Persuasion as Proof

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Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 12:39 am
Is there a difference, really, between persuasion and proof? Is certainty anything more than a feeling in relation to sentences?

Is rationality just the polite name for rationalization? Is "rationalization" what we call the rationality of those we do not agree with?

Is all claim to universal truth ground on a leap of faith?

These are questions, not statements.
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 12:51 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;129897 wrote:
Is there a difference, really, between persuasion and proof? Is certainty anything more than a feeling in relation to sentences?

Is rationality just the polite name for rationalization? Is "rationalization" what we call the rationality of those we do not agree with?

Is all claim to universal truth ground on a leap of faith?

These are questions, not statements.


Well surely there is a difference between persuasion and proof, one is justified and the other not! I can't understand the term "distinguishable" so I fall back to black and white definitions, blah blah blah blah.
--
"Is rationality just the polite name for rationalization?" I think so, but I'm a dirty-minded sinful existentialist after all.

I do see the fruit of these questions being in learning to examine what we really base our thoughts on, and I see this as consistency leading into the idea of cause and effect. So if we can simplify consistency in order to eliminate other possible causes, then we have a means to discover "proof" in relation to our natural intuitions of what is rational.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 01:06 am
@Scottydamion,
Scottydamion;129899 wrote:

I do see the fruit of these questions being in learning to examine what we really base our thoughts on, and I see this as consistency leading into the idea of cause and effect. So if we can simplify consistency in order to eliminate other possible causes, then we have a means to discover "proof" in relation to our natural intuitions of what is rational.


Would you mind rephrasing this? I would like to be sure of what you mean here. I understand the first part.

---------- Post added 02-19-2010 at 02:06 AM ----------

Scottydamion;129899 wrote:
Well surely there is a difference between persuasion and proof, one is justified and the other not!


I can't tell if you are being ironic.:sarcastic:

---------- Post added 02-19-2010 at 02:07 AM ----------

Scottydamion;129899 wrote:
I think so, but I'm a dirty-minded sinful existentialist after all.

Yeah, I can get down with the sinful kind of existentialism. Just add a little Byronic-Satanic Romanticism. Nevermind, Nietzsche already did that. (He was quite the fan of Byron's Manfred.)
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 01:18 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;129907 wrote:
Would you mind rephrasing this? I would like to be sure of what you mean here. I understand the first part.


For example:

How do you know that the chair you are about to sit in will hold you up?
Because it always has before.

This is common use consistency, below is scientific consistency(what I'm advocating as intuitive and more consistent, even if it is just rationalizing):

How do you know ice floats?
Because beyond the common sense fact that it "always" floats we also know a great deal about density and its effects on matter of different states. We have eliminated other possible causes of ice floating by Occam's Razor or further experiment. What we are left with is the consistent overarching theory of density, which so far has allowed us to predict future behavior, instead of just rely on past experience (common use consistency).

Quote:
Yeah, I can get down with the sinful kind of existentialism. Just add a little Byronic-Satanic Romanticism. Nevermind, Nietzsche already did that. (He was quite the fan of Byron's Manfred.)


I was referring to what my parents would see Existentialism as, lol. Although I too could get down with the sinful kind of existentialism. I am a rebel at heart and always have been, even when I believed myself a true Christian.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 12:17 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;129897 wrote:
Is there a difference, really, between persuasion and proof?



Yes. There are many proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem, though someone may not be persuaded by them (especially if they do not take the time to understand any of them). And people are often persuaded by fallacious reasoning, which obviously is not a proof of what the person is persuaded of.


Reconstructo;129897 wrote:
Is certainty anything more than a feeling in relation to sentences?
  1. the state of being certain.

  2. something certain; an assured fact.

[/INDENT][/INDENT]
Certainty | Define Certainty at Dictionary.com
  1. free from doubt or reservation; confident; sure: I am certain he will come.

  2. destined; sure to happen (usually fol. by an infinitive): He is certain to be there.

  3. inevitable; bound to come: They realized then that war was certain.

  4. established as true or sure; unquestionable; indisputable: It is certain that he tried.

  5. fixed; agreed upon; settled: on a certain day; for a certain amount.

  6. definite or particular, but not named or specified: A certain person phoned. He had a certain charm.

  7. that may be depended on; trustworthy; unfailing; reliable: His aim was certain.

  8. some though not much: a certain reluctance.

  9. Obsolete. steadfast.
[/INDENT][/INDENT]

Certain | Define Certain at Dictionary.com


With definition 1, for example, it is a psychological matter, but with definition 4, it is not merely a psychological matter. So the answer to your question depends upon which definition of the term you are using.



Reconstructo;129897 wrote:
Is rationality just the polite name for rationalization?



No. They are quite distinct, as even a reading of the definitions in an ordinary dictionary will indicate, and is further supported by a study of logic.


Reconstructo;129897 wrote:
Is "rationalization" what we call the rationality of those we do not agree with?



No doubt, some people do that, but they are wrong to do that.


Reconstructo;129897 wrote:
Is all claim to universal truth ground on a leap of faith?

These are questions, not statements.



You will need to explain how you are using those expressions in order to answer your question, except to say that a leap of faith is no real grounding at all; it is a confession that one has no grounding.

With some uses of "universal truth", there is no leap of faith. If I say, your hand will burn if you stick it into a flame and hold it there, and that is universally true, this is something that has a foundation and support, not something that it requires a leap of faith to believe. You may test this for yourself if you wish, though I recommend that you just take my word for it in this instance. But if you are dogmatic in imagining that there is no real truth, then I strongly recommend you stick your hand into a flame until you come to your senses.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 12:30 pm
@Pyrrho,
Proof versus persuasion (nouns) - very different. Prove versus persuade (verbs) - exact same.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 12:37 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead;130001 wrote:
Proof versus persuasion (nouns) - very different. Prove versus persuade (verbs) - exact same.


I proved the Pythagorean theorem. I persuaded the Pythagorean theorem? The same?

---------- Post added 02-19-2010 at 01:39 PM ----------

Reconstructo;129897 wrote:
Is there a difference, really, between persuasion and proof? Is certainty anything more than a feeling in relation to sentences?

Is rationality just the polite name for rationalization? Is "rationalization" what we call the rationality of those we do not agree with?

Is all claim to universal truth ground on a leap of faith?

These are questions, not statements.


No. No. No. Next?
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 12:50 pm
@Reconstructo,
Isn't the real question about "truth" and how one can legitimately attain it from Others? Is there a gradation of what (or how) truth is seen in these two sentences---

I am persuaded X is true.
I have proof X is true.

The assertion that one can be persuaded X is true even though X is "false" is extremely relevant given the many meanings involved. Wouldn't it be illuminating to the discussion to begin to talk about the many ways we use, or can use, or even should use, the two words, and the attendant "feelings" about the outcome we can have?

I am tentatively persuaded X is true (even if we don't insert "tentatively") seems different from merely saying I am persuaded X is true (even though, for example, it took some doing to make me change my mind)?
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 01:08 pm
@jgweed,
Ken:
You didn't prove it, you showed a proof. You attempted persuade whomever that you knew what you were talking about when you showed the proof.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 01:09 pm
@Reconstructo,
jgweed wrote:

The assertion that one can be persuaded X is true even though X is "false" is extremely relevant given the many meanings involved.


Why do you use false in parentheses here?

Goshisdead wrote:

Ken:
You didn't prove it, you showed a proof. You attempted persuade whomever that you knew what you were talking about when you showed the proof.


How would he prove it, in your eyes, then? How would he prove anything?
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 01:16 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;130011 wrote:



How would he prove it, in your eyes, then? How would he prove anything?

That is the point of the discrepancy between a proof (noun) and prove (verb). Proof is proof the person who already believes the proof is involved. One might even argue that it is not necessary for anyone to be involved. When someone attempts to prove, however, two people are involved one of which may not be inclined to believe the proof. This makes the proving's function that of persuasion.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 01:21 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead;130010 wrote:
Ken:
You didn't prove it, you showed a proof. You attempted persuade whomever that you knew what you were talking about when you showed the proof.


When I present a proof for A, and if the proof is sound, then I have proved A.
I may also, by proving A, convince someone of A. So, by proving A, I may have proved A to someone. The distinction is between proving, and proving to. They may go together, but they need not. I may prove without proving to; and I may prove to, but not prove. It would depend on the argument, and also on the audience for the argument.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 01:28 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;130018 wrote:
When I present a proof for A, and if the proof is sound, then I have proved A.
I may also, by proving A, convince someone of A. So, by proving A, I may have proved A to someone. The distinction is between proving, and proving to. They may go together, but they need not. I may prove without proving to; and I may prove to, but not prove. It would depend on the argument, and also on the audience for the argument.


Proving to, would be persuasion, and what you prove to someone may not be sound. Is that right?

Are different senses of the word "prove" used if we apply a "to" at the end of "prove"? If I say, "I proved X", it is not the same as if I said, "I will prove to Bob, X"?
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 01:30 pm
@kennethamy,
Ken:
have you really proved anything if others do not accept it? It really doesn't matter who the audience is, because the intention of proving is to persuade towards the veracity of the proof, whether or not the audience is inclined to agree with you.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 01:36 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead;130022 wrote:
Ken:
have you really proved anything if others do not accept it? It really doesn't matter who the audience is, because the intention of proving is to persuade towards the veracity of the proof, whether or not the audience is inclined to agree with you.


But can't someone prove something without any audience at all? Suppose Pythagorean proved that the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides of a triangle, by himself, all alone, with no audience. It had nothing to do with persuasion, but he did prove that. His proving that didn't begin once people became persuaded by it. It was already proved, wasn't it?
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 01:41 pm
@Zetherin,
Zeth: did he not have to, while proving, persuade himself that his proof was proof? Once something is proved to someone (or when someone accepts teh persuasion as proof) it rarely needs to be proved again. So the original proving was self persuasion and all subsequent provings were demonstrating the already established proof.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 01:52 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead;130025 wrote:
Zeth: did he not have to, while proving, persuade himself that his proof was proof? Once something is proved to someone (or when someone accepts teh persuasion as proof) it rarely needs to be proved again. So the original proving was self persuasion and all subsequent provings were demonstrating the already established proof.


Why do you think he was persuaded? I think he was persuaded because it was the truth. And the truth persuades reasonable people. He proved this deductively with mathematics. He wasn't just self-deluding himself as you seem to think.

But, following your logic, where did this "already established proof" come from? It simply came from the first persuasion (him persuading himself)? So, we should approach this as if his theorem has no substance or truth; it is just a form of persuasion? No more, no less.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 02:15 pm
@Zetherin,
Zeth: My posts never placed a truth value on proof. Proof is proof and it will persuade different people differently as to its veracity. My post was to point out the difference between proof and proving. Every evidential proof is interpreted by everyone experiencing it as whatever they interpret it as. A deductive mathmatecal proof will not prove to everyone that it is true, yet everyone who experiences it will experience the persuasion of the proof in his/her own way and according to his/her previously held ideologies. The function of proving is that of persuasion, the intent of proving is that of persuasion. Once someone has accepted a proof it has become established for that person. The truth independent of the proving, assuming that it has an effect on "reasonable people" simply persuades. I am not making a sophistry accusation, I am not saying, oh there is only relativism, no truth exists, math is bunk and so are all empirical facts, its just a functional semantic point. Truth independent (proof) is only as behavior changing as people believe that it is.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 02:19 pm
@Reconstructo,
Goshisdead wrote:

Truth independent (proof) is only as behavior changing as people believe that it is.


I don't know what this means.

But would you say that what Pythagorean proved was true, no matter who was persuaded by it? Or would you say that it being proved true is dependent on who is persuaded by it?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 02:20 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;129999 wrote:
Yes. There are many proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem, though someone may not be persuaded by them (especially if they do not take the time to understand any of them). And people are often persuaded by fallacious reasoning, which obviously is not a proof of what the person is persuaded of.


Yes, I see your point. But if no one was persuaded of the theorem, this theorem would have no force. I would say that we call something proven when we are quite persuaded. I'm not just talking dictionary and use, but looking at the nature of proof. What is proof made of, if not persuasion? I would say that geometric proofs are extremely persuasive.

---------- Post added 02-19-2010 at 03:24 PM ----------

Pyrrho;129999 wrote:
  1. the state of being certain.
  2. something certain; an assured fact.

[/INDENT][/INDENT]

I trimmed the quote down to "certainty," as its meaning is narrower than "certain." I would say that both of these definitions hinge on an emotion.

---------- Post added 02-19-2010 at 03:26 PM ----------

Pyrrho;129999 wrote:

No. They are quite distinct, as even a reading of the definitions in an ordinary dictionary will indicate, and is further supported by a study of logic.

Yes, we do use the words in different ways. But my question was more ambitious than that. Assume that I say "persuasion is proof" and you disagree. I continue to argue that persuasion is proof in any case, asserting perhaps that I believe this. Am I being rational or am I rationalizing? If we disagree, are we both be "rational" or am I rationalizing?
 
 

 
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