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  1. By "universal", I am referring to the object of the problem of universals. I'm looking at how one could use Ayn Rand's solution to clarify some issues. preliminaries "An entity is that which you perceive and which can exist by itself. Characteristics, qualities, attributes, actions, relationships do not exist by themselves." [Ayn Rand, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, workshops, "What is an entity?"] Whether or not the entities responsible for a specific effect are known, there is something acting in a certain manner. Any concept we form on the basis of concepts of entities can be applied to those kinds of entities going forward. Causality is the law of identity applied to action. Not every "universal" is suitable for scientific investigation: Invalid concepts arrest further advancement. They directly lead to false theories, such as "phlogiston" or Cartesian "vortices". Particulars must qualify as units of a valid concept. The concept of the universal must be such that one can objectively determine (i.e. through a process of measurement-inclusion) whether some particular thing qualifies as a member. Leonard Peikoff, David Harriman, and others have touched on this. Explicit knowledge of conceptual context can help reach true conclusions about the nature of the causation, thus providing a solid basis for induction. If you have valid concepts, what makes one "universal" more suitable for investigation than another? What is not attributable to entities does not easily offer generalization. The more abstract a concept is, the more levels of abstraction one must traverse in order to interpret factual data about perceptual concretes. The more room there is for error, the more easily one can misinterpret factual data or jump beyond what the evidence affords. Is it better to focus on concepts "closer" to the perceptual level? Is it better to focus on concepts of perceivable attributes, actions, processes, relationships, etc.? Distinguishing a substance from entities yields definition but few generalizations. Investigation of a specific kind of attribute, action, process, or relationship provides necessary foundation for explanation. The history from the gas laws to statistical mechanics and atomic theory come to mind. In the 1500s, people knew that liquid water became steam but little else. With the gas laws and the concept of constituents of matter, we could explain boiling as the activity of the constituents overcoming atmospheric pressure. What is not measurable cannot be quantitatively compared to other instances. This severely limits the range of what can be discovered. It would be better to find the Conceptual Common Denominator, such as what was done for heat, for sound, and for electromagnetism. What is measurable in more than one dimension requires more work to explain. Some scientists who encountered a pair or triple of attributes attempted to separate them experimentally, as Galileo did with horizontal/vertical motion and Francis Bacon did in his scientific work. Other scientists found themselves unable to separate certain measurements so they looked for quantitative relationship(s) instead, such as Boyle, Amontons, Charles, and Gay-Lussac did when investigating gases.
  2. Instances of colour seem to have nothing in common with one another but the colours themselves. The perceptible parts of coloured things are static with respect to one another. A prism can show how white light can be separated into various colours based on angle. A pair of prisms can be used to show how the resulting colours cannot be further subdivided by use of the second prism. Is this sufficient grounds for concluding that colour is the result of what matter does? If not, why not?
  3. case 1: Neodymium magnets (Nd2Fe14B magnets) are much stronger (ferromagnetically) than other commercially available permanent magnets. Neodymium and boron aren't ferromagnetic by themselves, but they make the material ferromagnetic. In this manner, they "steal the scene" of the neodymium magnet. It turns out that the ferromagnetic effect arises from the crystalline structure which makes it a certain type of material object. We explain that ferromagnetism with reference to structural properties. case 2: Hydrogen peroxide decomposes into atmospheric oxygen and water. But if you add manganese dioxide, the recombinations of chemical constituents happens faster. What's interesting is that the manganese dioxide is not actually consumed. The manganese dioxide "steals the scene" by increasing the rate of a reaction without being consumed. We explain that "acceleration" with reference to chemical properties. In both cases, something perceptible "steals the scene". We use our conceptual faculty to discover the important change happening at the level of imperceptible constituents. But are all such "scene-stealers" indicative of subtle aspects? I'd like to hear a counter-example from any field of science.
  4. One way an instance of an effect can seem unique is that it appears to change without cause. That unexplained change demonstrates the existence of some factor not presently accounted for or the lack of something you were counting on. As a child, I noticed that after turning off a CRT, I could see a thick layer of dust that had been interfering with my enjoyment. So I started to collect and lift it off with my finger when I noticed that the clumps of dust would dance across the screen. This amused me greatly and served as my first experiment in electrostatics. When I found that other materials would ruin my fun by causing the dust to fall uselessly to the ground, I realized that the dust had lost something I was counting on. Another way an instance can seem unique is that it deviates from the expected course. What deviates from the expected course either involves something you didn't expect or lacks something you expected. As a child, I noticed a spider with an extra "foot" coming out of one its legs. Some time later, I noticed a young spider with the same extra "foot". I later identified that trait as "mutation". Yet another way an instance can seem unique is that it does not obviously share a Conceptual Common Denominator with anything presently known. This demonstrates that the cause differs significantly from what is familiar. For a long time, I didn't see a common denominator between liquid water and boiling water. I would have to learn about phase transition and statistical mechanics for that. In all three cases, some (comparatively) unique instance depended on peculiar circumstances which I had to discover and identify in conceptual terms. Can we formulate a general rule of causal inference? Can we say that what seems unique MUST involve or lack something we haven't thought of? Is that really what "unique" objectively means?
  5. Here are some things I've noticed. Where applicable, I have mentioned relevant philosophical works in the Objectivist literature. Can you think of something else that concepts do for scientists? Investigation of a universal to be explained depends on a concept of that universal. Consider "heat". Without a concept of heat, it would not have been possible to investigate its referents. One cannot investigate without first mentally isolating something that can be investigated. One cannot hope to explain something without first mentally isolating what is to be explained. What exists is classified as a particular instance of a universal on the basis of conceptual identification. For example, when one classifies something as "hot", the mind subsumes an aspect of a perceptual concrete under the concept of heat. In order to explain heat as an effect, scientists had to discover what it is to be heat. Since the concept of heat is an abstraction from abstractions, it was necessary to examine instances of heat. The process of conceptual identification is clarified by Harry Binswanger in Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation. The process of discovery is guided by other concepts besides the concept of the universal investigated. Scientists had to apply numerous concepts to factual data about the instances of heat: the concept of concentration, the concept of confining and enclosing, the concept of friction, the concept of chemical reaction, the methodological concept of comparative measurement, the concept of rarity of gas, the concept of motion, the concept of tendency, the concept of surface, the concept of particle, etc. The validity of an investigation depends in part on the validity of the concepts used throughout the process. Every concept applied during the course of a scientific investigation must be a valid concept. And every identification depends on correctly isolating a characteristic of the subject from all the other characteristics of that subject. A study of the history of the investigation of heat will reveal how an invalid concept can interfere with causal understanding and produce erroneous theories (e.g. phlogiston, which David Harriman mentions in Logical Leap). Valid concepts enable the application of antecedent knowledge. The concept of friction can be hierarchically reduced to earlier knowledge of motion and surface impediments to motion. The concept of motion, the concept of surface, and the concept of impediment were abstracted from entities. Thus it is perfectly valid to pursue the discovery of constituents and their interactions. The concept of chemical reaction can be hierarchically reduced to the knowledge of combinations of pure substances and the concept of change. Concepts of substances were formed by distinguishing entities according to constituents. Thus it is perfectly valid to pursue the discovery of the constituents of chemical substances. The methodological concept of experimental confinement can be traced back to the knowledge that man is not omniscient and to the concept of causality. This methodological concept can be activated to carefully exclude irrelevant, interfering factors. Leonard Peikoff and Harry Binswanger have tips on performing hierarchical reduction scattered throughout their lectures and books. Some instances of a universal can be used to demonstrate propositions applicable to more than one instance. Consider the expansion of liquid mercury and liquid alcohol when heated by fire. This demonstrates that the expansion of liquids quantifies the net effect of the behaviour of their constituents. Consider the fact that metal heated by the fire can produce the same amount of expansion. Consider the fact that a metal bar can be expanded by fire. Consider the fact that a metal bar is shorter in the coldest part of winter than in the hottest part of summer. Therefore we make measurements in reference to the net effect of the behaviour of the constituents. Concepts of characteristics provide a context for identifying the fundamental characteristic. After you have identified a number of characteristics distinguishing the universal of inductive interest, you can determine which characteristic of the concept's units is the characteristic that causes or explains the most others known. The designation of the fundamental can be altered with the growth of human knowledge. It took centuries of discovery to proceed from the aspect of motion of particles to the more fundamental aspect known as the energy of the particles. Ayn Rand discusses the contextual nature of definitions in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, chapter 5. Definitions, pg. 43-45 of the English 2nd edition
  6. About the Platform: "Study Group For Objectivists"(SGO)[1] is for serious students of Objectivism from various age groups and professions. The study is specialized and involves particular texts(not necessarily Objectivists), mainly in the fields of philosophy and history. The student, after studying the text can give summary, outline, or detailed analysis and synthesis of select sections(referred to as chewing by Ayn Rand). Rigrous etiquettes, timebound schedules for various sections and advance notice enables better discipline, and therefore productive study. Based on personal experience, I can vouch for the same. Purpose of Platform: These study groups intend to achieve for Objectivism, what various intellectuals and philosophers did post Acquinas in the West. Explore various writings to understand rational philosophy across length, breadth and depth of intellectual spectrum, and unleash the new era of Renaissance and Enlightenment. Spiritual awakening that begins with the minds of participants, fulfilling their lives with knowledge, understanding, wisdom and therefore joy. Unleashing "The New Intellectuals" into current ruins of philosophy, to redeem its lost foundations and for cultivating the seeds for future movements. To put it succintly, this is the stock exchange for trading rational ideas, one text at a time. Current Study Group: Coming to the current study group, it is on the subject of philosophy, epistemology to be more specific. As Ayn Rand puts it, "A political battle is merely a skirmish[small battle] fought with muskets; a philosophical battle is a nuclear war." As is clearly communicated in many Objectivist forums, Epistemology is the foundation of more visible philosophical aspects like Politics, Ethics and Aesthetics. And ultimately foundation of every subject ranging from physical sciences to economics to history to psychology to even technology(like logic in computers). Ayn Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology(ITOE), her other works to lesser extent, and portions of Dr. Peikoff's Objectivism : Philosophy of Ayn Rand(OPAR) focus on Epistemology. You can also add Dr. Peikoff's lectures on "Art of Thinking", "Objectivism through Induction", and recent How we Know by Dr. Harry Binswanger. Yet this important branch has largely been understudied in this potentially world changing movement. This studygroup intends to take step in that direction. Attempting to redirect focus to its roots, Epistemology that is. We will study foundation of aspect that has been least touched in Objectivist epistemology, inductive method of thinking. Very briefly, inductive method involves integrating universal generalizations like principles and laws from a set of particulars or lower level generalizations. The text will introduce and explore important terms of inductive method, and what these refer to. Primary referents of the terms being methods of discoveries of Galileo, Newton, and Benjamin Franklin's electricity. We will study "The Logical Leap - Induction in Physics" by David Harriman. Chapter studied will be the first chapter "The Foundation". Namely the following sections 1 09/08/2014 - 09/14/2014 The Nature of Concepts 2 09/15/2014 - 09/21/2014 Generalizations as Hierarchial 3 09/22/2014 - 09/28/2014 Perceiving First-Level Causal Connections 4 09/29/2014 - 09/05/2014 Conceptualizing First-Level Causal Connections 5 10/06/2014 - 10/12/2014 The structure of inductive reasoning 6 10/13/2014 - 10/19/2014 Review and summary Apart from this central material, preperatory material can be 1. Chapter 1. "Cognition and Measurement" from "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology". 2. Chapter 2. "Concept-Formation" from "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology". 3. Section on "Causality as Corollary of Identity" from chapter 1 "Reality" of OPAR. 4. Introduction and Preface of "The Logical Leap - Induction in Physics". Conclusion: So primarily for fulfilling your appetite of rational method, and changing course of civilization in the process, I urge you to consider participation here. "Study Group for Objectivists" - http://www.studygroupsforobjectivists.com" Note: After you register, activation can take few days. Please go through the etiquettes and archives once registered. [1] Study group for Objectivists(SGO) - http://www.studygroupsforobjectivists.com [2] Further details on the importance of SGO - http://aristotleadventure.blogspot.in/2008/08/study-groups-for-objectivists-sgo_29.html
  7. There are two particularly hard parts of explaining why induction is false. First, there are many refutations. Where do you start? Second, most refutations are targeted at professional philosophers. What most people mean by "induction" varies a great deal. Most professional philosophers are strongly attached to the concept of induction and know what it is. Most people are strongly attached to the word "induction" and will redefine it in response to criticism. In *The World of Parmenides*, Popper gives a short refutation of induction. It's updated from an article in Nature. It involves what most people would consider a bunch of tricky math. To seriously defend induction, doesn't one need to understand arguments like this and address them? Some professional philosophers do read and respond to this kind of thing. You can argue with them. You can point out a mistake in their response. But what do you do with people who aren't familiar with the material and think it's above their head? If you aren't familiar with this argument against induction, how do you know induction is any good? If you don't have a first hand understanding of both the argument and a mistake in it, then why take sides in favor of induction? Actually, inductivists have more responses open to them than pointing out a mistake in the argument or rejecting induction (or evading, or pleading ignorance). Do you know what the other important option is? Or will you hear it for the first time from me in the next paragraph, and then adopt it as your position? I don't recommend getting your position on induction from someone who thinks induction is a mistake – all the defenses I bring up are things I already know about and I *still* consider induction to be mistaken. Another option is to correctly point out that Popper's refutation only applies to some meanings of "induction", not all. It's possible to have a position on induction which is only refuted by other arguments, not by this particular one. I won't help you too much though. What do you have to mean by "induction" to not be refuted by this particular argument? What can't you mean? You figure it out. Popper argues against induction in books like LScD, C&R, OK, RASc. Deutsch does in FoR and BoI. Should I repeat points which are already published? What for? If some inductivist doesn't care to read the literature, will my essay do any good? Why would it? I recently spoke with some Objectivists who said they weren't in favor of enumerative induction. They were in favor of the other kind. What other kind? How does it work? Where are the details? They wouldn't say. How do you argue with that? Someone told me that OPAR solves the problem of induction. OPAR, like ITOE, actually barely mentions induction. Some other Objectivists were Bayesians. Never mind that Bayesian epistemology contradicts Objectivist epistemology. In any case, dealing with Bayesians is *different*. One strategy is to elicit from people *their* ideas about induction, then address those. That poses several problems. For one thing, it means you have to write a personalized response to each person, not a single essay. (But we already have general purpose answers by Popper and Deutsch published, anyway.) Another problem is that most people's ideas about induction are vague. And they only successfully communicate a fraction of their ideas about it. How do you argue with people who have only a vague notion of what "induction" is, but who are strongly attached to defending "induction"? They shouldn't be advocating induction at all without a better idea of what it means, let alone strongly. There are many other difficulties as well. For example, no one has ever written a set of precise instructions for how to do induction. They will tell me that I do it every day, but they never give me any instructions so how am I supposed to do it even once? Well I do it without knowing it, they say. Well how do they know that? To decide I did induction, you'd have to first say what induction is (and how it works, and what actions do and don't constitute doing induction) and then compare what I did against induction. But they make no such comparison – or won't share it. Often one runs into the idea that if you get some general theories, then you did induction. Period, the end. Induction means ANY method of getting general theories whatsoever. This vacuous definition helps explain why some people are so attached to "induction". But it is not the actual meaning of "induction" in philosophy which people have debated. Of course there is SOME way to get general theories – we know that because we have them – the issue is how do you do it? Induction is an attempt to give an answer to that, not a term to be attached to any answer to it. And yet I will try. Again. But I would like suggestions about methods. Induction says that we learn FROM observation data. Or at least from actively interpreted ideas about observation data. The induced ideas are either INFALLIBLE or SUPPORTED. The infallible version was refuted by Hume among others. As a matter of logic, inductive conclusions aren't infallibly proven. It doesn't work. Even if you think deduction or math is infallible (it's not), induction STILL wouldn't be infallible. Infallible means error is ABSOLUTELY 100% IMPOSSIBLE. It means we'll never improve our idea about this. This is it, this is the final answer, the end, nothing more to learn. It's the end of thinking. Although most Objectivists (and most people in general) are infallibilists, Objectivism rejects infallibilism. Many people are skeptical of this and often deny being infallibilists. Why? Because they are only infallibilists 1% of the time; most of their thinking, most of the time, doesn't involve infallibilism. But that makes you an infallibilist. It's just like if you only think 1% of haunted houses really have a ghost, you are superstitious. So suppose induction grants fallible support. We still haven't said how you do induction, btw. But, OK, what does fallible support mean? What does it do? What do you do with it? What good is it? Support is only meaningful and useful if it helps you differentiate between different ideas. It has to tell you that idea X is better than idea Y which is better than idea Z. Each idea has an amount of support on a continuum and the ones with more support are better. Apart from this not working in the first place (how much support is assigned to which idea by which induction? there's no answer), it's also irrational. You have these various ideas which contradict each other, and you declare one "better" in some sense without resolving the contradiction. You must deal with the contradiction. If you don't know how to address the contradiction then you don't know which is right. Picking one is arbitrary and irrational. Maybe X is false and Y is true. You don't know. What does it matter that X has more support? Why does X have more support anyway? Every single piece of data you have to induce from does not contradict Y. If it did contradict Y, Y would be refuted instead of having some lesser amount of support. Every single piece of data is consistent with both X and Y. It has the same relationship with X and with Y. So why does Y have more support? So what really happens if you approach this rationally is everything that isn't refuted has exactly the same amount of support. Because it is compatible with exactly the same data set. So really there are only two categories of ideas: refuted and non-refuted. And that isn't induction. I shouldn't have to say this, but I do. That is not induction. That is Popper. That is a rejection of induction. That is something different. If you want to call that "induction" then the word "induction" loses all meaning and there's no word left to refer to the wrong ideas about epistemology. Why would some piece of data that is consistent with both X and Y support X over Y? There is no answer and never has been. (Unless X and Y are themselves probabilistic theories. If X says that a piece of data is 90% likely and Y says it's 20% likely, then if that data is observed the Bayesians will start gloating. They'd be wrong. That's another story. But why should I tell it? You wouldn't have thought of this objection yourself. You only know about it because I told you, and I'm telling you it's wrong. Anyway, for now just accept that what I'm talking about works with all regular ideas that actually assert things about reality instead of having built-in maybes.) Also, the idea of support really means AUTHORITY. Induction is one of the many attempts to introduce authority into epistemology. Authority in epistemology is abused in many ways. For example, some people think their idea has so much authority that if there is a criticism of it, that doesn't matter. It'd take like 5 criticisms to reduce its authority to the point where they might reject it. This is blatantly irrational. If there is a mistake in your idea it's wrong. You can't accept or evade any contradictions, any mistakes. None. Period. Just the other day a purported Objectivist said he was uncomfortable that if there is one criticism of an idea then that's decisive. He didn't say why. I know why. Because that leaves no room for authority. But I've seen this a hundred times. It's really common. If no criticism is ever ignored, the authority never actually gets to do anything. Irrationally ignoring criticism is the main purpose of authority in epistemology. Secondary purposes include things like intimidating people into accepting your idea. But wait, you say, induction is a method of MAKING theories. We still need it for that even if it doesn't grant them support/authority. Well, is it really a method of making theories? There's a big BLANK OUT in the part of induction where it's supposed to actually tell you what to do to make some theories. What is step one? What is step two? What always fills in this gap is intuition, common sense, and sometimes, for good measure, some fallacies (like that correlation implies or hints at causation). In other words, induction means think of theories however (varies from person to person), call it "induction", and never consider or examine or criticize or improve your methods of thinking (since you claim to be using a standard method, no introspection is necessary). For any set of data, infinitely many general conclusions are logically compatible. Many people try to deny this. As a matter of logic they are just wrong. (Some then start attacking logic itself and have the audacity to call themselves Objectivists). Should I go into this? Should I give an example? If I give an example, everyone will think the example is STUPID. It will be. So what? Logic doesn't care what sounds dumb. And I said infinitely many general conclusions, not infinitely many general conclusions that are wise. Of course most of them are dumb ideas. So now a lot of people are thinking: induce whichever one isn't dumb. Not the dumb ones. That's how you pick. Well, OK, and how do you decide what's dumb? That takes thinking. So in order to do induction (as it's just been redefined), in one of the steps, you have to think. That means we don't think by induction. Thinking is a prerequisite for induction (as just redefined), so induction can't be part of thinking. What happens here is the entirety of non-inductivist epistemology is inserted as one of the steps of induction and is the only reason it works. All the induction stuff is unnecessary and unhelpful. Pick good ideas instead of dumb ones? We could have figured that out without induction, it's not really helping. Some people will persevere. They will claim that it's OBVIOUS which ideas are dumb or not – no thinking required. What does that mean? It means they can figure it out in under 3 seconds. This is silly. Under 3 seconds of thinking is still thinking. Do you see what I mean about there are so many things wrong with induction it's hard to figure out where to start? And it's hard to go through them in an orderly progression because you start talking about something and there's two more things wrong in the middle. And here I am on this digression because most defenses of induction – seriously this is the standard among non-professionals – involve a denial of logic. So backing up, supposedly induction helps us make theories. How? Which ones? By what steps do we do it? No answers. And how am I supposed to prove a negative? How do I write an essay saying "induction has no answers"? People will say I'm ignorant and if only I read the right book I'd see the answer. People will say that just because we don't know the answer doesn't mean there isn't one. (And remember that refutation of induction I mentioned up top? Remember Popper's arguments that induction is impossible? They won't have read any of that, let alone refuted it.) And I haven't even mentioned some of the severe flaws in induction. Induction as originally intended – and it's still there but it varies, some people don't do this or aren't attached to it – meant you actually read the book of nature. You get rid of all your prejudices and biases and empty your mind and then you read the answers straight FROM the observation data. Sound like a bad joke? Well, OK, but it's an actual method of how to do induction. It has instructions and steps you could follow, rather than evasion. If you think it's a bad joke, how much better is it to replace those concrete steps with vagueness and evasion? Many more subtle versions of this way of thinking are still popular today. The idea of emptying your mind and then surely you'll see the truth isn't so popular. But the idea that data can hint or lead or point is still popular. But completely false. Observation data is inactive and passive. Further, there's so much of it. Human thinking is always selective and active. You decide which data to focus on, and which ways to approach the issue, and what issues to care about, and so on. Data has to be interpreted, by you, and then it is you interpretations, not the data itself, which may give you hints or leads. To the extent data seems to guide you, it's always because you added guidance into the data first. It isn't there in the raw data. Popper was giving a lecture and at the start he said, "Observe!" People said, "Observe what?" There is no such thing as emptying your mind and just observing and being guided by the data. First you must think, first you must have ideas about what you're looking for. You need interests, problems, expectations, ideas. Then you can observe and look for relevant data. The idea that we learn FROM observation is flawed in another way. It's not just that thinking comes first (which btw again means we can't think by induction since we have to think BEFORE we have useful data). It also misstates the role of data in thinking. Observations can contradict things (via arguments, not actually directly). They can rule things out. If the role of data is to rule things out, then whatever positive ideas we have we didn't learn from the data. What we learned from the data, in any sense, is which things to reject, not which to accept. Final point. Imagine a graph with a bunch of dots on it. Those are data points. And imagine a line connecting the dots would be a theory that explained them. This is a metaphor. Say there are a hundred points. How many ways can you draw a line connecting them? Answer: infinitely many. If you don't get that, think about it. You could take a detour anywhere on the coordinate plane between any two connections. So we have this graph and we're connecting the dots. Induction says: connect the dots and what you get is supported, it's a good theory. How do I connect them? It doesn't say. How do people do it? They will draw a straight line, or something close to that, or make it so you get a picture of a cow, or whatever else seems intuitive or obvious to them. They will use common sense or something – and never figure out the details of how that works and whether they are philosophically defensible and so on. People will just draw using unstated theories about which types of lines to prefer. That's not a method of thinking, it's a method of not thinking. They will rationalize it. They may say they drew the most "simple" line and that's Occam's razor. When confronted with the fact that other people have different intuitions about what lines look simple, they will evade or attack those people. But they've forgotten that we're trying to explain how to think in the first place. If understanding Occam's razor and simplicity and stuff is a part of induction and thinking, then it has to be done without induction. So all this understanding and stuff has to come prior to induction. So really the conclusion is we don't think by induction, we have a whole method of thinking which works and is a prerequisite for induction. Induction wouldn't solve epistemology, it'd presuppose epistemology. What we really know, from the graph with the data points, is that all lines which don't go through every point are wrong. We rule out a lot. (Yes, there's always the possibility of our data having errors. That's a big topic I'm not going to go into. Regardless, the possibility of data errors does not help induction's case!) And what about the many lines which aren't ruled out by the data? That's where philosophy comes in! We don't and can't learn everything from the data. Data is useful but isn't the answer. We always have to think and do philosophy to learn. We need criticisms. Yes, lots of those lines are "dumb". There are things wrong with them. We can use criticism to rule them out. And then people will start telling me how inconvenient and roundabout that is. But it's the only way that works. And it's not inconvenient. Since it's the only way that works, it's what you do when you think successfully. Do you find thinking inconvenient? No? Then apparently you can do critical thinking in a convenient, intuitive, fast way. At least you can do critical thinking when you're not irrational defending "induction" because in your mind it has authority.
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