logic and conceptual scheme

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Reply Sat 24 Apr, 2010 01:50 am
What is this guy talking about?

from:Rescher, Nicholas[The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]

Quote:
A pragmatic conception of logic, however, leads him to view its instrumental-methodological character as primary with respect to the doctrinal features. All this follows quite naturally from what we said above, because, for a pragmatically oriented thinker, logic's task lies, first of all, in systematizing and rationalizing the practice of reasoning in all the contexts (theoretical included) where human beings usually draw inferences. Logical rules, in turn, are not supposed to have an abstract and formalistic character, because in that case they cannot be attuned to human practices (be they theoretical or instrumental). It is interesting to note that this approach is not distant from some insights contained in the works of the second Wittgenstein, where language is no longer taken to be an ideal entity endowed with some sort of "essence," but rather a set of social practices that are used in order to satisfy men's concrete needs. Our models of inference thus become the products of social practices, while the social dimension pertains to language in each of its many characteristics and features. In other words, our rules for drawing inferences are essentially practical and not formal; they are rules that allow (or do not allow) us to perform a certain kind of action.

For Rescher a conceptual scheme for operation in the factual domain is always correlative with a Weltanschauung - a view of how things work in the world. And the issue of historical development becomes involved at this juncture, seeing that such a fact-committal scheme is clearly a product of temporal evolution. Our conceptions of things are a moving rather than a fixed target for analysis. The startling conclusion is that there are assertions in a conceptual scheme A that are simply not available in another conceptual scheme B, because no equivalent in it may be found. This view also allows him to challenge Donald Davidson when he says that, "we get a new out of an old scheme when the speakers of a language come to accept as true an important range of sentences they previously took to be false." The point at stake, in fact, is different, since Rescher answers that a change of scheme is not just a matter of saying things differently, but rather of saying altogether different things.

In other words, a scheme A may be committed to phenomena that another scheme B cannot even envisage: Galenic physicians, for instance, had absolutely nothing to say about bacteria and viruses because those entities lay totally beyond their conceptual dimension. Where one scheme is eloquent, Rescher says, the other is altogether silent. This means, moreover, that our classical and bivalent logic of the True and False is not much help in such a context. Some assertions that are deemed to be true in a certain scheme may have no value whatsoever in another scheme, so that we need to formalize this truth-indeterminacy by having recourse, say, to a many-valued logical system in which, besides the classical T and F, a third (Indeterminate) value I is present. We have, in sum, a more complex picture than Davidson's. Rescher observes that in brushing aside the idea of different conceptual schemes we incur the risk of an impoverishment in our problem-horizons. So, to deny that different conceptual schemes exist is absurd.




So he seem to say for conceptual scheme A, and a newer scheme B.
Statements that are false in A turns out to be true in B. Suppose P is "cat is in the mat". For P to be false in A, but true in B is logically contradictory. He said "The point at stake, in fact, is different, since Rescher answers that a change of scheme is not just a matter of saying things differently, but rather of saying altogether different things.". Taking this advise, P in A is about a cat, but P is B is not about a cat, but something very different. I would not called A, B different conceptual schemes. It seems conceptual schemes is about describing the same thing, differently, and not about describing different things. He gave this example: "Galenic physicians, for instance, had absolutely nothing to say about bacteria and viruses because those entities lay totally beyond their conceptual dimension.". The Galenic physician might not know anything about viruses, but there is no reason in principle that we cannot describe to him in complete detail what a virus is. If we can describe it to him, does this not show that we share the same scheme? I feel this guy is another moron.
 
Victor Eremita
 
Reply Sat 24 Apr, 2010 02:15 am
@TuringEquivalent,
Ok, I've no idea what it really means, but this is how the paragraph hits me:

Donald Davidson says: We get a new out of an old scheme when the speakers of a language come to accept as true an important range of sentences they previously took to be false.

Saying these sentences to a primitive tribe:
"E=MC2"
"A square has four sides"
"DNA consists of G, A, T, and C."
"The Earth rotates around the sun."

For Davidson, these are considered false to them, as they have no idea what these sentences are grounded on, until and unless they taught why that is the case, creating a new scheme out of their old scheme. But Rescher, wants to say that the tribe ought to have said that these are indeterminate sentences as they lack the formal background to understand the truth value of those sentences.

"Rescher observes that in brushing aside the idea of different conceptual schemes we incur the risk of an impoverishment in our problem-horizons": If the tribe said false to those sentences, they risk losing out on "truth", and remain stuck in their primitive conceptual scheme. If they said Indeterminate, then are open to finding ways to find the truth value of those sentences, even if it doesn't exist in their current conceptual scheme.


I think. :perplexed:
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 24 Apr, 2010 03:50 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;155982 wrote:
What is this guy talking about?

from:Rescher, Nicholas[The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]





So he seem to say for conceptual scheme A, and a newer scheme B.
Statements that are false in A turns out to be true in B. Suppose P is "cat is in the mat". For P to be false in A, but true in B is logically contradictory. He said "The point at stake, in fact, is different, since Rescher answers that a change of scheme is not just a matter of saying things differently, but rather of saying altogether different things.". Taking this advise, P in A is about a cat, but P is B is not about a cat, but something very different. I would not called A, B different conceptual schemes. It seems conceptual schemes is about describing the same thing, differently, and not about describing different things. He gave this example: "Galenic physicians, for instance, had absolutely nothing to say about bacteria and viruses because those entities lay totally beyond their conceptual dimension.". The Galenic physician might not know anything about viruses, but there is no reason in principle that we cannot describe to him in complete detail what a virus is. If we can describe it to him, does this not show that we share the same scheme? I feel this guy is another moron.


Conceptual schemes are about what is believed about the world; or not believed about the world. If Galenic physicians never even thought about bacteria and viruses, they believed nothing about them. It might be that we cannot explain to such a person what bacteria and viruses are, because for someone to understand such an explanation, he would need the background to understand the information. It took a long time for people to understand the Copernican theory just because they did not have the framework for the concepts needed to understand it. Maybe a better example for Rescher would have been trying to explain quantum mechanics to a man from the 15th century when he did not even have the concept of causality as we have it now. I think you do not appreciate how much you have to know and understand in order to know and understand something else. We cannot explain something to someone who does not even have the basic concepts for understanding what we are talking about. It would be like speaking an alien language to him. He could not understand what we are talking about.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 05:47 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;155995 wrote:
Conceptual schemes are about what is believed about the world.


I high doubt conceptual scheme is a set of beliefs. There is good reason to think it is a language. Two scheme is the same if they are intertranslable.

---------- Post added 04-25-2010 at 06:48 AM ----------

Victor Eremita;155984 wrote:
Ok, I've no idea what it really means, but this is how the paragraph hits me:

Donald Davidson says: We get a new out of an old scheme when the speakers of a language come to accept as true an important range of sentences they previously took to be false.




Davidson did not say that. actually, Davidson belief the opposite. He believes there are no different conceptual schemes at all.
 
 

 
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