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What is empirical evidence?

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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20 January 2019 11:03
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 20 January 2019 09:46 AM
Speakpigeon - 19 January 2019 02:58 AM

One, dictionary definitions are empirical evidence of how words are used . . .

Agreed.

Speakpigeon - 19 January 2019 02:58 AM

. . . and of what they mean.

Would you agree that the meaning of words is determined by consensus? And if so, are you suggesting that consensus constitutes empirical evidence? Should we, for example, take the consensus of the people who’ve responded here that you are rude (etc.) as empirical evidence that you are rude?

HA!

 
 
burt
 
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burt
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20 January 2019 12:42
 
icehorse - 20 January 2019 08:11 AM

from the OP, sp said:

And we have empirical evidence that people routinely use their own logical intuitions as empirical evidence, for example in the descriptions mathematicians make of the way they rely on their own intuitions to prove mathematical conjectures true. As I understand it, every proof, by mathematician or by theorem prover, is ultimately based on the intuition of the specialists, even when they are ostensibly based on a set of logical truths, since logical truths have accepted as such since the Antiquity on the basis of the intuitions the specialists had and on that reported by other people. Such intuitions include for example the logical truth “If it is true that it rains and it is true that I am hungry, then it is true that it rains”. Tell me if you think this isn’t obviously true.

Be careful how you sling the term “intuition”. If we’re honest, most of what humans can do reliably and/or with expertise, cannot be put into words. A certified chess master reliably makes strong chess moves, but she cannot explain her process. You, sp, cannot really explain how you walk. If you think you can, then write down the process and fly to silicon valley, you will earn yourself a billion dollars.

So, scientists who study expertise use the term “expert intuition” (or simply “intuition”), to describe how people can be good at stuff they cannot explain.

And intuition may be important in pointing the way in mathematical proofs, but if the proof isn’t a proof (i.e., if it doesn’t present enough information so that a person knowledgeable in the field can follow step by step in logical sequence) then it isn’t a proof. Intuitive obviousness doesn’t fly when the rubber hits the road.

 
burt
 
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20 January 2019 12:45
 
nonverbal - 20 January 2019 11:03 AM

Maybe you don’t sweat the details, Mr. Jollyface. But it’s a mistake to broadly describe “dictionary definitions” as you do in the OP, since some dictionary definitions represent empirical evidence of how words are used and what they mean, and some don’t.

A Persian dictionary gives the following definition of “Sufi:” “Sufi chist? Sufi sufist.” Translation: “What is a Sufi? A Sufi is a Sufi.” wink

 
Speakpigeon
 
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20 January 2019 12:45
 
burt - 20 January 2019 07:24 AM

I predict that you will not be around here much longer.

I am in very good health. Low tension, slim, exercising by jogging 25 km a week between Spring and Autumn and walking briskly two hours a day every day, no alcohol, no drugs, good food, go up stairs two steps by two, go down again two by two. I don’t even see anybody else around where I live that seems in such a good form as I do and people in Paris are not bad in that respect. So, I could still be around when you’re not. But you can always dream in between tantrums.
EB

 
Speakpigeon
 
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20 January 2019 13:07
 
icehorse - 20 January 2019 08:11 AM

from the OP, sp said:

And we have empirical evidence that people routinely use their own logical intuitions as empirical evidence, for example in the descriptions mathematicians make of the way they rely on their own intuitions to prove mathematical conjectures true. As I understand it, every proof, by mathematician or by theorem prover, is ultimately based on the intuition of the specialists, even when they are ostensibly based on a set of logical truths, since logical truths have accepted as such since the Antiquity on the basis of the intuitions the specialists had and on that reported by other people. Such intuitions include for example the logical truth “If it is true that it rains and it is true that I am hungry, then it is true that it rains”. Tell me if you think this isn’t obviously true.

Be careful how you sling the term “intuition”. If we’re honest, most of what humans can do reliably and/or with expertise, cannot be put into words. A certified chess master reliably makes strong chess moves, but she cannot explain her process. You, sp, cannot really explain how you walk. If you think you can, then write down the process and fly to silicon valley, you will earn yourself a billion dollars.

Sure. I know that. No problem.
And, I’m talking of logical intuition, not of how I know how to walk.
All I say is that we can usefully think of the way the brain works as being best described by logic, in the same way as the working of a computer can be best described and predicted by using Boolean Algebra, which is a subset of logic, and this even though a computer is in fact entirely a physical process.
Describing an intuition is not the same thing as describing how you use your intuitions to do things.
And logical intuitions are much, much easier to describe than walking.
In fact, I think it’s fair to say that, among all the things we know, they are the simplest thing to describe. Don’t you agree?
I hope this is good enough.

icehorse - 20 January 2019 08:11 AM

So, scientists who study expertise use the term “expert intuition” (or simply “intuition”), to describe how people can be good at stuff they cannot explain.

I don’t pretend I can describe how I get logical intuitions. I only need to be able to describe an intuition when I have one.
And it couldn’t be more simple than that.
And, here, I’m speaking in English, not some technical jargon spoken by a small group of people.
So, “intuition” as I use the term here is what English dictionaries say it is:

Intuition
1. The faculty of knowing or understanding something without reasoning or proof. See Synonyms at reason.

And I actually agree with that definition.
Still, overall, thanks for a civil contribution which is in sharp contrast with the silliness in display around here.
EB

 
Speakpigeon
 
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20 January 2019 13:11
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 20 January 2019 09:46 AM
Speakpigeon - 19 January 2019 02:58 AM

One, dictionary definitions are empirical evidence of how words are used . . .

Agreed.

Speakpigeon - 19 January 2019 02:58 AM

. . . and of what they mean.

Would you agree that the meaning of words is determined by consensus? And if so, are you suggesting that consensus constitutes empirical evidence? Should we, for example, take the consensus of the people who’ve responded here that you are rude (etc.) as empirical evidence that you are rude?

Sure, no problem.
But evidence is not fact and it’s a fact that I am much less rude than most people here.
EB

 
Speakpigeon
 
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20 January 2019 13:15
 
nonverbal - 20 January 2019 11:03 AM

Maybe you don’t sweat the details, Mr. Jollyface. But it’s a mistake to broadly describe “dictionary definitions” as you do in the OP, since some dictionary definitions represent empirical evidence of how words are used and what they mean, and some don’t.

Yes, sure. The door was wide open. Why do you barge in?!
What’s your point, then?
EB

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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20 January 2019 14:55
 
Speakpigeon - 20 January 2019 01:15 PM
nonverbal - 20 January 2019 11:03 AM

Maybe you don’t sweat the details, Mr. Jollyface. But it’s a mistake to broadly describe “dictionary definitions” as you do in the OP, since some dictionary definitions represent empirical evidence of how words are used and what they mean, and some don’t.

Yes, sure. The door was wide open. Why do you barge in?!
What’s your point, then?
EB

Why did I barge in? First, justify your Reply #3.

(Please ignore this post if you are senile.)

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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20 January 2019 17:07
 
Speakpigeon - 20 January 2019 01:11 PM
Antisocialdarwinist - 20 January 2019 09:46 AM
Speakpigeon - 19 January 2019 02:58 AM

One, dictionary definitions are empirical evidence of how words are used . . .

Agreed.

Speakpigeon - 19 January 2019 02:58 AM

. . . and of what they mean.

Would you agree that the meaning of words is determined by consensus? And if so, are you suggesting that consensus constitutes empirical evidence? Should we, for example, take the consensus of the people who’ve responded here that you are rude (etc.) as empirical evidence that you are rude?

Sure, no problem.
But evidence is not fact and it’s a fact that I am much less rude than most people here.
EB

So, if the consensus is that God exists, does that constitute empirical evidence of God’s existence?

 
 
Speakpigeon
 
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21 January 2019 01:24
 
nonverbal - 20 January 2019 02:55 PM
Speakpigeon - 20 January 2019 01:15 PM
nonverbal - 20 January 2019 11:03 AM

Maybe you don’t sweat the details, Mr. Jollyface. But it’s a mistake to broadly describe “dictionary definitions” as you do in the OP, since some dictionary definitions represent empirical evidence of how words are used and what they mean, and some don’t.

Yes, sure. The door was wide open. Why do you barge in?!
What’s your point, then?
EB

Why did I barge in? First, justify your Reply #3.

Easy, I only need to repeat it:

Speakpigeon - 19 January 2019 08:14 AM

nonverbal - 19 January 2019 05:23 AM
Speakpigeon, would you say that English dictionaries published prior to the late 1800s represented information that was less than empirically derived?

What’s your point?
Your not addressing the topic. If you can’t get yourself to address the topic, don’t post.
If you want to discuss English dictionaries published prior to the late 1800s, thank you to start your own thread.
EB

See? I hope this is helpful.

nonverbal - 20 January 2019 02:55 PM

(Please ignore this post if you are senile.)

And so we go on with more insults… Where’s the moderation now?
You don’t have to reply. You should ask yourself why you can’t stop yourself even though it’s a waste of time.
Address the topic and articulate the point you want to make, and I’ll reply. For now, there’s no debate. Merely a discussion which is a waste of our time. So, again, you don’t have to reply.
EB

 
Speakpigeon
 
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21 January 2019 01:36
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 20 January 2019 05:07 PM
Speakpigeon - 20 January 2019 01:11 PM
Antisocialdarwinist - 20 January 2019 09:46 AM
Speakpigeon - 19 January 2019 02:58 AM

One, dictionary definitions are empirical evidence of how words are used . . .

Agreed.

Speakpigeon - 19 January 2019 02:58 AM

. . . and of what they mean.

Would you agree that the meaning of words is determined by consensus? And if so, are you suggesting that consensus constitutes empirical evidence? Should we, for example, take the consensus of the people who’ve responded here that you are rude (etc.) as empirical evidence that you are rude?

Sure, no problem.
But evidence is not fact and it’s a fact that I am much less rude than most people here.
EB

So, if the consensus is that God exists, does that constitute empirical evidence of God’s existence?

Obviously not and there’s nothing in what I said that would suggest that. To say that a consensus is empirical evidence is just trivial. To jump from there to the idea that a consensus could therefore be empirical of the existence of God is just idiotic.
So, please explain in a rational way what would be problematic with my claim that “dictionary definitions are empirical evidence of how words are used”.
EB

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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21 January 2019 03:55
 
Speakpigeon - 20 January 2019 01:07 PM

All I say is that we can usefully think of the way the brain works as being best described by logic, in the same way as the working of a computer can be best described and predicted by using Boolean Algebra, which is a subset of logic, and this even though a computer is in fact entirely a physical process.


This bit seems to be what you want to put on the table. We welcome and enjoy a good go at how the brain works. Is that what you came to share? Is it a claim that the brain is not entirely a physical process? Are you referring to how we structure a computer’s programming or how the electronics carries it out?

Addressing items like these would improve thread demeanor and eliminate the need to criticize other patron’s guesses at what you are talking about. Speak plainly, Mr. Pigeon.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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21 January 2019 05:49
 
Speakpigeon - 21 January 2019 01:24 AM

And so we go on with more insults… Where’s the moderation now?

Actually, no insult was intended. Some of my favorite parents are senile!

 
 
Speakpigeon
 
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21 January 2019 06:28
 
Nhoj Morley - 21 January 2019 03:55 AM
Speakpigeon - 20 January 2019 01:07 PM

All I say is that we can usefully think of the way the brain works as being best described by logic, in the same way as the working of a computer can be best described and predicted by using Boolean Algebra, which is a subset of logic, and this even though a computer is in fact entirely a physical process.


This bit seems to be what you want to put on the table.

What I put on the table was a post, the entire post, and obviously so.
So, if you think this bit is somehow crucial to a point you want to make, you better be able to argue why this would be.

Nhoj Morley - 21 January 2019 03:55 AM

Is it a claim that the brain is not entirely a physical process?

???
How do you get that from what I said?
I said “a computer is in fact entirely a physical process”.
To comment meaningfully on a post, you better start by reading what the post says.

Nhoj Morley - 21 January 2019 03:55 AM

Are you referring to how we structure a computer’s programming or how the electronics carries it out?

How the electronics carries it out.

Nhoj Morley - 21 January 2019 03:55 AM

Addressing items like these would improve thread demeanor and eliminate the need to criticize other patron’s guesses at what you are talking about. Speak plainly, Mr. Pigeon.

I do. You just need to read the OP.
If you think something is unclear, then quote the relevant bit and articulate the fact that this bit is unclear to you. And it better be unclear, of course.
EB

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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21 January 2019 08:54
 
Speakpigeon - 21 January 2019 01:36 AM
Antisocialdarwinist - 20 January 2019 05:07 PM
Speakpigeon - 20 January 2019 01:11 PM
Antisocialdarwinist - 20 January 2019 09:46 AM
Speakpigeon - 19 January 2019 02:58 AM

One, dictionary definitions are empirical evidence of how words are used . . .

Agreed.

Speakpigeon - 19 January 2019 02:58 AM

. . . and of what they mean.

Would you agree that the meaning of words is determined by consensus? And if so, are you suggesting that consensus constitutes empirical evidence? Should we, for example, take the consensus of the people who’ve responded here that you are rude (etc.) as empirical evidence that you are rude?

Sure, no problem.
But evidence is not fact and it’s a fact that I am much less rude than most people here.
EB

So, if the consensus is that God exists, does that constitute empirical evidence of God’s existence?

Obviously not and there’s nothing in what I said that would suggest that. To say that a consensus is empirical evidence is just trivial. To jump from there to the idea that a consensus could therefore be empirical of the existence of God is just idiotic.
So, please explain in a rational way what would be problematic with my claim that “dictionary definitions are empirical evidence of how words are used”.
EB

I already agreed with that. I’m questioning your claim that:

Speakpigeon - 19 January 2019 02:58 AM

One, dictionary definitions are empirical evidence of . . . what they [words] mean.

Maybe just semantics, but it seems to me that a consensus on the meaning of a word is empirical evidence of the consensus on the meaning of a word—nothing more. In the same way that a consensus on the wrongness of stoning adulteresses is empirical evidence of a consensus on the wrongness of stoning adulteresses, and not empirical evidence of wrongness itself.

Or, to circle back, a consensus on the rudeness of an internet forum patron is empirical evidence of a consensus on the rudeness of an internet forum patron, and not empirical evidence of rudeness itself. Claims about rudeness, wrongness and the meaning of words all being subjective.

 
 
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