Sunday, July 21, 2013

Check out [FOM] Psychological basis of Intuitionism

[FOM] Psychological basis of Intuitionism

i wonder what the the scientific basis of intuitions is (or is not).  maybe a hilbert space---over complex or real dumbers?

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fwd: [cafephilodcdialogue] Background for 7/13/13 Café Philo DC: "Are Truth and Justice Myths?"

 Café Philo DC: "Are Truth and Justice Myths?"

apropos justice, distributive or otherwise---eg non-distributive, or say non-(free)associative , noncommutative, here are some related sources for definitions or discussions.  (One can note that quantum logic, developed by von Neumann last century as one more formulation of quantum mechanics besides, say, that of dirac,shrodinger of heisneberg, is a non-distributive logic , ie p(q+r) =/pq +pr). 

One can note there are other definitions of justice from encyclopedias that are concise and somewhat intuitive.   Also, the 'expert' theoretical versions (eg Rawls) are criticized by other experts as wrong or incoherent (which is my view, though the theories of justice by those others (eg Nagel, Nozick, Scanlon etc. I find equally incoherent---same with Sen, Singer, etc.) so citing 'theories' under the assumption they are somehow all-inclusive seems wrong, and no better than just finding your own where its easy, such as under a streetlamp  .  

 Also, since my view is more pragmatic----while open borders, like communism, anarchism, or peace sound good--- today it ain't going to happen.   So promoting these can be disengenuous, unless one is seeking a grant for an NGO, the 'US Department of Peace' or a faculty or theological job.  And, may never---given that those who often promote them (all 4 cited above for example ) are elites and likely elitist,  at elite universities teaching elective classes to people who often end up working, for example, to create tax havens.    Their salaries are dependent to some extent on their alumni and can appear hypocritical since they don't walk the talk or practice what they preach, so its more like just a job (similar to religious hypocrites who may promote tithing (sharing) but often these tithes are used to either get them good defense lawyers or pay restitution to their victims (if such exist---another philosophical issue) ).

The article by the author of the book called 'against fairness' which is reviewed on amazon, from the ny times, is quite interesting, or amusing (eg rather than having open borders, or open houses, or free schools (eg MOOCs), or a universal bank account, or 'sky trust')  maybe We should recognize our biological natures and realize Rousseau was wrong, as is P Singer, Rawls, van Parijis  or Milton Friedman (GAI), and instead live according to Hobbes' rule (or that of the Cato version of adam smith) and realize we are all in a war against all, except possibly those related according to Hamilton's (or Dawkin's) Rule (kin selection).    

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Subject: [cafephilodcdialogue] Background for 7/13/13 Café Philo DC: "Are Truth and Justice Myths?"


Below and uploaded as two files is some background material (optional, as always) consisting of articles and videos apropos the upcoming Café Philo DC discussion this Saturday, July 13, 2013 from 10:30am-12:30pm in the Large Meeting Room at the Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library on the topic: "Are Truth and Justice Myths?" Anthony Gutierrez will moderate the discussion. The library is located at 4450 Wisconsin Ave. in Washington, DC -- directly across the street from the Tenleytown Metro station on the Red Line.

Following the background material are some suggested topics to consider for the subsequent Café Philo DC discussion.

A few questions:

Are truth and justice 'mythical' by definition, or is it the case that if the perfect is the enemy of the good, truth and justice are merely mythical in their idealized form but not in their practical application? Are these concepts really mythical at all or just essentially contestable? Put a bit differently, are truth and justice meaningful more as practical concerns that can be realized to some degree than as ethereal, timeless essences that elude nimble cognitive grasp? Is the question of the mythic nature of truth and justice as relevant to interpersonal relationships as it is to the social order, or to national or international relations? Assuming that these phenomena are indeed mythical to some degree, are myths necessarily bad, unwelcome or impractical? In considering the epistemic status of truth and justice, what role does emotional knowledge of both have to play?


truth {Gk. _______ [alêtheia]; Lat. veritas; Ger. Wahrheit}
The conformity of a proposition to the way things are. Precise analysis of the nature of truth is the subject of the correspondence, coherence, pragmatic, redundancy, and semantic theories of truth.
Recommended Reading: Theories of Truth, ed. by Paul Horwich (Dartmouth, 1994); Colin McGinn, Logical Properties (Oxford, 2001); ed. by Volker Halbach and Leon Horsten (Hänsel-Hohenhausen, 2002); Max Kölbel, Truth Without Objectivity (Routledge, 2002); Hartry Field, Truth and the Absence of Fact (Oxford, 2001); and Richard L. Kirkham, Theories of Truth: A Critical Introduction (Bradford, 1995).
-- Philosophy Pages, Garth Kemerling

Definition of justice
1just behavior or treatment:
a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people
the quality of being fair and reasonable:
the justice of his case
the administration of the law or authority in maintaining this:
a tragic miscarriage of justice
(Justice) the personification of justice, usually a blindfolded woman holding scales and a sword.
2a judge or magistrate, in particular a judge of the supreme court of a country or state.
bring someone to justice
arrest someone for a crime and ensure that they are tried in court.
do oneself justice
perform as well as one is able to.
do someone/something justice (or do justice to someone/something)
do, treat, or represent with due fairness or appreciation:
the brief menu does not do justice to the food
in justice to
out of fairness to:
I say this in justice to both of you
rough justice
-- from Oxford Dictionaries online

justice {Gk. ____ [díkê]; Lat. iustitia}
Equitable distribution of goods and evils in a social institution, including the moral sanctions of reward and punishment. After surveying alternative notions of the virtue of justice {Gk. __________ [dikaiôsunê]}, Plato defined it as the harmonious function of diverse elements of society or of the distinct souls within an individual person. Most social philosophers of the Western tradition, however, have followed Aristotle's conceptions of retributive and distributive justice. In contemporary philosophy, Rawls employs a notion of "justice as fairness" to argue that social inequalities are justifiable only if the benefit even the least favored members of a society.
Recommended Reading: Richard D. Parry, Plato's Craft of Justice (SUNY, 1996); John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (Belknap, 1999); Martha Craven Nussbaum, Sex & Social Justice (Oxford, 2000); Cynthia Willett, The Soul of Justice: Social Bonds and Racial Hubris (Cornell, 2001); Nicholas Rescher, Fairness: Theory and Practice of Distributive Justice (Transaction, 2002); Michael Walzer, Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality (Basic, 1984); and Randy E. Barnett, The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law (Oxford, 2000).
-- Philosophy Pages, Garth Kemerling

Definition of justice
1) just behavior or treatment:
a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people
the quality of being fair and reasonable:
the justice of his case
the administration of the law or authority in maintaining this:
a tragic miscarriage of justice
(Justice) the personification of justice, usually a blindfolded woman holding scales and a sword.
2a) judge or magistrate, in particular a judge of the supreme court of a country or state
-- from Oxford Dictionaries online

Definition of myth
1a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.
traditional stories or legends collectively:
the heroes of Greek myth
2a widely held but false belief or idea:
he wants to dispel the myth that sea kayaking is too risky or too strenuous
there is a popular myth that corporations are big people with lots of money
a misrepresentation of the truth:
attacking the party's irresponsible myths about privatization
a fictitious or imaginary person or thing.
an exaggerated or idealized conception of a person or thing:
the book is a scholarly study of the Churchill myth
Origin: mid 19th century: from modern Latin mythus, via late Latin from Greek muthos
-- from Oxford Dictionaries online

Definition of MYTH
1 a : a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon
b : parable, allegory
2 a : a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone; especially : one embodying the ideals and institutions of a society or segment of society <seduced by the American myth of individualism - Orde Coombs>
b : an unfounded or false notion
3: a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence
4: the whole body of myths
-- Merriam-Webster Dictionary online

Myth: (Gr. mythes, legend) The truth, symbolically, or affectively, presented. Originally, the legends of the Gods concerning cosmogonical or cosmological questions. Later, a fiction presented as historically true but lacking factual basis; a popular and traditional falsehood. A presentation of cosmology, employing the affective method of symbolic representation in order to escape from the limitations of literal meaning. -- J.K.F
-- from the Meta-Encyclopedia of Philosophy

propositions, statements, sentences, assertions and beliefs have been offered as appropriate bearers of truth or falsity. Understanding truth is filled with difficulty. Philosophers have explored the possibility that truth is: a correspondence between what we say and how things are; a matter of coherence between statements and a background of settled beliefs; an ideal limit which enquiry will approach; a feature of assertions which function well in enquiry or in life more generally; a matter of giving a truth definition for a language; a redundancy, because 'It is true that p' is equivalent to 'p'; or disclosedness of being. Some of these theories are compatible and might be integrated in a more comprehensive theory. On some accounts, each proposition is true or false on its own, while others adopt a holistic view. The relation between meaning and truth is of central philosophical concern.
-- The Blackwell Companion to Philsosophy

By Andrea Borghini, Guide
See More About:correspondence theorycoherence theoryrelativismpragmatism
Truth is a topic of major significance within any philosophy branch. Virtually every philosophers has to come to terms, in one way or another, with the nature of truth. Because of this, the array of positions regarding truth is as wide as that of philosophical schools and theories that have been proposed. In this article we will review the main positions on the nature of truth that characterize Western philosophy.

Truth and Truth Bearers
What is it that is said to be true? On the one hand, it seems implausible that a single word, such as "philosophy" or "sky", is said to be true. On the other, truth is spoken of several kinds of things, but not of others. For instance, some people may care to prove the truth of a certain sentence (a linguistic entity); some may care for the truth of a whole theory (a set of sentences); some for the truth of a complete thought (that is a mental entity, which presumably could be expressed in more than a language); and some for the truth of a proposition - an entity conceived as existing independently of any specific language and mind entertaining it. Each of those ways of speaking the truth seem prima facie plausible and any theory of truth has to somehow accommodate for them.

Truth as Correspondence
Probably the most intuitive, and most widely held, view on truth is the correspondence theory. According to it, true is that which corresponds to the way things are. A sentence/theory/proposition will be true when what the sentence says, the theory describes and predicts, or the proposition represents corresponds to the way things are.

Authors such as Plato and Aristotle, seem to have defended some version of this view; but supporters are found throughout the whole history of philosophical thinking. A well-known version of the correspondence theory, which was central to the development of logic, was put forward by Alfred Tarski (1901-1983) in the first half of last century.

Truth as Coherence
Another central perspective on truth takes a more holistic form: truth can be spoken of only in reference to a system of sentences or propositions, that are coherent with each other. More or less well-defined versions of this view have been defended by a number of classical authors, such as Leibniz and Spinoza; it was especially during the last century that it raised to philosophical prominence, thanks especially to the contribution of logical positivists. While the correspondence theory was founded on some form of structural identity between the truth-bearer and the way the world is, coherentists stressed the importance of systematicity in the achievement of truth.

Coherentist theories are especially important in certain fields, such as the philosophy of science (coherence seems to be crucial for a scientific theory) as well as legal issues (consistency is also a key desideratum for a legal system.)

Truth and Relativism
Whose truth? One of the key aspects of truth is that most often than not it appears to be relative to a point of view or a situation. Weather a wine is elegant or not, whether the water of the ocean is cold or not, weather a car is desirable or not, … the list is potentially endless. Is there any truth which is absolute?

A position is relativist with respect to a certain subject if it holds that truths concerning that subject are all relative. Exactly how to express relativism is a complex matter in itself, one that is spurring a great deal of philosophical debate at the moment.

Truth and Pragmatism
Finally, it is worth mentioning the pragmatist position, according to which - as William James put it in Pragmatism (1907) - "the true is the name of whatever proves itself to be good in the way of belief, and good, too, for definite assignable reasons."

Background material (articles and videos):

Truth, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Michael Glanzberg

"Truth" Examined, Bernard-Henri Lévy, French philosopher and writer, Huffington Post, 7/2/13

Distributive Justice, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Julian Lamont

Western Theories of Justice, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Wayne P. Pomerleau

Justice as a Virtue, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Michael Slote

Harvard University's Justice with Michael Sandel (free video course)

Twin giants of justice: What the reviewers said about two of the most important books in philosophy last year (2011), The Philosophers' Magazine, 12/13/11
The Idea of Justice by Amartya Sen
Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do? by Michael Sandel

Political myth, Wikipedia

Paul Ricoeur on the epistemological and ethical dimensions of myth, truth and justice, from On Paul Ricoeur: The Owl of Minerva, by Richard Kearney

Philosophy Talk, The Blog: Cogito Ergo Blogo
Truth & Other Fictions, 3/28/13, John Perry and Ken Taylor

The Myth of Universal Love, Stephen T. Asma, The Stone, The New York Times, 1/5/13
Despite exhortations to "nurture a sense of 'good will to all mankind,' to extend our love and care to others beyond our usual circle of friends and family… it's worth considering how far we actually can, or should, extend this good will."

The Real War on Reality, The Stone, The New York Times, Peter Ludlow, 6/14/13
Surveillance and deception are not just fodder for the next "Matrix" movie, but a real sort of epistemic warfare…. The Greek word deployed by Plato in "The Cave" - aletheia - is typically translated as truth, but is more aptly translated as "disclosure" or "uncovering" - literally, "the state of not being hidden." Martin Heidegger, in an essay on the allegory of the cave, suggested that the process of uncovering was actually a precondition for having truth. It would then follow that the goal of the truth-seeker is to help people in this disclosure - it is to defeat the illusory representations that prevent us from seeing the world the way it is. There is no propositional truth to be had until this first task is complete.

Misreading 'Eichmann in Jerusalem', Roger Berkowitz, The Stone, The New York Times, 7/7/13
It is easy to cite the 'banality of evil.' It is much more difficult to make sense of what Arendt actually meant.

Truth and lies: Criminal justice myths uncovered, ccjsRebecca, Reclaim Justice Network, 1/28/13
Rebecca Roberts calls for truth-telling and myth busting in criminal justice debates.

As Free and as Just as Possible, Charles Spencer on Jeffrey Reiman's book, As Free and as Just as Possible: The Theory of Marxian Liberalism, 1/9/13
"I think that the time is ripe for a philosophical theory of justice that combines Marx's insights-about capitalism, and about the conditions of freedom and the mechanisms of coercion-with the liberalism that socialist states have lacked. Marxian Liberalism is such a theory of justice."

Harm's Way: Understanding Race and Punishment, review of Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness and Robert Perkinson's Texas Tough: The Rise of America's Prison Empire, James Forman, Jr., Boston Review, 1/1/11

Eight Myths of Justice, Steve Weinberg, In These Times, 10/12/10
Innocent Americans are routinely convicted and incarcerated. The new book False Justice explains how.

Possible topics for the July 27th meeting:

o How can nothing exist?

o What does it mean to be free?

o Is living a good life an art?

o Privacy v. security

o Is political correctness a good thing?

o If we could eliminate pain, should we?

o Are things getting better or worse?

Best regards,

Ken Feldman
Founder, Café Philo DC and
Foundner/Moderator, Café Philo DC Dialogue

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