How do we really know that we can trust our own logic, what we perceive, etc?

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gitgeezer
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Re: How do we really know that we can trust our own logic, what we perceive, etc?

Post by gitgeezer » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:08 pm

Mr Kite wrote:
gitgeezer wrote:In an earlier post I suggested that "there is no absolute answer" and quoted Max Born's statement that "ideas such as absolute certitude, absolute exactness, final truth, etc. are figments of the imagination which should not be admissible in any field of science." But notice that Born is using the adjectives, "absolute" and "final." This leaves room for certitudes that are not "absolute" and truths that are not "final." Science needs certitude and truth that, though admittedly not absolute and final, is necessary to produce the foundation and confidence to move forward.
I don't think you can have a certitude that is not absolute, but that is only a linguistic point. I suppose you can dilute the notion of truth in this way if you like, but then you are not talking about the kind of truth that the OP was asking about ("how do we *really know* that we can trust..."). Diluting it, though, is a way of saying that science is not about truth, as astro64 has also said. This was my objection to your post of yesterday.
It was this sort of "diluted" truth that produced the computer you are now using. As for the OP's "how do we really know that we can trust?," we can know and trust by observing whether constant and repetitive testing produces the same answer every time. This computer, barring breakage or outside influences, gives me the same results every time I turn it on. I really know that and can trust it, and that's why I continue to use it.

Mr Kite

Re: How do we really know that we can trust our own logic, what we perceive, etc?

Post by Mr Kite » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:18 pm

Yes I know, but while you can call it truth, it isn't the kind the OP was asking about. You are relying on inductive logic so you run into the problem of induction. I expect that the sum will come up tomorrow just as it did today, and that my computer will go on working - but the point is we can't know these things with certainty, no matter how many times they have happened before.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: How do we really know that we can trust our own logic, what we perceive, etc?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:59 pm

The point about induction is that it demonstrates one of the limitations on academic philosophy (that logical constructs rely on unprovable axioms is another limitation). The last chapter of Russell's The Problems of Philosophy is about what knowledge is or can be, at best, in the academic philosophical context. Even in maths you don't prove induction beyond the Peano set, a relatively new axiom.

You are missing the point that gitgeezer is not attempting to prove inductive logic (or anything in Russell's last chapter). He is saying that trust/truth/knowledge is a psychological thing: Gitgeezer is demonstrating that he is happy enough with his world not to need a shrink. The more a person is unable to trust truth or his world, the more he needs a doctor, NOT a philosopher. It is for Glassy to decide how happy or unhappy he is. In very mild cases of neurosis, mysticisms such as those peddled by Aldous Huxley (it seems actual Perennial Philosophy is about 2,000 years old - Huxley steals the term for something else) may be able to help, but in more severe cases, forget it!

(My attacks on Huxley are partly tongue-in-cheek from having read the Doors of Perception 35 years ago - he took such small amounts of hallucinogen his highs were less powerful than those I get from a cheese sandwich and a cup of coffee, lol!)
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gitgeezer
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Re: How do we really know that we can trust our own logic, what we perceive, etc?

Post by gitgeezer » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:00 pm

I've known all along that the OP and other contributors are looking for a deeper "truth" than what science can provide. But my point is that there is no deeper truth. Science is all we have.

As for our senses, we can sharpen them, apply them more systematically, support them with a workable methodology, such as the scientific method, but in the end we must trust them. What else do we have to inform us about the world? We can organize what we receive through our senses into fields of knowledge: science, history, linguistics, etc., but none of these fields will give us absolutes.

So I have selected from the OP's opening statement the parts to which I could respond: physics, logical answers, fathoming ideas, understanding issues, testing, benchmarks, laws of physics, etc. Science is the best thing, some would say the only thing, we have to deal with the natural world to which the OP directed most of his remarks.

Mr Kite

Re: How do we really know that we can trust our own logic, what we perceive, etc?

Post by Mr Kite » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:40 pm

gitgeezer wrote:I've known all along that the OP and other contributors are looking for a deeper "truth" than what science can provide. But my point is that there is no deeper truth.
OK, we agree on that then.
Andrew Fryer wrote:You are missing the point that gitgeezer is not attempting to prove inductive logic (or anything in Russell's last chapter). He is saying that trust/truth/knowledge is a psychological thing: Gitgeezer is demonstrating that he is happy enough with his world not to need a shrink.
OK - I think the OP was calling for a proof, but I agree that it is really a matter of being OK with the uncertainty, and maybe it helps Glassy to know that there are people out there who are well aware of the problem but quite happy to live with it. Whether psychiatry or philosophy - maybe soteriological philosophy - is the best way to get into that position, I'm not sure.

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Re: How do we really know that we can trust our own logic, what we perceive, etc?

Post by glassynails » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:13 am

Mr Kite wrote: OK - I think the OP was calling for a proof, but I agree that it is really a matter of being OK with the uncertainty, and maybe it helps Glassy to know that there are people out there who are well aware of the problem but quite happy to live with it. Whether psychiatry or philosophy - maybe soteriological philosophy - is the best way to get into that position, I'm not sure.
I'm also "quite happy to live with the problem", it truly does not bother me at all. Gitgeezer says that he "turns his computer on and it works the same everytime", etc, but who's to say that there's a computer there "working" or that Gitgeezer is "there" either? There's no concrete way to trust that there "is a computer" or that there "is a you experiencing life". Like I said, this doesn't bother me at all. Why would I worry about a situation that I cannot change at all?

The age old question is - How do I know for sure that this life that I am experiencing is real and not a dream. I propose that it also may not be either "real" or "a dream", we really cannot know. I feel like there's a "me" in a body experiencing daily life, but I cannot really trust this. Consciousness could be outside of me and it "feels" like it's inside me, etc. We also all could be part of the same consciousness experiencing various facets of it within different bodies .... who knows.
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Andrew Fryer
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Re: How do we really know that we can trust our own logic, what we perceive, etc?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:22 am

Mr Kite wrote:I think the OP was calling for a proof
He probably was, but that's probably 'cos he's still at the stage where he imagines there is one.

Sorry, Gitgeezer, I was in a hurry to go out last night and didn't realise quite how literally I appeared to be attributing motive to you. It was intended more as an illustration of my point (that induction is about feelings of security).
gitgeezer wrote:I have selected from the OP's opening statement the parts to which I could respond
That was the right approach - answering the OP's question. I attempted to answer questions that I felt underlay the OP, but I was maybe being presumptuous there. Otoh, I didn't feel that mentioning Aldous Huxley was even an attempt to answer any of the OP's questions.

Now I'm in a hurry to make coffee and visit my other office.
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PeteJ
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Re: How do we really know that we can trust our own logic, what we perceive, etc?

Post by PeteJ » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:32 pm

Andrew Fryer wrote:The point about induction is that it demonstrates one of the limitations on academic philosophy (that logical constructs rely on unprovable axioms is another limitation). The last chapter of Russell's The Problems of Philosophy is about what knowledge is or can be, at best, in the academic philosophical context. Even in maths you don't prove induction beyond the Peano set, a relatively new axiom.
I'd like to disagree. Induction is limited, not philosophy. We have to work from axioms, true enough, but this is not induction. We'd also have deduction and abduction. As for Russell, he was a failure at philosophy and I would never recommend him except as an example of how not to do philosophy. He states of himself that he has learned nothing at all from metaphysics so it's weird that he is rated as a philosopher and it goes to show how high the bar is set in academia. His colleague Spencer Brown was more successful but Russell couldn't see it.
. In very mild cases of neurosis, mysticisms such as those peddled by Aldous Huxley (it seems actual Perennial Philosophy is about 2,000 years old - Huxley steals the term for something else) may be able to help, but in more severe cases, forget it!
More like 4000 years, and maybe more. We'll never know. Huxley uses the word as I would but he did not have the internet and his selection of quotations and discussion of them is rather narrow as a result, and he doesn't explain anything much but mostly just presents its literature. A practitioner is highly unlikely to have a problem with neurosis unless they are just starting out.
(My attacks on Huxley are partly tongue-in-cheek from having read the Doors of Perception 35 years ago - he took such small amounts of hallucinogen his highs were less powerful than those I get from a cheese sandwich and a cup of coffee
No hallucinogens would be necessary so the amount he took is not important. I feel he did us all a great service with his book but times have moved on and there are many alternative introductions, some of which are better at explaining the view Huxley endorses.

On YT there are one or two TED talks by Bernardo Kastrup that might help to clarify the link between scientific research and the perennial view. But each person comes from a different place so maybe they won't suit.

I hope I don't seem too argumentative. I'm trying to prevent misrepresentation and promote accuracy in respect of a view that is not well-known here, not ram a view down anyone's throat.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: How do we really know that we can trust our own logic, what we perceive, etc?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:09 pm

People should read this before they read Huxley.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perennial_philosophy
They will need to know that Neo-Platonism is approxiamtely 2,000 years old.
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gitgeezer
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Re: How do we really know that we can trust our own logic, what we perceive, etc?

Post by gitgeezer » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:16 pm

glassynails wrote:who's to say that there's a computer there "working" or that Gitgeezer is "there" either? There's no concrete way to trust that there "is a computer" or that there "is a you experiencing life".
Applying Samuel Johnson's test of reality, I kick my computer while declaring "I refute it thus." And the pain in my toe assures me that I exist as well.

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Re: How do we really know that we can trust our own logic, what we perceive, etc?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:27 pm

You guys have computers that work every time? I've gotta get an Apple.
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PeteJ
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Re: How do we really know that we can trust our own logic, what we perceive, etc?

Post by PeteJ » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:51 pm

Andrew Fryer wrote:People should read this before they read Huxley.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perennial_philosophy
They will need to know that Neo-Platonism is approxiamtely 2,000 years old.
Yes, but the Perennial philosophy predates human writing. It is not neo-Platonism.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: How do we really know that we can trust our own logic, what we perceive, etc?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:11 pm

In fact it predates humans.
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PeteJ
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Re: How do we really know that we can trust our own logic, what we perceive, etc?

Post by PeteJ » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:18 pm

I suppose you're right in a way.

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