Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

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MrStakhanovite
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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

Post by MrStakhanovite »

Part 2(d): Epistle to The North African

The insufficiency of Helmholtz to the “problem of method” is rooted in his poor application of Kant:
Gadamer wrote:They follow Kant in modeling the idea of science and knowledge on the natural sciences and seeking the distinctive feature of the human sciences in the artistic element (artistic feeling, artistic induction). But the picture that Helmholtz gives of work in the natural sciences is rather one-sided, seeing that he does not believe in “sudden flashes of intuition” (or in so-called “inspirations”) and regards scientific work only as the “the self-conscious work of drawing iron-clad conclusions.” (p.7)
Considering we are reading a portion of the book titled ‘The Question of Truth as it Emerges in the Experience of Art’, it becomes a bit more clear why Gadamer mentions the notion of “artistic induction”. Considerations about aesthetics actually play a critical role because it overlaps with other sorts of intellectual activity and thus gets subsumed by other concerns with epistemology. For Kant (and for Cognitive Scientists today, no less), how one thinks about art is going to be linked to how one thinks about politics, literature, and a sundry of other topics.
Gadamer wrote:Now, Helmholtz knows that historical knowledge is based on a kind of experience quite different from the one that serves in investigating natural laws. Thus he seeks to determine why the inductive method in historical research proceeds under conditions different from those obtaining in the study of nature. To this end he uses the distinction between nature and freedom, which is the basis of Kantian philosophy. Historical study is different because in its domain there are no natural laws, but rather voluntarily accepted practical laws—i.e. commandments. The world of human freedom does not manifest the same absence of exceptions as natural laws.(p.7-8)
One would think the view Helmholtz espoused would actually appeal to Mormons, given how intrinsic the notion of a libertarian free will is to the worldview espoused by the Book of Mormon. Yet I must remind all that any affirmation of Gadamer in this section really cements you to a fundamental rejection of Helmholtz on that topic:
Gadamer wrote:This line of thought, however, is not very convincing. Basing the inductive investigation of the human world of freedom on Kant’s distinction between nature and freedom is not true to Kant’s intentions; nor is it true to the logic of induction itself. Here Mill was more consistent, for he methodically excluded the problem of freedom. Moreover, Helmholtz’s appealing to Kant without following out the consequences of doing so bears no real fruit, for even according to Helmholtz the empiricism of the human sciences is to be regarded in the same way as that of meteorology, name with renunciation and resignation. (p.8)
This brings me to the final passage from the section entitled ‘(A) The Problem of Method’:
Gadamer wrote:But in fact the human sciences are a long way from regarding themselves as simply inferior to the natural sciences. Instead, possessed of the intellectual heritage of German classicism, they carried forward the proud awareness that they were the true representatives of humanism. The period of German classicism had not only brought about a renewal of literature and aesthetic criticism, which overcame the outmoded baroque ideal of taste and of Enlightenment rationalism; it had also given the idea of humanity and the ideal of enlightened reason, a fundamentally new content. (p.8)
It serves as a segue into the next section ‘(B) The Guiding Concepts of Humanism’, but I wish to pause here. We’ve spent some time in the ‘Introduction’ to ‘Truth and Method’ and spent even more time carefully moving through the very first section of Gadamer’s book which started on page 3 and ended on page 8. A certain amount of context has been established and we’ve allowed Gadamer himself to express not only his intentions and aims, but took some time to see how he likes to develop ideas. Now seems like a good place to return to Daniel’s blog post ‘Can the Study of History Yield Genuine Knowledge?’ and look at the very first sentence:
Daniel Peterson wrote:There are those — some of them read my blog — who appear to argue that science is the only valid kind of knowledge, and that anything that isn’t scientific isn’t really knowledge.
Once again I must claim the bolding; Daniel is using “science” here in our contemporary American sense. We know from reading ‘Truth and Method’ that what got translated as “science” is not always functionally equivalent to the way Daniel is using it here. Despite reproducing an entire paragraph of Gadamer where terms like “human sciences”, “science”, and “natural sciences” are used in close proximity to each other and are essential to even understanding what Gadamer is trying to demonstrate, no mention of translation is to be had.

I find it peculiar that a man of Daniel Peterson’s education and career would commit such an oversight. Surely the former director of the ‘Middle Eastern Texts Initiative’ from 1992 to 2010 would be sensitive to issues of translation in a philosophical work composed in German and then put into English by translators who were not involved with the creation of the German original. It’s not like ‘Truth and Method’ was written in a language unknown to Daniel, the man’s German is probably ten times better than my own in every way.

In fact I’m reminded of a story Daniel tells often from his mission in the German speaking canton of Bern in Switzerland. The version I’ll reproduce comes from his 2004 FAIRMormon presentation ‘Autobiographical Notes on My Testimony’:
Daniel Peterson wrote:One experience, in particular; I remember tracting out a woman in Beatenberg, just above the Thunersee, Lake Thun, in Switzerland. A beautiful place up on a mountainside there and there’s a Protestant Bible home there, an evangelical biblical college there. Tracted this woman and the woman said, ‘My husband isn’t home yet but he should be home in about five minutes and then he’ll tell you where you’re wrong.’

I thought, ‘Oh this sounds interesting. Let’s stay around.’

Well he came in and he sat us at a big seminar table in his home and he brought out a stack of books, including Greek lexicons and all this sort of thing, and then he looked at us and sort of smirked and laughed, and said, ‘Well, you don’t know Greek do you? Ha-ha-ha!’ You know, going to nail these ignorant Mormon missionaries.

Well, I had by then transferred to a Greek major and so I pulled my little Greek New Testament out of my pocket which I just happened to have with me and I said, ‘Well it’s my specialty at the university.’

And I wish that I had had a camera because the smile faded from his face, he never brought up the Greek lexicons, no manner of Greek ever came up. Now he probably could’ve killed me because I’d only had, I think, first year Greek at that point. He probably was a lot better than I was but the thing was he didn’t know that he could kill me and that was what it was all about. It was about intimidation and bluffing. And I bluffed back (feeling quite nervous) and he folded.

Well I’ve learned since then that bluffing is a great deal of anti-Mormonism. People claiming to know things they don’t know, people trying to intimidate the yokel Mormons and sometimes you just have to stand up to them.
I have to say, this theme of Daniel boldly presenting a book and “bluffing” in a way that always leads to avoiding the activity of actually reading carefully the words written inside the book fascinates me. Perhaps, dearest Blixa, the Right Reverend might admonish me for insisting that Daniel never reads any of the books or authors he so consistently name. Am I being unfair?

Daniel wasn’t just being sloppy about neglecting the issues surrounding the translation of “science” from German into English, he also failed to mention that he fundamentally disagrees with an extremely important premise of Gadamer’s section ‘The Problem of Method’.

Take a look at a blog post written by Daniel in October of 2018 called ‘Might You be a Brain in a Vat?’ and you’ll see the following (bolding mine):
Daniel Peterson wrote:This blog’s resident scientistic ideologue, who comments pseudonymously, posted a remark a few hours ago that caught my attention:

“Creationism,” he opined, “is not scientifically valid because it is an unfalsifiable idea.”

Now, this fellow operates on the basis of a very broad definition of creationism. For most folks, the term typically but rather sloppily refers to “young-earth creationism.” Some extend it to refer to “intelligent design.” He, on the other hand, effectively uses it for anybody who believes in a non-deistic God.

But I’m not particularly interested right now in the specific issue of “creationism.” Nor am I really interested in arguing about the nature of science, which, I agree, generally does rest on the concept of “falsifiability.” (I’ve read my Karl Popper, after all.) And I’m certainly not claiming that evidence, proof, and justification are irrelevant where they’re available, or that absolutely anything goes.
This actually poses quite a problem, yet I would understand Blixa if, unlike Daniel Peterson, you had not “read” your “Karl Popper, after all” my observation might be lost on you. If we go to Popper’s works though and spend just a little time actually looking at what he said, we’ll find some interesting comparisons between Popper and Gadamer in addition to seeing a rather tough contradiction Daniel has put himself in.

I understand my dear Blixa. I can already hear your cries of protest at having to read the words of Karl Popper and thus be burdened with two German philosophers you care so little for, but I feel as if I have no choice. Mormon Apologists are far from the most rigorous group of partisans out there and we are always at risk of taking on their habits. Not imitating Daniel Peterson’s atrocious heuristic and lackadaisical manner is of paramount import to me.

I consider it a matter of basic intellectual hygiene.

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Kishkumen
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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

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Wonderful! Please keep it up. I read with great interest, even if I have little to add.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist

MrStakhanovite
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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

Post by MrStakhanovite »

Daniel Peterson wrote:Back on 8 September 2020, I posted a brief blog entry (“Can the study of history yield genuine knowledge?”) in which, even more briefly, I cited a passage from Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method, 2d ed., rev., translation by Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall (London and New York: Continuum, 2004), 4. I used that passage as a jumping-off point for a point of my own; I wasn’t attempting an exposition of Gadamerian aesthetics or of Gadamer’s overall position on the human sciences.

My point was, simply, that disciplines such as history can and do furnish genuine knowledge, even if they neither yield nor flow from universal laws like those of the physical sciences.

That’s all. The point seems to me so obvious as to be undeniable.

So I was surprised, just now, to see a very lengthy and quite ponderous series of comments elsewhere that seem to have been intended to demonstrate that my reading of Gadamer — a reading that, so far as I can tell, I’ve never offered here or anywhere else — is superficial and false.

I skimmed through them pretty rapidly, but it appears that one of my alleged problems is my supposed failure to grasp the distinction between the English word science and the German term Wissenschaft. However, I’ve known the difference between those two words for, literally, most of my life. Here, for instance, is something (by no means complete or exhaustive) that I posted regarding the topic back in August 2019, on this very blog...
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MrStakhanovite
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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

Post by MrStakhanovite »

Part 2(e): Epistle to The North African

As a student of Mopologetics one must ask, blessed Blixa, what is it that draws Daniel Peterson to the likes of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Karl Popper? Both men could not have been more different in temperament or in the content of their beliefs, belonging to rival schools of thought whose intellectual mores and style of expression sharply contrast with one another. It is my contention that despite their differences, Gadamer and Popper still have certain things in common that attracts Daniel to their projects, though he doesn’t grasp the particulars. In short, I believe Daniel seeks to enlist the reputation and authority of both Gadamer’s and Popper’s celebrated works in his mopologetic labors against modern atheism.

In 2015 Daniel gave a presentation at the exalted FairMormon conference with the jazzy title
The Reasonable Leap into Light: A Barebones Secular Argument for the Gospel’:
Daniel Peterson wrote:All right, I want to talk about a topic that I’ve been thinking about for a long, long time and I called it — the title that has been in my mind for a long time has been The Reasonable Leap into Light. It’s an allusion to the concept of a leap of faith. The subtitle – A Bare-bones Secular Argument for the Gospel – I don’t know, that just came to me. I probably won’t use it again, but I wanted to address an issue that has bothered me for a long, long time. I hear people say things like, “I know it’s not rational, I know it’s not logical, but I choose to believe.” And what I want to argue is that belief is not irrational. It is not illogical. You’re not crucifying your mind in order to believe. I’m not going to argue that you can prove religious claims true or specifically Latter-day Saint claims true. But I am going to argue that they’re reasonable. And I think in some cases, on some specific issues, we can get pretty strong security.
I should say immediately that I agree with Daniel that to be a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints doesn’t require anyone to sacrifice their intellect or embrace irrationality to simply affirm the beliefs held by the brethren in Salt Lake City. Just because there are some pretty bad apologetic arguments being floated by Mopologists doesn't mean there aren't good arguments or that there somehow can’t be.

Somehow I suspect that the above declarations about the commensurate nature of contemporary Mormon beliefs with rational viability will fall on deaf ears in Daniel’s case. Because I don’t expressly affirm his ability to be rational and instead find the viability of the positions he articulates to be untenable and blatantly contradictory in nature, he will simply equivocate this as an attack on his religious community writ large.

In the above passage you can detect the indignation of Daniel’s at others not considering him to be rational and logical and in the following paragraph you can witness his response of reasserting his own preeminence in rationality by way of his apologetic writings. In fact, he is accumulating confidence in the Church at such an impressive clip that he’ll need multiple books just to have enough space to present them all:
Daniel Peterson wrote:I started off – and I may have mentioned this before — but I started off wanting to write a book. I was involved with a young man who wanted to leave the church. He wanted to have his name removed from the records and I began trying to formulate arguments that might help him out. And eventually I thought, you know, some of these are pretty good. Maybe they should be written up into a short book. So I began tinkering with a short book and then it became a big book, and then I broke it into two books. And now I’ve broken it into four books. I’m splitting off a fifth book. And now just today, the thought occurred to me, maybe there’s a sixth book that really needs to be written as sort of a preface to this. So the fact is I’m probably going to die before I publish any of them. That’s the only way they’ll get published. They’ll have to rip them out of my cold fingers. But it’s a big project and it frustrates me sometimes because I think there are things that – they’re already out there. I’m not claiming much of this to be original with me — but there are things that I’d like to put together in maybe an original way or a way that many Latter-day Saints, at least, haven’t seen and that it might be helpful to some people. I’m frustrated by how long it takes. I just don’t get to it. Or, rather, I’m getting to it in bits and pieces but it’s such a big project it’s going to take a long while to get to. But I’d love to get it out there and the sooner I can the better, I suppose.
Once again Daniel invokes an unknown and unnamed person that acts as a catalyst, motivating him into action. For Daniel, the modern challenge of atheism for Mormonism consumes a great deal of his energy and attention. I think this is actually an understandable set of circumstances and that there is a great deal in contemporary atheism that deserves criticism and ought to be challenged. I don’t even have a high bar of entry for people who want to opine either, anyone who has spent time thinking about these issues and has come to honest conclusions should have an opportunity to express those conclusions, even if it is only on obscure corners of social media.

I’m unsure if Daniel agrees with my sentiments, but I’m very sure he puts forth an effort to establish a narrative that these issues have been churning away in his mind for the better part of his life. A great example is this blog post from May 2018 in which Daniel describes going to “Education Week” events in the late 60s where he once had a “transformative experience” and even got to enjoy an “intellectual feast”. The post is a tribute to Truman G. Madsen and comes across like a shallow middle-class Rosebud experience; but instead is directed by a person devoid of any creativity, sporting proud aliteracy that is tightly packaged with an absolutely seething personality disorder (no Blixa, I’m not talking about Ernest Hemmingway):
Daniel Peterson wrote:But the speaker who blew me away on that occasion was Truman Madsen. Each evening he spoke to a packed audience. One night it was on “Logical Positivism,” of all things. Another night it was on “Existentialism.” The topic(s) for the other night or two have slipped from my memory.

But I was thrilled. Here was Mormonism with an intellectual face, with depth. Heady stuff. For me, life-changing.
I can’t express in words the dopamine rush I get when Daniel does his pantomime about being the type of person who gets intoxicated with ideas. It is similar to listening to someone brag about how athletic they are and then watching them get into a situation where it becomes painfully obvious they lack any semblance of athleticism, but with various books and the person only having the vaguest idea about what is in said books:
Daniel Peterson wrote:Much of my subsequent career and professional focus can be traced more or less to that encounter with one of the greatest speakers and teachers that the Church has ever produced.
Image

(I apologize Blixa, but I simply had to insert an image. Even within the strictures of e-mail I must find a way to ____.)

Daniel’s memory of hearing riveting lectures on logical positivism is significant I think, because it is another example of him trying to establish his credibility. Daniel will be the first person to tell you he is neither a trained scientist nor philosopher, but he will insist that he has a deep abiding interest in the topics of science and philosophy (and in this context the Philosophy of Science!). Moreover, this interest has spurred him to read widely and deeply and in the course of his private studies he’s come to some conclusions that he’d like to share with anyone who’d like to read them. Logical positivism just so happens to be one of those conclusions.

So what exactly is logical positivism and how does this relate to Karl Popper? I’ll let Daniel speak to that; here is a blog post from 2018 titled
A Quick Thought on Scientism and Logical Positivism’:
Daniel Peterson wrote:I’m not quite sure why the thought hadn’t occurred to me years before, but it seems pretty clear to me that scientism, in at least some of its manifestations, is the close cousin or sibling if not indeed altogether the Doppelgänger of the once-fashionable form(s) of philosophy known as logical positivism, logical empiricism, and/or neopositivism.
For Daniel, “scientism” is another descriptor for the modern incarnations of atheism that he encounters and occupies himself with. Scientism often gets applied to atheists if it is perceived that they place such a value on modern scientific methods that it becomes the primary (if not the only) method of investigating any problem. Not many established philosophers or scientists actually adopt that term for themselves and it has taken on the character of an accusation than a deliberately taken position.

To be blunt I think Daniel is feigning surprise here at just recently making the connection between logical positivism and contemporary scientism. He framed the connection this way so it looks like he is intimately familiar with logical positivism and thus his rejection of it can be transferred to scientism with little effort. Even better for Daniel, very few people read the works of logical positivists today and their unfamiliarity means they won’t have much recourse to respond.

I am curious though, in light of Daniel’s “reading” of Gadamer if he considers John Stuart Mill and Hermann von Helmholtz as advocates of scientism? Would that charge also stick to Wilhelm Dilthey given how Gadamer characterized the man’s work? Was Dilthey guilty of crypto-scientism?

Daniel continues:
Daniel Peterson wrote:Very popular, especially in Europe, in the 1920s and 1930s, logical positivism, as I’ll call it here, argued that only statements that can be verified through empirical observation can be regarded as “significant” or genuinely meaningful. Statements regarding “unobservables” — and there is a vast host of such unobservables, some of them really quite important — were to be regarded as expressions of hope or preference, or as metaphorical, or, less charitably but not uncommonly, as “nonsense.”


On a technical level Daniel doesn’t really capture the complexity of the ideas involved or even the diversity of thought within logical positivism on the philosophy of language and the nature of meaning in both natural languages and in formal ones as well. I actually gave Daniel a pass on this because it is a common trope in Christian literature and he simply adopted it for his own use; Daniel really didn’t do his due diligence, but at least there was some kind of token effort on his part to read something on the subject, right?

Right. If the bar is low enough to the ground, Daniel can surely vault over it. As Daniel expands on his historical narrative, the name Karl Popper crops up:
Daniel Peterson wrote:Prominent groups of philosophers, engineers, scientists, and mathematicians, especially those associated with the so-called Berlin Circle (“led” most prominently by Hans Reichenbach) and the Vienna Circle (most notably including Moritz Schlick, but also Rudolf Carnap, Hans Hahn, Otto Neurath, and eventual Carl Hempel, with Karl Popper as their persistent, friendly, in-house dissenter and critic), were seeking to establish philosophy as a science-based discipline, freed from such matters as metaphysics and (certainly for some, at least) theology, where no empirical proof was available — definitely no decisive empirical proof — and, thus, where arguments have gone on and on for centuries and are likely to continue forever, this side of the veil of death anyway, without clear, objective resolution.
Regrettably Daniel doesn’t show much enthusiasm for the history behind the Vienna Circle and to be frank, Daniel isn’t the most reliable narrator of intellectual history either. So to remedy that state of affairs I felt the need to introduce a book called
Exact Thinking in Demented Times: The Vienna Circle and the Epic Quest for the Foundations of Science’ by Karl Sigmund, a mathematician at the University of Vienna and Game Theorist.

Personally I find the early to mid 20th century philosophy to be one of the more exciting periods of modern philosophy and thus deserves a bit more color than Daniel ever gives it. I’d reckon this is because he is ignorant of almost all of it, but it may just be the case that he genuinely doesn’t enjoy it. In any case Sigmund will help provide some much needed context on just who Karl Popper was.

Unlike Daniel and much more helpfully to his readers, Sigmund tells us about what sort of questions the Circle were asking themselves:
Karl Sigmund wrote:In 1924, philosopher Moritz Schlick, mathematician Hans Hahn, and social reformer Otto Neurath joined forces to launch a philosophical circle in Vienna. At that time, Schlock and Hahn were professors at the University of Vienna, and Neurath was the director of the Vienna Museum for Social and Economic Affairs.

From that year on, the circle met regularly on Thursday evening in a small university lecture hall on a street named after the Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann, where they discussed philosophical questions such as: What characterizes scientific knowledge? Do metaphysical statements have any meaning? What makes logical propositions so certain? Why is mathematics applicable to the real world? (p.2)
Daniel’s list of luminaries that associated with the Circle was short a few names as well:
Karl Sigmund wrote:The Vienna Circle forged ahead in the tradition of Ernst Mach and Ludwig Boltzmann, two towering physicists who had made great discoveries and had taught philosophy in turn-of-the-century Vienna. The other main guiding lights of the small band of thinkers were the physicist Albert Einstein, the mathematician David Hilbert, and the philosopher Bertrand Russell.

Before long, a thin volume that had just been published came to dominate the discussions of the Vienna Circle. This was the ‘Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus’, written by Ludwig Wittgenstein during his military service in the trenches of World War I...Brilliant newcomers joined the group, such as philosopher Rudolf Carnap, mathematician Karl Menger, and logician Kurt Gödel. These three in particular were to eventually to radically redefine the border regions between philosophy and mathematics. The philosopher Karl Popper, too, became closely connected with Vienna Circle, although he never was invited to its meetings. (p.3-5)
Ludwig Wittgenstein was perhaps the biggest influence on the Circle and there is a short and delightful book called
Wittgenstein's Poker: The Story of a Ten-Minute Argument Between Two Great Philosophers’ that details an encounter between Karl Popper and Ludwig Wittgenstein that took place at Cambridge University. I encourage anyone interested to read/listen to it.
Karl Sigmund wrote:Tales of murder and suicide, of love affairs and nevervous breakdowns, of political persecution, and hair’s-breadth escapes all have their place in the rich tapestry of the Vienna Circle, but the tapestry’s main thread is the unbroken stream of heated debates among its members. In no way was the Circle the intellectual collective that a few of its members had hoped it would become, nor was it the congregation that its opponents accused it of being. It teemed with vociferous controversies and silent misgivings. How can it be otherwise when philosophers meet? (p.7)
That is a hell of paragraph, eh Blixa?

MrStakhanovite
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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

Post by MrStakhanovite »

Part 2(f): Epistle to The North African
Daniel Peterson wrote:...and the Vienna Circle (most notably including Moritz Schlick, but also Rudolf Carnap, Hans Hahn, Otto Neurath, and eventual Carl Hempel, with Karl Popper as their persistent, friendly, in-house dissenter and critic)...
Karl Sigmund wrote:The philosopher Karl Popper, too, became closely connected with Vienna Circle, although he never was invited to its meetings.
It seems like a minor point of contention, but just how much of a “friendly” and “in-house critic” was Karl Popper? I wonder how familiar Daniel is with what is known about the man’s disposition and just what he thinks Popper’s relationship to the Circle was.
Karl Sigmund wrote:For a while in his youth, Karl Popper had been apprenticed to an aged Viennese cabinetmaker with a vast store of knowledge of the sort that comes in handy for crossword puzzles. The old man used to say with modest pride and a Viennese twang: “Go ahead, m’boy—ask me whatever you like: I know it all!”

Popper later wrote he had learned more about the theory of knowledge from his dear, quasi-omniscient master than from any of his teachers. “None did so much to turn me into a disciple of Socrates.”

Socrates is reputed to have declared: “I know that I know nothing.” Popper liked to add: “and frequently not even that.” There is no secure knowledge. And yet, for someone allegedly holding such a modest view, Popper was remarkably opinionated and self-assured. (p.235)
Popper earned his doctorate in Psychology with Moritz Schlick as the second-reader of his thesis. Early on Popper earned his keep by teaching elementary school. Interestingly enough Schlick was never very fond of Popper and thus Popper had to be introduced to the broader learned society of Vienna by a fellow of the name Heinrich Gomperz; himself a philosopher by training (and an early patient of Sigmund Freud!) that had his circle of friends who met to discuss topics on philosophy, science, and psychology:
Karl Sigmund wrote:“Gomperz invited me from time to time to his house,” as Popper wrote, “and let me talk.”...Gomperz introduced the talkative young Popper to Viktor Kraft, a librarian at the University of Vienna, who for many years had been a member of the Vienna Circle. Popper also made friends with Friedrich Waismann, Schlick’s librarian, and he gave his first philosophical presentation in the flat of Edgar Zilsel. He was plagued by intense stage fright, he reports, but this did not keep him from ruthlessly assailing the views of the Vienna Circle. And he did quite well in the follow-up discussion. As a result, other groups that formed a sort of halo around the Vienna Circle started to invite him to their meetings. (p.242)
Gomperz had encouraged Popper to organize and expend on his criticisms of the Vienna Circle into a book, a project which he threw himself into:
Karl Sigmund wrote:As Popper wrote: “From the beginning, I conceited the book as a critical discussion and correction of the views of the Vienna Circle.” Increasingly, Popper became the official opposition” of the Vienna Circle, as Neurath acknowledged. But Popper remained an outsider: “I was never invited, and I never fished for an invitation.”

On another occasion, he wrote: “I never was a member of the Vienna Circle, but it is an error if one assumes that my nonmembership in the Circle was a consequence of my opposition to its ideas. That is not true. I would have loved to become a member of the Vienna Circle. But the fact is, Schlock never invited me to participate in his seminar. Being invited was the only avenue through which one could become a member of the Vienna Circle.”(p.243-244)
Popper the “in-house critic” of the Vienna Circle was never invited to a single meeting, even though he himself lived in Vienna and was personally acquainted with many of its members? But he was “friendly” was he not?
Karl Sigmund wrote:But Schlick feared that Popper’s aggressiveness and obstinacy would destroy the atmosphere of goodwill that was so central to the spirit of the Vienna Circle. Schlick had witnessed Popper operating at full steam in December 1932, during a meeting of the Gomperz Circle. (p.244)
Remember, Wittgenstein was hugely influential with the Circle and was damn near revered by many of its members. Thankfully this admiration could never really go to Wittgenstein’s head, the man was exceedingly eccentric (probably somewhere on the spectrum)and that kind of social currency held absolutely no interest for him. Yet you don’t just lay into the Circle’s golden boy and not leave a poor impression:
Karl Sigmund wrote:Schlick’s patience was quickly used up, and he angrily stormed out of the meeting. He was willing to listen to any sort of criticism leveled at himself but not to sit by passively while savage attacks were directed against Wittgenstein.

Others, too, were irritated by the constant brashness of the young interloper. Kurt Godel, who was by no means a devotee of Wittgenstein, wrote to Karl Menger: “Recently I met one Herr Popper (philosopher) who has written an endlessly long work which, so he claims, solves all philosophical problems. He tried eagerly to attract my interest. Do you think he is any good?” p.244-245)
Popper eventually finished his book and to Schlick’s credit, he accepted it for publication for the Vienna Circle’s ‘Writings on the Scientific Worldview’ series:
Karl Sigmund wrote:“It is an exceptionally intelligent work,” wrote Schlick about ‘The Logic of Scientific Discovery’, “but I cannot read it with unalloyed pleasure, despite the fact that I think that the author is almost everywhere in the right, if interpreted sympathetically. However, his presentation appears to me to be misleading. Indeed, in his unconscious urge to try and make his own contributions as original as possible, he takes very minor examples of our group’s positions (sometimes just terminological points), distorts them ad libitum, and then he paints these views, concocted by himself more than by us. As fatal blunders on our part on major issues of principle (and he sincerely believes that this is what they are). This warped way of doing things serves the whole perspective very poorly. With time, though, his self-esteem will decrease, no doubt.”

Schlick’s optimistic prediction was never verified. (p.246).
Alas, I’ll have to cease with Sigmund if I’m ever going to finish this email. My God my appointment with the Right Reverend Kishkumen draws near and here I am writing you walls of text about Karl Popper. I may be too far afield here, so let me summarize what I’m trying to convey here.

Popular expression of modern atheism may often be characterized as scientism. It could be argued that scientism is the possible “doppelgänger” of logical positivism; this is to say that there is a significant overlap between scientism and logical positivism. Karl Popper wrote a book that made a significant contribution to the philosophy of science called ‘The Logic of Scientific Discovery’ wherein Popper lays out several criticisms and challenges of and to logical positivism.

What did Daniel say about Popper again?
Daniel Peterson wrote:Nor am I really interested in arguing about the nature of science, which, I agree, generally does rest on the concept of “falsifiability.” (I’ve read my Karl Popper, after all.)
Does Daniel really believe that in light of Karl Popper that the nature of science rests on the concept of falsifiability? Let me waste no more time and dig into the text of ‘The Logic of Scientific Discovery’! My copy is the 2002 edition published as part of the ‘Routledge Classics’ and the pagination will reflect the 2006 printing.
Popper wrote:A scientist, whether theorist or experimenter, puts forward statements, or systems of statements, and tests them step by step. In the field of the empirical sciences, more particularly, he constructs hypotheses, or systems of theories, and tests them against experience by observation and experiment.

I suggest that it is the task of the logic of scientific discovery, or the logic of knowledge, to give a logical analysis of this procedure; that is, to analyse the method of the empirical sciences.(p.3)
A clean, precise, and short introduction into the topic at hand. These are the very first two paragraphs of Part One, Chapter One, of ‘The Logic of Scientific Discovery’ and don’t require much analysis from me. We don’t have to move far from them before we already encounter a problem for Daniel:
Popper wrote:According to a widely accepted view—to be opposed in this book—the empirical sciences can be characterized by the fact that they use ‘inductive methods’, as they are called. According to this view, the logic of scientific discovery would be identical with inductive logic, i.e. with the logical analysis of these inductive methods.

It is usual to call an inference ‘inductive’ if it passes from singular statements (sometimes also called ‘particular’ statements), such as accounts of the result of observations or experiments, to universal statements, such as hypotheses or theories. (p.3-4)
Fascinating, Popper actually states very plainly and quite strongly from the get-go that the natural sciences cannot be singled out because of their use of induction. Reading this though one can’t help but think of Gadamer and how he characterized the natural sciences. If you followed my reading of the section ‘The Problem of Method’ found in Gadamer’s ‘Truth and Method’ it seems as if the natural sciences are predicated on the use of induction and the futility of trying to adopt various methods for use within the humanities.

In fact let us return to the blog post (bolding mine)
Can the Study of History Yield Genuine Knowledge’:
Daniel Peterson wrote:I offer, below, a comment on the subject from the great German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002; yes, you read that right). It’s perhaps just a bit difficult, but his point seems to me unassailably sound to the point of obviousness.

The physical and natural sciences study particular cases in order to generalize rules from those particular cases — replicability being an important aspect of sound work in such sciences as chemistry and physics, though rather less so (or, anyway, differently so) in areas like cosmology, geology, and paleontology. Evolutionary biologists aren’t typically enamored of this or that individual fruit fly; ichthyologists don’t usually try to write biographies of individual groupers or jellyfish; wildlife biologists don’t often devote their careers to a particular elk; no botanist has focused his life’s work on an individual shrub.
So Daniel tells us that Gadamer makes an observation that is “unassailably sound to the point of obviousness” and then goes on to say that natural sciences “study particular cases in order to generalize rules from those particular cases” which aligns nicely with Popper’s description of inductive inferences as “passing” from “singular statements” to “universal statements”. He then goes on to contrast that with the study of history:
Daniel Peterson wrote:By contrast, historians can spend, and have spent, entire careers on the life and times of Andrew Jackson, on the late Byzantine empire, on the Umayyad Dynasty, on the biography of Napoleon, and on the Tokugawa shogunate. And they’ve done so not so much in order to formulate predictive general theories — in the style of biochemistry or particle physics — about the American presidency, the rise of dynasties or the collapse of states, or the life-cycle of famous Corsicans, as because they wanted to understand those people or those periods in and of themselves.
Why is the modern discipline of history different from the modern sciences? Because they focus on just particular cases and don’t generalize from them. Daniel is contrasting history from disciplines like particle physics by highlighting that history does not use induction.
Daniel Peterson wrote:That’s what Gadamer is getting at in this passage. History, he insists, is very different from the natural or physical sciences and, even, from “social sciences” like anthropology, sociology, and psychology...
Daniel then goes on to quote a passage from page 4 from ‘Truth and Method’ that we have previously discussed and so I’ll omit it. [Thread Lurkers can review the passage with me here].

Since Daniel has, afterall, read his Karl Popper and found his thesis on falsifiability so compelling, one might wonder why Daniel didn’t object to Gadamer’s assertion that the natural sciences can be defined by the use of induction. If Popper is correct then Gadamer doesn’t have a point that is “unassailably sound to the point of obviousness” but actually commits a serious blunder when it comes to the nature of knowledge as it relates to the natural sciences.

Ya know it is almost like Daniel thinks falsifiability is something to be used in conjunction with inductive methods because he only knows about Popper indirectly through secondary sources and because he’s never even glanced at the first few pages of ‘The Logic of Scientific Discovery’ seems completely unaware that falsifiability is only introduced because Popper believes inductive methods can never be logically justified.

Actually...let's get into that!

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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

Post by MrStakhanovite »

Hello there, I just wanted to say I appreciate the posts of support here and in my PM box.

After reading Everybody Wang Chung’s post* on Daniel recycling material for his blog I noticed another example while writing the above posts.

A Quick Thought on Scientism and Logical Positivism
Daniel Peterson wrote:I’m not quite sure why the thought hadn’t occurred to me years before, but it seems pretty clear to me that scientism, in at least some of its manifestations, is the close cousin or sibling if not indeed altother the Doppelgänger of the once-fashionable form(s) of philosophy known as logical positivism, logical empiricism, and/or neopositivism.

Very popular, especially in Europe, in the 1920s and 1930s, logical positivism, as I’ll call it here, argued that only statements that can be verified through empirical observation can be regarded as “significant” or genuinely meaningful. Statements regarding “unobservables” — and there is a vast host of such unobservables, some of them really quite important — were to be regarded as expressions of hope or preference, or as metaphorical, or, less charitably but not uncommonly, as “nonsense.”

Prominent groups of philosophers, engineers, scientists, and mathematicians, especially those associated with the so-called Berlin Circle (“led” most prominently by Hans Reichenbach) and the Vienna Circle (most notably including Moritz Schlick, but also Rudolf Carnap, Hans Hahn, Otto Neurath, and eventual Carl Hempel, with Karl Popper as their persistent, friendly, in-house dissenter and critic), were seeking to establish philosophy as a science-based discipline, freed from such matters as metaphysics and (certainly for some, at least) theology, where no empirical proof was available — definitely no decisive empirical proof — and, thus, where arguments have gone on and on for centuries and are likely to continue forever, this side of the veil of death anyway, without clear, objective resolution.

There’s at least one pretty obvious problem at the base of the enterprise, though: The proposition that only statements verifiable through empirical observation should be regarded as “significant” or genuinely meaningful is, itself, not strictly verifiable through empirical observation.

The above is from November 2018

The “shaky foundations of reality”
Daniel Peterson wrote:Scientism, in at least some of its manifestations, is the close cousin or sibling if not indeed altogether the Doppelgänger of the once-fashionable form(s) of philosophy known as logical positivism, logical empiricism, and/or neopositivism.

Very popular, especially in Europe, in the 1920s and 1930s, logical positivism, as I’ll call it here, argued that only statements that can be verified through empirical observation can be regarded as “significant” or genuinely meaningful. Statements regarding “unobservables” — and there is a vast host of such unobservables, some of them really quite important — were to be regarded as expressions of hope or preference, or as metaphorical, or, less charitably but not uncommonly, as “nonsense.”

Prominent groups of philosophers, engineers, scientists, and mathematicians, especially those associated with the so-called Berlin Circle (“led” most prominently by Hans Reichenbach) and the Vienna Circle (most notably including Moritz Schlick, but also Rudolf Carnap, Hans Hahn, Otto Neurath, and eventually Carl Hempel, with Karl Popper as their persistent, friendly, in-house dissenter and critic), were seeking to establish philosophy as a science-based discipline, freed from such matters as metaphysics and (certainly for some, at least) theology, where no empirical proof was available — definitely no decisive empirical proof — and, thus, where arguments have gone on and on for centuries and are likely to continue forever, this side of the veil of death anyway, without clear, objective resolution.

There’s at least one pretty obvious problem at the base of the enterprise, though: The proposition that only statements verifiable through empirical observation should be regarded as “significant” or genuinely meaningful is, itself, not strictly verifiable through empirical observation.
The above is from August 2020

I wonder if there is some kind of “Q” document Daniel has on his computer where he keeps all these samples of text organized by topic, then he just copies and pastes when the time comes to say something on his blog. Could the six volumes of 'The Reasonable Leap into Light: A Barebones Secular Argument for the Gospel' be nothing more than a thousand pages of blog posts edited together?

*OP is here.

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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

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MrStakhanovite wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:06 am
...
I wonder if there is some kind of “Q” document Daniel has on his computer where he keeps all these samples of text organized by topic, then he just copies and pastes when the time comes to say something on his blog. Could the six volumes of 'The Reasonable Leap into Light: A Barebones Secular Argument for the Gospel' be nothing more than a thousand pages of blog posts edited together?
For a period of time about 15 years ago I was involved in the study of, and attempt to implement, a document fragment database for a large high-tech company.

The concept that they had been sold (I simplify a bit) was that a previously-produced set of documents about a specific technology or product could be decomposed into fragments of various sizes (ranging from a phrase to about a chapter of a book), thus yielding a database containing almost all of the information that was relevant to the subject, in an easily reusable form. All that was required to create another book on the subject was to select appropriate fragments from the database, supply a little bit of "glue", in the form or transitional phrases or paragraphs, and voila, a brand new document that treated the subject from a different point of view.

There were numerous flaws in the proposition - both conceptually, and in implementation - such that I felt obliged to opine at the time that the only coherent documents that could be produced from the database were those that were decomposed to create the fragments in the first place. And even then, coherence was not guaranteed without an inordinate amount of work.

Perhaps Daniel solved the problem that we faced.

Or perhaps he has run into the same implementation difficulties that seemed so clear to me at the time.
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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

I concur with those who've been enjoying these posts. And I can't stop laughing at this:
Prof. Stak wrote:I can’t express in words the dopamine rush I get when Daniel does his pantomime about being the type of person who gets intoxicated with ideas. It is similar to listening to someone brag about how athletic they are and then watching them get into a situation where it becomes painfully obvious they lack any semblance of athleticism, but with various books and the person only having the vaguest idea about what is in said books
Symmachus has said a number of times that Mopologetics has failed to produce any new ideas. These exegeses are further evidence of that.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

Post by Physics Guy »

I have also enjoyed the introduction to Gadamer, but I'm kind of scratching my head still about exactly what Peterson said that was so wrong. Peterson's statement about how science mainly cares about universal laws, to the extent that individual cases are rarely of interest except as examples of the universals, seems to me to be true. If history were physics then we'd have lots of books about the general theory of dictators and you'd have to dig deep into old journal articles to find any mention of Caesar or Napoleon or Stalin.

That's a point well worth making, and if Gadamer even mentioned that point in passing then I think it's fine to use Gadamer's words to express that point, regardless of what else Gadamer might also have said in his book.

So what exactly was so bad about what Peterson wrote?

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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

Post by moksha »

MrStakhanovite wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:06 am
I wonder if there is some kind of “Q” document Daniel has on his computer where he keeps all these samples of text organized by topic, then he just copies and pastes when the time comes to say something on his blog.
Perhaps like the Q document of conference talks with guidelines of how often it may be referenced for General Conference. There is probably a similar Deseret News guideline on articles appearing in their religion section. Those submitting articles for the Deseret News get paid by the column inch, but the editors probably do no wish to pay for the identical story unless several years have passed.
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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

Post by Physics Guy »

Just to be sure, which kind of Q material we be talkin’ ’bout here? :confused:

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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

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Physics Guy wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:31 pm
Just to be sure, which kind of Q material we be talkin’ ’bout here? :confused:
The source material for that LGBTQ acceptance group which is not yet out of the closet: QAnon.



Here is a good LDS support question for Dr. Peterson to ask Gemli. "How is it that the cavemen survived the asteroid, but the dinosaur didn't?" Later on the Sic et Non crowd will spring the answer that the dinosaurs lacked the gospel on an unsuspecting Gemli.
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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

Post by Physics Guy »

Of course. All Q's are the same. Q is an uncommon letter, after all. What are the chances that it would really appear independently in so many places just by chance? About as low as the chances that Joseph Smith would guess that the Mayans made roads, that's how low.

If people don't realize that the dinosaurs were killed by the Knights Templar then they have a lot of reading to do. I'm not going to spoon-feed them.

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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

Post by MrStakhanovite »

Part 2(g): Epistle to The North African

Now to really drive home what both Gadamer and Popper said about induction, it’ll be helpful to return to Daniel Peterson and the provocative glimpse he gave us into the future pièces de résistance of his Mopogetic career: The multi volume set of ‘The Reasonable Leap into Light’. Recall in ‘The Reasonable Leap into Light: A Barebones Secular Argument for the Gospel’ describes the entire project as a kind of meta-argument that intends to be a robust philosophical justification for the Mormon worldview that proceeds systematically and incrementally from a rather “secular” basis:
Daniel Peterson wrote:What do I mean by a secular argument? I mean an argument that’s not going to call upon things like the Spirit, the witness, the testimony of the Holy Ghost. That is a different thing, but that can’t be delivered to you by a lecture or by reading a book by itself. You have to get that yourself from God, that’s personal and individual to you. What I want to argue, though, is that there are arguments that can be made for the rationality of the Gospel, of belief in God, in Christianity and in specifically Mormonism. So I’m going to be offering not so much the secular argument that I want to give, but an outline of the kind of argument that I would want to give and I’m going to dip in on occasion to give you some of the texture of that, some specifics. But believe me, I’m talking about a much bigger project than I’m going to be able to outline right now.
I quoted the paragraph in full because I think it is important to keep in mind that Daniel is just speaking in generalities about his project and even though he is just going to talk through an outline that is ultimately tentative, there are aspects about the work in progress that seem essential to the project. Daniel has a habit of giving remarkably bad takes on philosophers, but those bad takes are usually incidental and can be attributed to Daniel’s lack of discipline regarding texts, they can be removed and corrected without threatening the framework of ‘The Reasonable Leap into Light’. That framework is a notion of rationality predicated on probability.

It begins right there in the working title (i.e. “Reasonable Leap”) and I think the title itself is an homage to William Lane Craig’s book ‘Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics’. The book operates as a kind of a master class on Evangelical apologetics by way of presenting the issue of Evangelism in the light of systematic theology. The popularity of ‘Reasonable Faith’ has grown to such an extent that the book has pretty much become one of the standard works of Apologetics in the Evangelical world, often assigned at the undergraduate and graduate level courses in various bible colleges and seminaries around the English speaking world.

Daniel consumes a steady diet of Christian Apologetics and is an obvious admirer of Craig; I often speculate that Daniel likes to think of himself as the William Lane Craig of Mormonism and I’m confident he has envisioned the posthumous publication of ‘The Reasonable Leap into Light’ as being celebrated enthusiastically by Mormons and eventually becoming a “standard reading” at BYU. So it shouldn’t be surprising then that Daniel follows the Evangelicals in framing the apologetic goal as not establishing the uncontested truth of Christianity (or Mormonism in Daniel’s case), but to demonstrate that those who affirm Christianity (or Mormonism) do so rationally as fallible beings:
Daniel Peterson wrote:...That’s sort of a basic statement of rationality, that if you can’t really decide, you have to just kind of go with one and it’s, you know, as long as it’s roughly 50-50 or 60-40, or something like that, you’re not making an irrational decision. You might turn out to be wrong, but you were reasonable in making that decision..That’s one of the ways I’m going to be looking at rationality. If I can get you to something like 50-50 then I’m relatively happy. You then have to choose based on your own personality, your predilections, your spiritual intuitions and so on. But as I say, in some cases I think I can take the argument further than 50-50..
Much like a calculating salesman, Daniel wants to push his non-existent, non/ex-Mormon, interlocutors towards accepting the tenets of Mormonism inch by inch until the numbers are simply too good to ignore and you cave. You can’t win unless you play the game, right?

To help demonstrate this kind of rationality as game theory approach and its value, Daniel introduces his audience to the now infamous Bayes’ theorem of probability. To be perfectly frank about this, I don’t think Daniel was introduced to Bayes’ theorem during the course of his “studies” into either the natural sciences, economics, or philosophy. Rather I’d assert that he was introduced to it via William Lane Craig during a debate with Bart Ehrman about the historical reliability of the New Testament.

I have a copy of Bart Ehrman’s introduction to the New Testament (3rd edition) where he makes a claim to the effect that a practicing Historian of today seeks to establish what “probably” happened in the past and that since supernatural miracles are by definition (according to Ehrman) the least probable of all events, it follows that Historians can’t establish a miracle (i.e. Jesus rising from the dead) as being the most probable course of events. Bart more or less rehearsed this line of reasoning during the debate with Craig.

It was in effect a slow pitch that allowed Craig to smash right out of the park in terms of rebuttal. Craig was able to frame his rebuttal as “Bart’s Blunder” and demonstrate handily that in a Bayesian framework, posterior evidence can be so unique and confirming that it can override any prior epistemic value that is less than 1. Within Bayesian terms, Craig’s point was simply a mathematical inevitability of the algebra involved.

Suffice to say Bart didn’t really have an answer to “Bart’s Blunder” simply due to the fact that was his first time ever encountering Bayes Theorem. I imagine it was Daniel’s first time as well and I bet he was fascinated by the encounter and immediately inuitied how he could use this for his own work:
Daniel Peterson wrote:This is Bayes’ theorem. Bayes’ theorem is a theorem in probability theory and statistics which describes the probability of an event based on conditions that might be related to the event. I won’t get into the details, but if you have a case where certain things are true, that makes certain other things more likely than not. If you believe there is a God, for example, the probability that Christ rose from the dead rises a bit. If you believe there absolutely is no God and no supernatural then the probability of Christ rising from the dead is very, very low, given your assumptions. In other words, it could become a live or a dead option, depending on what you believed before that. So my case is a cumulative case where I’m trying to argue certain things. Theism first, then Christian theism, then if I’ve got you that far, Mormon Christian theism, OK? And I’m happy with anybody who follows me any distance along the way with those arguments. The further I can get them, the happier I am. But I’m happy if I can get them from atheism to theism, from theism to Christian theism and so on.
Now it ought to be an undisputed observation that an argument which sets out to justify a person’s beliefs in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as rational based on a probability schema derived from the classic axioms of probability is an argument that is fundamentally inductive. Yet when you read the words of Mopologists like Daniel Peterson, Louis Midgley, or Blake Ostler long enough, it becomes an inescapable conclusion that these men are punishingly incompotent when it comes to employing even the most basic concepts of philosophy. As a bulwark against the claim that Daniel’s use of Bayes theorem doesn’t constitute an inductive argument per se I offer this basic definition of induction from a reputable reference work that would find consent not only among empiricists such as John Stuart Mill and David Hume, but also Hans-Georg Gadamer and Sir Karl Popper:
Oxford Companion to Philosophy wrote:Induction has traditionally been defined as the inference from particular to general. More generally an inductive inference can be characterized as one whose conclusions, while not following deductively from its premisses, is in some way supported by them or rendered plausible in the light of them. Scientific reasoning from observations to theories is often held to be a paradigm of inductive reasoning. (p.405)
Because the ‘Oxford Companion to Philosophy’ contrasts induction with deduction I’d like to pair it with a brief explanation of induction and deduction both from a philosopher named Charles G. Werner. I can find precious little about this man other than he was a colleague of the late Howard Pospesel at the University of Miami in Ohio. To the thousands of philosophy T.A.s that have had to grade piles of formal logic assignments, Pospesel is a familiar name.

I only know that Charles G. Werner existed because he edited a small anthology called ‘Inductive Logic’ I found in a used bookstore in Salt Lake City oddly enough in 2010. It is a cheap paperback published in 1973 by Kendall Hunt publishing company out of Dubuque Iowa. The publishing company is still in business in Dubuque today and it looks like they are still offering the same services they did to Charles Werner, the ability to print and publish custom books cheaply (relatively) for use in the classroom. Outside of this ugly green paperback, the only other words of Werner I’ve laid eyes on comes from a short article he wrote in 1977 for the ‘Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic’.

I always buy these kinds of books when I stumble across them, because I know they were created to serve a certain pedagogical purpose at a certain place at a certain time that simply no longer exists for us. The book has readings from the usual suspects on the topic such as William Whewell, John Stuart Mill, and C.S. Peirce, but also contemporaries like Bertrand Russell and Rudolf Carnap of the Vienna Circle, both of whom had just passed away three years prior to the publication of this little booklet. I wonder if Werner personally knew Carnap when he was at UCLA (Daniel’s alma mater!). Werner also included figures previously unknown to me, such as the English economist W. Stanley Jevons and J.F.W. Herschel. I noticed in Jevons’ Wikipedia entry that under the ‘Legacy’ header there is a quote from ‘The Concise Encyclopedia of Western Philosophy and Philosophers’ stating: "Jevons's general view of induction has received a powerful and original formulation in the work of a modern-day philosopher, Professor K. R. Popper." (LOL!) while Herschel originated the use of the Julian day in astronomy and invented blueprints!?! Wikipedia has an absolutely fantastic photographic portrait of Sir Herschel:

Image

My God, Blixa. I’m just rambling to you now. I wrote three paragraphs about some obscure philosopher and embedded a picture from Wikipedia. I’m starting to write like how Daniel Peterson blogs! By the beard of Joseph F. Smith, what is next? Posting clickbait articles from ScienceAlert.com while plagiarizing Robert J. Hutchinson for my cracker barrel column in the Deseret News?! See you were wrong Blessed Blixa, visiting Reverend Kishkumen wouldn’t just do me some good, I actually think I might be in dire need of his ministrations. I need to continue.

So Werner (following C.S. Peirce) divides logical inferences into two broad categories: Deductive and Inductive. He indicates that Deduction can be characterized as “Explicative/Analytic” and Induction can be characterized as “Amplifiative/Synthetic”. Werner then defines those terms as follows (bolding mine):
Charles G. Werner wrote:Analytic inference: [T]he conclusion follows necessarily from the premises, i.e., it is not logically possible—it is self-contradictory—for the premise to be true and the conclusion to be false.

Explicative inference: [T]he conclusion makes explicit what was contained implicitly in the premises.

Synthetic inference: [T]he conclusion does not follow necessarily from the premises, i.e., it is logically possible—it is not self-contradictory— for the premises to be true and the conclusion to be false.

Amplifiative inference: [T]he conclusion adds something to what is contained in the premises. (p.2)


So Daniel is working on a book length inductive argument laying out a positive case for his deeply held beliefs, that isn’t any different in principle from what Richard Swinburne did in his book ‘The Existence of God’. Why give this good man and scholar all this guff and libel and not hand the same treatment to Swinburne? I suppose I would if Swinburne had written the things Daniel has written. The real difference is that Swinburne is actually a competent philosopher with numerous contributions to the Philosophy of Science, so if I can pretend that Daniel has expended any meaningful effort reading any sort of philosophy text then I can easily assume the same about Richard without a nanosecond of hesitation.

What are some of those things Daniel has written? Once again I take us back to review ‘Can the Study of History Yield Genuine Knowledge’. I know I’ve quoted it before, but I see no harm in quoting it again. I see no problem going back to the same well again and again to make my points. Repetition is not a sign sloth.

Anyways Daniel says:
Daniel Peterson wrote:I offer, below, a comment on the subject from the great German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002; yes, you read that right). It’s perhaps just a bit difficult, but his point seems to me unassailably sound to the point of obviousness.
Daniel then goes on to make two characterizations; one each about the natural sciences and the modern discipline of history respectively. He deals with the natural sciences first (bolding mine):
Daniel Peterson wrote:The physical and natural sciences study particular cases in order to generalize rules from those particular cases...
This statement incorrectly represents Gadamer’s position, because generalizing rules from particular cases doesn’t exhaust what induction is and also does not exhaust the activity of science. (If you agree with Popper, then induction doesn’t have much bearing on the practice of science whatsoever). I think this is easily demonstrated by both the ‘Oxford Companion to Philosophy’ and from Werner’s introduction to the anthology ‘Inductive Logic’.

Yet my bulwark might still fail and a Mopologist reading this might object to my sources and reject my assertions that Gadamer would agree with them. Could I demonstrate that Gadamer believed similarly to my sources from the text of ‘Truth and Method’? Sure and I’ll do you one better. I’ll do it only using the section we’ve covered in this email. Consider the opening paragraph of ‘Truth and Method’ where Gadamer begins to establish the influence of John Stuart Mill:
Gadamer wrote:The logical self-reflection that accompanied the development of the human sciences in the nineteenth century is wholly governed by the model of the natural sciences. A glance at the history of the word Geisteswissenschaften shows this, although only in its plural form does this word acquire the meaning familiar to us. The human sciences (Geisteswissenschaften) so obviously understand themselves by analogy to the natural sciences that the idealistic echo implied in the idea of Geist (“spirit”) and of a science of Geist fades into the background. The word Geisteswissenschaften was made popular chiefly by the translator of John Stuart Mill’s ‘Logic’. In the supplement to his work Mill seeks to outline the possibilities of applying inductive logic to the “moral sciences.” The translator calls these Geisteswissenschaften. Even in the context of Mill’s ‘Logic’ it is apparent that there is no question of acknowledging that the human sciences have their own logic but, on the contrary, of showing that the inductive method, basic to all experimental science, is the only method valid in this field too. (p.3)
The reference “Mill’s Logic” is referring to Mill’s influential work on induction titled in English as ‘A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive’. Mill’s influence on German intellectual culture is a consistent theme in the section ‘The Problem of Method’ in Gadamer’s book. Mill’s work on induction shaped how 19th century German scholars and scientists understood their own disciplines in both the natural sciences and the humanities. As we saw for ourselves, Gadamer goes to some length to reinforce that.

Did John Stuart Mill understand induction as only being the activity of generating universal statements based on a certain number of particular statements? Thankfully for me, Werner’s ‘Inductive Logic’ includes the relevant passages from Mill’s ‘A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive’:
John Stuart Mill wrote:For the purpose of the present inquiry, Induction may be defined, the operation of discovering and proving general propositions. It is true that (as already shown) the process of indirectly ascertaining individual facts, is as truly inductive as that by which we establish general truths. (p.34)
Interesting that Mill thinks even acquiring individual facts is part and parcel of induction.
John Stuart Mill wrote:But it is not a different kind of induction; it is another form of the very same process: since, on the one hand, generals are but collections of particulars, definite in kind but indefinite in number; and on the other hand, whenever the evidence which we derive from observation of of known cases justifies us in drawing an inference respecting even one unknown case, we should on the same evidence be justified in drawing a similar inference with respect to a whole class of cases. (p.34)
For Mill, induction punctuates everyday life
John Stuart Mill wrote:If these remarks are just; if the principles and rules of inference are the same whether we infer general propositions or individual facts; it follows that a complete logic of the sciences would be also a complete logic of practical business and common life...Whether we are inquiring into a scientific principle or into an individual fact, and whether we proceed by experiment or by ratiocination, every step in the train of inferences is essential inductive, and the legitimacy of the induction depends in both cases upon the same conditions. (p.34-35).
And Gadamer himself mentions that Helmholtz tries to articulate these other kinds of induction that make up the human experience from which the humanities (i.e. the human sciences) draw their conclusions:
Gadamer wrote:Helmholtz distinguished between two kinds of induction: logical and artistic-instinctive induction. That means, however, that his distinction was basically not logical but psychological. Both kinds of science make use of the inductive conclusion, but the human sciences arrive at their conclusions by an unconscious process. Hence the practice of induction in the human sciences is tied to particular psychological conditions. (p.5)
Look here how Daniel then goes on to describe what historians do in contrast to scientists:
Daniel Peterson wrote:By contrast, historians can spend, and have spent, entire careers on the life and times of Andrew Jackson, on the late Byzantine empire, on the Umayyad Dynasty, on the biography of Napoleon, and on the Tokugawa shogunate. And they’ve done so not so much in order to formulate predictive general theories — in the style of biochemistry or particle physics — about the American presidency, the rise of dynasties or the collapse of states, or the life-cycle of famous Corsicans, as because they wanted to understand those people or those periods in and of themselves.
That fool thought from his skimming of one paragraph that Gadamer’s use of induction was falsely equivalent with scientists who “study particular cases in order to generalize rules from those particular cases” and then tries to portray the discipline of history not doing this at all.

Just consulting the books that just happen to be within my reach, dearest Blixa, I can find numerous counterexamples to this. I can think of no less a historian than E.G. Turner himself, the revered papyrologist and master classicist, and his delightful tome ‘Greek Manuscripts of the Ancient World’:
Eric Gardner Turner wrote:In these continuous blocks of writing we shall also find that the letter which metrical laws require to be elided are often written out in full (scriptio plena). It is the reader’s task, knowing the rules, to read these lines metrically (a duty we still accept in the reading of Latin). The presence of these eligible letters in prose texts does not mean that the author or scribe tolerated hiatus. A single scribe’s practice will often vary: sometimes he will write in scriptio plena, sometimes use tacit elision. From ii B.C. onwards the separating apostrophe...comes into occasional use to mark such elisions; or the corrector may go through the text marking by an expunging dot or a cancel stroke those vowels which cause hiatus. (p.9)
What Turner describes above falls neatly into the category of induction as laid out by John Stuart Mill, and fits seamlessly into how Gadamer uses induction, while at the same time conforming to the definition provided by the ‘Oxford Companion to Philosophy’ and Werner’s anthology ‘Inductive Logic’.

Daniel grasps the basics of Gadamer’s point: the natural sciences and the humanities are different. From there he stumbles into a mistake about what Gadamer was writing about, the natural sciences and the humanities are not different because the natural sciences only seek to establish regularities and historians don’t, nor are they different because the natural sciences use induction and the humanities don’t. In actuality, the natural sciences and humanities differ because one uses methods and ought to and the other uses methods and ought not to.

Look at this disaster of an e-mail Blixa, see how the study of Mopologetics is often like the study of an onion? You consistently have to peel away layer after layer of mistakes as if there was no termination of layers, but the mistakes are just hideously stupid and made out of a careless disregard for any notion of honesty or care for a broader truth. Peel away at the onion of Mopologetics long enough Blixa and soon you will find yourself weeping.

Since I mentioned Richard Swinburne, does this unflattering photo of him not scream Religious Education at BYU?
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MrStakhanovite
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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

Post by MrStakhanovite »

I apologize for not responding to people in this thread, but I find that if I spend time on the board it takes away from the efforts trying to finish these little projects I start.

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Doctor Scratch
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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Mr. Stak--

You'll have to forgive me. The Dean had ordered me to attend 6 different conferences around the globe. I was very much opposed to doing this on account of the pandemic, but, you know, duty calls, I guess. I forewent a vacation due the pandemic, and yet I feel that even in my job duties, I'm needlessly endangering other people. As the old saying goes: the Dean has his reasons.

That being said, did you see this?:
Gemli wrote:You must think I live a cloistered life where such reading materials are unavailable. I can assure you I've read and studied NDEs. It would take extremely convincing evidence to imagine that they were peeks into the netherworld, given that the reports are the only evidence, and the reports are created by diseased or drugged brains. Normal brains produce ordinary dreams that are equally bizarre, but we don't take those to have netherworld connections. There are drugs and certain mental states that mimic NDEs very closely. To assume a spiritual cause would be an extreme overreaction to the available evidence, a "red shoe" on a ledge notwithstanding.
Daniel Peterson wrote:gemli: "You must think I live a cloistered life where such reading materials are unavailable."

Not at all. They're available. You have no excuse for not having studied them while still presuming to pontificate on the subject.
Ha ha ha ha!
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

MrStakhanovite
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Re: Tales From The Reverend’s Office: Why Won’t Daniel Peterson STFU?

Post by MrStakhanovite »

Part 2(h): Epistle to The North African

We have a good working idea of what induction is now. We know the meta-argument used in ‘The Reasonable Leap into Light: A Barebones Secular Argument for the Gospel’ is Bayesian and thus inductive. Does Daniel make a historical argument along inductive lines? Lets pick up Daniel’s argument further down the line to find out:
Daniel Peterson wrote:But now if we’ve established it’s at least possible, you know, that the universe is some sort of more mysterious place than we’d thought, then the whole idea of the resurrection of Christ becomes at least something you can be open to. So what is the evidence for that? Did Christ really rise from the dead?

Well, there are a lot of detailed historical arguments that can be made for this...
To Daniel’s credit he begins to succinctly summarize those arguments in a short amount of time. For the failed sake of brevity, I’ll provide my outline of his summary.

-Jewish critics of the Early Christian acknowledge the tomb of Jesus was empty.
-1 Corinthians 15 is a very early list of actual witnesses.
-The earliest portions of the New Testament are creeds where the Resurrection is central to the faith.
-The behaviour of the Apostles and other early believers is consistent with them holding authentic beliefs about the risen Christ.

Daniel’s point is to ultimately ask the question "what do all these facts point to?" In the spirit of the ‘Oxford Companion to Philosophy’ it is that the conclusion that Jesus Christ actually rose from the dead is rendered quite plausible by the articulation of these points of evidence. Taken individually, none of these data points really entails the resurrection, but if they are arrayed together they do make it plausible (according to Daniel at least). A nice inductive argument made from ancient history. What did Gadamer say about induction in relation to the humanities in ‘Truth and Method’?
Gadamer wrote:However strongly Dilthey defended the epistemological independence of the human sciences, what is called “method” in modern science remains the same everywhere and is only displayed in an especially exemplary form in the natural sciences. The human sciences have no method of their own. Yet one might well ask, with Helmholtz, to what extent method is significant in this case and whether the other logical presuppositions of the human sciences are not perhaps far more important than inductive logic. (p.7)
It seems to me that Gadamer is actually quite hostile to Daniel’s apologetic efforts. Karl Popper is probably even more so. This can brought out by what Daniel says below:


Daniel Peterson wrote:OK, so again, remember, we’re thinking in Bayesian terms, and … let’s see how much time I have here now. Oh my, it’s getting tight. I’ll go through this very quickly to outline the logic of the last part. I have 51 seconds by my watch.

OK, well, suppose that I’ve gotten you this far. You’ve said, “OK, I’m willing to entertain the possibility that theism is true. There might be a God. This universe may not be the naturalistic, closed system that I thought it was. Maybe even Jesus rose from the dead. I mean, it’s at least a … it’s a possibility to consider.” That’s N.T. Wright’s conclusion, that, as a historian, he says, the only explanation I can come up with to account for the data is that certainly the apostles thought Jesus rose from the dead.
Remember a the outset of this talk, Daniel’s ‘Summa Mopologetica’ is “going to argue that you can prove religious claims true or specifically Latter-day Saint claims true” but rather “argue that they’re reasonable” and in the odd case “get pretty strong security”.

Keep the above in mind because I want to swing around and go back to Popper’s ‘The Logic of Scientific Discovery’ and continue his discussion of induction:
Popper wrote:Now it is far from obvious, from a logical point of view, that we are justified in inferring universal statements from singular ones, no matter how numerous; for any conclusion drawn in this way may always turn out to be false: no matter how many instances of white swans we may observed, this does not justify the conclusion that all swans are white. (p.4)
Popper flat out states that induction lacks logical justification; that there is no logical way one can move from a potentially infinite number of individual cases of swans being white to a universal statement that all swans are white. This is what motivates Popper in flat out discarding the strategy that if we study and refine inductive methods, we’ll stumble upon something that will enable inductive methods to guarantee the truths of its conclusions in some manner similar to deductive methods.
Popper wrote:My own view is that the various difficulties of inductive logic here sketched are insurmountable. So also, I fear, are those inherent in the doctrine, so widely current today, that inductive inference, although not ‘strictly valid’, can attain some degree of ‘reliability’ or of ‘probability’. According to this doctrine, inductive inferences are ‘probable inferences’. (p.6)
What Popper is taking aim at is a philosophical doctrine known as “logical probabilism” made famous by the economist John Maynard Keynes in his work ‘A Treatise on Probability’. The doctrine holds that the relationship between uncertain evidence and conclusions based on that evidence is one of pure logic. This has implications for Daniel, because his entire apologetic project is dedicated to making Mormons plausible through a probabilistic schema. What Popper offers for replacement is interesting:
Popper wrote:According to the view that will be put forward here, the method of critically testing theories, and selecting them according to the results of tests, always proceeds on the following lines. From a new idea, put up tentatively, and not yet justified in any way—an anticipation, a hypothesis, a theoretical system, or what you will—conclusions are drawn by means of logical deduction. These conclusions are then compared with one another and with other relevant statements, so as to find what logical relations (such as equivalence, derivability, compatibility, or incompatibility) exist between them.(p.9)
What Popper advocates is a species of “deductivism”; in the philosophy mathematics deductivism held that pure mathematics is really just investigating deductive consequences of arbitrarily chosen axioms expressed in a formal language. Bertrand Russell (who was friendly to deductivism) used to joke that logicians and mathematicians never knew what they were talking about, yet still loved to get together and talk. Now Russell didn’t mean logicians and mathematicians just sat around ____ eachother, really the joke was about syntax.

In modern logic (another area of study Daniel Peterson knows precious little) there are two primary ways of assessing an argument: by syntax or semantics. Much of modern logic and pure mathematics is dedicated to the analysis of syntax, are these strings of symbols constructed the right way? Does this string of symbols hold the correct relationship to this other string of symbols such that we can properly deduce this third string of symbols? What this means is that formal logical languages are often devoid of semantic content (which is why variables are used) and since the focus is on syntactic relations, the strings of symbols are often meaningless to the people manipulating them because the focus is elsewhere. Hence the joke, no one knows what these statements mean because we’ve assigned no semantic content to them.

How does that relate to Popper. Well at the graduate level of logic, instructors like to drive home Russell’s point by including a certain problem on a quiz or homework assignment. The students are asked to prove a conclusion, which is like 95% of all homework and tests in modern logic, so nothing will strike these students as being different. Later it is revealed that those who were able to correctly do the derivations had just deduced Balmer’s formula for the emission spectra for gasses logically from Bohr’s theory on the hydrogen atom, without even knowing they were doing so.

But of course this kind of deductivism has a level of arbitrariness that is, and ought to be, uncomfortable for anyone interested in the philosophy of science. Popper has to deal with a slew of objections to his brand of deductivism and one of the more pressing objections is known as the problem of demarcation:
Popper wrote:Of the many objections which are likely to be raised against the view here advanced, the most serious is perhaps the following. In rejecting the method of induction, it may be said, I deprive empirical science of what appears to be its most important characteristic; and this means that I remove the barriers which separate science from metaphysical speculation. My reply to this objection is that my main reason for rejecting inductive logic is precisely that it does not provide a suitable distinguishing mark of the empirical, non-metaphysical, character of a theoretical system; or in other words, that it does not provide a suitable ‘criterion of demarcation’.

The problem of finding a criterion which would enable us to distinguish between the empirical sciences on the one hand, and mathematics and logic as well as ‘metaphysical’ systems on the other, I call the problem of demarcation. (p.10-11)
The ability to distinguish legitimate science like organic chemistry from an illegitimate science like homeopathy is incredibly important today, even more so than in Popper’s own. For Popper, those who advocate for some kind of induction mistake verification as being the lynchpin for solving the demarcation between science and non-science are making a mistake. Experience and experimentation cannot do this via verification, but falsification can:
Popper wrote:Thus inference to theories, from singular statements which are ‘verified by experience’ (whatever that may mean), is logically inadmissible. Theories are, therefore, never empirically verifiable. If we wish to avoid the positivist’s mistake of eliminating, by our criterion of demarcation, the theoretical systems of natural science, then we must choose a criterion which allows us to admit to the domain of empirical science even statements which cannot be verified.

But I shall certainly admit a system as empirical or scientific only if it is capable of being tested by experience. These considerations suggest that not the verifiability but the falsifiability of a system is to be taken as a criterion of demarcation. In other words: I shall not require of a scientific system that it shall be capable of being singled out, once and for all, in a positive sense; but I shall require that its logical form shall be such that it can be singled out, by means of empirical tests, in a negative sense: it must be possible for an empirical scientific system to be refuted by experience. (p.18)
Of course Popper isn’t launching an attack on empiricism and would insist that his views are being more faithful to that view of epistemology:
Popper wrote:The proposed criterion of demarcation also leads us to a solution of Hume’s problem of induction—of the problem of the validity of natural laws. The root of this problem is the apparent contradiction between what may be called ‘the fundamental thesis of empiricism’—the thesis that experience alone can decide upon the truth or falsity of scientific statements—and Hume’s realization of the inadmissibility of inductive arguments. This contradiction arises only if it is assumed that all empirical scientific statements must be ‘conclusively decidable’, i.e. that their verification and their falsification must both in principle be possible. If we renounce this requirement and admit as empirical also states which are decidable in one sense only—unilaterally decidable and, more especially, falsifiable—and which may be tested by systematic attempts to falsify them, the contradiction disappears: the method of falsification presupposes no inductive inference, but only the tautological transformations of deductive logic whose validity is not in dispute. (p.20)
Now when it comes to a notion of probability and why Popper thinks such methods cannot save induction from his criticism, there is a lot of material to pick from. He has an entire chapter dedicated to the topic that spans from page 133 to 209, plus numerous appendices devoted to different aspects of probability. However I’d like to draw my final Popper quotation not from ‘The Logic of Scientific Discovery’ but from another book made up of materials much later in Popper’s career.

All the more better is if that book has been cited explicitly by Daniel Peterson on his blog:
Daniel Peterson wrote:“It is a disturbing fact,” wrote Sir Karl Popper, “that even an abstract study like pure epistemology is not as pure as one might think (and as Aristotle believed) but that its ideas may, to a large extent, be motivated and unconsciously inspired by political hopes and by Utopian dreams” (Karl R. Popper, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge [London: Routledge; Kegan Paul, 1969], 6).
Let us see what Sir Karl Popper also wrote in ‘Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge’:
Karl Popper wrote:Like many other philosophers I am at times inclined to classify philosophers as belonging to two main groups—those with whom I disagree, and those who agree with me. I also call them verificationists or the justificationist philosophers of knowledge (or of belief), and the falsificationists or fallibilists or critical philosophers of knowledge (or of conjectures). I may mention in passing a third group with whom I disagree. They may be called the disappointed justificationists—the irrationalists and sceptics.

The members of the first group—the verificationists or justificationists—say, roughly speaking, that whatever cannot be supported by positive reasons is unworthy of being believed, or even being taken into serious consideration.

On the other hand, the members of the second group—the falsificationists or fallibilists—say, roughly speaking, that what cannot (at present) in principle be overthrown by criticism is (at present) unworthy of being seriously considered; while what can in principle be so overthrown and yet resists all our critical efforts to do so may quite possible be false, but is at any rate no unworthy of being seriously considered and perhaps even of being believed—though only tentatively.

Verificationists, I admit, are eager to uphold that most important tradition of rationalism—the fight of reason against superstition and arbitrary authority. For they demand that we should accept a belief only if it can be justified by positive evidence; that is to say, shown to be true, or, at least, to be highly probable. In other words, they demand that we should accept a belief only if it can be verified, or probabilistically confirmed.

Falsificationists (the group of fallibilists to which I belong) believe—as most irrationalists also believe—that they have discovered logical arguments which show that th programme of the first group cannot be carried out: that we can never give positive reasons which justify the belief that a theory is true. But, unlike irrationalists, we falsificationists believe that we have also discovered a way to realize the old ideal of distinguishing rational science from various forms of superstition, in spite of the breakdown of the original inductivist or justificationist programme. We hold that this ideal can be realized, very simply, by recognizing that the rationality of science lies not in its habit of appealing to empirical evidence in support of its dogmas—astrologers do so too—but solely in the critical approach—in an attitude which, of course, involves the critical use, among other arguments, of empirical evidence (especially in refutations). For us, therefore, science has nothing to do with the quest for certainty or probability, or reliability. (p.228-229)
I think it is safe to say that Karl Popper’s view of science is totally hostile to that of Daniel’s, but not nearly as hostile as Gadamer’s view of history is to Daniel’s.

Oh! There goes my alarm, I have to stop and start my way towards Reverend’s office. Once again I must apologize for the length and rambling nature of this e-mail. Thank you for humoring me in my time of need!

Yours,

Alfonsy Stakhanovite.

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