Thread: The Problem With Hoppe's Argumentation Ethics

1. Originally Posted by Sola_Fide
Okay. Can one worldview be satisfying logically, while another not be satisfying logically?
If by "satisfying logically" you mean "meeting the conditions for logical validity," then my remarks in post #28 apply.

Otherwise, I don't understand what is being denoted by the notion of "logical satisfaction."

Also, the vagueness of the as-yet undefined term "worldview" needs to be resolved. I employed the term myself in post #26, but specified that I was addressing only the "foundational premises" (i.e., definitions and axioms) that might be involved, rather than the concept itself. So by "worldview," do you mean a collection of definitions and initial premises (axioms) which may serve as postulates in deductive proofs of theorems (and nothing other than this)? Or do you mean "worldview" in a more general sense, subsuming the one just described, but also including any of various inferential propositions and inductions that inevitably must be made and employed in the application of (previously and apodictically proved) deductive theorems?

Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0
Sure, but that triangles don't have a number of sides other than 3 is the conclusion of a deductive argument, isn't it?
No, it isn't. That a "triangle" does not have a number of sides other than three is a definition of "triangle." Of course, definitions may be superfluously wrapped up in the form of deductive arguments, but such "arguments" are actually just tautologous "applications" of those definitions - they partake of repitition rather than deduction. For example:

Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0
P1. Triangles have 3 sides
P2. Nothing with 3 sides has 4 sides
C. Therefore, triangles don't have 4 sides.
Given definition P1, conclusion C is just a restatment of P2 to which P1 has been applied. It does not deduce or "prove" that triangles don't have four sides; that triangles do not have four sides was already established in P1 by definitional fiat. Definitions are by nature "pre-logical" - it makes no more sense to speak of "proving" them (or of "disproving" their contraventions) via deductive argumentation than it does to speak of "proving" (or "disproving"), say, the Law of Noncontradiction.

Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0
[...] Hence there's no need to bother with the details of any argument purporting to prove that triangles have 4 sides [...]
But it does not make sense to speak of "argument[s] purporting to prove [or disprove] that triangles have" any number of sides (three or four or whatever). The number of sides possessed by a triangle can be neither "proved" nor "disproved" - it is simply established by definitional fiat (as exemplified by P1 in the above "argument"), and not by deductive argumentation. If I wish, I have but to define triangles as having four sides (for whatever purpose), and it is so; there is no "argument" here whose details can be "bother[ed] with," one way or the other. IOW: There are no arguments to be had over definitions - they are given by fiat, and as such, they are not rationally disputable.

Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0
And this deductive reasoning is "pure," insofar as it does not involve any premises arrived at through induction. [...] Hence the analogy; any attempt to bridge the is-ought gap can similarly be tossed aside because we know with apodictic certainty, through pure deductive reasoning (which no new 'fact' could possibly invalidate), that such an attempt is futile.
I understand what you are saying here, and I understand the purpose of your analogy - and I agree, as far as all that goes*. My point (as detailed above and in post #10) is that the a-triangle-has-three-sides "argument" is not a good analogy for this purpose - "proofs" that bachelors are not married are not exemplars of deductive reasoning ("pure" or otherwise).

* I say "as far as all that goes" because "any attempt to bridge the is-ought gap can ... be tossed aside" only within a strictly deductive context. Attempts to bridge that gap by deductive means (such as Argumentation Ethics or Natural Law or etc.) are indeed doomed to fail in some way or another. But man does not reason by deduction alone, and that which we can know with apodictic certainty does not encompass all that we may reasonably believe to be true (or close to the truth), even if we can never prove it so ...

Originally Posted by robert68
That's self defeating if the collection of definitions and axioms contradict each other.
Yes, but that does not belie the fact that reason cannot proceed without (at least some) definitions and initial premises.

It is indeed self-defeating if those definitions and axioms, when considered as a whole, embody any contradictions - but that is a separate issue.

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3. Originally Posted by Sola_Fide
Oh it doesn't? Okay, how do you know what you know?
Answering that fully would require going off on a loooooong tangent, which I'd rather not do if I don't have to.

Can you tell me why you think atheism entails an epistemology which in turns undermines ethics?

4. Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0
Answering that fully would require going off on a loooooong tangent, which I'd rather not do if I don't have to.

Can you tell me why you think atheism entails an epistemology which in turns undermines ethics?
Well... okay, how does a man know something? Is that an easier way to ask it?

5. @Occam's Banana

It seems that our entire disagreement consists in whether or not an argument whose premise is a definition counts as a deductive argument.

I say it does, you say it doesn't..

Q. Are geometrical proofs (such as, of the Pythagorean Theorem) deductive arguments?

6. Originally Posted by Sola_Fide
Well... okay, how does a man know something? Is that an easier way to ask it?
My everyday answer (i.e. without getting deep into epistemology) would be: through perception and reason.

7. Can you guys try to solve a more interesting problem like How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

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9. Originally Posted by timosman
Can you guys try to solve a more interesting problem like How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
Pssht, everybody knows it's 17, dummy.

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