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Induction through deduction?

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knast
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Has been posted several time in this thread.

That single sentence is taken out of context and does not mean that, it cannot mean that, and I've already explained why. You want to turn Rand's entire epistemology into a giant stolen concept by requiring first level concepts to depend on method of logic which somehow works before a child even has any concepts. That sentence is from the chapter "Abstraction from Abstractions", it does not apply to first level concepts.

Here is more of the context of the passage:

This process of conceptual identification (of subsuming a new concrete under an appropriate concept) is learned as one learns to speak, and it becomes automatic in the case of existents given in perceptual awareness, such as "man," "table," "blue," "length," etc. But it grows progressively more difficult as man's concepts move farther away from direct perceptual evidence, and involve complex combinations and cross-classifications of many earlier concepts. (Observe the difficulties of identifying a given political system, or of diagnosing a rare disease.) In such cases, the knowledge of whether a concrete is or is not to be subsumed under a certain concept does not come automatically, but requires a new cognitive effort.

Thus the process of forming and applying concepts contains the essential pattern of two fundamental methods of cognition: induction and deduction.

The process of observing the facts of reality and of integrating them into concepts is, in essence, a process of induction. The process of subsuming new instances under a known concept is, in essence, a process of deduction.

She is referring to borderline or otherwise unusual cases involving high level abstractions, not the first level concepts of tables and chairs or rolling balls. Repeatedly citing this single sentence in threads about first level generalizations is context dropping.

And good job ducking out on responding to the quote from ITOE pg 144 that refutes your understanding of generality.

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That sentence is from the chapter "Abstraction from Abstractions", it does not apply to first level concepts.

So because that statement was in that chapter it only applies to concepts in that category?

She also said this in that chapter:

The process of forming a concept is not complete until its constituent units have been integrated into a single mental unit by means of a specific word

Does this mean that only concepts of that category (Abstraction from abstractions) require a specific word?

As to your misunderstanding on measurement omission and generality......

First of all you have repeatedly equivocated on the topic of generalization and concept formation:

Integrating referents into a new concept is in essence induction. Integrating two concepts into a new generalization is induction.

http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showtopic=20086&view=findpost&p=259012

Concepts are prior to induction, that is the hierarchy. In induction, simply using concepts by naming what is perceived to be happening creates an induction

http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showtopic=20086&view=findpost&p=260583

I find it all too obviously wrong that concept formation relies on induction in any way,.......Induction is based on generalizing and so is propositional and necessarily is after concepts in the hierarchy of methods of thought...... concept formation is prior because generalizing is propositional.

http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showtopic=20086&view=findpost&p=260827

Now you quoted Mrs. Rand in the section on measurement omission and generality:

Prof. D: But does the separation give you the generality, or is it the type of integration that operates that gives you the generality?

AR: Both. One is not possible without the other. You could not integrate a given set of concretes unless you could first differentiate it from other concretes. You have to isolate it first, and then you can integrate it into a particular grouping and form a concept. But if you can't isolate it, you can't abstract.

Prof. D: Then you are maintaining that the generality remains in the case of the subcategory where measurements are specified; the generality isn't lost because it was originally obtained in the concept of "tire" by leaving out measurements, and bringing back in the measurements now doesn't affect the generality of the notion of tires.

AR: Not only was the generality present originally, but you are using and introducing it when you say these are 710-15 tires. The generality is present in the classification of these objects as tires. By identifying them in that form you are introducing the issue of measurement-omission by classifying them still as tires

Everything there says concept fromation achieves generalization through measurement omission."Present originally" and "originally obtained" refers to forming the concept "tire".

Grames: "concept formation is prior because generalizing is propositional. "

ITOE: "the generality.........was originally obtained in the concept of "tire" by leaving out measurements

Plasmatic: "a concept is a generalization achieved through measurement omission."

In your mind do first level concepts involve measurement omission?

edit: fixed quote

Edited by Plasmatic
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So because that statement was in that chapter it only applies to concepts in that category?

Context. Learn it, love it, live it.

Does this mean that only concepts of that category (Abstraction from abstractions) require a specific word?
No because she stated the same thing in chapter 2, and as she states when she brings the topic up in chapter 3 she feels her presentation requires briefly discussing the role of language.

Why do you keep chopping up Rand's arguments into single sentences taken out of context? You can't accomplish anything like that.

First of all you have repeatedly equivocated on the topic of generalization and concept formation:

Actually you are. It is Peikoff's technical definition of a generalization as a proposition in the form "All S is P" that forms the original context of this thread, and then you went off to the related but different sense of generality as it applies to concepts.

Everything there says concept fromation achieves generalization through measurement omission."Present originally" and "originally obtained" refers to forming the concept "tire".
Everything there also says concept formation requires differentiation and integration, but your mind is locked onto measurement omission so you just ignore those.

Grames: "concept formation is prior because generalizing is propositional. "
Which is completely true as per Peikoff's definition of a generalization.

ITOE: "the generality.........was originally obtained in the concept of "tire" by leaving out measurements
That is Prof. D talking, whom Rand corrects with the more accurate "The generality is present in the classification of these objects as tires." The concept as a completed unit creates the generality, not just the measurement omission all by its lonesome almighty self.

Plasmatic: "a concept is a generalization achieved through measurement omission."
This is technically wrong. A concept has generality of reference by being applicable to many different particulars but it does not actually state anything about those referents. A concept by itself does not attribute anything to its referents with generality. There is generality of reference and generality of attribution, a concept can do the first but not the second. Induction is all about the second, generality of attribution as in "All S is P". Generality of attribution is created when in the sentence "All S is P" both S and P are concepts having generality of reference. Is that clear enough?

In your mind do first level concepts involve measurement omission?

I'll answer a snarky question with a snarky question: In your mind do first level concepts require any operations at all to create them other than measurement omission?

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This is technically wrong. A concept has generality of reference by being applicable to many different particulars but it does not actually state anything about those referents. A concept by itself does not attribute anything to its referents with generality. There is generality of reference and generality of attribution, a concept can do the first but not the second. Induction is all about the second, generality of attribution as in "All S is P". Generality of attribution is created when in the sentence "All S is P" both S and P are concepts having generality of reference. Is that clear enough?

Thanks for that, that helped me understand what you were trying to get at. You're basically saying that the generalization involved in inductino is not the same as the generalization involved in concept-formation, and so induction is not involved in concept-formation - correct?

One thing I would like a response to, though. In order to form concepts, you have to omit measurement on specific attributes. For a table, you omit the measurement of the horizontal surface, the number of legs, the length of the legs, the color, etc. But then aren't those inductions, at least implicitly? Measurement omission to form the concept of "table" involves identifying (at least implicitly) certain attributes common to all tables - horizontal surface, vertical legs, specific color - so doesn't it implicitly involve induction?

Or do you believe induction only involves explicit attribute generalization?

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Thanks for that, that helped me understand what you were trying to get at. You're basically saying that the generalization involved in inductino is not the same as the generalization involved in concept-formation, and so induction is not involved in concept-formation - correct?

Induction is not involved in first level concept formation. High level abstractions, for example the scientific ones which are the subject of Harriman's book, certainly can require induction to reach.

One thing I would like a response to, though. In order to form concepts, you have to omit measurement on specific attributes. For a table, you omit the measurement of the horizontal surface, the number of legs, the length of the legs, the color, etc. But then aren't those inductions, at least implicitly? Measurement omission to form the concept of "table" involves identifying (at least implicitly) certain attributes common to all tables - horizontal surface, vertical legs, specific color - so doesn't it implicitly involve induction?

Or do you believe induction only involves explicit attribute generalization?

Forming the first level concept 'table' from observation first requires separating some entities from the rest, based on perceived differences from other things and similarities to each other. This is the differentiation step that Ayn Rand emphasized could not be skipped. Similarities and differences are given perceptually and directly even before selective attention on attributes occurs, and certainly before those attributes themselves are conceptualized. 'Directly' means 'not the product of inference or computation by consciousness', which rules out both induction and deduction. (This is Kelley's concept of directness, and as he explains in The Evidence of the Senses any concession here leads straight to hell, the hell of subjectivism and skepticism about perception and then all knowledge by implication, and the refounding of objectivity as social intersubjectivity. Kelley's book stops there but the continuation is the elevation of the collective over the individual, and eventually Nazi-style death camps. This is important to get straight.)

A completed concept refers to entities and all of their attributes both known and unknown because entities are their attributes. Every completed first level concept is pregnant with all kinds of implicit inductions and deductions, but those were no part of the formation of the concept.

What is the concept of induction being used to try to classify concept formation as induction? What is the genus and what conceptual common denominator is the basis for that similarity? What is the differentia that makes this more than an attempt to rename generality as induction?

It is not accurate to say induction must be explicit. I say instead that induction is generality of attribution, and that requires a propositional form. Propositional form merely requires at least two different concepts related together such as "grass grows", but not every such relation is made explicit. An awareness that two concepts are related can grow from a dim implicit awareness into the clarity of an explicitly grasped truth, but all the while it is the same relationship that is the object of awareness. A relation requires two. A concept is a unity ideally having the form of a word, a generalization is at least two such unities ideally having the form of a proposition in words.

Here is an example of an implicit induction. Given that every egg I have eaten has caused me to have an allergic reaction, then I deduce that the next egg before me (say McDonald's messes up my breakfast sandwich order) if I eat it will also cause an allergic reaction. But a series of eggs and allergic reactions is not a premise that necessitates any conclusion. The deduction proceeds from an implicit induction, the generalization that "All eggs cause me to have allergic reactions." Though implicit, the induction still obeyed the principle of having a propositional form.

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Forming the first level concept 'table' from observation first requires separating some entities from the rest, based on perceived differences from other things and similarities to each other. This is the differentiation step that Ayn Rand emphasized could not be skipped.

As you point out yourself, difference and similarity are relations, not objects. To grasp that two things are similar, one must, logically, first grasp each one. It is the objects themselves, with their various characteristics and features, that are given in perception. Noting similarities and/or differences has to, logically, come second.

That doesn't mean it isn't still done at the perceptual level. It might be done as a perceptual abstraction. But how can measurement-omission not be implied at whatever level the similarities are noted on? Rand recognizes no other rule for abstraction. What is left out in a process of abstraction has to be measurements.

When you ask if measurement-omission is thought to be the only thing necessary for forming a concept, you seem to imply that integration is an act separate from abstraction. I would challenge that implication. It is the mental content of the abstraction that integrates the various percepts pertinent to it. With regard to it, they are identical. They aren't assigned to it or grouped under it in some outside, perfunctory manner, which would be a violation of parsimony at the very least.

Mindy

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Notice ,Brian, that rather than answer your question he simply begs the question again:

Induction is not involved in first level concept formation. High level abstractions, for example the scientific ones which are the subject of Harriman's book, certainly can require induction to reach.

Now he has switched from "I find it all too obviously wrong that concept formation relies on induction in any way", to "High level abstractions.......certainly can require induction to reach."

Upon quoting Rand to the contrary he claims now that rather than "in any way", induction is involved in high level abstractions. He tries to deflect and claim that its off topic {high -level abstractions} when the thread title is "Induction through deduction", and the OP's specifically tried to reconcile the very quote I posted with Harriman and later Peikoff.Probably because this forum is on Objectivism and anything other than Rand is not Oism and measured against that standard.

So lets assume hes right and see what it would mean for :

The process of observing the facts of reality and of integrating them into concepts is, in essence, a process of induction.

To only apply to high level abstractions.

How do we proceed to "observe facts and integrate them into concepts"? Is it only done on a high level? Do we not have to differentiate ,omit measurements and integrate on the first level? [No one here has claimed we only had to omit measurements to form concepts by the way] Do we not achieve a generality when we form first level concepts such as table?Has he even tried to show that any of these things only apply to high level concepts?

He now makes a claim to a different sense of "generality" involved in the two different levels, that of attribution vs that of reference.

He references of all people,David Kelly in defense of his position:

Similarities and differences are given perceptually and directly even before selective attention on attributes occurs, and certainly before those attributes themselves are conceptualized. 'Directly' means 'not the product of inference or computation by consciousness', which rules out both induction and deduction. (This is Kelley's concept of directness, and as he explains in The Evidence of the Senses any concession here leads straight to hell

Now lets be charitable and see if Kelly's concept of "directness" is relevant to the debate at hand:

.

Fist of all we are trying to determine if induction is involved in concept formation [originally on "ANY" level but now on a first level] . Yet Grames quotes Kelly on "perception" apart from "the product of inference or computation by consciousness'.

Somehow this is supposed to illuminate the preceding comment :

Forming the first level concept 'table' from observation first requires separating some entities from the rest, based on perceived differences from other things and similarities to each other. This is the differentiation step that Ayn Rand emphasized could not be skipped.

Which no one has denied or claimed can be "skipped"and in no way addresses the question at hand of generality and induction. But rather is a complete straw man that attempts to claim some one is saying induction is a part of perception apart from the process of conceptualization. He then proclaims Kelly's hell avoiding distinction on perception:

rules out both induction and deduction.

As if anyone was discussing or debating this.

He continues:

A completed concept refers to entities and all of their attributes both known and unknown because entities are their attributes.

Ok, no one denies this either. But does it answer the question at hand?

He begs the question again.

Every completed first level concept is pregnant with all kinds of implicit inductions and deductions, but those were no part of the formation of the concept.

And at last we have something direct to work with:

It is not accurate to say induction must be explicit. I say instead that induction is generality of attribution, and that requires a propositional form. Propositional form merely requires at least two different concepts related together such as "grass grows", but not every such relation is made explicit. An awareness that two concepts are related can grow from a dim implicit awareness into the clarity of an explicitly grasped truth, but all the while it is the same relationship that is the object of awareness. A relation requires two. A concept is a unity ideally having the form of a word, a generalization is at least two such unities ideally having the form of a proposition in words.

His whole point rests on :"A relation requires two. A concept is a unity ideally having the form of a word, a generalization is at least two such unities ideally having the form of a proposition in words."

And now we see his mistake.

He implies that first level concept are not inductive because they are not "propositional" which he explains "requires two" a "relationship".

Lets consult ITOE:

When a child observes that two objects (which he will later learn to designate as "tables") resemble each other, but are different from four other objects ("chairs"), his mind is focusing on a particular attribute of the objects (their shape), then isolating them according to their differences, and integrating them as units into separate groups according to their similarities.

This is the key, the entrance to the conceptual level of man's consciousness. The ability to regard entities as units is man's distinctive method of cognition, which other living species are unable to follow.

A unit is an existent regarded as a separate member of a group of two or more similar members. (Two stones are two units; so are two square feet of ground, if regarded as distinct parts of a continuous stretch of ground.) Note that the concept "unit" involves an act of consciousness (a selective <ioe2_7> focus, a certain way of regarding things), but that it is not an arbitrary creation of consciousness: it is a method of identification or classification according to the attributes which a consciousness observes in reality. This method permits any number of classifications and cross-classifications: one may classify things according to their shape or color or weight or size or atomic structure; but the criterion of classification is not invented, it is perceived in reality. Thus the concept "unit" is a bridge between metaphysics and epistemology: units do not exist qua units, what exists are things, but units are things viewed by a consciousness in certain existing relationships.

A concept is a mental integration of two or more units which are isolated according to a specific characteristic(s) and united by a specific definition.

The units involved may be any aspect of reality: entities, attributes, actions, qualities, relationships, etc.; they may be perceptual concretes or other, earlier-formed concepts. The act of isolation involved is a process of abstraction: i.e., a selective mental focus that takes out or separates a certain aspect of reality from all others (e.g., isolates a certain attribute from the entities possessing it, or a certain action from the entities performing it, etc.). The uniting involved is not a mere sum, but an integration,.

]A concept is a mental integration of two or more units possessing the same distinguishing characteristic(s), with their particular measurements omitted.

The element of similarity is crucially involved in the formation of every concept; similarity, in this context, is the relationship between two or more existents which possess the same characteristic(s), but in different measure or degree.

Now does the above relationships only apply to high level abstractions?

All concepts are formed by first differentiating two or more existents from other existents. All conceptual differentiations are made in terms of commensurable characteristics (i.e., characteristics possessing a common unit of measurement). No concept could be formed, for instance, by attempting to distinguish long objects from green objects. Incommensurable characteristics cannot be integrated into one unit.

And we know he actually conceded in his previous post that:

The concept as a completed unit creates the generality

So we see he has no basis whatever for his assertions on generality and therefore induction is "propositional" only.

Edited by Plasmatic
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Notice ,Brian, that rather than answer your question he simply begs the question again: "Induction is not involved in first level concept formation. High level abstractions, for example the scientific ones which are the subject of Harriman's book, certainly can require induction to reach."

This is not an example of begging the question. Begging the question is a fallacy whereby someone attempts to provide support for an argument by means of assuming the conclusions of that very argument. However, in the passage you have quoted, Grames has been asked to clarify what he has been saying by Brian; he is not being asked to nor attempting to provide additional support. Notice Brian's actual question:

You're basically saying that the generalization involved in inductino is not the same as the generalization involved in concept-formation, and so induction is not involved in concept-formation - correct?

He asks for clarification, not additional support. Stating your argument clearly is not begging the question. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question

He begs the question again:

"Every completed first level concept is pregnant with all kinds of implicit inductions and deductions, but those were no part of the formation of the concept."

This criticism makes the same error. In order for the above statement to be begging the question, it would need to be stated as the conclusion of an argument with begins with the same claim (_____Argument 1_____ therefore ______Argument 1_____). However, this statement stands alone. If any clear statement of one's position was a fallacy, discussion would be impossible.

Edited by Dante
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He asks for clarification, not additional support. Stating your argument clearly is not begging the question.

Ill accept that. But he doesnt actually defend his point until the part where I said "And at last we have something direct to work with:" But, indeed, Brian did ask for clarification.

Well spotted! :thumbsup:

Edited by Plasmatic
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How do we proceed to "observe facts and integrate them into concepts"? Is it only done on a high level? Do we not have to differentiate ,omit measurements and integrate on the first level? [No one here has claimed we only had to omit measurements to form concepts by the way] Do we not achieve a generality when we form first level concepts such as table?Has he even tried to show that any of these things only apply to high level concepts?

He has not. As clearly as I can state his argument (as I understand it), it is this: The formation of first level concepts does indeed require differentiation, measurement omission, and integration. It does indeed achieve generality as a result. However, none of this qualifies as induction, because all of these actions are performed on perceptual entities. True induction, on the other hand, can only be applied to concepts. Not entities. It's not induction unless it's performed on two or more concepts and achieves a propositional form. First-level concept formation, on the other hand, is performed on two or more perceptual entities. We need the concepts from first-level concept formation in order to do proper induction, whose starting blocks must be already-formed concepts.

His whole point rests on :"A relation requires two. A concept is a unity ideally having the form of a word, a generalization is at least two such unities ideally having the form of a proposition in words."

And now we see his mistake.

He implies that first level concept are not inductive because they are not "propositional" which he explains "requires two" a "relationship".

A relation requires two... what? Your selective quoting has left off the implied word there. And the word there is very important, because the argument centers on whether or not induction is involved in the formation of concepts out of perceptual entities, or whether induction cannot be used until we already have concepts. So let's include the relevant earlier part of the quote:

I say instead that induction is generality of attribution, and that requires a propositional form. Propositional form merely requires at least two different concepts related together such as "grass grows", [italics added]

So, to summarize: Grames' argument (as I understand it) is that induction relies on the preexistence of at least two concepts. This crucial element you have missed by focusing on simply "requiring two" and ignoring the question: two what?

So, then you go on to consult ITOE to show that concept formation, even first level concept formation requires abstracting from two *somethings*. But no one is arguing that this "abstracting from two" only applies to upper level concepts. Rather, first-level concepts abstract from two or more entities, and this is what invalidates the process from being considered as induction.

Now, with this in mind, if we look at the ITOE quotes you pulled, they actually support Grames. Why? Because when you read what the two "things" are that are being abstracted from, they are always perceptual concretes. Notice:

When a child observes that two objects ..... A concept is a mental integration of two or more units ..... the relationship between two or more existents .... All concepts are formed by first differentiating two or more existents

Yes, you have successfully pointed out with your quotes that all concept-formation, first level or higher, involves a relationship between two of something. However, this is not the point of contention. The important point is that first-level concept formation involves a relationship between perceptual concretes. By definition, this disqualifies it as an inductive process.

Grames, if I have mischaracterized your position in any way, correct me.

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He has not. As clearly as I can state his argument (as I understand it), it is this: The formation of first level concepts does indeed require differentiation, measurement omission, and integration. It does indeed achieve generality as a result. However, none of this qualifies as induction, because all of these actions are performed on perceptual entities. True induction, on the other hand, can only be applied to concepts. Not entities. It's not induction unless it's performed on two or more concepts and achieves a propositional form. First-level concept formation, on the other hand, is performed on two or more perceptual entities. We need the concepts from first-level concept formation in order to do proper induction, whose starting blocks must be already-formed concepts.

This is the WHOLE debate Dante! You are omiiting that he originally said generality ONLY applies to propositions. I proved that is wrong. He then moved to saying its a different type of generality.

A relation requires two... what? Your selective quoting has left off the implied word there. And the word there is very important, because the argument centers on whether or not induction is involved in the formation of concepts out of perceptual entities, or whether induction cannot be used until we already have concepts. So let's include the relevant earlier part of the quote:

Again you have omitted the context of Grames having claimed that generality was only after concept formation.

So, to summarize: Grames' argument (as I understand it) is that induction relies on the preexistence of at least two concepts. This crucial element you have missed by focusing on simply "requiring two" and ignoring the question: two what?

No, it is you who have missed the reason for me establishing that generality is involved in concept formation.

Yes, you have successfully pointed out with your quotes that all concept-formation, first level or higher, involves a relationship between two of something. However, this is not the point of contention

And therefore acheives generality attributing an essential charachteristic to all of a given class within a range.

The important point is that first-level concept formation involves a relationship between perceptual concretes. By definition, this disqualifies it as an inductive process.

By your and Grames definition Dante. The entire argument is about that NOT being true and NOT being what Rand said! What other than Grames unsupported assertions have lead you to accept Rand meant this? You should review the entire context of this thread.

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But its all too obvious and I cant imagine how a Oist could not do a double take at the idea induction is not involved in concept formation.

There is no induction in first level concept formation. That is the counter-example that disproves the generalization that all concept formation involves induction. If wish to reject the implicit quantifier 'all' and merely hold that some concept formation involves induction then state that.

Now he has switched from "I find it all too obviously wrong that concept formation relies on induction in any way", to "High level abstractions.......certainly can require induction to reach."

Yes, I had first level concepts in mind when I wrote "..in any way". Why? Because you, Plasmatic, quoted Trebor quoting Peikoff going on about concepts like "table," "chair," "man," "star," run," "hit," "red," "green," etc. and found this to be a contradiction to Harriman pg. 35. I acknowledge that and now explicitly restrict the scope of my "... in any way" to first level concepts, if that was not already clear to anyone reading this. If you exempt first level concepts from your idea that concept formation involves induction this dispute would be resolved.

He references of all people, David Kelly in defense of his position:

Now lets be charitable and see if Kelly's concept of "directness" is relevant to the debate at hand:

The concept of directness is held in common with Rand, and he probably got it from her. Rand writes about perception being direct in the fourth paragraph of ITOE:

A percept is a group of sensations automatically retained and integrated by the brain of a living organism. It is in the form of percepts that man grasps the evidence of his senses and apprehends reality. When we speak of "direct perception" or "direct awareness," we mean the perceptual level. Percepts, not sensations, are the given, the self-evident. The knowledge of sensations as components of percepts is not direct, it is acquired by man much later: it is a scientific, conceptual discovery.

Ayn Rand's purpose in ITOE is to describe concept formation not defend the necessary validity of the senses. Kelley's book is only about the necessary validity of the senses. As a consequence, she only mentions once that direct perception is the epistemological given, while Kelley's book hinges on the premise which he explains and defends in much greater depth, contrasts with alternatives, and explores the consequences of any form of indirectness. 'Directness' is a part of Objectivism.

His whole point rests on :"A relation requires two. A concept is a unity ideally having the form of a word, a generalization is at least two such unities ideally having the form of a proposition in words."

And now we see his mistake.

He implies that first level concept are not inductive because they are not "propositional" which he explains "requires two" a "relationship".

The perception of similarities and differences are the epistemological givens which are the basis for forming first level concepts. Perceiving that two particulars are similar in some respects and differ from others in that respect is perceiving, not any form of reasoning. Perception is not induction. Therefore induction has no role in forming first level concepts.

First you got hung up on the common letters g, e, n, e, r, a, l which appear in "generalization" and "generality", and now you are fixated on the shiny number two. The similarities you are asserting are concrete, not conceptual.

P.S. Dante has understood me.

edit: From post #36

"And therefore acheives generality attributing an essential charachteristic to all of a given class within a range."

First level concepts are first defined ostensively. An ostensive definition attempts no attribution of an essential characteristic.

Edited by Grames
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By your and Grames definition Dante. The entire argument is about that NOT being true and NOT being what Rand said! What other than Grames unsupported assertions have lead you to accept Rand meant this? You should review the entire context of this thread.

Have you provided either your or Rand's definition of induction anywhere in this thread previously? The Rand quote you have fixated on cites (higher level) concept formation as an instance of induction, but is not a definition. So what is Rand's definition, and what is yours?

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There is no induction in first level concept formation. That is the counter-example that disproves the generalization that all concept formation involves induction

What counter-example? Your reassertion?

If wish to reject the implicit quantifier 'all' and merely hold that some concept formation involves induction then state that.

What have I been doing this entire time but maintaining that all concepts involve induction?

I acknowledge that and now explicitly restrict the scope of my "... in any way" to first level concepts

Wonderful!

If you exempt first level concepts from your idea that concept formation involves induction this dispute would be resolved.

If you would do more than merely reassert your position in between irrelevant strawmen and convince me I would and thankfully.

The concept of directness is held in common with Rand, and he probably got it from her. Rand writes about perception being direct in the fourth paragraph of ITOE:

So is capitalism and just like directness has NO baring on this debate.

Ayn Rand's purpose in ITOE is to describe concept formation not defend the necessary validity of the senses. Kelley's book is only about the necessary validity of the senses. As a consequence, she only mentions once that direct perception is the epistemological given, while Kelley's book hinges on the premise which he explains and defends in much greater depth, contrasts with alternatives, and explores the consequences of any form of indirectness. 'Directness' is a part of Objectivism.

And the purpose of this thread is to discuss Induction.

The perception of similarities and differences are the epistemological givens which are the basis for forming first level concepts.

Perception is the "basis" of all concepts.

Perceiving that two particulars are similar in some respects and differ from others in that respect is perceiving, not any form of reasoning. Perception is not induction. Therefore induction has no role in forming first level concepts.

Nobody has asserted the above nonsense. You are here claiming that "first-level" concepts consist only of perception.

First level concepts are first defined ostensively. An ostensive definition attempts no attribution of an essential characteristic

Wrong! As Norsen pointed out as well, "first-level" and axiomatic are NOT the same.

Above the level of conceptualized sensations and metaphysical axioms, every concept requires a verbal definition. Paradoxically enough, it is the simplest concepts that most people find it hardest to define—the concepts of the perceptual concretes with which they deal daily, such as "table," "house," "man," "walking," "tall," "number," etc. There is <ioe2_50> a good reason for it: such concepts are, chronologically, the first concepts man forms or grasps, and can be defined verbally only by means of later concepts—as, for instance, one grasps the concept "table" long before one can grasp such concepts as "flat," "level," "surface," "supports." Most people, therefore, regard formal definitions as unnecessary and treat simple concepts as if they were pure sense data, to be identified by means of ostensive definitions, i.e., simply by pointing.

When she said "as if":

What I call the "first level" of concepts are existential concretes—that to which you can point as if it were an ostensive definition and say: "I mean this." Now, you can point to a table. You cannot point to furniture. You have to say, "By furniture I mean ..." and you would have to include all kinds of objects.

That is not a retraction of the above "every concept".

And we know you've already attributed "table" and chair to be "first-level".

The same principle directs the process of forming concepts of entities—for instance, the concept "table." The <ioe2_11> child's mind isolates two or more tables from other objects, by focusing on their distinctive characteristic: their shape. He observes that their shapes vary, but have one characteristic in common: a flat, level surface and support(s). He forms the concept "table" by retaining that characteristic and omitting all particular measurements, not only the measurements of the shape, but of all the other characteristics of tables (many of which he is not aware of at the time).

Sounds like more than pointing to me.

Have to take a break here....

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"First level concepts are first defined ostensively. An ostensive definition attempts no attribution of an essential characteristic [bold added]"

Wrong! As Norsen pointed out as well, "first-level" and axiomatic are NOT the same.

I find this quote in complete agreement with Grames' statement that first level concepts are initially defined ostensively. Of course we later formalize the concept with a verbal definition, but the first definition is ostensive.

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I find this quote in complete agreement with Grames' statement that first level concepts are initially defined ostensively. Of course we later formalize the concept with a verbal definition, but the first definition is ostensive.

Right. One cannot relate a first level concept to other concepts without conceptual definition. But which concepts are available first, the first level concepts in question or the concepts that form the terms of the definition? The genus for table is furniture, but forming the concept furniture is itself an abstraction from first level abstractions such as table, chair, sofa, etc. The requirement to have a definition in words in order to put a concept to use does not contradict the necessity of possessing the concept before the conceptual definition can be found.

That said, for a first level concept the more sophisticated definitions can be found by induction. But the concept was prior to the induction. Even as a statement of a definition one cannot know "All S is P" without first possessing "S".

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That said, for a first level concept the more sophisticated definitions can be found by induction. But the concept was prior to the induction. Even as a statement of a definition one cannot know "All S is P" without first possessing "S".

Is the comma mislocated here?

That said for a first level concept (i.e. being ostensive), the more sophisticated definitions can be found (are established) by induction?

Cat, dog, horse are ostensively defined.

Animal is inductively grasped.

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Is the comma mislocated here?

That said for a first level concept (i.e. being ostensive), the more sophisticated definitions can be found (are established) by induction?

Cat, dog, horse are ostensively defined.

Animal is inductively grasped.

The comma is fine because " for a first level concept the more sophisticated definitions can be found by induction. " is a stand alone sentence that does not need the introductory phrase "That said" which serves only to link the paragraphs. "That said," is like the transitional "However,". Maybe I'm wrong but two commas (one after "said" and one after "concept") wouldn't seem right. At least, that is how I think through grammar decisions.

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Right. One cannot relate a first level concept to other concepts without conceptual definition. But which concepts are available first, the first level concepts in question or the concepts that form the terms of the definition?

A child "relates concepts", in the sense of forming sentences, long before he is capable of forming definitions. Explicit definitions would themselves be sentences, of course, but they are not the first kind of sentence children form.

Is there an error in your question as to whether first-level concepts precede others (specifically, the "others" that "form the terms of the definition"?) What case are you considering in which first-level concepts were secondary or derivative?

Mindy

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  • 3 weeks later...

I keep putting this post off because I want to sew up every little thing. But I seem to never have enough time to get all that I want to deal with done. Im just gonna state my position and go from there.

As I see it, the issue here is this:

There is an equivocation going on here between the "pre-conceptual " ,"pre language" stage of "holding concepts visually" as "perceptual groups" while a child is within the stage of the "implicit concept" with that of "first-level concepts".

There is also an equivocation back and forth on "the conceptualization process as one that achieves a generalization" and "generalizations are propositional only".

`

The only time that "table, cat, dog" and "horse" can be said to be "defined ostensively" is in the preconceptual stage! In order to have an explicit concept one MUST perform measurement omission and create a unit.

Now as I have said, one cannot do this [form a complete unit and "rise to the conceptual level" ] without "ascribing a characteristic to every member of an unlimited class".

There is more I want to address but must settle for this now. I have a huge collection of relevant quotes in a single document that demonstrates all the above claims.

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The names assigned to types of things at the first level are words, so your pre-language argument is not going to work.

Words that refer only to visual entities apart from being grasped as units are not concepts. So your attempt to reduce concept formation to that of a parrot is not founded on Oist epistemology.

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name='Grames' timestamp='1285278674' post='262112']

The names assigned to types of things at the first level are words, so your pre-language argument is not going to work.

Are you trying to drop the claim that ostensive defintion applies to first level concepts then?

Let's do this, remove "pre language " from my post and try again.

Edited by Plasmatic
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