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curi

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  1. "Then let's hear what is contradicted." Induction, among other things. Haven't you been paying attention? Fred, if they contain a good argument why don't you tell us what it is?
  2. Epistemology In Short

    are you trolling me? i'm saying that evolution is a single principle that applies both to genes and ideas. evolution is about concepts like "replication", "variation" and "selection" which are independent of DNA. DNA is just one case. i am not saying ideas are made of DNA.
  3. Epistemology In Short

    there is an underlying principle behind both types of evolution. they are the same thing. the underlying principle is that replication with variation and selection creates knowledge. replication with variation and selection literally happens in both cases (ideas and genes). You're linking to basics. If that's where you are, then what you need to do is study the topic more, starting by reading David Deutsch's two books, and also, if you haven't, The Selfish Gene. After reading those three books you will be able to understand this far better than those wikipedia articles. For fun you could then go back and edit them with some corrections.
  4. Popper contradicts Rand on some points (and gives some arguments). Unless Popper is refuted then Rand can't be fully right. Two contradictory things can't both be true.
  5. I got asked for my philosophy on one foot. I personally never found Objectivism on one foot that useful. I thought it's too hard to understand if you don't already know what the stuff means. Philosophy is hard enough to communicate in whole books. Some people read Atlas Shrugged and think Rand is a communist or altruist. Some people read Popper and think he's a positivist or inductivist. Huge mistakes are easily possible even with long philosophical statements. I think the best solution involves back and forth communication so that miscommunication mistakes can be fixed along the way and understanding can be built up incrementally. But this requires the right attitudes and methods for talking to be very effective. And that's hard. And if people don't already have the right methods to learn and communicate well, how do you explain it to them? There's a chicken and egg problem that I don't have a great answer to. But anyway, philosophy, really short, I tried, here you go: There is only one known rational theory of how knowledge is created: evolution. It answers Paley's problem. No one has ever come up with any other answer. Yet most people do not recognize evolution as a key theory in epistemology, and do not recognize that learning is an evolutionary process. They have no refutation of evolution, nor any alternative, and persist with false epistemologies. This includes Objectivism – Ayn Rand choose not to learn much about evolution. Evolution is about how knowledge can be created from non-knowledge, and also how knowledge is improved. This works by a process of replication with variation and selection. In epistemology, ideas and variants are criticized and the survivors continue on in the process. This process incrementally makes progress, just like biological evolution. Step by step, flaws get eliminated and the knowledge gets better adapted and refined. This correction of errors is crucial to how knowledge is created and improved. Another advantage of evolutionary processes is that they are resilient to mistakes. Many individual steps can be done badly and a good result still achieved. Biological evolution works even though many animals with advantageous genes die before other animals with inferior genes; there's a large random luck factor which does not ruin the process. This is important because of human fallibility: mistakes are common. We cannot avoid making any mistakes and should instead emphasize using methods that can deal with mistakes well. (Methods which deal with mistakes well are rational; methods which do not are irrational because they entrench mistakes long term.) A key issue in epistemology is how conflicts of ideas are handled. Trying to resolve these conflicts by authority or by looking at the source of ideas is irrational. It can make mistakes persist long term. A rational approach which can quickly catch and eliminate mistakes is to judge conflicting ideas by their content. How do you judge the content of an idea? You try to find something wrong with it. You should not focus on saying why ideas are good because if they have mistakes you won't find the mistakes that way. However, finding something good about an idea is useful for criticizing other ideas which lack that good feature – it reveals a flaw in those rivals. However, in cases where a good feature of an idea does not lead to any criticism of a rival, it provides no advantage over that rival. This critical approach to evaluating ideas follows the evolutionary method. This has implications for morality and politics. How people handle conflicts and disagreements are defining issues for their morality and politics. Conflicts of ideas should not be approached by authority and disagreement should not be disregarded. This implies a voluntary system with consent as a major issue. Consent implies agreement; lack of consent implies disagreement. Voluntary action implies agreement; involuntary action implies disagreement. Political philosophy usually focuses too much on who should rule (or which laws should rule), instead of how to incrementally evolve our political knowledge. It tries to set up the right laws in the first place, instead of a system that is good at improving its laws. Mistakes should be expected. Disagreement should be expected. Everything should be set up to deal with this well. That implies making it easy to change rulers and laws (without violence). Also disagreement and diversity should be tolerated within the law. Moral philosophy usually makes the same mistake as political philosophy. It focuses too much on deciding-declaring what is moral and immoral. There should be more concern with fallibility, and setting things up for moral knowledge to incrementally evolve. We aren't going to get all the answers right today. We should judge moral ideas more by how much they allow evolution, progress and mistake-correction, rather than by trying ot know whether a particular idea would be ideal forever. Don't try to prophesy the future and do start setting things up so we can adjust well in the unknown future. Things will go wrong in epistemology, morality and politics. The focus should be on incrementally evolving things to be better over time and setting things up to be resilient to mistakes. It's better to have mistaken ideas today and good mistake-correction setup than to have superior ideas today which are hard to evolve and fragile to error.
  6. Dykes is one of the people who tried to criticize Popper's epistemology. Objectivists commonly cite him when challenged. If you can offer any better piece arguing with Popper, let's hear it. If there's nothing better, then Objectivist epistemology is refuted by Popper's.
  7. http://conjecturesandrefutations.com/2013/07/27/a-refutation-of-nicholas-dykes-on-karl-popper/ Alan wrote an answer to Dykes. Enjoy
  8. I was planning to write an essay explaining the method of rationally resolving conflicts and always acting on a single idea with no outstanding criticisms. It would follow up on my essay Epistemology Without Weights and the Mistake Objectivism and Critical Rationalism Both Made where I mentioned the method but didn't explain it. I knew I'd already written a number of explanations on the topic, so I decided to reread them for preparation. While reading them I decided that the topic is hard and it'd be very hard to write a single essay which is good enough for someone to understand it. Maybe if they already had a lot of relevant background knowledge, like knowing Popper, Deutsch or TCS, one essay could work OK. But for an Objectivist audience, or most audiences, I think it'd be really hard. So I had a different idea I think will work better: gather together multiple essays. This lets people learn about the subject from a bunch of different angles. I think this way will be the most helpful to someone who is interested in understanding this philosophy. Each link below was chosen selectively. I reread all of them as well as other things that I decided not to include. It may look like a lot, but I don't think you should expect an important new idea in epistemology to be really easy and short to learn. I've put the links in the order I recommend reading them, and included some explanations below. Instead of one perfect essay – which is impossible – I present instead some variations on a theme. ------------------------------------------------------------ Popper's critical preferences idea is incorrect. It's similar to standard epistemology, but better, but still shares some incorrectness with rival epistemologies. My criticisms of it can be made of any other standard epistemology (including Objectivism) with minor modifications. I explained a related criticism of Objectivism in my prior essay. Critical Preferences Critical Preferences and Strong Arguments The next one helps clarify a relevant epistemology point: Corroboration Regress problems are a major issue in epistemology. Understanding the method of rationally resolving conflicts between ideas to get a single idea with no outstanding criticism helps deal with regresses. Regress Problems Confused about anything? Maybe these summary pieces will help: Conflict, Criticism, Learning, Reason All Problems are Soluble We Can Always Act on Non-Criticized Ideas This next piece clarifies an important point: Criticism is Contextual Coercion is an important idea to understand. It comes from Taking Children Seriously (TCS), the Popperian educational and parenting philosophy by David Deutsch. TCS's concept of "coercion" is somewhat different than the dictionary, keep in mind that it's our own terminology. TCS also has a concept of a "common preference" (CP). A CP is any way of resolving a problem between people which they all prefer. It is not a compromise; it's only a CP if everyone fully prefers it. The idea of a CP is that it's a preference which everyone shares in common, rather than disagreeing. CPs are the only way to solve problems. And any non-coercive solution is a CP. CPs turn out to be equivalent to non-coercion. One of my innovations is to understand that these concept can be extended. It's not just about conflicts between people. It's really about conflicts between ideas, including ideas within the same mind. Thus coercion and CPs are both major ideas in epistemology. TCS's "most distinctive feature is the idea that it is both possible and desirable to bring up children entirely without doing things to them against their will, or making them do things against their will, and that they are entitled to the same rights, respect and control over their lives as adults." In other words, achieving common preferences, rather than coercion, is possible and desirable. Don't understand what I'm talking about? Don't worry. Explanations follow: Taking Children Seriously Coercion The next essay explains the method of creating a single idea with no outstanding criticisms to solve problems and how that is always possible and avoids coercion. Avoiding Coercion Avoiding Coercion Clarification This email clarifies some important points about two different types of problems (I call them "human" and "abstract"). It also provides some historical context by commenting on a 2001 David Deutsch email. Human Problems and Abstract Problems The next two help clarify a couple things: Multiple Incompatible Unrefuted Conjectures Handling Information Overload Now that you know what coercion is, here's an early explanation of the topic: Coercion and Critical Preferences This is an earlier piece covering some of the same ideas in a different way: Resolving Conflicts of Interest These pieces have some general introductory overview about how I approach philosophy. They will help put things in context: Think Philosophy: What For? Want to understand more? Read these essays and dialogs. Read Fallible Ideas. Join my discussion group and actually ask questions.
  9. My Philosophy

    Correcting mistakes is the method of obtaining knowledge. Error correction creates knowledge. Human fallibility is and should be a main focus point. It's important and has to be dealt with. Mistakes are common, we have to deal with them all the time, we need systems for that, it's a crucial issue. That's my point. You're asserting to the contrary but not saying anything that would change my mind.
  10. My Philosophy

    Where are the comments on content and substance instead of about format and trivial irrelevant stuff?
  11. Objectivist epistemology says induction is right. All my stuff about induction is commenting on Objectivist epistemology. I also criticized the weighing evidence idea. I've also talked about some stuff like certainty and fallibility. This is all Objectivism related. I consider forums to have asynchronous communication. That means I post on my schedule, and you post on your schedule. I don't expect anything else. Popper is not only criticism of rival views; he presents a view of how epistemology works. He has many books about this. Why does it seem that no Objectivist has ever read and understood them? I don't have a problem with you or any other one person not studying it. But someone should have. And I think if no Objectivist has answered it well, then Objectivists shouldn't be so harsh on Popper.
  12. My Philosophy

    Oh you want to read long dense text? OK read through: http://curi.us/archives/50 And this: http://fallibleideas.com/ When you don't finish reading all this and don't reply, maybe you'll understand why I linked something shorter to begin with, instead of insulting simplicity and brevity as childish.
  13. My Philosophy

    Did you actually read what I linked? It explains some philosophical ideas.
  14. Here is an introductory explanation of my philosophy: http://curi.us/think/ What do you think about it from an Objectivist perspective? I've read a lot of Rand and I still think this way. She didn't change my mind about these things. Did I miss something? Did Rand miss something? Are our ideas compatible?
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