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Author Topic:   The Axioms Of Scientific Investigation
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 16 of 22 (498760)
02-13-2009 4:12 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Stile
02-12-2009 7:43 AM


Re: Axioms and derivations
There seems to be a testable, verifiable, falsifiable test for being in an "external, objective reality" where there is no testable, verifiable, falsifiable test for "I exist."

That seems to be a rather large difference. Are you sure we can call them both axioms?

Well "I exist" seems inherent in the very fact that you are considering the question of your existence.

Whether or not you exist as "Stile" (or whatever your real name is) the human being etc. etc.etc. is another question.

But there can be no doubt in your mind that you exist in some form or another.

I don't see what falsifiable, testable, verifiable thing you can do to determine that I exist? How can you ever ever ever really really know that everything you experience is not the product of your imagination?

You cannot.

All you can reliably say is that "you" exist in some form or another.

The rest must be assumed to some degree.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Stile, posted 02-12-2009 7:43 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by anglagard, posted 02-14-2009 4:19 AM Straggler has responded
 Message 20 by Stile, posted 02-17-2009 7:19 AM Straggler has responded

  
anglagard
Member
Posts: 2189
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 17 of 22 (498806)
02-14-2009 4:19 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Straggler
02-13-2009 4:12 PM


Re: Axioms and derivations
straggler writes:

I don't see what falsifiable, testable, verifiable thing you can do to determine that I exist? How can you ever ever ever really really know that everything you experience is not the product of your imagination?

So you don't think therefore you are not. ;)

Yeah, I been through this before. Decartes>Locke>Berkley>Hume>Kant while the whole time I should have been doing some unprintable things to Carol Nagano (or others, if not her).

All this epistemology is a dead end. Either go with Wittgenstein and accept the way things are or wander off into the desert with Carlos Castaneda.

Edited by anglagard, : damn that proper English usage i always see after i post


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Straggler, posted 02-13-2009 4:12 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Straggler, posted 02-15-2009 3:50 PM anglagard has not yet responded

    
Son Goku
Member
Posts: 1121
From: Ireland
Joined: 07-16-2005


Message 18 of 22 (498817)
02-14-2009 5:20 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Straggler
02-13-2009 3:25 PM


Re: Consistency of Physical Laws?
Constancy of the laws of physics in time is equivalent to conservation of energy, so any test of conservation of energy is a test of this fact.

Also any physical theory which isn't time invariant makes predictions which don't match the real world at all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Straggler, posted 02-13-2009 3:25 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 19 of 22 (498944)
02-15-2009 3:50 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by anglagard
02-14-2009 4:19 AM


Re: Axioms and derivations
So you don't think therefore you are not. ;)

:laugh:

Yeah, I been through this before. Decartes>Locke>Berkley>Hume>Kant while the whole time I should have been doing some unprintable things to Carol Nagano (or others, if not her).

Carol who?

All this epistemology is a dead end. Either go with Wittgenstein and accept the way things are or wander off into the desert with Carlos Castaneda.

I think an objective reality common to us all as independent consciousnesses has to be an assumed starting point for scientific investigation.

Otherwise we enter a whole rabbit warren of holes.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by anglagard, posted 02-14-2009 4:19 AM anglagard has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3501
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 20 of 22 (499193)
02-17-2009 7:19 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Straggler
02-13-2009 4:12 PM


Re: Axioms and derivations
Straggler writes:

Stile writes:

There seems to be a testable, verifiable, falsifiable test for being in an "external, objective reality" where there is no testable, verifiable, falsifiable test for "I exist."
That seems to be a rather large difference. Are you sure we can call them both axioms?


Well "I exist" seems inherent in the very fact that you are considering the question of your existence.

Whether or not you exist as "Stile" (or whatever your real name is) the human being etc. etc.etc. is another question.

But there can be no doubt in your mind that you exist in some form or another.

I don't see what falsifiable, testable, verifiable thing you can do to determine that I exist? How can you ever ever ever really really know that everything you experience is not the product of your imagination?

You cannot.

All you can reliably say is that "you" exist in some form or another.

The rest must be assumed to some degree.

Yes. That's what I said. I totally agree that there is no testable, verifiable, falsifiable test for "I exist" and that it must be assumed to some degree. That's why I said I agree that "I exist" is an axiom.

What I was saying is that this is not true for there being an "external, objective reality." There are verifiable, falsifiable tests for there being an external reality (namely... me measuring something and seeing if you get the same result... if you do not, then this lends evidence against it. If you do, then this lends evidence towards it).

So, if for one thing ("I exist") we have no verifiable tests, but we do have verifiable tests for another thing ("external, objective reality") are we sure we should be calling them both axioms?

My point was to question having an external, objective reality as an axiom rather than simply something we can test for. I was comparing how it is different to something we both agree is an axiom - "I exist."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Straggler, posted 02-13-2009 4:12 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Straggler, posted 02-17-2009 7:31 PM Stile has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 21 of 22 (499244)
02-17-2009 7:31 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Stile
02-17-2009 7:19 AM


Re: Axioms and derivations
Hi Stile

I think we are getting confused with "I" and "you" being used in relative terms.

Yes. That's what I said. I totally agree that there is no testable, verifiable, falsifiable test for "I exist" and that it must be assumed to some degree. That's why I said I agree that "I exist" is an axiom.

I don't think that "I" exist is an axiom.

It is demonstrably true fromthe very fact that "I" am considering my existence.

My point was to question having an external, objective reality as an axiom rather than simply something we can test for. I was comparing how it is different to something we both agree is an axiom - "I exist."

Beyond the fact that "I" exist it is impossible to reliably determine whether all else is imagined or otherwise.

What I was saying is that this is not true for there being an "external, objective reality." There are verifiable, falsifiable tests for there being an external reality (namely... me measuring something and seeing if you get the same result... if you do not, then this lends evidence against it. If you do, then this lends evidence towards it).

If you are imagining me verifying your imaginary measurements then how does that prove anything.......?

I am saying that "I" exist (in whatever form) cannot really be in doubt.

BUT that an objective reality external to me must be assumed. AND is therefore an axiom.

So we seem to be disagreeing but have yet again managed to find each other in a topic where the terminology is inherently confusing.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Stile, posted 02-17-2009 7:19 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Stile, posted 02-18-2009 7:37 AM Straggler has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3501
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 22 of 22 (499295)
02-18-2009 7:37 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Straggler
02-17-2009 7:31 PM


Re: Axioms and derivations
Straggler writes:

BUT that an objective reality external to me must be assumed. AND is therefore an axiom.

So we seem to be disagreeing but have yet again managed to find each other in a topic where the terminology is inherently confusing.

Yes, so it seems :)

I think you're right and we aren't talking about the same thing when we're saying "objective, external reality."

That is, when you talk about it, and make your point, I agree with everything you say.

When I talk about it, and make my point, I don't see what's in error.

The two things we're talking about may not necessarily be contradictions. We may be having a discussion where we're both right, but we're using similar terminology to describe two slightly different aspects of reality.

If you are imagining me verifying your imaginary measurements then how does that prove anything.......?

I see what you mean, and I agree that somewhere we need to assume an external, objective reality in the sense that "things external to me do exist."

However, it's still a falsifiable test. If the measurements you made (regardless of you being my imagination or not) are different from the measurements I make, then this shows that we, in fact, do not have an external, objective reality in the sense that reality is independent of you and I.

We can never "prove" that just because the measurements you make equal mine that you certainly are not from my imagination. But science isn't in the business of "proving" anything. Science is in the business of gaining information in the form of verifiable evidence. And this certainly is verifiable evidence towards the scientific theory that reality is independent of you and I.

So yes, I think there is an axiom in there somewhere. But I also think there's something scientifically-derivable in there too. Where exactly those realms are seperated is escaping me. I will say that I think "external, objective reality" is too broad to just accept as an axiom. I think the actual axiom can be scoped-down a bit so that it doesn't encompass so much. But... without me being able to provide a way to do such (or even a suggestion), I think I'll just slip away from this conversation for a bit and see where else it leads.

I always knew I should have spent more time on English class :)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Straggler, posted 02-17-2009 7:31 PM Straggler has not yet responded

    
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