 
amist
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 04:10 am
@TuringEquivalent,
Quote:
scientists tell us what actually exist


No they don't. Induction can only makes strong or weak claims, the truth values of which are unknown.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 04:45 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;145505 wrote:
scientists tell us what actually exist, but they are fallible.


Well if they are fallible, how can they tell us what is 'actual' and not merely what is 'probable' or 'possible'? If they could tell us what is actual, then they would not be fallible.

Incidentally: I believe that in many specific instances, science can provide infallible predictions. However when it comes to very general or non-specific questions it is a different matter.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 04:48 am
@amist,
amist;145482 wrote:
A priori and a posteriori - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Imbibe this article.

P.S. You'll know you have imbibed it when you admit that a priori knowledge is infallible.



It seems you can only make assertions, and your knowledge of philosophy is at a introductory level. Why else would you not know that a priori is an epistemic notion.

In the research literature, there is an active debate between conceivable, and possible. I gave you an example of something that is conceivable, but not mathematical possible. Since you did not reply to it, i guess you agree with me.

---------- Post added 03-29-2010 at 05:51 AM ----------

amist;145506 wrote:
No they don't. Induction can only makes strong or weak claims, the truth values of which are unknown.


Are you saying there are not electrons, quarks, photons, planets, big bang etc? What are you smoking?

---------- Post added 03-29-2010 at 06:07 AM ----------

jeeprs;145512 wrote:
Well if they are fallible, how can they tell us what is 'actual' and not merely what is 'probable' or 'possible'? If they could tell us what is actual, then they would not be fallible.

Incidentally: I believe that in many specific instances, science can provide infallible predictions. However when it comes to very general or non-specific questions it is a different matter.


The word "actual" has a technical meaning in philosophy.

"actual world" refers to our concrete world described by physics, as oppose to different ontological categories, or other possible worlds.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 05:11 am
@TuringEquivalent,
I am sorry, Turingequivalent, but the world described by Physics is hardly concrete. It consists of many phenomena which have a dubious claim to 'existence'.

Do you know that according to current physical cosmology, more than 95% of the universe is thought to exist in the form of 'dark matter/energy', the nature of which is not understood, and the existence of which is still uncertain?

Tell me what is actual about that.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 05:32 am
@TuringEquivalent,
Since ontology is a human enterprise, and since human beings are fallible beings, ontology is fallible. (The same goes for mathematics). "To err is human....".
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 06:21 am
@TuringEquivalent,
but to REALLY stuff things up, requires a Computer."
 
 

 
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