Circular Theory of Science?

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Circular Theory of Science?

Postby The Golden Turd » Wed May 30, 2012 7:36 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Queneau
For Boris Souvarine's La Critique sociale (1930–34), Queneau mostly wrote brief reviews. One characterized Raymond Roussel as one whose "imagination combines passion of mathematician with rationality of the poet."[citation needed] He wrote more scientific than literary reviews: on Pavlov, on Vernadsky (from whom he got a circular theory of sciences), and a review of a book on the history of equestrian caparisons by an artillery officer. He also helped with writing passages on Engels and mathematical dialectic for Bataille's article, "A critique of the foundations of Hegelian dialectic."


I read this, scratched my head, and took a gues when I clicked on Vernadsky.... and the best option seems:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Vernadsky

I've come across groups in Washington State (some university professor there set a philosophical cult) protesting in Washington DC advocating his ideas, but never once came across anything in their writings.

Does anyone know what a circular theory of science is?
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Re: Circular Theory of Science?

Postby James S Saint » Wed May 30, 2012 9:00 am

Well, I can make a guess. Your links don't seem to indicate much.

I suspect what you are looking at is an earlier concern of what Godel formulated as the "Incompleteness Theorem". The issue was one of how most systems of thought, including Science, tend to affirm their consequent by saying something like, "We can see that Y comes from X. We know that it came from X because X is the cause of Y." Then when someone asks, "How do you know that X is the only cause of Y?", the answer tends to be something like, "Science has proven that you can only get Y from X."
But how did Science prove that?
Well, Science proved it by creating X and displaying how Y always comes from it.
How did Science create X?
Well, we know that if it causes Y, it must have been X.
How do you know that Y only comes from X and nothing else?
Well because nothing else is there but X.
How do you know that only X is there?
Do you see anything but the cause of Y present?
If not, then that must be X.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
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Re: Circular Theory of Science?

Postby Ed3 » Wed May 30, 2012 9:28 pm

Hi CN,

My response is going to be very much like James’ response, - maybe a little more detail.

Science in general is not on a sound foundation.

A good read is “What is this thing called Science?” by Alan Chalmers. He wants there to be a solid foundation but the book does not end satisfactorily IMHO.

In order to understand much of a good critique of Science you should thoroughly understand the history of the Copernican system.

Philosophically speaking, I think that the best you can hope for, if you are trying to understand Science, is an understanding of the process which is messy and filled with human frailty.

Consider the following line of thought:

A implies B. B is shown to be true (more about that later). Then A is true.

Example: If you wear garlic then you will not be attacked by werewolves. Here A is the wearing of garlic and B is the lack of an attack by the werewolves. Since we have not been attacked by werewolves, it must be true that wearing the garlic will fend off any werewolf attack.

No one would consider this line of thought legitimate. Well OK almost everyone considers this line of thought legitimate. But there is a tiny percent of the population, Logicians that would consider this to be illegitimate.

Now what do scientists think?

Let H be a hypothesis and P be a prediction. Then substituting H for A and P for B we get:

If H implies P, and P is true then H is true. Science 101

Scientists are not quite that naïve, now they require that P be a novel prediction. But one can not make Science 101 true no matter what constraints are put on P.

It is actually worse than that because the experiment that confirms P is conducted under our current understanding of our physical world. As an example the Copernican system was falsified (using Popper’s terminology) by an experiment of dropping a rock from a tall building. (The rock did not move away from the building as was predicted by a rotating Earth).

Once we change our understanding of the world to encompass vector motion then the falsification vanishes. Clearly our experiments are, or can be, dependent on our view of the world.

I am an optimist because we seem to know more than our caveman ancestors but the philosophy of Science does not bear close scrutiny.

Ed
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Re: Circular Theory of Science?

Postby Ed3 » Wed May 30, 2012 10:50 pm

Hi CN,

After thinking about this a little further, I think that Vernadsky is not addressing Science in general; he is simply addressing the relationship of the Earth to humans.

Basically the Earth defines humans and humans define the Earth, which is why this restricted view of Science is circular.

This is a common relationship in biological systems and can be studied using the logistics function.

The subject matter is not uncommon and comes up frequently in Natural Sciences.

I hope this is more to the point.

Thanks Ed
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Re: Circular Theory of Science?

Postby James S Saint » Thu May 31, 2012 8:10 am

Ed3 wrote:Hi CN,

After thinking about this a little further, I think that Vernadsky is not addressing Science in general; he is simply addressing the relationship of the Earth to humans.

Basically the Earth defines humans and humans define the Earth, which is why this restricted view of Science is circular.

This is a common relationship in biological systems and can be studied using the logistics function.

The subject matter is not uncommon and comes up frequently in Natural Sciences.

I hope this is more to the point.

Thanks Ed

A good thought.

In general any system of thought that has no external reference to the system cannot reveal any truth at all.

Imagine a language which has an exact dictionary for every word, but has nothing with which to reveal what any word means except via other words of the same language. In that situation, one could not ever learn the language in any relevant way.

In Science, it was proclaimed (somewhat foolishly) that as far as Science is concerned, if something isn't observed, it isn't true. That proposes a couple of problems. The one concerning self-referencing is the concern that every observation is merely dependent upon another observation. That necessarily leads to circular references even though it might not be obvious. Science requires philosophical reasoning (logic) so as to have something external to the system of observation so as to have meaning for the observations. That turns out to be a very significant and currently relevant impact upon modern philosophical discussions.

As far as the association that Ed3 pointed out, a similar effect takes place in that when we define something with respect to something else (the human with respect to the Earth), we cannot then merely define the second item with respect to the first (the Earth being defined with respect to the human), else we haven't actually said anything and don't actually know anything.

ALL systems must eventually relate to actual affect upon the subject of concern, else nothing is actually known. That is an issue of epistemology, the very formation of any knowledge.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
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Posts: 25976
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: Circular Theory of Science?

Postby nameta9 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:13 pm

Is this Circular ?


From:

http://kunstler.com/blog/2012/05/ponzis-end.html

and

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=179254


Cause and Effect ?

Like when it is said that Unemployment is due to high taxes and such: the goal is really less taxes, not to solve Unemployment and such even because no one can ever demonstrate that connection, or better yet, everyone will demonstrate the connection they want according to what examples they take or just because and such. Because Unemployment is an intractable systems wide (culture wide, values wide, psychological etc.), process wide effect, that isn't even clearly understood as even being an effect or "problem": high employment seems to be much more of a flaw than unemployment in a Technological Economy or in a high productivity economy and such, since the work being done should be optimizing and eliminating more work than it creates, or else the work being done is not only a diminishing return endeavor but a negative return endeavor, more present work should mean less future work if that work is really being productive, not more future work, etc.

But of course, the effect wanted, the process, the causes and all such items get all confused when a Man Brain with its desire to have an advantage over some other Man Brain is trying to "explain" the "Problems" and the "Solutions", etc, when it is all ideological (as in all things economical and political) as usual, but especially when the bottom line of all is simply the fight, A against B, the conflict, the contrast, the game, A wins B loses, etc, no matter how sophisticated (and hidden the agenda) they get with the explanations and politics and ideology and theory, it all boils down to a simple fight, A wants to gain, wants an upper hand by making B pay for it and such, a one transistor circuit.

But this method of always saying there is problem B that must be solved, the solution of the problem is A, but A gives an upper hand to the party talking about and describing and discovering the "problem" is done all the time: like saying that unemployment can improve and "more jobs can be created" by "a more flexible labor market and no unions" (who says so ? who invented this cause and effect ? who can demonstrate it ? or are you (corporations) creating this invention and applying it so you can get rid of unions ? etc.) or "more jobs can be created" by "more education", another example of totally disjoint causes and effects that no one can demonstrate, that are totally intractable, and anyone can demonstrate this as true or false according to what statistics, numbers, examples, countries or companies they take as an example and such.

Add to this that all of these (imaginary ?) causes and effects have feedback loops, with both positive and negative feedback paths, since "more education" may mean "more teachers" but also "more books printed" and such and at the same time companies themselves are brainwashed by the imaginary "cause and effect" to hire more people who are educated, in a complex loop confusing the cause with the effect (desired ?) and invention and the process and all else.

In short, all things Economical and Social are Processes, complex intractable Processes with both positive and negative feedback loops and ESPECIALLY WHERE THE DESCRIPTION OF THE PROCESS ITSELF MODIFIES THE PROCESS, THE INFORMATION WITHIN THE PROCESS INVENTING OR ASSIGNING THE "PROBLEMS" AND "CAUSES AND EFFECTS" ACTUALLY CREATES THOSE VERY "CAUSES AND EFFECTS" AND ALSO DESTROYS THEM, in an ever changing intractable random and chaotic systems wide process with millions of moving and distinct and independent and separate (but every now and then combined and unit creating) parts.

Of course as usual, all of the above is false, or true or whatever, and even though you may discover that all political talk is "hidden agenda based", you can be sure that there will always be something else, some new invention that will always hide the agenda all over again without you noticing it again, as there are ever clever ways to deceive and invent and hide the real simple fight and conflict and contrast that is the only true thing always operating.

My agenda is not hidden: I want a Free Salary and Cheap Rents, if not for everyone, at least for me, so I am honest, I am saying exactly what I want and I want the Government to Pay for it all, so there, I said (and I could care less if "someone" else is working to "pay me", who gives two c*cks and a d*ck ?, what clowns!).

AN APE, AN 8 MAN, A TOBOR
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Re: Circular Theory of Science?

Postby e496812 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:21 pm

Ed3...
A implies B. B is shown to be true (more about that later). Then A is true.

Example: If you wear garlic then you will not be attacked by werewolves. Here A is the wearing of garlic and B is the lack of an attack by the werewolves. Since we have not been attacked by werewolves, it must be true that wearing the garlic will fend off any werewolf attack.

...almost everyone considers this line of thought legitimate. But there is a tiny percent of the population, Logicians that would consider this to be illegitimate...

...Now what do scientists think?


@Ed
If you think that pointing out the fallacy in this line of reasoning isn't something that is blindingly obvious to all but a tiny percent of the population, then you are deceiving yourself. I imagine most school kids understand the flaws in logic of what you're saying, so to falsely imply that scientists are befuddled by it just shows naivety. I think you should stop reading books about what 'scientists' think, and actually speak to some 'scientists', or at least a larger percent of the population.
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Re: Circular Theory of Science?

Postby Ed3 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:58 am

Hi e496812,

Welcome to the site. Sorry I did not respond sooner.

I am afraid that your estimation of a scientist’s grasp of logic is much too high.

To test your theory, I checked with Dr. Octopus (not knowing any real Scientists) who said, “Just as Maxwell’s equations govern how electric and magnetic fields respond to charges and currents, Einstein’s field equation governs how the metric responds to energy and momentum”. Statement 1.

I think it was Mr. Spock who said, “General relativity is the most beautiful physical theory ever invented. It describes one of the most pervasive features of the world we experience - gravitation - in terms of an elegant mathematical structure - the differential geometry of curved spacetime- leading to unambiguous predictions that have received spectacular confirmation.” Statement 2

Personal notes: Ptolemy’s astronomical model was probably the most beautiful and Feynman’s (actually Dirac’s) QED is more pervasive.

Both statements 1 and 2 are seriously flawed. The first quote assumes that the Maxwell equations actually govern electro magnetic fields and that Einstein’s field equations actually govern how the metric relates to energy and momentum. Since you can not prove a hypothesis by the results of a prediction (logic 101 -Popper ‘s analysis of the philosophy of science), you can not conclude that Maxwell’s equations govern anything. Similarly you can not conclude that Einstein’s field equations govern anything.

Mr. Spock’s statement concludes, “leading to unambiguous predictions that have received spectacular confirmation”. A completely pointless statement obviously made to impress the reader.

Clearly Dr. Octopus and Mr. Spock are not the brilliant Scientists of whom you speak.

Unfortunately these statements are not actually by fictitious characters. They are from the book “An Introduction to General Relativity SPACETIME and GEOMETRY” by Sean M. Carroll. I believe that it is still used at a graduate level.

They were the first paragraphs I read of the first science book I opened.

It is my personal experience that, generally, physicists only have a fleeting acquaintance with logic. This impression is not mine alone.

Ed
Last edited by Ed3 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Circular Theory of Science?

Postby James S Saint » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:02 am

Ed3 wrote:It is my personal experience that, generally, physicists only have a fleeting acquaintance with logic. This impression is not mine alone.

Ed

Ohhh.. you can say that again. I HAVE talked to many physicists and PhD level people in a variety of fields, and Logic/Reasoning is almost never their strong suit (else they couldn't have made it through school).
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
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Posts: 25976
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: Circular Theory of Science?

Postby PhysBang » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:14 am

You are all welcome to come up with some better theory that actually addresses the same phenomena to as good an approximation.
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Re: Circular Theory of Science?

Postby ZenKitty » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:59 am

PhysBang wrote:You are all welcome to come up with some better theory that actually addresses the same phenomena to as good an approximation.


So you want people to come up with circular reasoning that addresses the same phenomena to as good an approximation? You do understand that by saying "approximation" you implicitly agree that they are not accurate representations of reality, don't you? That implies that they are false. You want people to come up with things that are better at being false?
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