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Improving on Alder's Razor

Fkkize
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5/12/2016 2:58:18 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
A while ago Alder's Razor was a hot topic in this forum. Many, myself included, voiced strong disagreement with it and overall, I think, the contra side was the majority.

That is not to say I don't sympathize with the razor at all, because I would certainly welcome something that, in Alder's words, "cuts out the crap".
Contrary to the positivists (and probably Alder, too) I don't think all problems will be gone if we were to get rid of Metaphysics, because I don't think something being verifiable by experience is what makes things truthapt or worthwhile to debate

As such I want to suggest the following pragmatic maxim:

What concrete real world difference would it make if your view was correct (or some other wrong)? If there is none, then debating the subject is not worthwhile

Consider to old question of whether we have free will. Recently many like to declare free will as an illusion and things like that, but has any one of them stopped calling the police if they/someone else got robbed? Is any one of them stopped praising people for their good deeds?
Obviously not. As such free will is not a worthwhile subject to debate.
This generalizes to many other things, like scientific realism/antirealism, philosophical skepticism in general, metaethics and so on.

However, unlike Alder's Razor it does not cut out the good things as well. For example, questions of ethics are still important subjects to think about. Whether or not abortion is morall wrong does have concrete real world consequences.

Lastly, it is important to note that this maxim is not self defeating, while positivism and Alder's Razor are.
It does make a concrete real world difference whether or not people continue to spend time on these subjects (the things the maxim would cut out) instead of actually doing something productive.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
user13579
Posts: 822
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5/12/2016 6:30:11 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/12/2016 2:58:18 PM, Fkkize wrote:
A while ago Alder's Razor was a hot topic in this forum. Many, myself included, voiced strong disagreement with it and overall, I think, the contra side was the majority.

That is not to say I don't sympathize with the razor at all, because I would certainly welcome something that, in Alder's words, "cuts out the crap".
Contrary to the positivists (and probably Alder, too) I don't think all problems will be gone if we were to get rid of Metaphysics, because I don't think something being verifiable by experience is what makes things truthapt or worthwhile to debate

As such I want to suggest the following pragmatic maxim:

What concrete real world difference would it make if your view was correct (or some other wrong)? If there is none, then debating the subject is not worthwhile

Consider to old question of whether we have free will. Recently many like to declare free will as an illusion and things like that, but has any one of them stopped calling the police if they/someone else got robbed? Is any one of them stopped praising people for their good deeds?
Obviously not. As such free will is not a worthwhile subject to debate.
This generalizes to many other things, like scientific realism/antirealism, philosophical skepticism in general, metaethics and so on.

However, unlike Alder's Razor it does not cut out the good things as well. For example, questions of ethics are still important subjects to think about. Whether or not abortion is morall wrong does have concrete real world consequences.

Lastly, it is important to note that this maxim is not self defeating, while positivism and Alder's Razor are.
It does make a concrete real world difference whether or not people continue to spend time on these subjects (the things the maxim would cut out) instead of actually doing something productive.

Alder's Razor cannot be settled by experiment. So by Alder's Razor, Alder's Razor is not worthy of debate. Now you can say that determining whether or not it can settled by experiment cannot be settled by experiment, but I don't think that helps. Because I can say about anything, even invisible unicorns. Invisible unicorns cannot be settled by experiment? How did you determine that invisible unicorns cannot be settled by experiment? It wasn't by experiment! So, it's not worth debating whether or not invisible unicorns can be settled by experiment! But then, I have to figure out if that previous statement can be settled by experiment. Etc. Alder's Razor has problems, obviously.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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5/12/2016 6:35:23 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/12/2016 6:30:11 PM, user13579 wrote:
At 5/12/2016 2:58:18 PM, Fkkize wrote:
A while ago Alder's Razor was a hot topic in this forum. Many, myself included, voiced strong disagreement with it and overall, I think, the contra side was the majority.

That is not to say I don't sympathize with the razor at all, because I would certainly welcome something that, in Alder's words, "cuts out the crap".
Contrary to the positivists (and probably Alder, too) I don't think all problems will be gone if we were to get rid of Metaphysics, because I don't think something being verifiable by experience is what makes things truthapt or worthwhile to debate

As such I want to suggest the following pragmatic maxim:

What concrete real world difference would it make if your view was correct (or some other wrong)? If there is none, then debating the subject is not worthwhile

Consider to old question of whether we have free will. Recently many like to declare free will as an illusion and things like that, but has any one of them stopped calling the police if they/someone else got robbed? Is any one of them stopped praising people for their good deeds?
Obviously not. As such free will is not a worthwhile subject to debate.
This generalizes to many other things, like scientific realism/antirealism, philosophical skepticism in general, metaethics and so on.

However, unlike Alder's Razor it does not cut out the good things as well. For example, questions of ethics are still important subjects to think about. Whether or not abortion is morall wrong does have concrete real world consequences.

Lastly, it is important to note that this maxim is not self defeating, while positivism and Alder's Razor are.
It does make a concrete real world difference whether or not people continue to spend time on these subjects (the things the maxim would cut out) instead of actually doing something productive.

Alder's Razor cannot be settled by experiment. So by Alder's Razor, Alder's Razor is not worthy of debate.
Alder's Razor has problems, obviously.

I am perfectly aware of that. Which is why I reject it.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
user13579
Posts: 822
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5/12/2016 6:38:19 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/12/2016 6:35:23 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 5/12/2016 6:30:11 PM, user13579 wrote:
At 5/12/2016 2:58:18 PM, Fkkize wrote:
A while ago Alder's Razor was a hot topic in this forum. Many, myself included, voiced strong disagreement with it and overall, I think, the contra side was the majority.

That is not to say I don't sympathize with the razor at all, because I would certainly welcome something that, in Alder's words, "cuts out the crap".
Contrary to the positivists (and probably Alder, too) I don't think all problems will be gone if we were to get rid of Metaphysics, because I don't think something being verifiable by experience is what makes things truthapt or worthwhile to debate

As such I want to suggest the following pragmatic maxim:

What concrete real world difference would it make if your view was correct (or some other wrong)? If there is none, then debating the subject is not worthwhile

Consider to old question of whether we have free will. Recently many like to declare free will as an illusion and things like that, but has any one of them stopped calling the police if they/someone else got robbed? Is any one of them stopped praising people for their good deeds?
Obviously not. As such free will is not a worthwhile subject to debate.
This generalizes to many other things, like scientific realism/antirealism, philosophical skepticism in general, metaethics and so on.

However, unlike Alder's Razor it does not cut out the good things as well. For example, questions of ethics are still important subjects to think about. Whether or not abortion is morall wrong does have concrete real world consequences.

Lastly, it is important to note that this maxim is not self defeating, while positivism and Alder's Razor are.
It does make a concrete real world difference whether or not people continue to spend time on these subjects (the things the maxim would cut out) instead of actually doing something productive.

Alder's Razor cannot be settled by experiment. So by Alder's Razor, Alder's Razor is not worthy of debate.
Alder's Razor has problems, obviously.

I am perfectly aware of that. Which is why I reject it.

Except the statement "Alder's Razor cannot be settled by experiment" cannot be settled by experiment! So, it's not worth debating "Alder's Razor cannot be settled by experiment."
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
Chaosism
Posts: 2,649
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5/12/2016 6:49:01 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/12/2016 2:58:18 PM, Fkkize wrote:
A while ago Alder's Razor was a hot topic in this forum. Many, myself included, voiced strong disagreement with it and overall, I think, the contra side was the majority.

That is not to say I don't sympathize with the razor at all, because I would certainly welcome something that, in Alder's words, "cuts out the crap".
Contrary to the positivists (and probably Alder, too) I don't think all problems will be gone if we were to get rid of Metaphysics, because I don't think something being verifiable by experience is what makes things truthapt or worthwhile to debate

As such I want to suggest the following pragmatic maxim:

What concrete real world difference would it make if your view was correct (or some other wrong)? If there is none, then debating the subject is not worthwhile

Consider to old question of whether we have free will. Recently many like to declare free will as an illusion and things like that, but has any one of them stopped calling the police if they/someone else got robbed? Is any one of them stopped praising people for their good deeds?
Obviously not. As such free will is not a worthwhile subject to debate.
This generalizes to many other things, like scientific realism/antirealism, philosophical skepticism in general, metaethics and so on.

However, unlike Alder's Razor it does not cut out the good things as well. For example, questions of ethics are still important subjects to think about. Whether or not abortion is morall wrong does have concrete real world consequences.

Lastly, it is important to note that this maxim is not self defeating, while positivism and Alder's Razor are.
It does make a concrete real world difference whether or not people continue to spend time on these subjects (the things the maxim would cut out) instead of actually doing something productive.

I think the vast majority of what's being discussed *does* have the very real possibility of having concrete effects in casual life. For instance, the example you present regarding free will does lend me to evaluate the behavior of others (which I find unfavorable) with a more clinical, corrective, and forgiving manner than I may very well have otherwise done. It doesn't mean that I throw my hands up and say "well, they couldn't help it!", but rather to take this into account in my judgements. To say free will is an illusion is to state that two world of free will and no free will are indistinguishable from within them, no to suggest outright disregarding the dilemma. I started a thread about this some time ago.

Anyhow, one of the few issues I can see that would be shaved off by this is the notion of a deistic god. Off hand, I can't think of any others.
Chaosism
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5/12/2016 6:50:37 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/12/2016 6:38:19 PM, user13579 wrote:
At 5/12/2016 6:35:23 PM, Fkkize wrote:
I am perfectly aware of that. Which is why I reject it.

Except the statement "Alder's Razor cannot be settled by experiment" cannot be settled by experiment! So, it's not worth debating "Alder's Razor cannot be settled by experiment."

I believe that's exactly what Fkkize is proposing to eradicate/revise.
user13579
Posts: 822
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5/12/2016 6:57:47 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/12/2016 6:50:37 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 5/12/2016 6:38:19 PM, user13579 wrote:
At 5/12/2016 6:35:23 PM, Fkkize wrote:
I am perfectly aware of that. Which is why I reject it.

Except the statement "Alder's Razor cannot be settled by experiment" cannot be settled by experiment! So, it's not worth debating "Alder's Razor cannot be settled by experiment."

I believe that's exactly what Fkkize is proposing to eradicate/revise.

But I can use that same argument for anything. "Pseudoscience cannot be settled by experiment" cannot be settled by experiment. So it's not worth debating "pseudoscience cannot be settled by experiment."

1: Pseudoscience cannot be settled by experiment.
2: "1" cannot be settled by experiment.
3: "2" cannot be settled by experiment.
4: "3" cannot be settled by experiment.
Etc.
Infinite regress.
You can't use the razor on anything, not even pseudoscience.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
Chaosism
Posts: 2,649
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5/12/2016 7:06:00 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/12/2016 6:57:47 PM, user13579 wrote:
At 5/12/2016 6:50:37 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 5/12/2016 6:38:19 PM, user13579 wrote:
At 5/12/2016 6:35:23 PM, Fkkize wrote:
I am perfectly aware of that. Which is why I reject it.

Except the statement "Alder's Razor cannot be settled by experiment" cannot be settled by experiment! So, it's not worth debating "Alder's Razor cannot be settled by experiment."

I believe that's exactly what Fkkize is proposing to eradicate/revise.

But I can use that same argument for anything. "Pseudoscience cannot be settled by experiment" cannot be settled by experiment. So it's not worth debating "pseudoscience cannot be settled by experiment."

1: Pseudoscience cannot be settled by experiment.
2: "1" cannot be settled by experiment.
3: "2" cannot be settled by experiment.
4: "3" cannot be settled by experiment.
Etc.
Infinite regress.
You can't use the razor on anything, not even pseudoscience.

To which there was no argument. Hence, the suggestion of eliminating that very thing and redefining the criterion of the razor while aiming to preserve the original intent, which is what I gathered from the OP.
user13579
Posts: 822
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5/12/2016 7:11:12 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/12/2016 7:06:00 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 5/12/2016 6:57:47 PM, user13579 wrote:
At 5/12/2016 6:50:37 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 5/12/2016 6:38:19 PM, user13579 wrote:
At 5/12/2016 6:35:23 PM, Fkkize wrote:
I am perfectly aware of that. Which is why I reject it.

Except the statement "Alder's Razor cannot be settled by experiment" cannot be settled by experiment! So, it's not worth debating "Alder's Razor cannot be settled by experiment."

I believe that's exactly what Fkkize is proposing to eradicate/revise.

But I can use that same argument for anything. "Pseudoscience cannot be settled by experiment" cannot be settled by experiment. So it's not worth debating "pseudoscience cannot be settled by experiment."

1: Pseudoscience cannot be settled by experiment.
2: "1" cannot be settled by experiment.
3: "2" cannot be settled by experiment.
4: "3" cannot be settled by experiment.
Etc.
Infinite regress.
You can't use the razor on anything, not even pseudoscience.

To which there was no argument. Hence, the suggestion of eliminating that very thing and redefining the criterion of the razor while aiming to preserve the original intent, which is what I gathered from the OP.

"If a scientific* statement cannot be settled by experiment, then it is not worth debating."

*Now we just have to define that. lol
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
A1tre
Posts: 223
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5/13/2016 3:09:28 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/12/2016 2:58:18 PM, Fkkize wrote:

As such I want to suggest the following pragmatic maxim:

What concrete real world difference would it make if your view was correct (or some other wrong)? If there is none, then debating the subject is not worthwhile

Consider to old question of whether we have free will. Recently many like to declare free will as an illusion and things like that, but has any one of them stopped calling the police if they/someone else got robbed? Is any one of them stopped praising people for their good deeds?

You have a misconception on what free will implies. These examples are possible (and actually more probable) to happen without free will.

Obviously not. As such free will is not a worthwhile subject to debate.
This generalizes to many other things, like scientific realism/antirealism, philosophical skepticism in general, metaethics and so on.

If you refuse to debate this subject you run the risk that you might be wrong and there actually are real consequences based on the knowledge of whether we have free will or not. In other words you might dismiss a topic that should not have been dismissed according to your maxim. Since human thought tends to be full of errors I doubt this proposed maxim is a good one.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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5/13/2016 4:25:29 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/13/2016 3:09:28 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/12/2016 2:58:18 PM, Fkkize wrote:

As such I want to suggest the following pragmatic maxim:

What concrete real world difference would it make if your view was correct (or some other wrong)? If there is none, then debating the subject is not worthwhile

Consider to old question of whether we have free will. Recently many like to declare free will as an illusion and things like that, but has any one of them stopped calling the police if they/someone else got robbed? Is any one of them stopped praising people for their good deeds?

You have a misconception on what free will implies. These examples are possible (and actually more probable) to happen without free will.
Can you name one of the many who do not believe in free will who stopped doing these things?
I assure you the great majority of them haven't altered their practices.

Obviously not. As such free will is not a worthwhile subject to debate.
This generalizes to many other things, like scientific realism/antirealism, philosophical skepticism in general, metaethics and so on.

If you refuse to debate this subject you run the risk that you might be wrong and there actually are real consequences based on the knowledge of whether we have free will or not. In other words you might dismiss a topic that should not have been dismissed according to your maxim. Since human thought tends to be full of errors I doubt this proposed maxim is a good one.

Unless you want to redefine free will, I don't see how I could miss out on it's implications.
It's not that I promote dogmatism or refuse to listen to counter arguments, it's that I don't see the point of discussing a topic that bears no relevance on the events outside the philosophy classroom.
Further, is there actually any topic the maxim would dismiss we should keep talking about? Because the inference from "the maxim might give the wrong results" to "therefore it's wrong" is not very compelling unless substantiated by example.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
n7
Posts: 1,358
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5/13/2016 7:26:14 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/12/2016 2:58:18 PM, Fkkize wrote:
A while ago Alder's Razor was a hot topic in this forum. Many, myself included, voiced strong disagreement with it and overall, I think, the contra side was the majority.

That is not to say I don't sympathize with the razor at all, because I would certainly welcome something that, in Alder's words, "cuts out the crap".
Contrary to the positivists (and probably Alder, too) I don't think all problems will be gone if we were to get rid of Metaphysics, because I don't think something being verifiable by experience is what makes things truthapt or worthwhile to debate

As such I want to suggest the following pragmatic maxim:

What concrete real world difference would it make if your view was correct (or some other wrong)? If there is none, then debating the subject is not worthwhile

Consider to old question of whether we have free will. Recently many like to declare free will as an illusion and things like that, but has any one of them stopped calling the police if they/someone else got robbed? Is any one of them stopped praising people for their good deeds?
Obviously not. As such free will is not a worthwhile subject to debate.
This generalizes to many other things, like scientific realism/antirealism, philosophical skepticism in general, metaethics and so on.

However, unlike Alder's Razor it does not cut out the good things as well. For example, questions of ethics are still important subjects to think about. Whether or not abortion is morall wrong does have concrete real world consequences.

Lastly, it is important to note that this maxim is not self defeating, while positivism and Alder's Razor are.
It does make a concrete real world difference whether or not people continue to spend time on these subjects (the things the maxim would cut out) instead of actually doing something productive.

I'm not sure I like this version either. It seems to assume there is nothing good about knowledge for its own sake. It defines "real world difference" as importance on social issues. One could argue topics about free will, skepticism, realism, ect make a real world difference because it promotes thinking, discussion, and discovery of how the world is. Why limit yourself to social issues?
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
keithprosser
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5/13/2016 8:06:26 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
Whether or not abortion is morall wrong does have concrete real world consequences.

I would say that whether abortion is legal has concrete real world consequences. Whether it is moral or not makes no practical difference - all that matters is whether it is made possible to get or not get one.
user13579
Posts: 822
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5/13/2016 8:40:12 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/13/2016 8:06:26 PM, keithprosser wrote:
Whether or not abortion is morall wrong does have concrete real world consequences.

I would say that whether abortion is legal has concrete real world consequences. Whether it is moral or not makes no practical difference - all that matters is whether it is made possible to get or not get one.

What is worth debating cannot be settled by experiment, so it's not worth debating what is worth debating.

But what you think about my infinite regress argument? Does that totally destroy Alder's Razor?
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
A1tre
Posts: 223
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5/13/2016 9:02:18 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/13/2016 4:25:29 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 5/13/2016 3:09:28 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/12/2016 2:58:18 PM, Fkkize wrote:

As such I want to suggest the following pragmatic maxim:

What concrete real world difference would it make if your view was correct (or some other wrong)? If there is none, then debating the subject is not worthwhile

Consider to old question of whether we have free will. Recently many like to declare free will as an illusion and things like that, but has any one of them stopped calling the police if they/someone else got robbed? Is any one of them stopped praising people for their good deeds?

You have a misconception on what free will implies. These examples are possible (and actually more probable) to happen without free will.
Can you name one of the many who do not believe in free will who stopped doing these things?
I assure you the great majority of them haven't altered their practices.

That doesn't prove anything concerning the truth of free will.
It would prove that your maxim might have an application here, but I doubt that. Knowing the truth about free will might not change whether you call the police or not, but it can have an effect on your life-philosophy and thus on every thought and action of yours. Hence thinking of this topic has an effect on real life and your maxim does not apply here.

Obviously not. As such free will is not a worthwhile subject to debate.
This generalizes to many other things, like scientific realism/antirealism, philosophical skepticism in general, metaethics and so on.

If you refuse to debate this subject you run the risk that you might be wrong and there actually are real consequences based on the knowledge of whether we have free will or not. In other words you might dismiss a topic that should not have been dismissed according to your maxim. Since human thought tends to be full of errors I doubt this proposed maxim is a good one.

Unless you want to redefine free will, I don't see how I could miss out on it's implications.
It's not that I promote dogmatism or refuse to listen to counter arguments, it's that I don't see the point of discussing a topic that bears no relevance on the events outside the philosophy classroom.

Can you give an example of such a topic (other than free will, just in case I haven't convinced you there).
Also how can you judge whether or not a topic will have an influence on real life if you have not first discussed it?

Further, is there actually any topic the maxim would dismiss we should keep talking about? Because the inference from "the maxim might give the wrong results" to "therefore it's wrong" is not very compelling unless substantiated by example.

By defintion the maxim would not dismiss a topic worth talking about. The problem is the person who is applying the maxim does not have sufficient knowledge to apply the maxim. Since you have not discussed the topic you are in a position of ignorance upon which you must base your decision.

The only way to know how to correctly apply this maxim is by putting yourself in a position where you no longer need the maxim. It is in a way self-defeating.
Fkkize
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5/13/2016 9:40:38 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/12/2016 6:49:01 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 5/12/2016 2:58:18 PM, Fkkize wrote:
A while ago Alder's Razor was a hot topic in this forum. Many, myself included, voiced strong disagreement with it and overall, I think, the contra side was the majority.

That is not to say I don't sympathize with the razor at all, because I would certainly welcome something that, in Alder's words, "cuts out the crap".
Contrary to the positivists (and probably Alder, too) I don't think all problems will be gone if we were to get rid of Metaphysics, because I don't think something being verifiable by experience is what makes things truthapt or worthwhile to debate

As such I want to suggest the following pragmatic maxim:

What concrete real world difference would it make if your view was correct (or some other wrong)? If there is none, then debating the subject is not worthwhile

Consider to old question of whether we have free will. Recently many like to declare free will as an illusion and things like that, but has any one of them stopped calling the police if they/someone else got robbed? Is any one of them stopped praising people for their good deeds?
Obviously not. As such free will is not a worthwhile subject to debate.
This generalizes to many other things, like scientific realism/antirealism, philosophical skepticism in general, metaethics and so on.

However, unlike Alder's Razor it does not cut out the good things as well. For example, questions of ethics are still important subjects to think about. Whether or not abortion is morall wrong does have concrete real world consequences.

Lastly, it is important to note that this maxim is not self defeating, while positivism and Alder's Razor are.
It does make a concrete real world difference whether or not people continue to spend time on these subjects (the things the maxim would cut out) instead of actually doing something productive.

I think the vast majority of what's being discussed *does* have the very real possibility of having concrete effects in casual life.

Well I won't deny that. I am sure there is someone who just lays in bed all day because he is frustrated by his disbelieve in free will and I am sure there is some scientist who has a completely different view on his job because of the pessimistic meta induction, but individual cases can be accounted for, just like one or two flatearth geoscientist don't harm the scientific consensus on the earths shape.

For instance, the example you present regarding free will does lend me to evaluate the behavior of others (which I find unfavorable) with a more clinical, corrective, and forgiving manner than I may very well have otherwise done. It doesn't mean that I throw my hands up and say "well, they couldn't help it!", but rather to take this into account in my judgements. To say free will is an illusion is to state that two world of free will and no free will are indistinguishable from within them, no to suggest outright disregarding the dilemma. I started a thread about this some time ago.
I'll have to look into that.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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5/13/2016 10:18:21 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/13/2016 7:26:14 PM, n7 wrote:
At 5/12/2016 2:58:18 PM, Fkkize wrote:
A while ago Alder's Razor was a hot topic in this forum. Many, myself included, voiced strong disagreement with it and overall, I think, the contra side was the majority.

That is not to say I don't sympathize with the razor at all, because I would certainly welcome something that, in Alder's words, "cuts out the crap".
Contrary to the positivists (and probably Alder, too) I don't think all problems will be gone if we were to get rid of Metaphysics, because I don't think something being verifiable by experience is what makes things truthapt or worthwhile to debate

As such I want to suggest the following pragmatic maxim:

What concrete real world difference would it make if your view was correct (or some other wrong)? If there is none, then debating the subject is not worthwhile

Consider to old question of whether we have free will. Recently many like to declare free will as an illusion and things like that, but has any one of them stopped calling the police if they/someone else got robbed? Is any one of them stopped praising people for their good deeds?
Obviously not. As such free will is not a worthwhile subject to debate.
This generalizes to many other things, like scientific realism/antirealism, philosophical skepticism in general, metaethics and so on.

However, unlike Alder's Razor it does not cut out the good things as well. For example, questions of ethics are still important subjects to think about. Whether or not abortion is morall wrong does have concrete real world consequences.

Lastly, it is important to note that this maxim is not self defeating, while positivism and Alder's Razor are.
It does make a concrete real world difference whether or not people continue to spend time on these subjects (the things the maxim would cut out) instead of actually doing something productive.

I'm not sure I like this version either. It seems to assume there is nothing good about knowledge for its own sake.

Well, I personally would refrain from such a statement, but not all knowledge is desirable for its own sake to begin with.
If you were to know that libertarian free will is correct and compatibilists are wrong, then what did you gain by that? What value does this knowledge have that for example believeing compatibilism was true and libertarianism false was lacking?

It defines "real world difference" as importance on social issues.

Well, that's to narrow a definition. It does not say that for example fundamental physics is a pointless exercise, even though it's not an important social issue per se.

One could argue topics about free will, skepticism, realism, ect make a real world difference because it promotes thinking, discussion, and discovery of how the world is.

Sure, critical thinking etc. are important skills, but to attach the importance of discussions about free will etc to the training of said skill gives the actual topic only marginal instrumental value because you could also train these skills discussing say progressive tax, because unlike free will etc whether or not progressive taxing is the way to go does have quite important consequences.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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5/13/2016 10:49:03 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/13/2016 9:02:18 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/13/2016 4:25:29 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 5/13/2016 3:09:28 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/12/2016 2:58:18 PM, Fkkize wrote:

As such I want to suggest the following pragmatic maxim:

What concrete real world difference would it make if your view was correct (or some other wrong)? If there is none, then debating the subject is not worthwhile

Consider to old question of whether we have free will. Recently many like to declare free will as an illusion and things like that, but has any one of them stopped calling the police if they/someone else got robbed? Is any one of them stopped praising people for their good deeds?

You have a misconception on what free will implies. These examples are possible (and actually more probable) to happen without free will.
Can you name one of the many who do not believe in free will who stopped doing these things?
I assure you the great majority of them haven't altered their practices.

That doesn't prove anything concerning the truth of free will.

I haven't said it does.

It would prove that your maxim might have an application here, but I doubt that. Knowing the truth about free will might not change whether you call the police or not, but it can have an effect on your life-philosophy and thus on every thought and action of yours.

I think this is the "it might be wrong" -> "so it is wrong" argument again. Sure it can, but for the great majority it does not and, as I said in response to Chaosism, just like one or to flatearth geoscientists don't affect the scientific consensus on earth's shape, individual cases can be accounted for.

Obviously not. As such free will is not a worthwhile subject to debate.
This generalizes to many other things, like scientific realism/antirealism, philosophical skepticism in general, metaethics and so on.

If you refuse to debate this subject you run the risk that you might be wrong and there actually are real consequences based on the knowledge of whether we have free will or not. In other words you might dismiss a topic that should not have been dismissed according to your maxim. Since human thought tends to be full of errors I doubt this proposed maxim is a good one.

Unless you want to redefine free will, I don't see how I could miss out on it's implications.
It's not that I promote dogmatism or refuse to listen to counter arguments, it's that I don't see the point of discussing a topic that bears no relevance on the events outside the philosophy classroom.

Can you give an example of such a topic (other than free will, just in case I haven't convinced you there).
Ok, let's see:
- Are holes real objects or lack therof? (I am not kidding) http://plato.stanford.edu...
- Could we be living in a Matrix/ Am I a brain in a vat?
- Just what is an "object"?
- Am I the same person who started writing this response?
- Do I really know anthing?

There's more where this came from...

Also how can you judge whether or not a topic will have an influence on real life if you have not first discussed it?

The dicussion on the value of a topic is a different one than the discussion about the topic itself and in case of any of my examples, including free will etc., can be setttled pretty quickly.

Further, is there actually any topic the maxim would dismiss we should keep talking about? Because the inference from "the maxim might give the wrong results" to "therefore it's wrong" is not very compelling unless substantiated by example.

By defintion the maxim would not dismiss a topic worth talking about. The problem is the person who is applying the maxim does not have sufficient knowledge to apply the maxim. Since you have not discussed the topic you are in a position of ignorance upon which you must base your decision.

The only way to know how to correctly apply this maxim is by putting yourself in a position where you no longer need the maxim. It is in a way self-defeating.

Well, again, "do we have free will?" is not the same question as "is discussing free will worthwhile?". We know, by definition, what free will would give us, moral responsibility for example, but we don't know by definition how we would get moral responsibility (e.g. is it by rationally and indeterministically choosing between multiple future events or is it the agents imediate psychological states etc.).
The former issue is trivial, the latter not worth our time.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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5/17/2016 6:41:58 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
There are two problems with Alder's Razor. First, it's not always clear which facts will be useful later on. Some facts are not applicable in isolation and only become useful in the context of a larger theory. Second, the razor only makes sense when some standard of "utility" is taken for granted, and it arbitrarily excludes from that standard the accumulation of knowledge for its own sake. The fact that people find enjoyment in learning about the world is well established.