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Chessmann
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Quote:
On 2007-12-21 09:09, JackScratch wrote:
The reply I got was a debate about Ad Hominim being a fallacy.


I think the real issue here is different ideas of what ad hominem actually is, and how it plays out.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
JackScratch
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Well if this is a subject of definitions, if it all boils down to semantics, then I have a Nationally, if not internationally accepted source. One, upon which, the many institutions of higher learning in the world base their curriculum. What is my opposition offering?
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Non-Special logic?
stoneunhinged
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Dear Friends,

Allow me to begin this VERY LONG AND BORING PLEASE EVERYBODY FORGET IT post with my agreement with the basic idea of Drew's objection to Ad Hominem attacks. Remember the phrase, "You have the brains of an ant, compared to me"? That is the classic Ad Hominem attack, and it is indeed a problem when it comes to logical discourse. I agree with Drew.

However, having read the entire thread, and having been offended a few times, and because I'm weak and can't let it go, I must respond.

Let me begin at the beginning.

1. Regarding the original post, the one about the distinction between fact and opinion. For serious thinkers, this distinction is not really an issue. There is, going back to Max Weber, a commonly held distinction between facts and values; but that is an assertion of relativism regarding what is ethical or not. It is not really useful as a question of logic.

A better distinction was made by Immanuel Kant, who distinguished between what we know in our heads ("noumena") and what we perceive outside of ourselves ("phenomena"). This distinction makes it apparent that the fact vs. opinion distinction is irrelevant, because everything we consider to be fact is in our heads, and it is impossible to confirm what is outside ourselves. In other words, even what we acknowledge as "fact" is actually opinion, because it is my "perception" of fact rather than fact itself.

(I guess an example is in order. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the U.S.A. Or was he? I "know" this is a "fact"; yet my knowledge of the subject is in fact just an opinion that everything I've heard is true. I did not live back then. I did not meet him. I do not really know if he ever existed. I accept it as fact, but the reality is that it is my opinion.)

So the fact/opinion distinction might be good for an internet forum, but when it comes to serious thinkers trying to understand the nature of reality, it is not helpful at all.

2. Regarding the discussion of "logical fallacy." I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding regarding what a logical fallacy actually is. A fallacy means, put in the most simple way, that one's logic is flawed. What it does NOT mean is that the original proposition becomes false. I might use flawed logic to assert a valid proposition. I have committed a fallacy, but the proposition is still valid.

(By the way, in logic we speak of "validity" and not of "truth" or "falsity".)

In other words, when someone picks apart a post saying things like "hasty generalization" or "red herring", one has NOT established that what the opponent has said is invalid. One has only established that the logic was faulty.

I repeat: one can make a fully valid statement using faulty logic.

(I guess another example is in order. Let's say that I argue that the Ford Spider is more environmentally friendly than the Chevrolet Inquisitor because the latter gets 42 miles to the gallon and the former gets 44. Of course, I have not considered C02 emissions or anything else, so the statement is not "logically" valid. However, it could be that the Spider produces less C02, is made from environmentally friendly materials, etc, and is in "fact" more environmentally friendly. My argument was logically flawed. Yet my proposition was valid, in spite of my logic.)

3. Regarding logic itself. Logic is a tool, chosen by western thinkers, to attempt to construct a standard by which things can be regarded as believable or not in a way which can be communicated to, and understood by, all human beings. But it is only a tool. Eastern cultures make no claims about their beliefs being logical. Christianity bases its claim on being illogical and therefore miraculous. But what is true? Perhaps Buddhism is. Perhaps Christianity is. Neither, however, are logical. To believe in logic is to make a kind of choice. But it is not an obvious choice, and thus it is not obvious that those who are not speaking "logically" are obviously inferior to those who are. And again, even speaking of logic is vague: do you mean mathematical truth tables or syllogisms or what? If you mean the Harbrace College Handbook, then...well...start your own religion. I would be willing to argue the following point against an army of Nobel prize winners: the truest logical construction is the tautology. (Is "tautology" in the Harbrace?) The tautology is almost universally considered a logical "fallacy".

Bertrand Russell famously wrote something like this (I'm doing this from memory):



Everything below this line is true
__________________________________

Everything above this line is false



His point was: our understanding of what is "logical" is problematic; the Harbrace College Handbook will not save us from this problem.

But again, my main point in my earlier post is that logic requires a context. A 16th century scholastic preparing a disputation will use a decidedly different logic than a 20th century Soviet Engineer, who in turn will use a different logic than a quantum physicist or a buddhist monk. Aristotle thought differently than Descartes, Locke thought differently than Kant, and I think differently than Drew. Yet given a context, things can make sense. A horse expert--whether he knows a *** thing about syllogism--will know more about what to do with a horse than I. Drew thinks that there exists some kind of pure logic that is accessible to everyone that proves to everyone (except on the Café) what to do with the horse. I think that what one should do with a horse must be seen in the context of "horseness" and not with some kind of abstracted logic. Perhaps Drew is right. But for him to presuppose that he is right is to commit a logical fallacy (presuppositionalism--but...OH...it's not in HARBRACE!...it must not exist.) In other words, there is a certain logic to horse raising, just as there is a certain logic to conjuring. And it is the logic of context which counts: not Harbrace.

4. Regarding Harbrace. Harbrace is nothing more or less than a guidebook for American college students to learn how to write term papers persuasively. I understand why Drew refers to it, and perhaps it is appropriate in the context of people trying to persuade each other in an internet forum. However, it is not an acknowledged authority on "logic". In fact, citing it as an authority is simply embarrassing. Truly. I've tried to be gentle, but in this case it is impossible to be so. Cite Aristotle or Wittgenstein or the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. But citing Harbrace is like citing Webster's or Wikipedia. Don't get upset when the professor marks you down: you deserved it. Harbrace is no authority for law school or medical school or the Magic Café or anywhere else.

Look, I like Harbrace. I personally am responsible (no lie) for the sale of several thousand copies of the book. But I wanted them to be read by college freshmen to learn how to write term papers persuasively. Had a student ever cited Harbrace as a source in an advanced-level philosophy seminar on, say, Thomas Hobbes, I would have asked them to re-write their term paper. And no, I'm not joking or being semantical. I really would have done so. But in the almost 20 years I've taught university students, I've never had a SINGLE STUDENT cite Harbrace as an authority. Again: it's embarrassing. I think Drew is probably a very intelligent man. But if this thread were a term paper, he'd get a poor grade from me. But then: I'm a scholar, so what do I know about anything?

5. Regarding scholars. Again, I will say that I do not believe that Drew is speaking completely honestly. I chose my example of pottery scholarship very specifically to make a point which apparently went by him. Some refrigerator repairman around the corner might actually know more about ancient pottery than the world's most renowned ancient pottery scholar. It's his hobby, and he's a genius, and he simply knows more than everyone else about the subject. (Think: Sherlock Holmes, who was, as an amateur, a better sleuth than all the professionals--especially the police.)

Yet there remains this problem: the hobbyist's knowledge has not been tested. He has not spent four to five years in college, another three to five in graduate school, has not taken qualifying and comprehensive written and oral examinations, has not defended a dissertation in front of a committee of established experts, has not published in peer-reviewed journals, has not--in short--established any credentials.

Of course, with medicine this is obvious. Your neighbor read some book about how fruitcakes fight cancer. Your doctor is a professor at the Mayo clinic. Drew: you aren't going to start eating fruitcakes.

Now, a "straw dog" argument can be made here: one can go through the process and be wrong. Not only true: scholars are wrong all the time. Perhaps they are even wrong more often than right, about cancer and all sorts of things. But the burger flipper has never been tested in any way whatsoever. His opinion has not been scrutinized by experts on the subject. His opinion has never been presented in a forum in which his logic was tested. His opinion--which may indeed be valid--is a "virgin" opinion.

But this misses the most important point. None of us is perfectly logical. None of us knows everything. We try to be logical, and we specialize. And those who specialize for a long time, and who jump through certain hoops to prove themselves, get called scholars. Yes, we might be wrong. Yes, we might sometimes be illogical. But we have gone out there and passed tests and written articles and dissertations and defended them and worked our butts off to learn a trade. Not all are good at it. But who is Drew to ridicule us and say we don't know what we are talking about? Of course, he doesn't say that. What he suggests is that he can evaluate our logic--Harbrace in hand--to determine whether we know what we are talking about. Right. Does anyone else see the absurdity of this position?


6. Lastly, we return to the fallacy of Drew's logical fallacy argument. I repeat: even if one points out that someone has been illogical, one has not proven him wrong.

Drew: you do this! You cite a perceived fallacy of Josh and you pronounce his post: "Incorrect". You have not proven anything of the sort. The fallacy you perceive demonstrates an insufficient understanding of what a "fallacy" actually means.

Of course, this would be OK, and I wouldn't care much. Except: you come here, to our "Not Magical" forum, and try to teach us. You try to teach me. And maybe you can teach me something. Actually, you could probably teach me more about magic in a day than I have learned in the last two years.

But you can not possibly teach me more about logic and ethics than I have learned from the likes of Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche and others--which have been my obsession and profession for over a quarter of a century--and which I have proven an understanding of through written and oral examinations and a dissertation defense and the onslaught of thousands of curious and sometimes antagonistic students. Just as you have gone out into clubs or whatever and shown that you can do magic, I have proven that I can think critically and..."logically".

You ignored my last post, and no doubt you will ignore this one. But for once you might consider that someone knows maybe .00001% more than you do on a subject. And it offends me that you repeatedly come back to this thread and act like no one knows anything about logical discourse than yourself.

I actually respect you. What offends you is that it seems obvious that you do not respect me.

I come here to learn magic. I can't do magic. I dream about doing magic. I sit around the house and play with my cards and cups and balls and wish I had the guts to go out in public and do a show. And I feel like crud that I haven't done it yet.

But: I've spent 25 years struggling with the texts of the greatest minds of human civilization, and have taught college and graduate students philosophy and English since 1990, and I come here to the Not Very Magical forum only to have some magician tell me that I'm illogical because he's got the Harbrace in his hand...and...it offends me. I'm afraid to do a ACR in public. It's a world I don't know yet and I've been coming here to learn. But you obviously don't know my world. Or maybe you do. Maybe it's a world of idiot philosophers with meaningless degrees and worn-out copies of Harbrace. Maybe it's not. I don't know whether I should feel more sorry for you or for me.

With love and respect,

Jeff J. Stone, Ph.D. (Political Philosophy, University of Dallas, 1992)
Wannabe Magician, SCARED to Pe.R.form
Rupert Bair
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Quote:
On 2007-12-21 16:39, stoneunhinged wrote:
Dear Friends,

Allow me to begin this VERY LONG AND BORING PLEASE EVERYBODY FORGET IT post with my agreement with the basic idea of Drew's objection to Ad Hominem attacks. Remember the phrase, "You have the brains of an ant, compared to me"? That is the classic Ad Hominem attack, and it is indeed a problem when it comes to logical discourse. I agree with Drew.

However, having read the entire thread, and having been offended a few times, and because I'm weak and can't let it go, I must respond.

Let me begin at the beginning.

1. Regarding the original post, the one about the distinction between fact and opinion. For serious thinkers, this distinction is not really an issue. There is, going back to Max Weber, a commonly held distinction between facts and values; but that is an assertion of relativism regarding what is ethical or not. It is not really useful as a question of logic.

A better distinction was made by Immanuel Kant, who distinguished between what we know in our heads ("noumena") and what we perceive outside of ourselves ("phenomena"). This distinction makes it apparent that the fact vs. opinion distinction is irrelevant, because everything we consider to be fact is in our heads, and it is impossible to confirm what is outside ourselves. In other words, even what we acknowledge as "fact" is actually opinion, because it is my "perception" of fact rather than fact itself.

(I guess an example is in order. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the U.S.A. Or was he? I "know" this is a "fact"; yet my knowledge of the subject is in fact just an opinion that everything I've heard is true. I did not live back then. I did not meet him. I do not really know if he ever existed. I accept it as fact, but the reality is that it is my opinion.)

So the fact/opinion distinction might be good for an internet forum, but when it comes to serious thinkers trying to understand the nature of reality, it is not helpful at all.

2. Regarding the discussion of "logical fallacy." I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding regarding what a logical fallacy actually is. A fallacy means, put in the most simple way, that one's logic is flawed. What it does NOT mean is that the original proposition becomes false. I might use flawed logic to assert a valid proposition. I have committed a fallacy, but the proposition is still valid.

(By the way, in logic we speak of "validity" and not of "truth" or "falsity".)

In other words, when someone picks apart a post saying things like "hasty generalization" or "red herring", one has NOT established that what the opponent has said is invalid. One has only established that the logic was faulty.

I repeat: one can make a fully valid statement using faulty logic.

(I guess another example is in order. Let's say that I argue that the Ford Spider is more environmentally friendly than the Chevrolet Inquisitor because the latter gets 42 miles to the gallon and the former gets 44. Of course, I have not considered C02 emissions or anything else, so the statement is not "logically" valid. However, it could be that the Spider produces less C02, is made from environmentally friendly materials, etc, and is in "fact" more environmentally friendly. My argument was logically flawed. Yet my proposition was valid, in spite of my logic.)

3. Regarding logic itself. Logic is a tool, chosen by western thinkers, to attempt to construct a standard by which things can be regarded as believable or not in a way which can be communicated to, and understood by, all human beings. But it is only a tool. Eastern cultures make no claims about their beliefs being logical. Christianity bases its claim on being illogical and therefore miraculous. But what is true? Perhaps Buddhism is. Perhaps Christianity is. Neither, however, are logical. To believe in logic is to make a kind of choice. But it is not an obvious choice, and thus it is not obvious that those who are not speaking "logically" are obviously inferior to those who are. And again, even speaking of logic is vague: do you mean mathematical truth tables or syllogisms or what? If you mean the Harbrace College Handbook, then...well...start your own religion. I would be willing to argue the following point against an army of Nobel prize winners: the truest logical construction is the tautology. (Is "tautology" in the Harbrace?) The tautology is almost universally considered a logical "fallacy".

Bertrand Russell famously wrote something like this (I'm doing this from memory):



Everything below this line is true
__________________________________

Everything above this line is false



His point was: our understanding of what is "logical" is problematic; the Harbrace College Handbook will not save us from this problem.

But again, my main point in my earlier post is that logic requires a context. A 16th century scholastic preparing a disputation will use a decidedly different logic than a 20th century Soviet Engineer, who in turn will use a different logic than a quantum physicist or a buddhist monk. Aristotle thought differently than Descartes, Locke thought differently than Kant, and I think differently than Drew. Yet given a context, things can make sense. A horse expert--whether he knows a *** thing about syllogism--will know more about what to do with a horse than I. Drew thinks that there exists some kind of pure logic that is accessible to everyone that proves to everyone (except on the Café) what to do with the horse. I think that what one should do with a horse must be seen in the context of "horseness" and not with some kind of abstracted logic. Perhaps Drew is right. But for him to presuppose that he is right is to commit a logical fallacy (presuppositionalism--but...OH...it's not in HARBRACE!...it must not exist.) In other words, there is a certain logic to horse raising, just as there is a certain logic to conjuring. And it is the logic of context which counts: not Harbrace.

4. Regarding Harbrace. Harbrace is nothing more or less than a guidebook for American college students to learn how to write term papers persuasively. I understand why Drew refers to it, and perhaps it is appropriate in the context of people trying to persuade each other in an internet forum. However, it is not an acknowledged authority on "logic". In fact, citing it as an authority is simply embarrassing. Truly. I've tried to be gentle, but in this case it is impossible to be so. Cite Aristotle or Wittgenstein or the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. But citing Harbrace is like citing Webster's or Wikipedia. Don't get upset when the professor marks you down: you deserved it. Harbrace is no authority for law school or medical school or the Magic Café or anywhere else.

Look, I like Harbrace. I personally am responsible (no lie) for the sale of several thousand copies of the book. But I wanted them to be read by college freshmen to learn how to write term papers persuasively. Had a student ever cited Harbrace as a source in an advanced-level philosophy seminar on, say, Thomas Hobbes, I would have asked them to re-write their term paper. And no, I'm not joking or being semantical. I really would have done so. But in the almost 20 years I've taught university students, I've never had a SINGLE STUDENT cite Harbrace as an authority. Again: it's embarrassing. I think Drew is probably a very intelligent man. But if this thread were a term paper, he'd get a poor grade from me. But then: I'm a scholar, so what do I know about anything?

5. Regarding scholars. Again, I will say that I do not believe that Drew is speaking completely honestly. I chose my example of pottery scholarship very specifically to make a point which apparently went by him. Some refrigerator repairman around the corner might actually know more about ancient pottery than the world's most renowned ancient pottery scholar. It's his hobby, and he's a genius, and he simply knows more than everyone else about the subject. (Think: Sherlock Holmes, who was, as an amateur, a better sleuth than all the professionals--especially the police.)

Yet there remains this problem: the hobbyist's knowledge has not been tested. He has not spent four to five years in college, another three to five in graduate school, has not taken qualifying and comprehensive written and oral examinations, has not defended a dissertation in front of a committee of established experts, has not published in peer-reviewed journals, has not--in short--established any credentials.

Of course, with medicine this is obvious. Your neighbor read some book about how fruitcakes fight cancer. Your doctor is a professor at the Mayo clinic. Drew: you aren't going to start eating fruitcakes.

Now, a "straw dog" argument can be made here: one can go through the process and be wrong. Not only true: scholars are wrong all the time. Perhaps they are even wrong more often than right, about cancer and all sorts of things. But the burger flipper has never been tested in any way whatsoever. His opinion has not been scrutinized by experts on the subject. His opinion has never been presented in a forum in which his logic was tested. His opinion--which may indeed be valid--is a "virgin" opinion.

But this misses the most important point. None of us is perfectly logical. None of us knows everything. We try to be logical, and we specialize. And those who specialize for a long time, and who jump through certain hoops to prove themselves, get called scholars. Yes, we might be wrong. Yes, we might sometimes be illogical. But we have gone out there and passed tests and written articles and dissertations and defended them and worked our butts off to learn a trade. Not all are good at it. But who is Drew to ridicule us and say we don't know what we are talking about? Of course, he doesn't say that. What he suggests is that he can evaluate our logic--Harbrace in hand--to determine whether we know what we are talking about. Right. Does anyone else see the absurdity of this position?


6. Lastly, we return to the fallacy of Drew's logical fallacy argument. I repeat: even if one points out that someone has been illogical, one has not proven him wrong.

Drew: you do this! You cite a perceived fallacy of Josh and you pronounce his post: "Incorrect". You have not proven anything of the sort. The fallacy you perceive demonstrates an insufficient understanding of what a "fallacy" actually means.

Of course, this would be OK, and I wouldn't care much. Except: you come here, to our "Not Magical" forum, and try to teach us. You try to teach me. And maybe you can teach me something. Actually, you could probably teach me more about magic in a day than I have learned in the last two years.

But you can not possibly teach me more about logic and ethics than I have learned from the likes of Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche and others--which have been my obsession and profession for over a quarter of a century--and which I have proven an understanding of through written and oral examinations and a dissertation defense and the onslaught of thousands of curious and sometimes antagonistic students. Just as you have gone out into clubs or whatever and shown that you can do magic, I have proven that I can think critically and..."logically".

You ignored my last post, and no doubt you will ignore this one. But for once you might consider that someone knows maybe .00001% more than you do on a subject. And it offends me that you repeatedly come back to this thread and act like no one knows anything about logical discourse than yourself.

I actually respect you. What offends you is that it seems obvious that you do not respect me.

I come here to learn magic. I can't do magic. I dream about doing magic. I sit around the house and play with my cards and cups and balls and wish I had the guts to go out in public and do a show. And I feel like crud that I haven't done it yet.

But: I've spent 25 years struggling with the texts of the greatest minds of human civilization, and have taught college and graduate students philosophy and English since 1990, and I come here to the Not Very Magical forum only to have some magician tell me that I'm illogical because he's got the Harbrace in his hand...and...it offends me. I'm afraid to do a ACR in public. It's a world I don't know yet and I've been coming here to learn. But you obviously don't know my world. Or maybe you do. Maybe it's a world of idiot philosophers with meaningless degrees and worn-out copies of Harbrace. Maybe it's not. I don't know whether I should feel more sorry for you or for me.

With love and respect,

Jeff J. Stone, Ph.D. (Political Philosophy, University of Dallas, 1992)
Wannabe Magician, SCARED to Pe.R.form


Hmmm...
stoneunhinged
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Hey Matt! Howzit hangin?
Rupert Bair
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Hangin like a champ!

I've read your post and found a typo or two...maybe you should correct it before someone calls you dumb??
stoneunhinged
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I don't mind being called dumb, I just mind people saying I'm drunk when I'm drunk.
calamari
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Quote:
On 2007-12-21 16:49, Matt Colman wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-12-21 16:39, stoneunhinged wrote:
Dear Friends,

Allow me to begin this VERY LONG AND BORING PLEASE EVERYBODY FORGET IT post with my agreement with the basic idea of Drew's objection to Ad Hominem attacks. Remember the phrase, "You have the brains of an ant, compared to me"? That is the classic Ad Hominem attack, and it is indeed a problem when it comes to logical discourse. I agree with Drew.

However, having read the entire thread, and having been offended a few times, and because I'm weak and can't let it go, I must respond.

Let me begin at the beginning.

1. Regarding the original post, the one about the distinction between fact and opinion. For serious thinkers, this distinction is not really an issue. There is, going back to Max Weber, a commonly held distinction between facts and values; but that is an assertion of relativism regarding what is ethical or not. It is not really useful as a question of logic.

A better distinction was made by Immanuel Kant, who distinguished between what we know in our heads ("noumena") and what we perceive outside of ourselves ("phenomena"). This distinction makes it apparent that the fact vs. opinion distinction is irrelevant, because everything we consider to be fact is in our heads, and it is impossible to confirm what is outside ourselves. In other words, even what we acknowledge as "fact" is actually opinion, because it is my "perception" of fact rather than fact itself.

(I guess an example is in order. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the U.S.A. Or was he? I "know" this is a "fact"; yet my knowledge of the subject is in fact just an opinion that everything I've heard is true. I did not live back then. I did not meet him. I do not really know if he ever existed. I accept it as fact, but the reality is that it is my opinion.)

So the fact/opinion distinction might be good for an internet forum, but when it comes to serious thinkers trying to understand the nature of reality, it is not helpful at all.

2. Regarding the discussion of "logical fallacy." I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding regarding what a logical fallacy actually is. A fallacy means, put in the most simple way, that one's logic is flawed. What it does NOT mean is that the original proposition becomes false. I might use flawed logic to assert a valid proposition. I have committed a fallacy, but the proposition is still valid.

(By the way, in logic we speak of "validity" and not of "truth" or "falsity".)

In other words, when someone picks apart a post saying things like "hasty generalization" or "red herring", one has NOT established that what the opponent has said is invalid. One has only established that the logic was faulty.

I repeat: one can make a fully valid statement using faulty logic.

(I guess another example is in order. Let's say that I argue that the Ford Spider is more environmentally friendly than the Chevrolet Inquisitor because the latter gets 42 miles to the gallon and the former gets 44. Of course, I have not considered C02 emissions or anything else, so the statement is not "logically" valid. However, it could be that the Spider produces less C02, is made from environmentally friendly materials, etc, and is in "fact" more environmentally friendly. My argument was logically flawed. Yet my proposition was valid, in spite of my logic.)

3. Regarding logic itself. Logic is a tool, chosen by western thinkers, to attempt to construct a standard by which things can be regarded as believable or not in a way which can be communicated to, and understood by, all human beings. But it is only a tool. Eastern cultures make no claims about their beliefs being logical. Christianity bases its claim on being illogical and therefore miraculous. But what is true? Perhaps Buddhism is. Perhaps Christianity is. Neither, however, are logical. To believe in logic is to make a kind of choice. But it is not an obvious choice, and thus it is not obvious that those who are not speaking "logically" are obviously inferior to those who are. And again, even speaking of logic is vague: do you mean mathematical truth tables or syllogisms or what? If you mean the Harbrace College Handbook, then...well...start your own religion. I would be willing to argue the following point against an army of Nobel prize winners: the truest logical construction is the tautology. (Is "tautology" in the Harbrace?) The tautology is almost universally considered a logical "fallacy".

Bertrand Russell famously wrote something like this (I'm doing this from memory):



Everything below this line is true
__________________________________

Everything above this line is false



His point was: our understanding of what is "logical" is problematic; the Harbrace College Handbook will not save us from this problem.

But again, my main point in my earlier post is that logic requires a context. A 16th century scholastic preparing a disputation will use a decidedly different logic than a 20th century Soviet Engineer, who in turn will use a different logic than a quantum physicist or a buddhist monk. Aristotle thought differently than Descartes, Locke thought differently than Kant, and I think differently than Drew. Yet given a context, things can make sense. A horse expert--whether he knows a *** thing about syllogism--will know more about what to do with a horse than I. Drew thinks that there exists some kind of pure logic that is accessible to everyone that proves to everyone (except on the Café) what to do with the horse. I think that what one should do with a horse must be seen in the context of "horseness" and not with some kind of abstracted logic. Perhaps Drew is right. But for him to presuppose that he is right is to commit a logical fallacy (presuppositionalism--but...OH...it's not in HARBRACE!...it must not exist.) In other words, there is a certain logic to horse raising, just as there is a certain logic to conjuring. And it is the logic of context which counts: not Harbrace.

4. Regarding Harbrace. Harbrace is nothing more or less than a guidebook for American college students to learn how to write term papers persuasively. I understand why Drew refers to it, and perhaps it is appropriate in the context of people trying to persuade each other in an internet forum. However, it is not an acknowledged authority on "logic". In fact, citing it as an authority is simply embarrassing. Truly. I've tried to be gentle, but in this case it is impossible to be so. Cite Aristotle or Wittgenstein or the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. But citing Harbrace is like citing Webster's or Wikipedia. Don't get upset when the professor marks you down: you deserved it. Harbrace is no authority for law school or medical school or the Magic Café or anywhere else.

Look, I like Harbrace. I personally am responsible (no lie) for the sale of several thousand copies of the book. But I wanted them to be read by college freshmen to learn how to write term papers persuasively. Had a student ever cited Harbrace as a source in an advanced-level philosophy seminar on, say, Thomas Hobbes, I would have asked them to re-write their term paper. And no, I'm not joking or being semantical. I really would have done so. But in the almost 20 years I've taught university students, I've never had a SINGLE STUDENT cite Harbrace as an authority. Again: it's embarrassing. I think Drew is probably a very intelligent man. But if this thread were a term paper, he'd get a poor grade from me. But then: I'm a scholar, so what do I know about anything?

5. Regarding scholars. Again, I will say that I do not believe that Drew is speaking completely honestly. I chose my example of pottery scholarship very specifically to make a point which apparently went by him. Some refrigerator repairman around the corner might actually know more about ancient pottery than the world's most renowned ancient pottery scholar. It's his hobby, and he's a genius, and he simply knows more than everyone else about the subject. (Think: Sherlock Holmes, who was, as an amateur, a better sleuth than all the professionals--especially the police.)

Yet there remains this problem: the hobbyist's knowledge has not been tested. He has not spent four to five years in college, another three to five in graduate school, has not taken qualifying and comprehensive written and oral examinations, has not defended a dissertation in front of a committee of established experts, has not published in peer-reviewed journals, has not--in short--established any credentials.

Of course, with medicine this is obvious. Your neighbor read some book about how fruitcakes fight cancer. Your doctor is a professor at the Mayo clinic. Drew: you aren't going to start eating fruitcakes.

Now, a "straw dog" argument can be made here: one can go through the process and be wrong. Not only true: scholars are wrong all the time. Perhaps they are even wrong more often than right, about cancer and all sorts of things. But the burger flipper has never been tested in any way whatsoever. His opinion has not been scrutinized by experts on the subject. His opinion has never been presented in a forum in which his logic was tested. His opinion--which may indeed be valid--is a "virgin" opinion.

But this misses the most important point. None of us is perfectly logical. None of us knows everything. We try to be logical, and we specialize. And those who specialize for a long time, and who jump through certain hoops to prove themselves, get called scholars. Yes, we might be wrong. Yes, we might sometimes be illogical. But we have gone out there and passed tests and written articles and dissertations and defended them and worked our butts off to learn a trade. Not all are good at it. But who is Drew to ridicule us and say we don't know what we are talking about? Of course, he doesn't say that. What he suggests is that he can evaluate our logic--Harbrace in hand--to determine whether we know what we are talking about. Right. Does anyone else see the absurdity of this position?


6. Lastly, we return to the fallacy of Drew's logical fallacy argument. I repeat: even if one points out that someone has been illogical, one has not proven him wrong.

Drew: you do this! You cite a perceived fallacy of Josh and you pronounce his post: "Incorrect". You have not proven anything of the sort. The fallacy you perceive demonstrates an insufficient understanding of what a "fallacy" actually means.

Of course, this would be OK, and I wouldn't care much. Except: you come here, to our "Not Magical" forum, and try to teach us. You try to teach me. And maybe you can teach me something. Actually, you could probably teach me more about magic in a day than I have learned in the last two years.

But you can not possibly teach me more about logic and ethics than I have learned from the likes of Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche and others--which have been my obsession and profession for over a quarter of a century--and which I have proven an understanding of through written and oral examinations and a dissertation defense and the onslaught of thousands of curious and sometimes antagonistic students. Just as you have gone out into clubs or whatever and shown that you can do magic, I have proven that I can think critically and..."logically".

You ignored my last post, and no doubt you will ignore this one. But for once you might consider that someone knows maybe .00001% more than you do on a subject. And it offends me that you repeatedly come back to this thread and act like no one knows anything about logical discourse than yourself.

I actually respect you. What offends you is that it seems obvious that you do not respect me.

I come here to learn magic. I can't do magic. I dream about doing magic. I sit around the house and play with my cards and cups and balls and wish I had the guts to go out in public and do a show. And I feel like crud that I haven't done it yet.

But: I've spent 25 years struggling with the texts of the greatest minds of human civilization, and have taught college and graduate students philosophy and English since 1990, and I come here to the Not Very Magical forum only to have some magician tell me that I'm illogical because he's got the Harbrace in his hand...and...it offends me. I'm afraid to do a ACR in public. It's a world I don't know yet and I've been coming here to learn. But you obviously don't know my world. Or maybe you do. Maybe it's a world of idiot philosophers with meaningless degrees and worn-out copies of Harbrace. Maybe it's not. I don't know whether I should feel more sorry for you or for me.

With love and respect,

Jeff J. Stone, Ph.D. (Political Philosophy, University of Dallas, 1992)
Wannabe Magician, SCARED to Pe.R.form


Hmmm...



sorry you lost me there... got bored nodded off.... but by the length of your post I declare you the winner and owner of the last word on the subject... of course that is only my oppinion and in no way represents the management...however should anyone dought that your oppinion is the best one and should be considered the correct oppinion,,, they need only write a more lengthy and equally wordy, verbose,reply full of long words I don't know (usually anything over 6 letters) and I will nominate them for the possition since I really could not care less about the subject and wish everyone could just manage a little civility when posting or replying since I dought we would likely be such jerks if we were face to face (some exceptions do apply) I repeat this is only my oppinion
carry on
Rich
"I came, I saw, SHE conquered." (The original Latin seems to have been garbled.)
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I read the entire thing. So the problem is you, and you should feel bad about yourself.

Real bad.

I would make mention of Matt and his many years in cosmetology school, but that would be mean.

Real mean.

But Matt should feel bad about himself to. Instead of just feeling himself.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
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Quote:
On 2007-12-21 17:23, calamari wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-12-21 16:49, Matt Colman wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-12-21 16:39, stoneunhinged wrote:
Dear Friends,

Allow me to begin this VERY LONG AND BORING PLEASE EVERYBODY FORGET IT post with my agreement with the basic idea of Drew's objection to Ad Hominem attacks. Remember the phrase, "You have the brains of an ant, compared to me"? That is the classic Ad Hominem attack, and it is indeed a problem when it comes to logical discourse. I agree with Drew.

However, having read the entire thread, and having been offended a few times, and because I'm weak and can't let it go, I must respond.

Let me begin at the beginning.

1. Regarding the original post, the one about the distinction between fact and opinion. For serious thinkers, this distinction is not really an issue. There is, going back to Max Weber, a commonly held distinction between facts and values; but that is an assertion of relativism regarding what is ethical or not. It is not really useful as a question of logic.

A better distinction was made by Immanuel Kant, who distinguished between what we know in our heads ("noumena") and what we perceive outside of ourselves ("phenomena"). This distinction makes it apparent that the fact vs. opinion distinction is irrelevant, because everything we consider to be fact is in our heads, and it is impossible to confirm what is outside ourselves. In other words, even what we acknowledge as "fact" is actually opinion, because it is my "perception" of fact rather than fact itself.

(I guess an example is in order. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the U.S.A. Or was he? I "know" this is a "fact"; yet my knowledge of the subject is in fact just an opinion that everything I've heard is true. I did not live back then. I did not meet him. I do not really know if he ever existed. I accept it as fact, but the reality is that it is my opinion.)

So the fact/opinion distinction might be good for an internet forum, but when it comes to serious thinkers trying to understand the nature of reality, it is not helpful at all.

2. Regarding the discussion of "logical fallacy." I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding regarding what a logical fallacy actually is. A fallacy means, put in the most simple way, that one's logic is flawed. What it does NOT mean is that the original proposition becomes false. I might use flawed logic to assert a valid proposition. I have committed a fallacy, but the proposition is still valid.

(By the way, in logic we speak of "validity" and not of "truth" or "falsity".)

In other words, when someone picks apart a post saying things like "hasty generalization" or "red herring", one has NOT established that what the opponent has said is invalid. One has only established that the logic was faulty.

I repeat: one can make a fully valid statement using faulty logic.

(I guess another example is in order. Let's say that I argue that the Ford Spider is more environmentally friendly than the Chevrolet Inquisitor because the latter gets 42 miles to the gallon and the former gets 44. Of course, I have not considered C02 emissions or anything else, so the statement is not "logically" valid. However, it could be that the Spider produces less C02, is made from environmentally friendly materials, etc, and is in "fact" more environmentally friendly. My argument was logically flawed. Yet my proposition was valid, in spite of my logic.)

3. Regarding logic itself. Logic is a tool, chosen by western thinkers, to attempt to construct a standard by which things can be regarded as believable or not in a way which can be communicated to, and understood by, all human beings. But it is only a tool. Eastern cultures make no claims about their beliefs being logical. Christianity bases its claim on being illogical and therefore miraculous. But what is true? Perhaps Buddhism is. Perhaps Christianity is. Neither, however, are logical. To believe in logic is to make a kind of choice. But it is not an obvious choice, and thus it is not obvious that those who are not speaking "logically" are obviously inferior to those who are. And again, even speaking of logic is vague: do you mean mathematical truth tables or syllogisms or what? If you mean the Harbrace College Handbook, then...well...start your own religion. I would be willing to argue the following point against an army of Nobel prize winners: the truest logical construction is the tautology. (Is "tautology" in the Harbrace?) The tautology is almost universally considered a logical "fallacy".

Bertrand Russell famously wrote something like this (I'm doing this from memory):



Everything below this line is true
__________________________________

Everything above this line is false



His point was: our understanding of what is "logical" is problematic; the Harbrace College Handbook will not save us from this problem.

But again, my main point in my earlier post is that logic requires a context. A 16th century scholastic preparing a disputation will use a decidedly different logic than a 20th century Soviet Engineer, who in turn will use a different logic than a quantum physicist or a buddhist monk. Aristotle thought differently than Descartes, Locke thought differently than Kant, and I think differently than Drew. Yet given a context, things can make sense. A horse expert--whether he knows a *** thing about syllogism--will know more about what to do with a horse than I. Drew thinks that there exists some kind of pure logic that is accessible to everyone that proves to everyone (except on the Café) what to do with the horse. I think that what one should do with a horse must be seen in the context of "horseness" and not with some kind of abstracted logic. Perhaps Drew is right. But for him to presuppose that he is right is to commit a logical fallacy (presuppositionalism--but...OH...it's not in HARBRACE!...it must not exist.) In other words, there is a certain logic to horse raising, just as there is a certain logic to conjuring. And it is the logic of context which counts: not Harbrace.

4. Regarding Harbrace. Harbrace is nothing more or less than a guidebook for American college students to learn how to write term papers persuasively. I understand why Drew refers to it, and perhaps it is appropriate in the context of people trying to persuade each other in an internet forum. However, it is not an acknowledged authority on "logic". In fact, citing it as an authority is simply embarrassing. Truly. I've tried to be gentle, but in this case it is impossible to be so. Cite Aristotle or Wittgenstein or the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. But citing Harbrace is like citing Webster's or Wikipedia. Don't get upset when the professor marks you down: you deserved it. Harbrace is no authority for law school or medical school or the Magic Café or anywhere else.

Look, I like Harbrace. I personally am responsible (no lie) for the sale of several thousand copies of the book. But I wanted them to be read by college freshmen to learn how to write term papers persuasively. Had a student ever cited Harbrace as a source in an advanced-level philosophy seminar on, say, Thomas Hobbes, I would have asked them to re-write their term paper. And no, I'm not joking or being semantical. I really would have done so. But in the almost 20 years I've taught university students, I've never had a SINGLE STUDENT cite Harbrace as an authority. Again: it's embarrassing. I think Drew is probably a very intelligent man. But if this thread were a term paper, he'd get a poor grade from me. But then: I'm a scholar, so what do I know about anything?

5. Regarding scholars. Again, I will say that I do not believe that Drew is speaking completely honestly. I chose my example of pottery scholarship very specifically to make a point which apparently went by him. Some refrigerator repairman around the corner might actually know more about ancient pottery than the world's most renowned ancient pottery scholar. It's his hobby, and he's a genius, and he simply knows more than everyone else about the subject. (Think: Sherlock Holmes, who was, as an amateur, a better sleuth than all the professionals--especially the police.)

Yet there remains this problem: the hobbyist's knowledge has not been tested. He has not spent four to five years in college, another three to five in graduate school, has not taken qualifying and comprehensive written and oral examinations, has not defended a dissertation in front of a committee of established experts, has not published in peer-reviewed journals, has not--in short--established any credentials.

Of course, with medicine this is obvious. Your neighbor read some book about how fruitcakes fight cancer. Your doctor is a professor at the Mayo clinic. Drew: you aren't going to start eating fruitcakes.

Now, a "straw dog" argument can be made here: one can go through the process and be wrong. Not only true: scholars are wrong all the time. Perhaps they are even wrong more often than right, about cancer and all sorts of things. But the burger flipper has never been tested in any way whatsoever. His opinion has not been scrutinized by experts on the subject. His opinion has never been presented in a forum in which his logic was tested. His opinion--which may indeed be valid--is a "virgin" opinion.

But this misses the most important point. None of us is perfectly logical. None of us knows everything. We try to be logical, and we specialize. And those who specialize for a long time, and who jump through certain hoops to prove themselves, get called scholars. Yes, we might be wrong. Yes, we might sometimes be illogical. But we have gone out there and passed tests and written articles and dissertations and defended them and worked our butts off to learn a trade. Not all are good at it. But who is Drew to ridicule us and say we don't know what we are talking about? Of course, he doesn't say that. What he suggests is that he can evaluate our logic--Harbrace in hand--to determine whether we know what we are talking about. Right. Does anyone else see the absurdity of this position?


6. Lastly, we return to the fallacy of Drew's logical fallacy argument. I repeat: even if one points out that someone has been illogical, one has not proven him wrong.

Drew: you do this! You cite a perceived fallacy of Josh and you pronounce his post: "Incorrect". You have not proven anything of the sort. The fallacy you perceive demonstrates an insufficient understanding of what a "fallacy" actually means.

Of course, this would be OK, and I wouldn't care much. Except: you come here, to our "Not Magical" forum, and try to teach us. You try to teach me. And maybe you can teach me something. Actually, you could probably teach me more about magic in a day than I have learned in the last two years.

But you can not possibly teach me more about logic and ethics than I have learned from the likes of Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche and others--which have been my obsession and profession for over a quarter of a century--and which I have proven an understanding of through written and oral examinations and a dissertation defense and the onslaught of thousands of curious and sometimes antagonistic students. Just as you have gone out into clubs or whatever and shown that you can do magic, I have proven that I can think critically and..."logically".

You ignored my last post, and no doubt you will ignore this one. But for once you might consider that someone knows maybe .00001% more than you do on a subject. And it offends me that you repeatedly come back to this thread and act like no one knows anything about logical discourse than yourself.

I actually respect you. What offends you is that it seems obvious that you do not respect me.

I come here to learn magic. I can't do magic. I dream about doing magic. I sit around the house and play with my cards and cups and balls and wish I had the guts to go out in public and do a show. And I feel like crud that I haven't done it yet.

But: I've spent 25 years struggling with the texts of the greatest minds of human civilization, and have taught college and graduate students philosophy and English since 1990, and I come here to the Not Very Magical forum only to have some magician tell me that I'm illogical because he's got the Harbrace in his hand...and...it offends me. I'm afraid to do a ACR in public. It's a world I don't know yet and I've been coming here to learn. But you obviously don't know my world. Or maybe you do. Maybe it's a world of idiot philosophers with meaningless degrees and worn-out copies of Harbrace. Maybe it's not. I don't know whether I should feel more sorry for you or for me.

With love and respect,

Jeff J. Stone, Ph.D. (Political Philosophy, University of Dallas, 1992)
Wannabe Magician, SCARED to Pe.R.form


Hmmm...



sorry you lost me there... got bored nodded off.... but by the length of your post I declare you the winner and owner of the last word on the subject... of course that is only my oppinion and in no way represents the management...however should anyone dought that your oppinion is the best one and should be considered the correct oppinion,,, they need only write a more lengthy and equally wordy, verbose,reply full of long words I don't know (usually anything over 6 letters) and I will nominate them for the possition since I really could not care less about the subject and wish everyone could just manage a little civility when posting or replying since I dought we would likely be such jerks if we were face to face (some exceptions do apply) I repeat this is only my oppinion
carry on
Rich


I agree Rich...
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Still that was only my onions opinion and does not represent the opinion of other onions.
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Thanks, Rich.

But Oppinion should be spelled opinion. Don't you look at the red lines under the words when you post? It wouldn't matter except for you used the word so many times.

Hey, forget about it. Have a beer:

:stout:

Or have three, like I have this evening. Beer breeds verbosity.

:stout: Smile Smile

Jeff
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Josh, you really read that post? Are you INSANE? That post was meant for Jack. Have some beer:

:stout: Smile Smile Smile
:stout:
:stout:
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Quote:
On 2007-12-21 17:31, Josh Riel wrote:
I read the entire thing. So the problem is you, and you should feel bad about yourself.

Real bad.

I would make mention of Matt and his many years in cosmetology school, but that would be mean.

Real mean.

But Matt should feel bad about himself to. Instead of just feeling himself.


speaking of exceptions...

hello Josh... no time for chit chat... feeling bad for myself right now.
"I came, I saw, SHE conquered." (The original Latin seems to have been garbled.)
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Quote:
On 2007-12-21 17:35, stoneunhinged wrote:
Thanks, Rich.

But Oppinion should be spelled opinion. Don't you look at the red lines under the words when you post? It wouldn't matter except for you used the word so many times.

Hey, forget about it. Have a beer:

:stout:

Or have three, like I have this evening. Beer breeds verbosity.

:stout: Smile Smile

Jeff

if you look closely you will see that opinion has more than 6 letters and as I stated above that I have trouble with words over 6 letters long... and as Josh pointed out I should feel bad for myself... and now, even more, I do...
"I came, I saw, SHE conquered." (The original Latin seems to have been garbled.)
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Well then, forget spelling, and have some beer. My treat:


:stout: Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
:stout: Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile

Now, I'm not implying that you drink too much. Some of that beer is for me. Although I've already had a few....
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I ignore the red squiggly lines like the voices in my head. Cosmetology school, they where the days...I actually offered animal pedicures whilst feng shui'ing there house...I didn't last very long.

I feel nothing, due to circulation problems.
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I like beer, thanks. beer is good, I don't like opinions, I do like beer...
only my opinion but I think you get my point...
Matt, good on ya for ignoring the voices and the red lines...

well I must leave you all for now as my vacation starts in 10.9.8.7.6.5.4... see you all in 2008 have a wonderfull, happy and joyfull Christmas and all the best for the New Year.
Rich
and as I may have misspelled more stuff please ignore the spelling and know that I meant well.
"I came, I saw, SHE conquered." (The original Latin seems to have been garbled.)
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I'll have whatever kind of Christmas and New Year I want. Your not the boss of me!
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
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