Deduction, though the only type of sound inference, generates no new knowledge: only bold guesses or conjectures can do that. Deduction finds its role in showing us how different parts of our knowledge are related to one another. Is A compatible or incompatible with B, does B follow from A, etc.
The following are nice arguments showing how deduction can appear to add to our store of knowledge by revealing apparently new information, when really it merely highlights what is already there within the knowledge corpus in latent form, like chlorine within table salt :
1. All Diamonds are stones
2. All diamonds are carbon
3. Carbon is combustible
4. Therefore some stones are combustible.
1. All alkaline metals float in water
2. All alkaline metals are metals
3. Therefore some metals float in water.
The surprises are that stones can catch fire and some metals float in water. These aren’t notions that readily spring to anyone’s mind, just as the poisonous and corrosive gas chlorine doesn’t leap to mind when you’re sprinkling salt, sodium chloride, on your fish and chips. But though surprising, in each case the information conveyed by the conclusion lies within the premises.
The illusion that deduction adds to our knowledge springs from the fact that it can focus our consciousness on particular, perhaps obscure, parts of our world three library of abstract achievements and display some of its relationships to that network.
(The fact that these arguments are here given formal linear linguistic dress does not gainsay this point. As Schopenhauer knew, not all thought is linguistic, and an argument is often grown rapidly in intuitive thought partly by a jostling of ideas until they slot into a meaningful form apt to the person’s current concerns and only afterwards recorded by a suitable syllogism. This is most obvious when we start with the conclusion of our thought and then look for the requisite premises. I include this note for those who assume that embracing the idea that people are rational and hence use logic a great deal commits one to the view that people always operate with explicit logic and go round continually spouting formal syllogisms at random bystanders. It does not.)
My main point is that only conjecture can contribute new knowledge, as opposed to the useful psychological marking out of sometimes surprising ramifications of those conjectures.
Long term progress of science and philosophy depends on fresh and often unpredictably upsetting new ideas embodied in rich conjectures. But just as important are the new problems and puzzles that our conjectures are addressed to. They may be just as upsetting to the young or cowardly mind as our tentative hypotheses or as foreboding as the gas chlorine until seen as a subject of study, something for the mind to dominate through explanatory theories.
Break the barriers of the childlike anxieties and intellectual cowardice of wokism and venture forth!
Hooray for the journey beyond the well-trod shores of our birth to the alluring but also foreboding dark blue depths of the oceans unknown unknowns.
Are we in danger of sacrificing our liberty, bit by bit, for increments of illusionary security?
Our answer is that the least secure existence is one in which we have sacrificed our personal autonomy. We recall Immanuel Kant's conception of Enlightenment, which flows from the individual, not the state or any other external guide.
"Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another.
The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude! [Dare to be wise!] Have courage to use your own understanding!
Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large proportion of men, even when nature has long emancipated them from alien guidance (naturaliter maiorennes [Those who have come of age by virtue of nature]), nevertheless ...
Alex and Ray at Bold Venture Park, Darwen, United Kingdom. Darwen was one of the centres of the industrial revolution, a fundamental catalyst of the Enlightenment. Samuel Crompton, the inventor of the spinning mule, lived here for part of his life. It was a thriving town of cotton goods production, coal mining and quarrying, connected by canal and rail to nearby hubs of invention and production- Bolton and Manchester.
In this video, we see a wonderful carving in the local strata outcrop in one of the large parks that adorn Darwen. Transporting us back in time to the people who worked in the burgeoning revolution that gave us so many life-transforming benefits, the sculpture depicts a quarryman lying on the boat that will carry him across the Styx. By the side of the sculpture is the inscription: Who Pays the Quarryman? Many quarrymen lost their lives in this work and a play of words alludes to the myth of the journey across the Styx and the Ferryman who guides the boat across.
Accepting the state's incremental totalitarianism through its allurements to "safety" is to embrace a child-like dependency and shun the risky but beneficial adventure of the growth of knowledge.
Embracing risk is part of the price of one’s emergence from the delightful delusion of absolute safety - the repeated allurement of state intervention. But shunning absolute security is rewarded by the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of nebulae and reach out and stretch the boundaries of the known - and, paradoxically, enhance our safety by degree. The more knowledge we have the more control we have, the more control, the more secure we are against future threats. No knowledge growth without risk.
A discussion of the "Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development".
Alex Brocklehurst raises the question is human expansion, economically, psychologically, spiritually, technologically etc, in principle better than contraction?
Alex, Roger and Ray discuss. Alex and Ray push the progressive, enlightenment view, while Roger takes the dual role of a stick-in-the-mud, devil's advocate. Roger hates mud! : - )
Alex Brocklehurst has just had a chapter published in the book Jordan Peterson: Critical Responses.
Roger outlines the Ukrainian crisis, placing this delicate strategic confrontation in its historical and demographic context. Ukraine is a vital strategic interest to the Russian state, but not to the United States of America. Roger argues that states typically regard security as paramount, trumping economic interests and will accept a great deal of damage maintaining their vital strategic interests, and so the West’s threat of economic sanctions are impotent. Is the West playing a losing hand, given that Ukraine is perceived by Russia as a vital buffer zone right on its doorstep, but is 5000 miles from the US? Roger asks us to imagine a mirror of the situation for the US: Russia stations forces in Mexico and Canada, or simply establishes alliances with those countries. Such a move would be intolerable for the US state under the well-established Monroe doctrine.
(Some sources —for example, the omniscient POLITIFACT, argue that NATO has reneged on an agreement suggested by ...
Defending the Enlightenment through animated philsophy.
"Animated" = Full of life or excitement; lively, vigorous.
"Philosophy" = Love of truth.
An autonomous life is one in which we can make a difference according to our own aims and plans. This is the personal aspect of the enlightenment. However, this is under threat from a perverted alliance of governments and the tech giants.
Enlightenment Defended will repel the dark nihilism of “post-truth”, woke culture, identity politics, and PC-Speak, which are feeding this rotten symbiosis of state and tech giants. To counter this backward step in our society, Enlightenment Defended will catalyse the bright flame of the enlightenment —liberty, reason and progress.
Enlightenment Defended will create a realm that frames our deepest thoughts about life through articles, documentary, animation, poetry, humour, music and myth and philosophical debate. People are many-sided in both apprehension and enjoyment.
Enlightenment Defended will ...