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I'm puzzled; please explain


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18 replies to this topic

#1
bake

bake
  • 53 posts

Stef, I'm puzzled, and would appreciate if you would explain something to me. I claimed that the Vance nagging example is fallacious. Both times you have replied  to the logical component of this, you have replied with a "proof by example", which is another logical fallacy. Why are you doing this? I really am curious and trying to understand where you are coming from by doing this, and why, without making assumptions, and would very much like to understand.


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#2
Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux
  • 19755 posts

I did a podcast reply, that might help, it's in the original thread.


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#3
Allison

Allison
  • 234 posts

I think this is a really interesting question.  I believe I've had similar thoughts, even about the fallaciousness of the "proof by example", e.g. in my post here:

Up until last night I thought that the primary purpose of the first
section of the book was to state some universal truths about
relationships.  I think it is for that reason that I (and possibly
others) reacted so strongly to some of the vignettes presented.  It
seemed like the book was trying to extrapolate from these
oversimplified scenarios to universal truths.*  Given that it is not
possible to do this,** my mind was naturally drawn to think up contexts
in which the universal truth I thought was being posited didn't hold
true.

Like I mentioned, I became more at peace with the Jennifer/Vince example when I realized that it's just a description of one couple's experience, which leaves out a bunch of relevant details that you could only know if you watched the movie.  I don't think it's trying to draw up a universal rule about relationships where nagging occurs.

From my perspective, the book also leaves out half of the possible discussion about the Jennifer/Vince example -- that is that neither person seems to be happy with the partner they chose; both of them seem to be engaging in passive-aggressive behaviour resulting from this mismatch and their refusal to acknowledge it (Jennifer nags, Vince makes commitments he doesn't care about keeping).

The book focuses on nagging as an indicator of not living with integrity, but glosses over the unkept commitments aspect of it as another (even more direct) departure from integrity.

So yeah, from all of the above I conclude that the Jennifer/Vince example is nothing more than a partial treatment of a situation where a specific couple is not living with integrity, and thus isn't subject to the logical rigour that would be necessary if we were trying to use it to make a universal statement about relationships.  I do wish that had been made more clear in the book. 

But I would love to hear more about your perspective on this!  Do you still think the example is fallacious, despite what I've said above?  Could you give a little more detail on your "proof by example" comment?


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#4
bake

bake
  • 53 posts

I did a podcast reply, that might help, it's in the original thread.

I've listened to it, before writing the previous post. I'm still filled with curiosity about the above question. What are you thinking and feeling?

 

 


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#5
Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux
  • 19755 posts

I'm not going to interact on this topic any more, I am neither learning anything nor enjoying myself.


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#6
Allison

Allison
  • 234 posts

I'm not going to interact on this topic any more, I am neither learning anything nor enjoying myself.

Does this go for the original thread as well?  If so, I feel a sense of disappointment.  I put a lot of work into the posts I've made on this topic over the past week or so, and I feel like I've come up with some incredibly interesting (and concerning) ideas that haven't been addressed or even acknowledged by you.  Now, I fully recognize that my actions don't necessitate any response from you, and my "reward" for my time spent has been in the increased clarity I've come to and have hopefully helped a few others come to.  Still, I'd like to hear back from you, the author of the work I'm discussing, the one who could most easily distribute any amendments or clarifications to the book should there be a need for them. 

My philosophy on book authorship -- which admittedly I have not experienced and which I'd therefore love to hear your firsthand perspective of -- is that in becoming an author one accepts a certain amount of responsibility for the reader's experience of the book, and if it comes out that readers are misunderstanding it in some fundamental way, that should be corrected.  The sense I get from the original thread is that more than a few people share in the potential misunderstandings I've identified. 

If you don't wish to engage with me because you don't think I'm presenting my concerns in an appropriate manner, I'd appreciate some feedback on that so that I'll be able to improve my approach for the next time a situation like this should arrive.


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#7
Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux
  • 19755 posts

I certainly would be happy to chat further Allison, I always have time for you [:)], but I would much prefer to have a conference call or conversation by Skype, it is much more digestible to listeners who don't watch the board...


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#8
Allison

Allison
  • 234 posts

I appreciate the offer, Stef.  To be perfectly honest, I am not comfortable with Skype as a medium of communication for this discussion.  I know myself and I know that I need time to think before commenting, particularly in a conversation like this that is about misunderstandings.  Having a visual record of everything that has been said helps keep me on track as well.  I'm also better at making points in writing than in speaking.  So my preference would be for you to take a stab at answering my questions as I've laid them out on the board (e.g. the post I made yesterday morning had some pretty specific questions).  Within those parameters, I think a back-and-forth conversation in the thread would allow us to cover the most ground and avoid misunderstandings, and then you could make a follow-up podcast with any useful ideas that came out of the conversation.  But if you're more comfortable responding by podcast, that's fine by me.


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#9
Formelyknown

Formelyknown
  • 445 posts

Stef, I'm puzzled, and would appreciate if you would explain something to me.

I claimed that the Vance nagging example is fallacious. Both times you have replied  to the logical component of this, you have replied with a "proof by example", which is another logical fallacy.

Why are you doing this?

I really am curious and trying to understand where you are coming from by doing this, and why, without making assumptions, and would very much like to understand.

Dear bake,

Just for my personal curiosity, if you have time. Can you tell me what you think of this example and please explain with the most detail possible why is it true, false or a fallacy etc. I'm more interest in the why.

Everything that have hairs are dogs, human have hairs. Therefore humans are dogs.


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To follow ethics is subjective but the interaction between each individual's behavior is objective if you choose honesty over deception.


#10
bake

bake
  • 53 posts

Dear bake,

Just for my personal curiosity, if you have time. Can you tell me what you think of this example and please explain with the most detail possible why is it true, false or a fallacy etc. I'm more interest in the why.

Everything that have hairs are dogs, human have hairs. Therefore humans are dogs.

The problem is a "false premise".

The conclusion follows validly from the premises. I'll quote wikipedia: "A false premise is an incorrect proposition that forms the basis of a logical syllogism. Since the premise (proposition, or assumption) is not correct, the conclusion drawn may be in error. However, the logical validity of an argument is a function of its internal consistency, not the truth value of its premises."

The premise "Everything that have hairs are dogs" is false, so we have no information (from the syllogism) about whether the conclusion is true or false.

We may or may not get true results from it. For example, we could say "Everything that have hairs are dogs, poodles have hairs. Therefore, poodles are dogs". We would have exactly the same false premise, but poodles are actually dogs, so the final line is true, unlike in the original example.

In this case, we need to jump outside of the logic and examine the premises. It's a different problem from internal inconsistency, which is when logic is used in invalid ways (whether the premises are right or wrong).

Does this help? Do you have more questions? Is there anything I should explain more clearly?

 


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#11
Formelyknown

Formelyknown
  • 445 posts

[font=" 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 12px"]"In this case, we need to jump outside of the logic and examine the premises."[/font]

Thank you for your answer.[:)]

 


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To follow ethics is subjective but the interaction between each individual's behavior is objective if you choose honesty over deception.


#12
bake

bake
  • 53 posts

Allison: I'm writing a reply to your question. As it seems I severely underestimated the inferential distance ( http://wiki.lesswron...ential_distance and http://lesswrong.com...tial_distances/ ), I'm trying to include much more explanation, divided into sections so that people can only read part of it depending on their background. I'll try to post it in the next few days.

 


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#13
Allison

Allison
  • 234 posts

Allison: I'm writing a reply to your question. As it seems I severely underestimated the inferential distance ( http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Inferential_distance and http://lesswrong.com/lw/kg/expecting_short_inferential_distances/ ), I'm trying to include much more explanation, divided into sections so that people can only read part of it depending on their background. I'll try to post it in the next few days.

Given that my arguments surrounding this issue have largely evolved into concerns about misunderstandings, that would be great!  I want to learn from this, I want to help others learn from this.  Looking forward to it!


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#14
Nathan

Nathan
  • 13064 posts

Bake & Allison, I would really prefer to hear a conversation about this as well, I think it'd be far more productive than trying to have this conversation on the boards.


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#15
bake

bake
  • 53 posts

Bake & Allison, I would really prefer to hear a conversation about this as well, I think it'd be far more productive than trying to have this conversation on the boards.

I can't do consistently correct logic in real time conversation, so I have to disagree.

Also, who would it be with? Stef's opted out of this conversation, and neither Allison nor I want that, so just between the two of us wouldn't make sense.

 


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#16
Allison

Allison
  • 234 posts

Bake & Allison, I would really
prefer to hear a conversation about this as well, I think it'd be far
more productive than trying to have this conversation on the boards.

I believe it was discussed a bit on the last Sunday show; I don't see that up in the feed yet though.

I understand that trying to have a conversation on the board can be frustrating because of the amount of time involved, but I actually think we had a pretty productive discussion in the other thread.  I'd love to get Stef's input on it.  I gave my reasons for not wanting to have live conversation on it earlier.  I wish I was as skilled a speaker as Stef is, but I'm not.  I need time to review what I say and make sure it's coming out right.  I need time to review what the other person says before responding to it.  I realize that, in a way, this is anti-RTR, and I realize that this is an area for potential improvement for me, which I am working towards.  But I don't think this discussion is just about me, I really think I've come up with some concerns about the book that exist independently of just me (such as my comparison between two sections of the book, detailed in the other thread).  If Stef would like more clarification on that, I'd be happy to give it.


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#17
bake

bake
  • 53 posts

Bake & Allison, I would really
prefer to hear a conversation about this as well, I think it'd be far
more productive than trying to have this conversation on the boards.

I believe it was discussed a bit on the last Sunday show; I don't see that up in the feed yet though.

That matches what I've heard second-hand. Apparently Cubix and Stef talked?

I understand that trying to have a conversation on the board can be frustrating because of the amount of time involved, but I actually think we had a pretty productive discussion in the other thread.  I'd love to get Stef's input on it.  I gave my reasons for not wanting to have live conversation on it earlier.  I wish I was as skilled a speaker as Stef is, but I'm not.  I need time to review what I say and make sure it's coming out right.  I need time to review what the other person says before responding to it.  I realize that, in a way, this is anti-RTR, and I realize that this is an area for potential improvement for me, which I am working towards.  But I don't think this discussion is just about me, I really think I've come up with some concerns about the book that exist independently of just me (such as my comparison between two sections of the book, detailed in the other thread).  If Stef would like more clarification on that, I'd be happy to give it.

As I see it - and I am new to RTR - RTR is only appropriate for some kinds of interactions. If the topic is human interaction and emotions, it may well be a good idea. If the topic is more abstract, and requires time to think, such as science or logic, I honestly don't see a way to use RTR for it productively. Thoughts?

 


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#18
cubix

cubix
  • 140 posts

If the topic is more abstract, and requires time to think, such as science or logic, I honestly don't see a way to use RTR for it productively. Thoughts?

 

Strongly agreed. I had serious reservations about calling in to the show given the nature of the subject, and I don't think our conversation was productive at all. I was taken off guard by Stef's apparent level of anger and combativeness during the discussion.

Stef said he was baffled by the original objections. I've been completely baffled by the response to them from the beginning.


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#19
Allison

Allison
  • 234 posts

That got me thinking: strong emotions (e.g. of frustration) could actually arise from the mismatch between the topic and means of communication.  If we were to try to use RTR-style live communication to discuss the objective concerns we have about the book, those emotions could confound things.


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