[lit-ideas] Re: Back to Popper (and further back to Hume)

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 15:08:25 +0000 (GMT)

--- Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Donal, for reasons that are not obvious, writes:
> > There is nothing phony about this and only a phony would think this a
> phony
> > "set up".
> > To be clear I am:
> > a) inviting people to defend, articulately, inductive probability;
> > b) taking the position that there is no such thing.
> As for (a), you did no such thing. The way to get people to defend
> inductive
> probability (of which there are at least two versions) is to lay out what
> you
> mean by it and ask them to defend it. Why you assume they would want to is
> another matter. As for (b), if you took a position on anything I doubt
> anyone
> on the list noticed it--(b) certainly doesn't follow from (a).

It follows from the "three box" argument I offered that unless we can explain
how we can tell/deduce (rather than merely conjecture) what is _probably_ in
the third box on the basis of what is in the first two, then we lack
inductive probability. 

> > There is nothing inherently "phony" about this.
> There is nothing phony about asking people to defend 'inductive
> probability' if
> they've suggested they believe there is such a thing, but there's something
> weird about asking someone to defend something before you know whether they
> understand what you mean by it, and before you know if, given that, they'd
> even
> want to defend it. 

There is nothing weird about asking people to take a stand on an issue on
which you do not know where they stand. I think the "three boxes" do make
clear what I mean by inductive probability.

Also your previous post was akin to arguing that it is phony to debate
whether "God exists" if you don't believe God exists. It isn't. And you are
now shifting ground as if I have a burden to make clearer than I have what
"inductive probability" is.

Your set up, which I won't rehearse for you again,' is
> such
> that it contained no argument, only a vacuous challenge--vacuous because
> anything and nothing would have counted as a response to it.

It did contain an argument actually and I amplified this by saying that the
argument does not change even if we add more boxes.

> The argument offered! No more invisible arguments, please.>

I see an argument in the example of the three boxes and many others have
also. Why it is so invisible to you I don't know.

I will try to address some of further points later.


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