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Diana Hsieh on ARI vs. TOC

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What I intend to do is create a whole new field which involves both deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning. It will be a symbolic system that makes mathematics and language interconnected.
Is this different from formal semantics? The most significant problem there is the content of meaning (the cat and dog problem), for example how do you express the fact that the concept "cat" implies "animal" or the fact that "The cat are a mouse" implies that the cat acted in a certain way (and the mouse did not). It's been driving me nuts for years, but I'm at least now convinced that the solution is only going to emerge after more research into concept formation and human perception.

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I think I'd like to challenge that statement (depending on what you meant). If you meant that mathematics can't validate the basic perceptual axioms, then that's not in contention. I argue that the inability to reach philosophical truths via deduction is true only given an undefendable definition of "deduction" which excludes inductive generalization. Is your claim about deduction, or the axioms?

I am honestly not sure what your precise challenge is here and I am not even certain that we are in disagreement.

By deduction, I meant starting from a finite number of axioms and attempting to deduce Objectivism without reference to reality (i.e., without inductive reasoning). I suppose one might be able to define a framework where Objectivism can be deduced. For example, assuming that we have a finite representation of all facts of reality, which we can then load into a computing machine to be treated as axiomatic in addition to the three axioms of Objectivism. If someone could sketch out a useful (for the purposes of a thought experiment) method of representing all facts of reality into a computer, then we can probably discuss an exhaustive search algorithm to deduce all principles of Objectivism along with the appropriate context in which they exist.

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By deduction, I meant starting from a finite number of axioms and attempting to deduce Objectivism without reference to reality (i.e., without inductive reasoning).
Okay -- that's what I mean by saying that mathematics can't validate the basic perceptual axioms, so we do agree. The point is that many people hold that induction (ordinary induction, not "mathematical induction" over natural numbers) is outside of formal logic, but in fact inductive generalization is just as formalizable as universal instantiation and modus ponens. The problem for mathematics is that it has no means of validating our perceptions, but there is no methodological problem with inductively arriving at generalizations from specific instances (once you go beyond FOP logic).

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Is this different from formal semantics? The most significant problem there is the content of meaning (the cat and dog problem), for example how do you express the fact that the concept "cat" implies "animal" or the fact that "The cat are a mouse" implies that the cat acted in a certain way (and the mouse did not). It's been driving me nuts for years, but I'm at least now convinced that the solution is only going to emerge after more research into concept formation and human perception.

David,

I'm going to be pretty circumspect for several reasons, but actually, I think that you would find that Computer Science currently provides some of the functionality that you are looking for already. I suppose that I'm now more or less a convert to Object-Oriented Programming. As far as programming goes, now you can and most likely would start by writing a "class" that handles the most abstract aspects first. That is, it's possible to write computer code that represents (in this case) "animal-ness". These types of "abstract" classes are used to generate "derived" classes through "inheritance". That is, a "class Animal" can be written with a, b, and c type of data and x, y, and z type of operations in mind. Then, more specific or concrete "animals" can be codified (without having to manually re-write the original "animal" code for each derived instance.) Over time, with additional code, class behavior gets more particular and fine-tuned. ...so for example, if you wanted to keep a database of cat profiles for a pet store, then you could likely write code to represent various breeds thereby allowing buyers to make better informed decisions.

For the "hows" of doing this people read computer manuals, and for the "whys" they read ethics. ...which leads to... Sure, there will be more overlapping of fields. (You could call this a new type of "convergence" technology, I suppose.) I still bristle at the idea of AI because ultimately we're still talking about machinery that 1) depends on human decision-making and 2) isn't any more infallible than is possible in mechanics. That is, "artificial intelligence" amounts to delayed and applied human intelligence. ...so I'm not sure what people really expect from AI. Better "expert systems"? I suppose so... but beyond that??? Well...?

Yeah, if you can reliably establish inductive principles, then (eventually) those principles can be employed in technology, but I'm not so sure how that's all that different from how R & D has essentially operated in recent decades anyway. For example, the Internet (not ARPAnet) itself is how old now??? at least 15 years, right? Well, it allows for more productivity (obviously), but it's not an autonomous or living entity. Again, with the whole drive behind AI.... what do people realistically expect? (Hollywood movies are fun, but I don't take them all that seriously as some people out there might...)

Also, yep, I'm also vaguely aware of Chomsky's influence on language studies... :D (sigh)

Edited by tps_fan

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I emailed Diana congratulating her on her leaving the TOC and asked her why she had not become a full supporter of ARI. Her problem lies in the idea that A can be A and B(edit: her error is that A can be not A). She thinks that more can be added to Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism.(Edit: Note, she did not say this, this is merely my interpretation of what she said) I emailed her back telling her that Objectivism is Ayn Rand’s philosophy and only that and that nothing could be added to what Ayn Rand put in her philosophy unless Ayn did it herself, which of course is now impossible. I said that any other theories or ideas that come about, that lie directly in sync with Objectivism would also be just that, ideas that lie in sync with Objectivism and that Objectivist agree with and could never be a part of Objectivism itself.

Its amazing how people can study Ayn Rand’s works for many years, in her case 10+, and still think that they can put words in someone else’s mouth.

I haven’t receive an email in response to this, but I’ll let you know what happens if a response comes

i never met a mathematician who would claim mathematics is a closed system: indeed Gödel's Incompleteness theorem has two conclusions for logicians: 1) that there exist things which are not provable, and the implication 2) that there are things which are, but as yet undiscovered, thus guaranteeing employment for logicians and mathematicians, and yes, philosophers.

Certainly Philosophy is both a logical system and incomplete; to suggest Ms Rand's philosophy is one but not the either not only puts us all out of work but commits the Islam Messenger fallacy: that Muhammad is the final prophet and his message is complete unto itself, and he who questions divine authority must be expelled, banished even silenced.

You are right: new ideas that come about are philosophy ideas, theorems, theories consistent with Objectivism, logic and Reality: to equate Ms Rand's philosophy to a religious paradigm is not only dangerous, but hints at a deeper personal issue one may possess regarding the basis for knowledge and one's self worth.

To paraphrase Ms Rand, what we're talking about is not Objectivist philosophy, it's just philosophy, so get over it: it is imcomplete as any system must be, and to claim it is not Objectivism is to demean the system: Ms Rand is not a divine prophet, had a finite lifespan, and as Gödel showed, could not have come up with everything (indeed no one can) and like math, our theory will grow as does our comprehension; if you wish to close your mind, so be it: don't straitjacket the rest of us who can still wish to think.

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Objectivism is as revolutionary, and controversial, as Newtons's theory on Science. That doesn't mean everything in Objectivism is correct to the level of the very tee but from where we stand it stands close enough. What we need is a formal system of processing data that is symbolic and capable of being compared to both Objectivism and Mathematics.

I suggest reading http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/rosetta.pdf to get an idea how we can make a new system of reason that is analogous to many of the already well understood systems of reason.

Edit: Whoops, sorry. I didn't realize how old this topic was. I came here straight from google. X.X

yes i'm new here too and posted a similar statement to the effect that Differential Calculus did not end with Newton & Leibnitz, and indeed not until 200 +yrs later did the axiomatic treatment of set theory get any rigorous treatment, along with conundrums like Cauchy Sets and the uncountability of reals numbers versus rational ones.

I argued elsewhere that philosophy is an open system by Gödel's Incompleteness theorem, and there are always openings for thinkers developing theories. To claim the matter is completely settled in all and every aspect is to commit what I call the Muhammad Fallacy, where the messenger of God claimed to be the LAST in a long line of prophets but this was the last time and you had better straighten your act up now or else.

Hey this is not religion: if it satisfies a strict analysis then it's valid, and let's move on; if Ms Rand did not say it first, so be it: it is not heresy to offer something original, and indeed validates her version of the greatest virtue, which is to think.

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i never met a mathematician who would claim mathematics is a closed system:
Do you believe that the Peano axioms are open? Is the content of Euclid's Elements subject to revision and correction?

Since mathematics is not about anything specific and thus does not make any claim, it's simply not appropriate to compare Rand's philosophical system to it, since the latter is about a specific subject matter.

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Since mathematics is not about anything specific and thus does not make any claim, it's simply not appropriate to compare Rand's philosophical system to it, since the latter is about a specific subject matter.

This isn't the relevant distinction. Mathematics is a subject, and subjects are not closed. Philosophy is also a subject, and qua subject it is not closed. (I've been listening to Peikoff's lectures on unity, and in the Q&A of the second lecture he says explicitly that "philosophy is not a closed system".) But we must distinguish between a subject and a specific work inside that subject. Objectivism is not a synonym for "true philosophy". It is a specific integrated system of principles, validated in a specific way, and it either stands or falls as such.

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Sorry if this has come up and you've answered it before David, do you consider Objectivism to be a closed system?
Yes, it is a well-defined system, and no principles can be added to it or taken from it. Principles can be further explained and facts can be reduced to those principles, but the content of the system -- the axioms & theorems -- cannot be changed.

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Yes, it is a well-defined system, and no principles can be added to it or taken from it. Principles can be further explained and facts can be reduced to those principles, but the content of the system -- the axioms & theorems -- cannot be changed.

That's what I thought. I asked because I hate to make assumptions about people when I can just come out and ask.

I'm always surprised when people say it isn't when it seems self-evident.

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Principles can be further explained and facts can be reduced to those principles...

This is a side-note, but this formulation is a bit odd. We don't reduce facts to principles -- quite the opposite. Part of validating a principle is reducing it to facts. Once validated, new facts can be assimilated underneath principles. But the facts are fundamental; principles are integrations of facts.

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