virus: virus: The issue is in the tissue

virus: The issue is in the tissue
Wed, 10 Mar 1999 14:14:37 EST

In a message dated 3/10/99 11:57:40 AM Central Standard Time, writes:

<< However, as I said earlier, this is only one half of reason; the other half being the "falsificationist" or rational critism component, which is used exactly opposite to the above:

"Reason is a disciplined way of thinking, one of it's purposes is to falsify beliefs (theories held to be true), by showing how they conflict with other beliefs or accepted propositions.">>

Sorry, I am butting in here a minute. But I have a question that has been buggin me for a while, and I just wanted to know if others saw it the same way I do. It seems to me that the real essence of rational criticism is not actually falsifiability, though falsifiability is naturally going to be a frequent and obvious concern, so much that one could naturally be lead to believe that it was the essential concern. It seems to me that the real essence is resolving conflicts between our representations singly and severally and their underlying justifications.

In terms of FORMAL logic, things are stated in binary fashion. An assertion is either "true" or "not true". Not "mostly true" or "partially true". This is where I think that we have to watch out about using "falsifiability" too loosely. But a process of formal logic presupposes that there has been a preceding process of formalization/simplification. In coming to a conclusion of formal logic and then applying it to reality, we have to also consider whether we are contradicting that very same formalization/simplification process. The reason being that while formal logic is conveniently formal and simple, reality is informal and complex.

Rational criticism does not cease to operate in informal and complex arenas, though formal logic can be a trickier proposition - the uncontemplated or partially contemplated informals and complexities can quickly become overwhelming to someone deluded into believing that they can apply formal logic on raw existence.

The reason I bring this all to light is because there are some representations in which it is difficult to imagine how they are even in principle subjectable to rational criticism, if we insist on falsification as the essence of rational criticism. This problem arises because in formal logic you cannot self-refute. There are some representations that it would seem that formal logic itself presupposes. For example "existence".

Sticking only to conventions of formal logic, it is difficult to imagine how a representation of existence can be subjected to a process that assumes falsifiability. Because if this were the case we would naturally have to consider "not existence" - which would seem to be a contradiction upon the very making of such a representation, because the very making of that representation, and every other connecting issue that we can imagine presupposes SOME form of existence.

The issue is in the tissue! (sorry, that probably didn't have anything to do with the rest of this - its like an intellectual Tourret (sp) syndrome - I HAD to say that - and upon saying it, I HAD to make it the subject line. Sorry folks - beyond my control)

That last sentence "SOME form of existence" - is the key here, because it belies the underlying process of formalization and simplification that we can easily overlook. Once recognized, we can then understand in principal how ANY representation can be subject to rational criticism. Instead of trying to impossibly squeeze "not existence" into some acceptable form of formal logic, we really realize that existence is the issue not "not existence". Once we understand that, we can easily go on and apply rational criticism informally.

Instead of trying to contemplate "the universe does not exist", we can instead recognize that the informal criticism that properly correlate with what we cannot say in formal logic is, "the universe does not exist as represented". Leaving us free to next contemplate ways in which it exists that were not represented, making the representation possible in the first place. The issue is in the tissue - not represented.

All REPRESENTATIONS are in principle subjectable to rational criticism.

Does anybody else "get this"?