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Thread: Just Plain Wrong

  1. #1051
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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Huh? How can their be properties outside formal causes?
    I didn't say they were outside formal causes. If we go back to Aristotle's arguments, the formal cause follows from the final cause. A shift in perspective can alter the understanding of the final cause, and therefore alter the understanding of the formal causes. With my perspective, all of the formal causes that you are aware of will still follow. But more formal causes follow from my perspective that do not follow from yours.

    As I said, it's about shifting your perspective. Perhaps thinking about the formal and final causes of a nice filet mignon steak can help illustrate what I am talking about. Then, think about the formal causes and final causes of the psoas major muscle of a cow.

    As I said, it's a matter of perspective. A filet mignon steak is the exact same thing as a psoas major muscle, we just have a different perspective about it when we change the context in which we view it. Doesn't change the fact that it is the same thing.

    The final cause of the steak is the final cause of the psoas major muscle, the formal causes of the muscle are the same as those of the steak.

    Therein lies the heart of my point. If we alter the context in which a thing is viewed, we alter our assumptions about it.



    Yes, but we might as well make sure we both have that view of nature correct. Some views of nature are fallacious in the way you seem to mean, others aren't necessarily.
    A view of nature can't really be fallacious on it's own. It only can become fallacious when it is applied to a judgment of some sort.



    This is because you hadn't yet given your argument for why it is circular. I presumed all along you simply just meant the so called naturalistic fallacy or something very similar. As I said near the beginning of the discussion this 'fallacy' is not a strict logical fallacy, as it relies on modern assumptions about reality, including the distinctions between is and ought, fact and value. Most modern ways of looking at these fall victim to it, but not a lot of a pre-modern ones. And by the way, if this 'fallacy' was true in these cases, of pre-modern views on nature and the good, it would be more or less visible immediately. This is not a full argument against it of course, but, unless you assumed all pre-moderns and non-Westerners were stupid, you'd expect a few to notice they'd fallen into this 'fallacy'.
    The part is bold is a false dichotomy, in part, because of the unsupported assumption which I have underlined. Why do you assume it would be visible immediately? I've already explained why it doesn't fit either the false dichotomy or your assumption.

    That being said, at the end of this post I will make a concession that could hypothetically end this discussion. I'm putting it at the end though because despite that concession, I am enjoying the discussion.


    Unless you're trying to make rather out of place general skeptical points, I do not think this argument really helps you, as there was a lot of intellectual and rational thought involved in the areas of investigation I mentioned.
    What assumptions are you operating under that lead you to these conclusions?

    I think you are using the term strawman wrong, as we were just discussing what I might do. I think for me to put forward such a specific argument I would have to give such a full position, because the moment I had to defend it I would have to appeal to this full position.
    I didn't use the term strawman wrong given the way that you answered the request. It would be like me asking you to type a post in a specific font and you responding by saying "I'm certainly not going to write a novel, so I will not fullfill your request." When answered as such, you certainly give the impression that the request was to write a novel.

    Now, given your explanation of why you responded that way, it turns out to be simply a matter of omitting an important detail which was that you cannot present any such specific argument because you feel that it would also require you to put forth a general defense of the premise that you would require.

    But there is a problem with that assumption.

    My challenge was one where the only response I could give that was adequate to the task would be describing the circular reasoning by actually pointing out where the fallacy occurred. The only reason you would need to defend a premise, however, would be if it's veracity of said premise was in doubt.

    That wouldn't relate to the validity of the logic (which is what I would be charged with finding a flaw in), but instead relates solely to the soundness of the logic. If believe that in order to defend it you would be required to appeal the full position, then you must also be aware of it having, at the very least, the appearance of circular reasoning.

    If that is the case, then you have to ask yourself "why, exactly, does this argument give the appearance of circular reasoning".

    If that is not the case, then you should feel free to step up to my challenge because it is already known that any such premise is of unknown veracity.

    Either way, if you aren't willing to have your views challenged in a direct fashion, there's really no point in claiming they have any logical merit in this discussion. They might have merit, but nobody would have any way of knowing.



    My concession: After reflecting on our discussion, I went back and looked up the naturalistic fallacy and I realized I had been using the term incorrectly. Because of my error of ignorance, I can see why you immediately jumped on the point about it being a dubious fallacy. For some reason, purely my own fault, I thought it was an appeal to nature fallacy when using a term other than nature in the same way that nature would be used in the appeal to nature fallacy (remember, this discussion started with regard to the term "normal", not "natural"). This error of mine has obviously has lead to confusion from the very start, all of which I take full blame for. After re-educating myself on the matter, I see now that the naturalistic fallacy is more of an ethical argument rather than a proper fallacy. This makes your initial comment to me about said fallacy 100% correct and my subsequent denials of that comment absolutely false.

    That being said, I am enjoying our discussion about the nature of nature as it applies to good so I don't wish for it to stop simply because I pulled a moron maneuver early on. You do have my apologies for this error, however.

    The reason I have to concede this point (aside from the fact that I was wrong) is because it also occurs to me that our philosophical positions are not very far apart (as I remember from our many previous discussions before you went awol for a while). My own position is not related to morality, however, so much as it relates to practical application of things. I don't use terms like "good" or "proper" or "moral" in my philosophy, since I don't think that they are appropriate for my perspective. "Effective" and "practical" are more accurate terms for similar (but not quite the same) concepts in my philosophy.

    I say this because, as you may remember, my own de-centralist position is heavily influenced by what I consider to be the natural state of mankind as well as human nature. I believe nature and that which is natural can be used as an aspect of an argument, but that it cannot be considered the primary basis of an argument. Given what I now know about the naturalistic fallacy, people might view my own arguments as falling prey to it. This increases my need to admit to my error above even more than the usual "It's the right thing to do" stuff.

  2. #1052
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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    I have only the vaguest grasp on this discussion between Tucker Case and Wessexman...

    But I think it's interesting...

    Still not quite sure what they're discussing though...
    It's OK. I only have the vaguest grasp on it too.

  3. #1053
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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    I didn't say they were outside formal causes. If we go back to Aristotle's arguments, the formal cause follows from the final cause. A shift in perspective can alter the understanding of the final cause, and therefore alter the understanding of the formal causes. With my perspective, all of the formal causes that you are aware of will still follow. But more formal causes follow from my perspective that do not follow from yours.

    As I said, it's about shifting your perspective. Perhaps thinking about the formal and final causes of a nice filet mignon steak can help illustrate what I am talking about. Then, think about the formal causes and final causes of the psoas major muscle of a cow.

    As I said, it's a matter of perspective. A filet mignon steak is the exact same thing as a psoas major muscle, we just have a different perspective about it when we change the context in which we view it. Doesn't change the fact that it is the same thing.

    The final cause of the steak is the final cause of the psoas major muscle, the formal causes of the muscle are the same as those of the steak.

    Therein lies the heart of my point. If we alter the context in which a thing is viewed, we alter our assumptions about it.
    Tucker, these are basic questions about the Peripatetic ideas on causality which they obviously realised would crop up and so they answered them. I have no doubt, though, made a hash of explaining these areas. You are incorrect to say that the formal causes simply follows from the final causes, but anyway in a sense you are not saying anything that Peripatetics disagree with. They agree that there are multiple final causes and formal causes for a particular, recognisable material cause. But this is no reason why we cannot observe and separate particular beings or natures with particular final causes and formal causes and why we must lump in the nature of anything with the complete material cause he has, right down to the end of its existence in any at all recognisable sense and perhaps beyond. There is certainly no commitment that because our bodies will one day be worm food, that we should be trying to speed up this process by rubbing oneself in maggots and trying to get them to eat you.




    A view of nature can't really be fallacious on it's own. It only can become fallacious when it is applied to a judgment of some sort.
    Well obviously. In discursive discussion there is the principle of charity, which tends to mean one shouldn't assume an untowardly uncharitable interpretation of the premises or reasoning of someone's arguments. For example if someone were to look out of the window and see water over the ground and conclude it had been raining, deductively this might be wrong, but inductively, in the normal course of affairs, it is quite probable. We tend not to hold them to the former interpretation when the latter is more likely.




    The part is bold is a false dichotomy, in part, because of the unsupported assumption which I have underlined. Why do you assume it would be visible immediately? I've already explained why it doesn't fit either the false dichotomy or your assumption.
    I assume it because I know the naturalistic fallacy. When it applies, when you are trying to deduce 'value' from 'value-free fact' you at least sense there is some incongruity. Even if we assume no one started by doing anything but having this sense, and not immediately seeing why, it seems strange that in over 2000 years (in the West alone) no one went further eventually and saw why and they all ignored this feeling.




    What assumptions are you operating under that lead you to these conclusions?
    All I mean it that unless you wish to make general skeptical points about the limits of reason, then when rational argument is made we need to give some attention to its contents and not just write it off due to its context.

    I didn't use the term strawman wrong given the way that you answered the request. It would be like me asking you to type a post in a specific font and you responding by saying "I'm certainly not going to write a novel, so I will not fullfill your request." When answered as such, you certainly give the impression that the request was to write a novel.

    Now, given your explanation of why you responded that way, it turns out to be simply a matter of omitting an important detail which was that you cannot present any such specific argument because you feel that it would also require you to put forth a general defense of the premise that you would require.

    But there is a problem with that assumption.

    My challenge was one where the only response I could give that was adequate to the task would be describing the circular reasoning by actually pointing out where the fallacy occurred. The only reason you would need to defend a premise, however, would be if it's veracity of said premise was in doubt.

    That wouldn't relate to the validity of the logic (which is what I would be charged with finding a flaw in), but instead relates solely to the soundness of the logic. If believe that in order to defend it you would be required to appeal the full position, then you must also be aware of it having, at the very least, the appearance of circular reasoning.

    If that is the case, then you have to ask yourself "why, exactly, does this argument give the appearance of circular reasoning".

    If that is not the case, then you should feel free to step up to my challenge because it is already known that any such premise is of unknown veracity.

    Either way, if you aren't willing to have your views challenged in a direct fashion, there's really no point in claiming they have any logical merit in this discussion. They might have merit, but nobody would have any way of knowing.
    I know I'll meet you half way. I don't know if it quite the example you are looking for, but I'll post a pertinent passage from Edward Feser's Aquinas;
    [QUOTE=Edward Feser]
    From the traditional Thomistic point of view, however, there simply is no 'fact/value distinction' in the first place. More precisely, there is no such thing as a purely 'factual' description of reality utterly divorced from 'value', for 'value' is built into the structure of 'facts' from the get go. A mechanstic-cum-nominalistic understanding of nature of the sort commonly taken for granted by modern philosophers, on which the world is devoid of any objective essences or natural ends. No such gap, and thus no 'fallacy' of inferring normative conclusions from 'purely factual' premises, can exist given an Aristotelian-Thomistic essentialist and teleological conception of the world. 'Value' is a highly misleading term in any case, as it subtly begs the question against critics of the 'fact/value' distinction by insinuating that morality is purely subjective, in so far as 'value' seems to presuppose someone doing the valuing. Aristotelian and Thomists ( and other classical philosophers such as Platonists) tend to speak, not of 'value, but of 'the good', which on their account is entirely objective.
    My concession: After reflecting on our discussion, I went back and looked up the naturalistic fallacy and I realized I had been using the term incorrectly. Because of my error of ignorance, I can see why you immediately jumped on the point about it being a dubious fallacy. For some reason, purely my own fault, I thought it was an appeal to nature fallacy when using a term other than nature in the same way that nature would be used in the appeal to nature fallacy (remember, this discussion started with regard to the term "normal", not "natural"). This error of mine has obviously has lead to confusion from the very start, all of which I take full blame for. After re-educating myself on the matter, I see now that the naturalistic fallacy is more of an ethical argument rather than a proper fallacy. This makes your initial comment to me about said fallacy 100% correct and my subsequent denials of that comment absolutely false.

    That being said, I am enjoying our discussion about the nature of nature as it applies to good so I don't wish for it to stop simply because I pulled a moron maneuver early on. You do have my apologies for this error, however.

    The reason I have to concede this point (aside from the fact that I was wrong) is because it also occurs to me that our philosophical positions are not very far apart (as I remember from our many previous discussions before you went awol for a while). My own position is not related to morality, however, so much as it relates to practical application of things. I don't use terms like "good" or "proper" or "moral" in my philosophy, since I don't think that they are appropriate for my perspective. "Effective" and "practical" are more accurate terms for similar (but not quite the same) concepts in my philosophy.

    I say this because, as you may remember, my own de-centralist position is heavily influenced by what I consider to be the natural state of mankind as well as human nature. I believe nature and that which is natural can be used as an aspect of an argument, but that it cannot be considered the primary basis of an argument. Given what I now know about the naturalistic fallacy, people might view my own arguments as falling prey to it. This increases my need to admit to my error above even more than the usual "It's the right thing to do" stuff.
    It certainly has been an interesting and enjoyable discussion. I largely share my old viewpoints, though I'm even more traditional and conservative. Your position wouldn't fall victim to the 'naturalistic fallacy' as it doesn't cover what is practical, though from such a position you cannot really morally persuade anyone, you can just try and point out it is in their best interests.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

  4. #1054
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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    This thread is not normal.
    Quote Originally Posted by faithful_servant View Post
    Being a psychiatric patient does not mean that you are mentally ill.



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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Its no wonder this nation is in such a mess__The economy is in shambles, there's 9% unemployment, we're drowning in a 15 trillion dollar debt, global warming fanatics want to jack the price of energy beyond the reach of average americans, Islamic terrorists want to kill us all and we've been over-run by 20 million illegal aliens because our borders are totally unsecured and government refuses to act.

    And here we have a thread with over a thousand posts by people arguing about whether or not to legalize marriage for a bunch of sick perverts__When the priorities of a nation are this screwed up then maybe its time to just throw our hands in the air and say to hell with it and burn it all to the ground and start over__I certainly hope we're the only ones this screwed up and someone somewhere is covering for us.
    Last edited by Empirica; 01-03-12 at 12:34 AM.
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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Empirica View Post
    And here we have a thread with over a thousand posts by people arguing about whether or not to legalize marriage for a bunch of sick perverts__When the priorities of a nation are this screwed up then maybe its time to just throw our hands in the air and say to hell with it and burn it all to the ground and start over__I certainly hope we're the only ones this screwed up and someone somewhere is covering for us.
    Don't let your intolerance get in the way of a fact or two. I defy you to find a single person here who has suggested that gay marriage is more important than any of the more serious problems we have as a country. The only person here that has made a reference to that is you.

    Whose fooling whom here?
    Last edited by Top Cat; 01-03-12 at 01:10 AM.

  7. #1057
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empirica View Post
    Its no wonder this nation is in such a mess__The economy is in shambles, there's 9% unemployment, we're drowning in a 15 trillion dollar debt, global warming fanatics want to jack the price of energy beyond the reach of average americans, Islamic terrorists want to kill us all and we've been over-run by 20 million illegal aliens because our borders are totally unsecured and government refuses to act.

    And here we have a thread with over a thousand posts by people arguing about whether or not to legalize marriage for a bunch of sick perverts__When the priorities of a nation are this screwed up then maybe its time to just throw our hands in the air and say to hell with it and burn it all to the ground and start over__I certainly hope we're the only ones this screwed up and someone somewhere is covering for us.
    It is funny when a person this ignorant claims that we are the problem.

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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Empirica View Post
    Its no wonder this nation is in such a mess__The economy is in shambles, there's 9% unemployment, we're drowning in a 15 trillion dollar debt, global warming fanatics want to jack the price of energy beyond the reach of average americans, Islamic terrorists want to kill us all and we've been over-run by 20 million illegal aliens because our borders are totally unsecured and government refuses to act.

    And here we have a thread with over a thousand posts by people arguing about whether or not to legalize marriage for a bunch of sick perverts__When the priorities of a nation are this screwed up then maybe its time to just throw our hands in the air and say to hell with it and burn it all to the ground and start over__I certainly hope we're the only ones this screwed up and someone somewhere is covering for us.
    If you are interested, I know of some countries where people aren't arguing about whether or not to legalize marriage for homosexuals.
    Quote Originally Posted by faithful_servant View Post
    Being a psychiatric patient does not mean that you are mentally ill.



  9. #1059
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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Empirica View Post
    ...whether or not to legalize marriage for a bunch of sick perverts__
    My parents are already legally married.

  10. #1060
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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorgasm View Post
    If you are interested, I know of some countries where people aren't arguing about whether or not to legalize marriage for homosexuals.
    I'm definately interested, but how are we going to convince the homosexual community to relocate?
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