[lit-ideas] Re: Try a Logic Problem

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 10:33:40 +0100 (BST)

I can't pretend to have closely followed this thread but nevertheless let me
butt in, be ignored maybe, review the thread later to see if this is
justified, conclude it probably is, then add 'Walter you ignored my beautiful
(if simple) comments on the ontic rather than epistemic understanding of the
'truth/correspondence' relation, alluding to Tarski's theory of
'truth-as-correspendence' in its Popperian interpretation (on which Tarski
stayed _neutral_ [naturellement]), but which takes us to the heart of many
things - for example, why Wittgenstein's 'picture theory' fails, not actually
because it blatantly confuses ontic and epistemic issues (though it might be
suggested it does this when put in overall context) but because it offers
fair too simplistic a model of the possible ontic relationship between
statements and the reality to which they might correspond i.e. it suggests
that it must come down to mere 'picturing' as in a one-to-one correspondence
of 'pictured objects' and their real-life counterparts.

I'm getting tired. Oh yeah.

My point was that the three hats thing is not a purely logical problem at all
- and quite misleading in this regard, since it is important to separate out
the strictly logical from the other aspects if the problem. [if we assume
that the one, who could speak out if x, cannot actually speak, then the fact
he does not speak out - which is not one of strict logic but empirical fact -
would negate inferring from the fact he does not speak (because, in fact, he
cannot)to the conclusion that he does not speak out because his knowledge-
situation is too weak to justify a conclusion].

Equally, and someone may have said this, can't he use the 'waiting-game'
logic (i.e. if they don't speak out = they don't know) to reason in reverse?
And so, after a set time, pre-empt everyone. Saying:they will be about to
infer from my not speaking that I am uncertain that x which means they take
it as non-x and then reason, but - assuming they are not just very slow - I
can infer from their relative slowness that they are thinking this way, which
corroborates the 'non-x' theory.

After all, as Popper said, all knowledge is guesswork of some kind.


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