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Author Topic:   Induction and Science
Panda
Member (Idle past 2943 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 496 of 744 (592633)
11-20-2010 8:42 PM
Reply to: Message 482 by nwr
11-20-2010 2:41 PM


Re: Universal Principles
nwr writes:

panda writes:

Your conclusion is a re-statement of your premise.
"A swan (by definition) is white" is identical to "All swans are white".
What is the information "not previously noticed" - be specific.


There is none. So what? It a completely irrelevant point. The information comes via making observations.

So what?
Well, that is the definition of deductive reasoning - it increases our knowledge.
To quote yourself: "it helps to reveal information already in the premises that had not been previously noticed".
That is actually an inadequate definition of deductive reasoning, but it at least acknowledges that new information is produced.

By definition: you cannot make general/universal rules/laws using deductive reasoning.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 482 by nwr, posted 11-20-2010 2:41 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 502 by nwr, posted 11-21-2010 6:45 PM Panda has replied

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 497 of 744 (592669)
11-21-2010 12:19 AM
Reply to: Message 494 by Modulous
11-20-2010 7:38 PM


Re: Reasoning vs. Argument
Replies to Message 494 & Message 495:

You either be upfront about your voodoo induction, or you add voodoo premises. Either way, we're doing voodoo.

I've never claimed that our additional premises/axioms were necessarily of any specific quality. The axiom 'all Crowes wear the same color shoes' is, indeed, a pretty crappy axiom. Its claim is simply too extraordinary for any sane human to take it for granted. But, the quality of our premises is a separate issue from the quality of our argument form. We can have good form with crappy premises; voodoo premises don't entail voodoo form. Our logic is fine; it's our starting points that suck.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction is not something that Newton observed.

True. But I never said Science only works with observations. Good, honest (non-voodoo) Science works with axioms and suppositions as well. Part of that conclusion is supported by observation, part by supposed axioms. If not, it's voodoo. S'pose that'd make Newton is a witchdoctor, eh?

Then you are now saying this is not an uncertain deduction? Then we agree. You had previously been talking about something else:

quote:
degree of error/uncertainty in our conclusion that is related to the probability of our premises to support it

Probability of premises to support the conclusion is not 100%, it is not deduction. It is precisely inductive logic in which the premises support, rather than necessitate 100%, the conclusion, with a potentially calculable degree of certainty.

Actually, that is not precisely what I was getting at. The probability of our conclusion being true is related to many things, for example, the quality of our premises. If we take an inductive argument and 'bridge the gap' to make it deductive, we do not have to alter the probability of our conclusion being true. What we do alter, however, is the probability of our conclusion being true given the presented premises. With the induction, it is <100%; with the deduction it is 100%. But the probability of the conclusion being true as a matter of fact remains the same.

Inductive arguments say

quote:
if...Therefore, with degree of support {p}
or
if, then with a certain level of confidence,

If your Crowe argument is the latter - it is inductive not deductive.

If this is how you define 'induction', then indeed. But I see this as identical to my conditional conclusion mentioned earlier. Can you spot a difference? Or, are we indeed just arguing semantics?

As I said, adding 'if' is just redundant and does not 'weaken' the argument or its conclusion

By 'weaken' I merely meant the conclusion's ability to say something about the world: 'All Crowes wear black shoes' says more than 'If all Crowes wear the same color shoes, then all Crowes wear black shoes'; and 'If three Crowes wear black shoes, then if all Crowes wear the same color shoes, then all Crowes wear black shoes' tells us nothing useful about the world. Agreed?

I have no idea what Science is. I'm talking about the thing that scientists do, that makes them scientists...the science part. And that uses induction.

That would explain a lot!

You can saying nothing new about the world above and beyond those observations. You are just performing deductive logical exercises on a data set.

Bullshit. 'If all Crowes wear the same color shoes, then all Crowes wear black shoes' tells us more that just 'three Crowes wear black shoes'. There is no way to honestly claim that it doesn't.

Science doesn't stop at "Gravity has attracted masses that we've observed according to this relationship..."

Then Science is guilty of dishonest voodoo; like nwr says.

But doing just that would not cover the pursuit of science, would it? Science makes predictions, develops general theories etc.

It is not what Science does that I'm after; it is what it admits to not knowing—how honest it is. The following two things produce equally-useful conclusions, one is just more honest than the other:

P1: The Sun rose today
.
.
.
Pn: The Sun rose on day n (long time ago)
C: The Sun will rise tomorrow

P1: The Sun rose today
.
.
.
Pn: The Sun rose on day n (long time ago)
C: If the Sun behaves the same on every day, the Sun will rise tomorrow

Can you spot the more honest one? Do you think either conclusion is more useful? One certainly makes a stronger claim, but so what? They are both useful; I'd set my alarm clock whichever one I accepted. I'd say the second one is good science; the first is sloppy voodoo science. That such sloppy science is the science that actually gets done is all too sad and all too shameful. But; s'pose you're right: it is what we live with .

Is induction, see: "assumed everything worked like the things he saw" - that's an induction.

Of course not; but we've been over this before. An assumption is weaker than a premise because there is no reason to accept its truth. This is not a premise supported by inductive reasoning; it is an assumption supported by the audience's goodwill to accept it as proposed. It's flimsy, but it's honest.

So which is it: Do we have uncertainty or not? I argue that in the quote above, you are arguing for induction which is defined as having a certain degree of error related to the probability of our premises to support it. Only if the support is 100% (ie necessary) is it deductive.

I thought I had cleared it up before. The statement you quoted was sloppily-written by a hungry man with noodles cooking on the stove. I used 'certainty' in two different ways. So let's not dwell on that quote; I retract it on grounds of its confusing wording.

There is no way to deduce from "Some pendulums act with the rule 'an action has an equal and opposite reaction'" to "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction" without making up stupid 'patch' premises that are not supported by evidence.

Indeed! But, and here is the kicker, whether with or without the 'patch' premises, the actual probability of the conclusion being true is the same.1 The difference is that with the 'patch' premises, the probability of the conclusion being true given the premises goes from <100% to =100%. It's a stronger form, and doesn't hide anything.

Remember, I have never argued that adding the extra premises alters the truth of anything. My argument is only about form.

It is not an axiom, it is a premise. It is a proposition you are using to support a conclusion, it is a premise.

In the broader sense, it is indeed a premise.

It is not being assumed true to see where it leads, it is not self-evident and it is not a universally accepted rule.

That's all malarkey. Nothing says we can only make an assumption if it is only 'assumed true to see where it leads' or 'self-evident'. The difference between an axiom and a premise is purely formal: one is derived, the other is not. It is an assumption because it's assumed, and that is all that is needed for it to be an assumption.

quote:
If Mod is human and if all humans are mortal

I have to stop you right here. You have not observed that all humans are mortal.

Hence its placement as the antecedent or the axiom (depending on which form you take). It's not an observation, and I honestly make no attempt to claim it as such.

You can only use premises (and it is a premise even if you call it a banana (or a conclusion)) that you have observed or deduced from the given axioms.

You've yet to show why that is the case. Science is mostly pragmatic; if our assumption gets us somewhere useful, then there is no reason to avoid using it.

So, here is what we actually have so far

P1: Mod is human
P2: Some humans are mortal
C: Mod might be mortal.

We've hardly made a scientific prediction here have we? We predict that Mod might die? Great. Way to be unfalsifiable. If we play your game and say that your conclusion is

quote:
If all humans are mortal, Mod is mortal.

Then the only prediction we can make with this is again Mod might die.

Try again, if you please.

You are confusing things. I am talking about the probability of a conclusion to be true given its premises; you are talking about the probability of a conclusion to actually be true. In either argument (the inductive-form one or deductive-form one), that latter probability will be identical. Thus, we will say that, 'it is 100% true that given our premises, Mod might die' in the first case and 'based on the probability of our premises being true there is a 90% chance Mod might die' in the second case. Changing to deduction doesn't alter the actual truth of our conclusion, it just alters the degree to which our conclusion rests on our premises, changing it from <100% to =100%.

P1: Every human that we have observed has died within 200 years of living
C1: This supports, tentatively the conclusion that all humans are mortal.
P2: We have observed Mod was a human
P3: We have observed that humans remain human until they die.
C2: (P3) gives support to the notion that all humans remain human until they die
C3: {C1}, {P2} and C2 support the conclusion, with a certain level of confidence that is not 100% "Mod is mortal."

Your 'confidence' and 'tentatively' in this argument is the probability of actual truth, as far as I can tell. The probability that the conclusion is true given the premises is <100%. We can make it 100% by adding premises; but this will not change the probability of actual truth (of our 'confidence' and 'tentatively').

Falsification: Mod survives to 201 years old.

Wouldn't it be great if it were!!

Jon
__________
1 After all, the patch required will be equally 'stupid' as the inductive leap required, thus our values stay the same.


Check out Apollo's Temple!
Ignorance is temporary; you should be able to overcome it. - nwr

This message is a reply to:
 Message 494 by Modulous, posted 11-20-2010 7:38 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 498 by Modulous, posted 11-21-2010 12:17 PM Jon has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1335 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


(2)
Message 498 of 744 (592704)
11-21-2010 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 497 by Jon
11-21-2010 12:19 AM


induction
Hi Jon.
Let's simplify.

In science we require evidence to support our conclusions. Our conclusions are general, our evidence specific. A general conclusion that is only supported to some degree by the premises (in science this is our observed evidence, we don't get to make shit up like 'all humans are mortal').

Your 'conditional conclusions' are just ways of sneaking in the inductions. If there is no sneaky inductions, then your conditional conclusions are just set theory mathematics, not science which is about the real world not a hypothetical world were we have complete knowledge.

In a deductive argument if the premises are true, the conclusion is necessarily true.

This does not happen in science. We can never say a general conclusion is necessarily true unless we're just talking about maths or logic. There is always tentativity, there is always the possibility of an observation overturning our general laws.

We're talking about real science, that makes real general laws, theories and conclusions about the real world based on a subset of evidential support. This is inductive. You might say that this is logically invalid - and we would all agree. But, as you say, it works and science is nothing if not pragmatic.

You have failed to use deductions and observations to generate predictions, create general laws etc. Rather than argue incessantly over your unusual logical terminology - I take this failure as tentative support for my thesis that induction exists within science.

P1: The Sun rose today
.
.
.
Pn: The Sun rose on day n (long time ago)
C: If the Sun behaves the same on every day, the Sun will rise tomorrow

For instance: Your conclusion could be worded as "If an inductive logic leads to a true condition here then it is necessarily also true that the sun will rise tomorrow". You've worded the argument so that this conclusion is necessarily true - but you've simply snuck the induction in under the table. You can try adding the word 'if' and bunging the proposition into the conclusion - but it still doesnt stop it being a premise to the deductive conclusion 'the sun will rise tomorrow'.

I should also point out that the correct form is

P1: The Sun rose today
P2: the Sun behaves the same on every day
P3: Tomorrow is a day
C: the Sun will rise tomorrow

You don't need lots of repetitions P1...Pn as you did unless you are trying to 'lend support' to P2, which would be induction. If this was a science paper - we'd have to say that P2 might be false, but it is supported by some evidence which gives us a certain confidence of its truth. This is science in the real world, Jon, not Platonic ideal empirical deductive rationalism or something. As nwr said:

quote:
It is how philosophers claim that science works. But most philosophers do not actually do science,

I'm talking about the actual doing of actual science - not the hypothetical ideal method of extracting absolute knowledge from an ideal data set.

In real science as done by scientists not philosophers - our general conclusions can in principle be false even if all of our observations (premises) are true.

You seem to think that science shouldn't make general statements from specifics and that doing this is 'sloppy'. This is nonsense. Your computer, your car, the Apollo rocket, the agriculture that provided your bread, all rely on this sloppy science. Indeed there is nothing that doesn't. You are stuck with it. Get used to it. Learn why it isn't as big a problem as you think it is. Read this - it is far from 'sloppy', even if it isn't logically valid. Ultimately, it does the job even if it cannot be proved that it should be able to the job.

We're talking about the challenge of observations and saying anything about the world other than 'we made an observation'. You might observe some parent blackbirds feeding their child blackbirds. This is just an observation, it is not science. Nor is it science to rearrange this and say that some blackbird chicks are fed by some blackbird adults.

It would be a scientific to say 'With some degree of support that is less than 100% - Blackbird parents care for their young"

So - moving ourselves away from Platonic science and to actual science, Induction not only exists, but must be done if we're going to call it science rather than 'looking at something'. My argument trivial to prove false. Just show a single example of a predictive deductive argument that doesn't involve making stuff up. You have failed to do this. Everyone, in the history of the world since Hume first made the challenge has failed.

Induction is with us as long as we don't make shit up to suit our purposes.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 497 by Jon, posted 11-21-2010 12:19 AM Jon has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 513 by Jon, posted 11-22-2010 12:07 PM Modulous has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 199 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 499 of 744 (592742)
11-21-2010 6:14 PM
Reply to: Message 466 by Jon
11-19-2010 3:51 PM


Re: Induction into deduction
Jon writes:

Except that here we are dealing with Science, which severely constrains the axioms we can have and conclusions we can derive.

Can you be more specific about these constraints? What is an example of a scientific axiom and what is an example of a non-scientific axiom?

Jon writes:

Perhaps this has been due to my own lack of clarity, but as you've yet to ask any questions about my argument, I have been unable to pinpoint where the lack clarity lies.

I have asked lots. But I have asked this one repeatedly. You have yet to answer it.

Jon – How is an assumption “derived from nothing” different to a blind random guess?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 466 by Jon, posted 11-19-2010 3:51 PM Jon has taken no action

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 199 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 500 of 744 (592743)
11-21-2010 6:22 PM
Reply to: Message 477 by nwr
11-20-2010 1:46 PM


Re: Universal Principles
Doing calculations that pertain to future events (e.g. landing the rocket before you actually land it) indisputably rely on nature (i.e. gravity and suchlike) actually operating in accordance with previous observations and complying with thos calculations.

The conclusion that nature will behave at some point in the future as it has been observed to behave thus far is based on inductive reasoning.

How cannit possibly be otherwise?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 477 by nwr, posted 11-20-2010 1:46 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 503 by nwr, posted 11-21-2010 6:49 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 199 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 501 of 744 (592744)
11-21-2010 6:27 PM
Reply to: Message 478 by nwr
11-20-2010 1:55 PM


Re: Nwr: "Scientific theories have nothing to say about how nature behaves"
Nwr writes:

Scientific theories have nothing to say about how nature behaves.

Straggler writes:

Then I guess we can just change our "standards" build a series of perpetual motion machines and solve the world's energy crisis before breakfast.

Nwr writes:

I have not said anything which would have that implication.

If our scientific theories "have nothing to say about how nature behaves" how can our scientific theories tell us (tentatively) what is physically possible or impossible?

Indeed how can they tell us anything that allows us to manipulate nature in the ways that we indisputably do?

On what principles do you think your computer was constructed? Ones that tell us nothing about nature?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 478 by nwr, posted 11-20-2010 1:55 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 504 by nwr, posted 11-21-2010 6:59 PM Straggler has replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5970
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 502 of 744 (592748)
11-21-2010 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 496 by Panda
11-20-2010 8:42 PM


Re: Universal Principles
Panda writes:
Well, that is the definition of deductive reasoning - it increases our knowledge.

No, that is not the definition of deductive reasoning.

Panda writes:
To quote yourself: "it helps to reveal information already in the premises that had not been previously noticed".
That is actually an inadequate definition of deductive reasoning, but it at least acknowledges that new information is produced.

That was never intended to be a definition, and it is quite explicit that no new information is produced.

Panda writes:
By definition: you cannot make general/universal rules/laws using deductive reasoning.

Who came up with that absurdity? It is refuted on just about every page of a mathematics book.


Jesus was a liberal hippie

This message is a reply to:
 Message 496 by Panda, posted 11-20-2010 8:42 PM Panda has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 508 by Panda, posted 11-21-2010 7:55 PM nwr has replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5970
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 503 of 744 (592749)
11-21-2010 6:49 PM
Reply to: Message 500 by Straggler
11-21-2010 6:22 PM


Re: Universal Principles
Straggler writes:
Doing calculations that pertain to future events (e.g. landing the rocket before you actually land it) indisputably rely on nature (i.e. gravity and suchlike) actually operating in accordance with previous observations and complying with thos calculations.

Doing calculations depends only on the mathematics being correct.


Jesus was a liberal hippie

This message is a reply to:
 Message 500 by Straggler, posted 11-21-2010 6:22 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 506 by Straggler, posted 11-21-2010 7:09 PM nwr has seen this message

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5970
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 504 of 744 (592751)
11-21-2010 6:59 PM
Reply to: Message 501 by Straggler
11-21-2010 6:27 PM


Re: Nwr: "Scientific theories have nothing to say about how nature behaves"
Straggler writes:
If our scientific theories "have nothing to say about how nature behaves" how can our scientific theories tell us (tentatively) what is physically possible or impossible?

A lens has nothing to say about grass. But I can still mount the lens in a camera, and use it to take a photograph of the grass, and then I can use information from that photograph to plan where to plant a tree in the grass.

You are completely missing the point.

Straggler writes:
On what principles do you think your computer was constructed?

The principles are not design specifications, and the design specifications are not the principles.


Jesus was a liberal hippie

This message is a reply to:
 Message 501 by Straggler, posted 11-21-2010 6:27 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 544 by Straggler, posted 11-23-2010 6:41 AM nwr has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 199 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 505 of 744 (592753)
11-21-2010 7:04 PM
Reply to: Message 480 by nwr
11-20-2010 2:29 PM


Re: Nwr: "Scientific theories have nothing to say about how nature behaves"
Nwr writes:

Straggler writes:

Your non-inductive description of science spectacularly fails to deal with the indisputable fact that science as practised by real scientists makes inductive conclusions about the way nature will behave in as yet unobserved circumstances.

You assert that as "indisputable fact", yet you have not produced any evidence to back that up.

So you continue to deny the existence of universal scientific principles or the ability of science to draw conclusions about the future behaviour of the world on the basis of these principles?

Newton’s universal law of gravitation has already been discussed (the name is the clue here). Conservation of energy. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. The second law of thermodynamics. All are examples of scientific principles which are considered by science to accurately describe the behaviour of nature universally. Not just here and now. Not just that which has been observed. But (tentatively) that which will be observed and even those things unobserved. Induction.

I am holding my pen in the air. I am going to let go. What is the scientific conclusion regarding the actual bahaviour of my pen that will be observed when I let it go?

Nwr writes:

"Scientific theories have nothing to say about how nature behaves"

You have invented a form of "science" that is unable to comment on what it is that a pen will do when dropped. Go figure.

Nwr writes:

I don't know what objection you could have to guesses and opinions.

I object to you equating the demonstrably reliable conclusions of science to "guesses" and "opinions" because they are demonstrably superior in terms of reliability to guesses and opinions. E.g. the timings of eclipses or the behaviour of as yet undropped pens.

Nwr writes:

"Scientific theories have nothing to say about how nature behaves"

Nwr writes:

But I do not see that it disagrees with anything that I have said.

Then you can't read.

Nwr writes:

Straggler writes:

Can you tell us what it is you think scientific theories are doing and why they allow us to manipulate and control aspects of nature so successfully then?

I think I have just done that in the preceding couple of paragraphs.

You have (at best) loosely described how it is that science works as an explanatory framework for already known observations.

Your view of science (like so many others we are confronted with here at EvC) is utterly unable to account for the fact that science does not only explain. It also enables us to accurately predict the behaviour of nature. Certainly a position that asserts "Scientific theories have nothing to say about how nature behaves" is not going to be able to explain how it is that science does constantly tell us how nature almost certainly will behave from one moment to the next.

Until you can account for the ability of science to do that without invoking induction to conclude that nature will continue to operate in a way that is consistent with the way it has been observed to behave thus far - You have no position.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 480 by nwr, posted 11-20-2010 2:29 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 507 by nwr, posted 11-21-2010 7:39 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 199 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 506 of 744 (592754)
11-21-2010 7:09 PM
Reply to: Message 503 by nwr
11-21-2010 6:49 PM


Re: Universal Principles
Nwr writes:

Doing calculations depends only on the mathematics being correct.

Whether the calculations actually manage to physically land the rocket or not is utterly dependent on reality operating in accordance with those calculations. The calculations could be done perfectly but if they don't describe nature to a decent extent the rocket landing will fail.

Why would we possibly expect nature to operate in accordance with our calculations unless we are inductively concluding that nature will continue to behave as it has been observed to behaves thus far?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 503 by nwr, posted 11-21-2010 6:49 PM nwr has seen this message

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5970
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 507 of 744 (592756)
11-21-2010 7:39 PM
Reply to: Message 505 by Straggler
11-21-2010 7:04 PM


Re: Nwr: "Scientific theories have nothing to say about how nature behaves"
Straggler writes:
So you continue to deny the existence of universal scientific principles or the ability of science to draw conclusions about the future behaviour of the world on the basis of these principles?

I haven't actually said that. I prefer that you don't make stuff up.

Straggler writes:
All are examples of scientific principles which are considered by science to accurately describe the behaviour of nature universally.

My view is similar to that of instrumentalism:
In the philosophy of science, instrumentalism is the view that a concept or theory should be evaluated by how effectively it explains and predicts phenomena, as opposed to how accurately it describes objective reality.

As you can see, instrumentalism holds that theories are not descriptions.

Straggler writes:
You have (at best) loosely described how it is that science works as an explanatory framework for already known observations.

Then you have badly misunderstood what I said.


Jesus was a liberal hippie

This message is a reply to:
 Message 505 by Straggler, posted 11-21-2010 7:04 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 509 by Straggler, posted 11-21-2010 7:58 PM nwr has replied
 Message 510 by Stephen Push, posted 11-21-2010 9:20 PM nwr has replied

  
Panda
Member (Idle past 2943 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 508 of 744 (592761)
11-21-2010 7:55 PM
Reply to: Message 502 by nwr
11-21-2010 6:45 PM


Re: Universal Principles
nwr writes:

Panda writes:

Well, that is the definition of deductive reasoning - it increases our knowledge.


No, that is not the definition of deductive reasoning.

Thanks for the link.
This is a quote from it:
quote:
Deductive Reasoning is a method of gaining knowledge.

nwr writes:

Panda writes:

By definition: you cannot make general/universal rules/laws using deductive reasoning.


Who came up with that absurdity? It is refuted on just about every page of a mathematics book.

Deductive reasoning moves from a general premise to a more specific conclusion.

Method of reasoning from general to particular

inference by reasoning from the general to the specific.

reasoning from the general to the particular (or from cause to effect)

inference in which the conclusion is of no greater generality than the premises.

These are just some from the first page when googling "Deductive Reasoning Definition".

Could you give some links describing what you think the definition is?
If not, then:
By definition: you cannot make general/universal rules/laws using deductive reasoning.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 502 by nwr, posted 11-21-2010 6:45 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 520 by nwr, posted 11-22-2010 5:08 PM Panda has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 199 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 509 of 744 (592764)
11-21-2010 7:58 PM
Reply to: Message 507 by nwr
11-21-2010 7:39 PM


Re: Nwr: "Scientific theories have nothing to say about how nature behaves"
Nwr writes:

Straggler writes:

So you continue to deny the existence of universal scientific principles or the ability of science to draw conclusions about the future behaviour of the world on the basis of these principles?

I haven't actually said that. I prefer that you don't make stuff up.

Yes you have. You said "Scientific theories have nothing to say about how nature behaves". You have also described scientific conclusions regarding the timing of future eclipses as "guesses" and "opinions".

If you have changed your mind on that just say so and then explain how a scientific theory can accurately predict the behaviour of nature without first concluding that nature will behave as observed to behave thus far.

I predict that you will not be able to without invoking inductive reasoning

Nwr writes:

As you can see, instrumentalism holds that theories are not descriptions.

But instrumentalism doesn't answer the question I asked you. When making predictions why would we possibly expect nature to operate in accordance with our theories unless we are inductively concluding that nature will continue to behave as it has been observed to behaves thus far?

Nwr writes:

Then you have badly misunderstood what I said.

It would aid everyones understanding if you both stopped contradicting yourself and didn't rely on irrelevant broad philosophic terms as answers to specific questions.

"I am a post-modern anti-Popperian instrumentalist with constructivism tendencies" is a parody of the sort of meaningless philoso-babble answers you repeatedly give.

Cut the horseshit and answer the questions.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 507 by nwr, posted 11-21-2010 7:39 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 511 by Jon, posted 11-22-2010 9:46 AM Straggler has replied
 Message 522 by nwr, posted 11-22-2010 5:20 PM Straggler has replied

  
Stephen Push
Member (Idle past 4090 days)
Posts: 140
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 10-08-2010


Message 510 of 744 (592776)
11-21-2010 9:20 PM
Reply to: Message 507 by nwr
11-21-2010 7:39 PM


Re: Nwr: "Scientific theories have nothing to say about how nature behaves"
nwr writes:

My view is similar to that of instrumentalism:

In the philosophy of science, instrumentalism is the view that a concept or theory should be evaluated by how effectively it explains and predicts phenomena, as opposed to how accurately it describes objective reality.

Instrumentalism denies that science can make valid inferences about unobservable phenomena. The view you have been advocating in this thread would deny science the ability to make inferences about unobserved phenomena. There is a huge difference between these two positions.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 507 by nwr, posted 11-21-2010 7:39 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 524 by nwr, posted 11-22-2010 5:31 PM Stephen Push has replied

  
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