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POLL - Is this argument valid?

 
Speakpigeon
 
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Speakpigeon
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16 January 2019 03:47
 

This thread is a poll on a logical argument.
Here is the argument:

For all we know, A may be the state of B;
What C does is determined by the state of B;
Therefore, for all we know, what C does may be determined by A.

Is the argument valid?

Please keep to one of the following four answers:

No
Yes
I don’t know
The argument doesn’t make sense

Please, don’t comment if you can’t answer the question asked.
EB

[ Edited: 17 January 2019 05:58 by Speakpigeon]
 
EN
 
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EN
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16 January 2019 08:13
 

Yes.

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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Cheshire Cat
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16 January 2019 14:11
 
Speakpigeon - 16 January 2019 03:47 AM

Please keep to one of the following four answers:

No
Yes
I don’t know
The argument doesn’t make sense

Please, don’t comment if you can’t answer the question asked.
EB

If I reply with, “I don’t know,” isn’t that the same as saying “I can’t answer the question asked,” which also means, according to your instructions, that I shouldn’t comment, even though you give this as a valid reply among your four answers, thus putting this particular answer in a catch-22 situation?

 
 
burt
 
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burt
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16 January 2019 15:11
 
Speakpigeon - 16 January 2019 03:47 AM

This thread is a poll on a logical argument.
Here is the argument:

For all we know, A may be the state of B;
What C does is determined by the state of B;
Therefore, for all we know, what C does may be determined by A.

Is the argument valid?

Please keep to one of the following four answers:

No
Yes
I don’t know
The argument doesn’t make sense

Please, don’t comment if you can’t answer the question asked.
EB

 

Valid

The “for all we know” is irrelevant because of the word “may,” which implies the “for all we know.” That is, there is no difference between:
For all we know, A is a state of B
A may be a state of B

The argument can be more precisely phrased as:

S(B) = state of B
In some possible worlds A = S(B)
In all possible worlds S(B)—> C
Therefore in some possible worlds A—> C

Here the “for all we know” and the “may” are subsumed under extension into possible worlds so that the probabilistic aspects can be covered, although the space of possible worlds in likely too vast to allow quantification. This is a less inclusive version of the earlier set of statements in which it is not explicit that the same group of neurons is being referred to:

Speakpigeon - 23 December 2018 11:39 AM

Thank you to discuss the following argument, its two premises and its validity.

Premise 1 - For all we know, somebody’s conscious mind may be the state of a group of neurons in this person’s brain;
Premise 2 - What somebody does is determined by the state of a group of neurons in this person’s brain;
Conclusion - Therefore, for all we know, what somebody does may be determined by the conscious mind of this person.
EB

Thank you to restrict yourself to facts and logic.
EB

 
Speakpigeon
 
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Speakpigeon
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17 January 2019 02:02
 
Cheshire Cat - 16 January 2019 02:11 PM
Speakpigeon - 16 January 2019 03:47 AM

Please keep to one of the following four answers:

No
Yes
I don’t know
The argument doesn’t make sense

Please, don’t comment if you can’t answer the question asked.
EB

If I reply with, “I don’t know,” isn’t that the same as saying “I can’t answer the question asked,” which also means, according to your instructions, that I shouldn’t comment, even though you give this as a valid reply among your four answers, thus putting this particular answer in a catch-22 situation?

That’s an interesting point but I have no doubt you’re wrong. You can answer the question asked by replying “I don’t know”.
Also, a poll isn’t in itself an argument, let alone a logical argument, let alone a formal logical argument.
And more importantly here, your comment is a derail. The subject of this thread is the argument I posted, not some paradox about polls. If you’re interested in that particular issue, please start your own thread on this.
But first, please answer the question asked and refrain from commenting before you do.
EB

 
Speakpigeon
 
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17 January 2019 02:36
 
burt - 16 January 2019 03:11 PM

Valid


OK, thanks.

burt - 16 January 2019 03:11 PM

The “for all we know” is irrelevant because of the word “may,” which implies the “for all we know.” That is, there is no difference between:
For all we know, A is a state of B
A may be a state of B

No, it’s not the same assertion and there are different axiomatics for metaphysical possibility and epistemological possibility.
A door is both metaphysically possibly open and epistemologically not possibly open if you know it is now closed, so the notion of possibility is ambiguous and specifying “for all we know” merely removes the ambiguity by indicating we’re talking about epistemological possibility.
Many people are already prompt enough to quibble for nothing, so I don’t think this is any luxury to be as specific as you can while remaining within the bounds of ordinary language.

burt - 16 January 2019 03:11 PM

The argument can be more precisely phrased as:
S(B) = state of B
In some possible worlds A = S(B)
In all possible worlds S(B)—> C
Therefore in some possible worlds A—> C

As I see it, the notion of possible world is incoherent. So, I don’t use myself this way of expressing our ideas.
I understand what it means, though, and I accept that it is how it would be formalised if it were a metaphysical argument. But again, I see metaphysical argument as incoherent.
Still, this isn’t the topic at hand, so I’m not interested in discussing this particular point, which in itself could take ages.

burt - 16 January 2019 03:11 PM

Here the “for all we know” and the “may” are subsumed under extension into possible worlds so that the probabilistic aspects can be covered, although the space of possible worlds in likely too vast to allow quantification.

Possibly, but I am asking whether you think the argument as worded is valid on the face of it, not if you think of some formal interpretation of the argument as valid.

burt - 16 January 2019 03:11 PM

This is a less inclusive version of the earlier set of statements in which it is not explicit that the same group of neurons is being referred to:

Speakpigeon - 23 December 2018 11:39 AM

Thank you to discuss the following argument, its two premises and its validity.

Premise 1 - For all we know, somebody’s conscious mind may be the state of a group of neurons in this person’s brain;
Premise 2 - What somebody does is determined by the state of a group of neurons in this person’s brain;
Conclusion - Therefore, for all we know, what somebody does may be determined by the conscious mind of this person.
EB

Thank you to restrict yourself to facts and logic.
EB

Possibly, but this is irrelevant here.
There is more to come, so you’ll have the opportunity to discuss this particular aspect.
Let’s wait for now that a few more people get their acts together and express their vote.
EB

NB This is shown as a poll but the poll doesn’t seem to work. Anybody knows why? Thanks.

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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17 January 2019 04:32
 
Speakpigeon - 17 January 2019 02:36 AM

NB This is shown as a poll but the poll doesn’t seem to work. Anybody knows why? Thanks.

In your first post box, click on ‘edit’, then click on ‘add a poll to this thread’.

 
 
Speakpigeon
 
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17 January 2019 06:01
 
Nhoj Morley - 17 January 2019 04:32 AM
Speakpigeon - 17 January 2019 02:36 AM

NB This is shown as a poll but the poll doesn’t seem to work. Anybody knows why? Thanks.

In your first post box, click on ‘edit’, then click on ‘add a poll to this thread’.

I have done that from the start and the thread is indeed signalled as a poll, but on posting the first post I get a page saying it’s not working. I tried several times, always the same result.
EB

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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17 January 2019 06:48
 

I see. I’ll pass it upstairs.

 
 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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18 January 2019 20:31
 

Yes, argument is valid, though confusingly worded. Just omit “for all we know.”

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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18 January 2019 21:21
 

I thought about it some more, and I changed my mind. No, it is not a valid argument. Even if we assume the truths of both the premises and the conclusion, the conclusion does not logically follow from the premises. And it is possible that we can accept both premises and still be absolutely certain that what C does has jack all to do with the A.

 
Speakpigeon
 
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19 January 2019 01:44
 
Abel Dean - 18 January 2019 08:31 PM

Yes, argument is valid, though confusingly worded. Just omit “for all we know.”

The main point about this is that phrase “for all we know” is a perfectly ordinary expression in English that all native speakers understand, you included. So, I don’t accept you claim here unless you could prove your point.

What follows is an assertion, so “for all we know” is obviously a qualification of the assertion “A may be the state of B”. Nothing confusing here either.

The word “may” is formally redundant, but people very often use redundant terms to emphasise their meaning. So, I don’t see what would be confusing about that.

And my formulation is meant to avoid symbols and keep close to everyday English by using words according to dictionary definitions. Again, hard to see what would be confusing about that.

Second, as I already explained in my reply to Burt, while “for all we know” is clearly an epistemological qualifier, “may” isn’t necessarily understood as such. So, the two qualifiers are not equivalent.

Still, you’re not the only one to make this claim. I take this as an empirical fact, interesting in itself, although for now I don’t know what to make of it.

Thanks for your comment, anyway.
EB

 
Speakpigeon
 
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19 January 2019 01:52
 
Abel Dean - 18 January 2019 09:21 PM

I thought about it some more, and I changed my mind. No, it is not a valid argument. Even if we assume the truths of both the premises and the conclusion, the conclusion does not logically follow from the premises. And it is possible that we can accept both premises and still be absolutely certain that what C does has jack all to do with the A.

OK, I know a few people who would agree with you here. Now, there’s just one way to prove your point, if you’re interested to do that. Most people know jack all how to do that. So, for now, I’ll leave to you to decide if you’re interested to prove your claim that the argument is not valid.

Still, keep in mind there is a clear majority in favour of validity, so don’t be surprised if you can’t prove your point. It may be that you’re wrong or that it is very difficult to do it. If you don’t have the time to think about it, well, too bad, and we’ll have to accept you won’t prove your point.

That being said, you should also understand that proving the majority wrong is in itself more valuable than proving just one guy to be wrong. So, if you can do it, that’s really good.
EB

 
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22 January 2019 05:26
 

Here is a second argument, more complex than the first one in this thread, but closer to my argument on the conscious mind, although still significantly simpler.

P1 - For all we know, A may be the state of some part of B;
P2 - What C does is determined by the state of some part of B;
C - Therefore, for all we know, what C does may be determined by A.

So, again, is this argument valid?
EB

 
burt
 
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22 January 2019 08:52
 
Speakpigeon - 22 January 2019 05:26 AM

Here is a second argument, more complex than the first one in this thread, but closer to my argument on the conscious mind, although still significantly simpler.

P1 - For all we know, A may be the state of some part of B;
P2 - What C does is determined by the state of some part of B;
C - Therefore, for all we know, what C does may be determined by A.

So, again, is this argument valid?
EB

Not really. It might fly in a preliminary grant proposal (we will seek to explicate this question by determining which parts of B are involved in A and in C) which is to say it’s not entirely invalid as a heuristic argument, but logically it is invalid.

 
Speakpigeon
 
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22 January 2019 09:00
 
burt - 22 January 2019 08:52 AM
Speakpigeon - 22 January 2019 05:26 AM

Here is a second argument, more complex than the first one in this thread, but closer to my argument on the conscious mind, although still significantly simpler.

P1 - For all we know, A may be the state of some part of B;
P2 - What C does is determined by the state of some part of B;
C - Therefore, for all we know, what C does may be determined by A.

So, again, is this argument valid?
EB

Not really. It might fly in a preliminary grant proposal (we will seek to explicate this question by determining which parts of B are involved in A and in C) which is to say it’s not entirely invalid as a heuristic argument, but logically it is invalid.

I don’t think you could prove your claim of invalidity. So, why would it be invalid?
EB

 
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