by Curt Doolittle, for philosophy supernerds.
(Q via Joel Davis )
Well, all of these examples are correct criticisms of justificationism. But P is ONLY falsificationary. Ideal truth and promises of ideal proof are all fallacies in P. All we can know is what we can testify to, and if we exhaust all possible dimensions that we can testify to, we can claim that our statements propositions theories promises are not false, and whether they are sufficient to solve the demand for infallibility for the question proposed. In other words, all truth in P is the result of competition between opposing forces. Because like Reason (hypothesis), Action (operation), and Consequence (empiricism) all knowledge is the product of the same series: hypothesis, the set of which eliminates opportunities for falsehood from the field of possibilities.
Proof originated in the mathematics of geometry, under which ‘proof’ refers to the possibility of composing a measurement. So a proof refers to a proof of possibility.
Now, the problem here is rather simple. Mathematics (alone) consists of ratios. So all numbers are some ratio of 1. Ratios are scale independent. Or stated with a different term: limit independent – which is why we can talk about existential impossibilities like infinity. Infinity CAN only mean ‘unknown limit’ given the scale demands of the question at hand.
But there are no non tautological unlimited statements. Information expressed in language is always less than that in the universe that the language corresponds to (is consistent with, not incommensurable with).
There is no premise in mathematics beyond the identity 1 and it’s universal possibility of assignment of correspondence to any category we choose. Math is simply the most simple possible language we can speak in: it has only one dimension: position, and all positions are just names of ratios to the identity 1 of the category. That’s not true of other language: all other non tautological human statements depend upon a premise and limits. Were Aristotle, Newton, and Einstein in error? Clearly, they were in error beyond the limit of that which they propose to describe. But they each met the demand for infallibility at the scale they described.
Likewise, we do not use ‘proof’ in court, we use evidence sufficient to persuade the jury beyond reasonable doubt given the demand for infallibility in the matter in question (standards are higher with the death penalty than a small claims issue – which is why murder trials are expensive.)
So, P uses exhaustive (complete) falsification (due diligence), warranty of that due diligence, and demand for infallibility given the question at hand – all via negativa – rather than some nonsensical idealism called “truth”. We can speak truthfully, but we can never – or at least in any non trivial question – know if we speak “the most parsimonious operational name possible”: Truth.
So for example, empirical evidence can be used to falsify a criticism, but it does not promise ideal truth. Operational possibility, even repeatability, doesn’t tell us much, only the failure of all alternatives. We know the problem of repeatability of error.
Falsification (process of elimination) is a very ‘expensive’ epistemology which is why it’s been avoided throughout history. People want to work with what’s in their heads whenever possible – because it’s cheap – but it’s also not warrantable as having survived due diligence.
In other words, man must be able to identify a dimension he is able to testify to other than the logical, operational, empirical, rational, and it’s the COMPETITION between those testimonies under limits, completeness (full accounting within limits), parsimony, and coherence that reduce the opportunity for ignorance, error, bias, wishful thinking, suggestion, obscurantism, fictionalism, and deceit.
So I do not use a trivial ideal truth (sophistry) nor justification nor proof. I use a competition by attempted falsification of every dimensions open to human perception that humans can perform due diligence against, and can warranty, hopefully to the point of restitution, if they err. And determine the standard of truth by the demand for infallibility for the given question.
Why is this unappealing? You can’t use witty words to overload common people with sophomoric ‘proofs’ and accusations of insufficiency or contradiction.
Where did this emphasis on ‘proof’ come from? It came from scriptural interpretation in the religious world, and legal interpretation in the secular world, mathematics in the intellectual world, and moral license in the vulgar world.
If you can falsify Testimonialism (I don’t think it can be done) then I wold like to know but I have been working on this problem for ten years now and I’m pretty certain that it’s invulnerable, and it is probably the end of the european testimonial (scientific) program.
I think metaphysics, epistemology, psychology, sociology, law, and politics are solved, at least at the scales and limits I am able to perceive given human abilities within the physical universe at this time.