Problems In Philosophy

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Jon Awbrey

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Nov 2, 2020, 10:54:10 AM11/2/20
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Cf: Problems In Philosophy • 6
http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2020/11/02/problems-in-philosophy-6/

All,

Another one of those recurring questions I'm constantly
forgetting what I wrote about or where before just
came up again on the Gödel's Lost Letter blog.

Re: R.J. Lipton and K.W. Regan
https://rjlipton.wordpress.com/about-me/
::: The Night Of The Ethical Algorithm
https://rjlipton.wordpress.com/2020/11/02/the-night-of-the-ethical-algorithm/

Classical tradition views logic as a normative science,
one whose object is truth.  This puts logic on a par with
ethics, whose object is justice or morality in action,
and aesthetics, whose object is beauty or the admirable
for its own sake.

The pragmatic spin on this line of thinking treats logic, ethics,
aesthetics as a concentric series of normative sciences, each a
subdiscipline of the next.  Logic tells us how we ought to conduct
our reasoning in order to achieve the goals of reasoning in general.
Thus logic is a special case of ethics.  Ethics tells us how we ought
to conduct our activities in general in order to achieve the good
appropriate to each enterprise.  What makes the difference between
a normative science and a prescriptive dogma is whether this telling
is based on actual inquiry into the relationship of conduct to result,
or not.

Here’s a bit I wrote on this a long time ago in a galaxy not far away —

• Logic, Ethics, Aesthetics
https://oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey/Prospects_for_Inquiry_Driven_Systems#Logic.2C_Ethics.2C_Aesthetics

Regards,

Jon

inquiry into inquiry: https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/
academia: https://independent.academia.edu/JonAwbrey
oeiswiki: https://www.oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey
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David Whitten

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Nov 2, 2020, 12:46:43 PM11/2/20
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Comments interspersed:

On Mon, Nov 2, 2020 at 10:54 AM Jon Awbrey <jaw...@att.net> wrote:
Another one of those recurring questions which I'm
constantly forgetting what I wrote about it before

just came up again on the Gödel's Lost Letter blog.

Re: R.J. Lipton and K.W. Regan
https://rjlipton.wordpress.com/about-me/
::: The Night Of The Ethical Algorithm
https://rjlipton.wordpress.com/2020/11/02/the-night-of-the-ethical-algorithm/


 
Classical tradition views logic as a normative science,
one whose object is truth.  This puts logic on a par with
ethics, whose object is justice or morality in action,
and aesthetics, whose object is beauty or the admirable
for its own sake.

Why does Classical tradition or any tradition consider logic to be a normative science ?
The google definition I found said:
In the applied sciences, normative science is a type of information that is developed, presented, or interpreted based on an assumed, usually unstated, preference for a particular outcome, policy or class of policies or outcomes.

 This does NOT describe formal logic in any way to me.  Sowa's Conceptual Graphs, Predicate Logic, Propositional Logic, are well defined that they take truth values and combine them together using the rules of logic to determine the resulting truth of falsity of the statement.   

Are they talking about non-formal logic ?   

Your next paragraph seems to follow from some other definition as well:
 
The pragmatic spin on this line of thinking treats logic, ethics, aesthetics as a concentric series of normative sciences, each a subdiscipline of the next.  
Logic tells us how we ought to conduct our reasoning in order to achieve the goals of reasoning in general.
Thus logic is a special case of ethics.  Ethics tells us how we ought
to conduct our activities in general in order to achieve the good
appropriate to each enterprise.  What makes the difference between
a normative science and a prescriptive dogma is whether this telling
is based on actual inquiry into the relationship of conduct to result,
or not.

 You are comparing normative science here with a prescriptive dogma.
I assume prescriptive dogmas are intended to be "you must do it this way"
statements. But that is the same as any prescriptive activity, so why did you
add the word dogma ?  Google seems to think dogma is not just for religious statements,

dogma is a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.

So what is the difference between a statement that is true, and a principle that is true?
I don't know if principle is even a word used in logic.  Is it kind of like a schema ?
It seems to be something that can be put in a set and then referred to by the name of the set.
By the way, I think of a schema as an 
"statement or sentence that references an infinite number of other statements or propositions" 
How a schema is distinct from a statement that uses the For-All or There-Exists connectives,
I'm not sure. The last time I talked to someone about it, they didn't like referring to 
the sentence of a proposition inside another sentence, as they claimed this is not a First 
Order Logical Theory if you do that.

Thanks for your e-mail. It brought up some intriguing ideas for me. 
Dave Whitten
Here’s a bit I wrote on this a long time ago in a galaxy not far away —

• Logic, Ethics, Aesthetics
https://oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey/Prospects_for_Inquiry_Driven_Systems#Logic.2C_Ethics.2C_Aesthetics

Regards,

Jon

inquiry into inquiry: https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/
academia: https://independent.academia.edu/JonAwbrey
oeiswiki: https://www.oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey
facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JonnyCache

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John F. Sowa

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Nov 2, 2020, 11:53:51 PM11/2/20
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David and Jon,  C. S. Peirce made a very clear and sharp distinction between formal or mathematical logic and logic as semiotic.

Peirce's algebra of logic (1885) is the foundation for Peano's version of logic and the predicate calculus of Whitehead and Russell.  The term Peano-Russell notation is a misnomer, since Russell didn't add anything to the notation Peano adopted from Peirce.  For a historical summary, see the article by Hilary Putnam:  http:///jfsowa.com/peirce/putnam.htm .

By formal logic or mathematical logic, Peirce included everything that modern logicians call formal logic.  That also includes Peirce's existential graphs.  But Peirce included much more in what he called logic as semiotic.

Peirce's broad use of the term logic is close to the traditional textbooks called 'Logic' in the 19th century.  Those books did include a huge amount semiotic along the lines of Aristotle and the medieval Scholastics.  De Morgan introduced the term 'formal logic' for the algebraic tradition started by Boole and developed by the 19th century pioneers.  That logic did *not* include the semiotic inherited from Aristotle.

Short summary:  When Peirce uses the word 'logic' by itself, it's important to check the context to see whather he's talking about formal logic or logic as semiotic.

John

Jon Awbrey

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Nov 3, 2020, 10:10:37 AM11/3/20
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Cf: Problems In Philosophy • 7
http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2020/11/03/problems-in-philosophy-7/

Related Readings from Another POV:
Re: FB | Charles S. Peirce Society
https://www.facebook.com/groups/peircesociety/
(a) John Corcoran • Cosmic Justice Hypotheses
https://www.facebook.com/groups/peircesociety/permalink/2015211728614809/
(b) John Corcoran • The Inseparability of Logic and Ethics
https://www.facebook.com/groups/peircesociety/permalink/2128883513914296/

Peirce emphasized the intricate relationships of the
Big Three Normative Sciences — Aesthetics, Ethics, Logic —
a topic early and often discussed in the secondary literature
and on the Peirce List. One might also compare Theodore Parker's
well-known thesis:

<QUOTE>

I do not pretend to understand the moral universe;
the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways;
I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by
the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience.
And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.

— Theodore Parker
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2019/12/18/history-its-arc-its-tangents-1/

</QUOTE>

Questions about the interdependence of the principal normative sciences —
Aesthetics, Ethics, Logic — just came up on another blog and prompted me
to go looking for some of my earlier grapplings with the subject.
There's an initial fragment of that harvest in the following post.

* Problems In Philosophy • 6
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2020/11/02/problems-in-philosophy-6/

Regards,

Jon

William Frank

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Nov 3, 2020, 12:18:13 PM11/3/20
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I have found that logic is necessary for sound ethical opinions.  But not so much for enabling valid deductions, but enabling people to discover the major premises from which they are starting and clarifying the meaning of their opinions.   These are almost always presupposed by arguers and are surprisingly hard to expose and to persuade people to examine.  So, when people say that 'reasoning together' will solve ethical disputes, they are often wrong, because they think of reasoning only as making deductions, i.e. discovering implications, and not as working backward to the unstated assumptions of those implications -- discovering the implicants of their views. 

For example,
and 

In the discussions here concerning logic as a normative science, I have not found too much attention to the meaning of 'normative science'.

Wm


  

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Wm

We understand what other people say through empathy—imagining ourselves to be in the situation they were in, including imaging wanting to say what they wanted to say.  

– Zellig Harris    

David Whitten

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Nov 3, 2020, 3:01:49 PM11/3/20
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Comments interspersed.

On Tue, Nov 3, 2020 at 12:18 PM William Frank <william...@gmail.com> wrote:
I have found that logic is necessary for sound ethical opinions. 
Is this the ethics tie in that Jon Awbrey was discussing where logic and ethics are called "normative science" ?
What is your definition of "normative science" that ties them together ?

Also you said "sound ethical opinions". I thought "sound logic" was logical thought that depended on rules to draw conclusions, and the rules were well defined and always found the same conclusion.
But you said "ethical opinions" so these must not be as strong as "ethical conclusions", so I assume some kind of mechanism must "mostly" draw a conclusion.  I have heard this mechanism is called "abductive reasoning" is this what you mean, so you don't want to call it a conclusion, but just an opinion ?

But not so much for enabling valid deductions, but enabling people to discover the major premises from which they are starting and clarifying the meaning of their opinions.   These are almost always presupposed by arguers and are surprisingly hard to expose and to persuade people to examine. 
 
This sounds great.  Tracking basic assumptions helps limit definitions and tightens up definitions. I'm glad you are doing this.  The tie to presumptions is especially useful.
 
So, when people say that 'reasoning together' will solve ethical disputes, they are often wrong, because they think of reasoning only as making deductions, i.e. discovering implications, and not as working backward to the unstated assumptions of those implications -- discovering the implicants of their views. 

I think I see what you mean by 'reasoning together' and I can see if your group pulls in assumptions that they assume are true but don't have any support for the truth of the assumption, that you would have a bad time of it.

When I have heard the phrase 'reasoning together', I have thought the speaker was talking about a directed reasoning process where a 'facilitator/teacher' uses a Socatic dialog to help the group work toward a larger conclusion that they may not have the experience personally to uncover.   

Usually this leader enforces an adherence to logical forms, maybe not always deductive reasoning, but at least always identifying which statements are unsupported, and which ones the group can agree are well-founded, and true. The group can then work together to discover new conclusions or agree which conclusions don't have enough support.
I will try to read these papers.  Thank you for the links.
 
In the discussions here concerning logic as a normative science, I have not found too much attention to the meaning of 'normative science'.

Wm

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I really appreciate people who use words in a consistent way.
The pain of startup to make sure what words are being used are understandable is worth the ability to
communicate clearly and precisely.

Thanks,
Dave Whitten

 

Adrian Walker

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Nov 3, 2020, 4:39:58 PM11/3/20
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Also known as logic based abduction, right? 


Adrian Walker
Executable English LLC  
San Jose, CA, USA
(USA) 860 830 2085 (California time)
https://www.executable-english.com

John F. Sowa

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Nov 3, 2020, 5:59:08 PM11/3/20
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William and David,

Peirce analyzed and discussed these issues in great detail in his
voluminous publications and manuscripts.  Unfortunately, most 20th c.
philosophers and logicians wasted too much time studying Frege.

WF> In the discussions here concerning logic as a normative science, I


have not found too much attention to the meaning of 'normative science'.

DW> Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I really appreciate people who use


words in a consistent way.  The pain of startup to make sure what words
are being used are understandable is worth the ability to communicate
clearly and precisely.

If we lived in a discrete universe with at most a million or so discrete
entities, it might be possible for intelligent beings to invent a
language and logic that had a million or so formally defined terms that
could specify everything that exists.

But we live in a universe that is not only continuous, it is quantum
mechanical.  As a result, everything is entangled with everything else
in ways that make it impossible to make absolutely precise observations
and specifications of anything.

Absolute precision is possible in mathematics, and useful applications
of mathematics are possible within predictable error bounds and
engineering tolerances.  But nobody knows which, if any, of the
currently accepted laws of science are absolutely true.

For more discussion of these of these issues, see the slides on "Natural
logic":  http://jfsowa.com/talks/natlog.pdf . That has 101 slides for a
3-hour tutorial, but the first 20 slides have enough examples and
citations for a fairly good justification of the above claims.  See the
next 80 for more.

For a more formal article about the implications for ontology, see
http://jfsowa.com/pubs/rolelog.pdf . Section 7 is my recommendation for
accommodating the issues.  The slides I presented at the ESWC20
conference show how the issues in the natlog tutorial and the rolelog
article can be implemented: http://jfsowa.com/pubs/eswc.pdf

Again, I emphasize:  I cite a lot of my own work.  But I also cite many
more publications by other people.  If you disagree with anything I
wrote, please read the authors I cite. But there is still a lot more to say.

John

David Whitten

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Nov 3, 2020, 6:26:55 PM11/3/20
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Comments interspersed

On Tue, Nov 3, 2020 at 5:59 PM John F. Sowa <so...@bestweb.net> wrote:

William and David,

Peirce analyzed and discussed these issues in great detail in his
voluminous publications and manuscripts.  Unfortunately, most 20th c.
philosophers and logicians wasted too much time studying Frege.

I'm okay with trying to read Peirce but he does use words that he prefers, and I'm not as
sure about what he means as I am about what you mean, John.  Your books on
Conceptual Graphs clarified a lot of your thoughts for me.

To my knowledge, this thread has been about what is the meaning of 'normative science' for this mailing list ?
I have strong doubts that the meaning from Google is the one used here.

WF> In the discussions here concerning logic as a normative science, I
have not found too much attention to the meaning of 'normative science'.

DW> Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I really appreciate people who use
words in a consistent way.  The pain of startup to make sure what words
are being used are understandable is worth the ability to communicate
clearly and precisely.


 

If we lived in a discrete universe with at most a million or so discrete
entities, it might be possible for intelligent beings to invent a
language and logic that had a million or so formally defined terms that
could specify everything that exists.

But we live in a universe that is not only continuous, it is quantum
mechanical.  As a result, everything is entangled with everything else
in ways that make it impossible to make absolutely precise observations
and specifications of anything.

Absolute precision is possible in mathematics, and useful applications
of mathematics are possible within predictable error bounds and
engineering tolerances.  But nobody knows which, if any, of the
currently accepted laws of science are absolutely true.

While I agree with you, I'm not sure of where you are going here.
I never expected the meaning of the term 'normative science' to be 'absolutely true'
but simply asked for some definition that is good enough for this discussion and
 matches the common use on this mailing list. Your help would be appreciated.

For more discussion of these of these issues, see the slides on "Natural
logic":  http://jfsowa.com/talks/natlog.pdf . That has 101 slides for a
3-hour tutorial, but the first 20 slides have enough examples and
citations for a fairly good justification of the above claims.  See the
next 80 for more.

I searched that entire PDF, and the word 'normative' did NOT show up, much less 
'normative science'.  There are six mentions of science, but they all reinforced your
idea that things about science can change.

By the way, your list of references said the Common Logic standard is at:


but it has moved to 

 

For a more formal article about the implications for ontology, see
http://jfsowa.com/pubs/rolelog.pdf . Section 7 is my recommendation for
accommodating the issues.  The slides I presented at the ESWC20
conference show how the issues in the natlog tutorial and the rolelog
article can be implemented: http://jfsowa.com/pubs/eswc.pdf

This has also moved. It is now at http://jfsowa.com/talks/eswc.pdf 



Again, I emphasize:  I cite a lot of my own work.  But I also cite many
more publications by other people.  If you disagree with anything I
wrote, please read the authors I cite. But there is still a lot more to say.

John

I have no problem with your citations of your own work. You are a clear writer
and have a careful attention to detail.  I'm not even sure you are using or ever
used the phrase that logic is a normative science or that ethics are a normative science.

Best Wishes,
Dave Whitten 

Jon Awbrey

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Nov 3, 2020, 7:15:40 PM11/3/20
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Dear David, All ...

I'll extend this post tomorrow, apocalypse permitting, but while I wait for
the election returns I'll just post this pair of links to the Wikiversity
articles on Descriptive Science and Normative Science, forked over from
the Wikipedia articles as I last left them 15 or so years ago. I have
no idea what if anything now exists on Wikipedia itself, but this is
pretty much the basic idea in a couple of nutshells.

* Descriptive Science
https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Descriptive_science

* Normative Science
https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Normative_science

Resource
========

Prospects for Inquiry Driven Systems : Logic, Ethics, Aesthetics

Jon Awbrey

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Nov 3, 2020, 7:40:18 PM11/3/20
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Dear David, All ...

I'll extend this post tomorrow, apocalypse permitting, but while I wait for
the election returns I'll just post this pair of links to the Wikiversity
articles on Descriptive Science and Normative Science, forked over from
the Wikipedia articles as I last left them 15 or so years ago. I have
no idea what if anything now exists on Wikipedia itself, but this is
pretty much the basic idea in a couple of nutshells.

* Descriptive Science
https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Descriptive_science

* Normative Science
https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Normative_science

Resource
========

Prospects for Inquiry Driven Systems : Logic, Ethics, Aesthetics

John F. Sowa

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Nov 4, 2020, 6:21:04 PM11/4/20
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Dave,

The three kinds of value judgments are Beauty, Goodness, and Truth.  They determine the three kinds of normative science:  Aesthetics, Ethics, and Normative logic.  Peirce equated normative logic with logic as semiotic.  But all sciences, including the normative sciences, depend on mathematics and mathematical logic (AKA formal logic). 

All empirical sciences, including the normative sciences, depend on phenomenology for the analysis and interpretation of perception.  The three parts of normative logic (AKA logic as semiotic) are (1) Critic, which is formal logic; (2) Grammar; and (3) Methodeutic, which is Peirce's name for the methodology of science. 

All these issues were discussed and analyzed in detail by Aristotle, debated for centuries by the Greeks, Romans, and Arabs, and developed to a high level of sophistication by the medieval Scholastics.  The books called "logic'' from the 13th to the 19th centuries discussed all these issues.  But the 20th c. logicians ignored all but the formal logic.  They did a lot of good work on logic, but they also lost a great deal. 

That is why I said that they wasted too  much time studying Frege -- who ignored everything except the formal part. 

I'm sure that Jon A. will say more about these issues.   I'll say more later.

John

Jon Awbrey

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Nov 5, 2020, 12:40:21 PM11/5/20
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Cf: Problems In Philosophy • 9
http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2020/11/05/problems-in-philosophy-9/

Many good questions from Richard Saunders ...

Re: FB | Ecology Of Systems Thinking
https://www.facebook.com/groups/ecologyofsystemsthinking/permalink/3460818670663919/
::: Richard Saunders
https://www.facebook.com/groups/ecologyofsystemsthinking/permalink/3460818670663919/?comment_id=3461102183968901

RS:
Hume's is/ought dichotomy: are these as Gould said “non-overlapping
magisteria” or are they concentric domains? Is a science of aesthetics
at the core? If memory serves it seems like that was what Wittgenstein
suggested at the end of “Tractatus”. In “The Moral Landscape”, Harris
narrows the aesthetic focus to a distinction between the minimum and
maximum suffering of all sentient beings. Maximum suffering is bad
or ugly and minimum suffering is good or beautiful. The relationship
of conduct to result is the subject of consequentialism, isn't it?
Isn't that also the subject of science?

JA: I know a lot of people see a cut and dried dichotomy here
and conventional wit says you can't derive Ought from Is.
My tracings of the boundaries though tend to find them
recursively entangled.

RS:
Recursively entangled is a nice phrase, like the the chicken and the egg.
But I'm still wondering about the catch-22. On what general axiom is
aesthetics/ethics/logic based? Harris suggests it's minimizing net
suffering. (That doesn't imply the elimination of suffering,
because some suffering has a net positive result.)

JA: I got no absolutes here. I have my personal aesthetic, but
a personal aesthetic is the moral equivalent of a religion,
and folks are pretty free about that.

JA: I'll have more to say about my personal aesthetic … all in good time.

Resources
=========

• Prospects for Inquiry Driven Systems
https://oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey/Prospects_for_Inquiry_Driven_Systems
• Wikiversity :

• Descriptive Science
https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Descriptive_science
• Normative Science
https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Normative_science

Regards,

Jon

Jon Awbrey

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Nov 7, 2020, 3:15:14 PM11/7/20
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Cf: Problems In Philosophy • 10
http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2020/11/07/problems-in-philosophy-10/

Re: Ontolog Forum
https://groups.google.com/d/topic/ontolog-forum/xwFwCa0j8qI/overview
::: David Whitten
https://groups.google.com/d/msg/ontolog-forum/xwFwCa0j8qI/KAd-jNr_CAAJ

DW: Why does classical tradition or any tradition consider logic to be a normative science?

Dear David,

A science is called that because it deals in knowledge (Latin:
"scientia"). Knowing "what is the case" in a given domain of
experience may be distinguished from knowing "what ought to be"
in a given set of circumstances, and people who think in threes,
like Kant and Peirce and me, add knowing "what may be hoped" to
the mix.

In the quest to understand how science works a praxis/pragmatist
like myself gives the process, inquiry, equal billing with the
product, knowledge. People have gotten used to seeing sciences
as "bodies of ostensible knowledge" (BOOKs) and taking their
analysis as a matter of assigning them distinctive catalogue
numbers and sorting them to the indicated library shelves.
That is all well and good but it leaves an all too static
impression of science if we settle for that.

Here are capsule summaries on the "Sciences of Is" and
the "Sciences of Ought" from the Wikiversity articles
on Descriptive Science and Normative Science.

Descriptive Science
===================

A "descriptive science", or a "special science", is a form of inquiry,
typically involving a community of inquiry and its accumulated body
of provisional knowledge, which seeks to discover what is true about
a recognized domain of phenomena.

Normative Science
=================

A "normative science" is a form of inquiry, typically involving a community
of inquiry and its accumulated body of provisional knowledge, which seeks
to discover good ways of achieving recognized aims, ends, goals, objectives,
or purposes.

The three normative sciences, according to traditional conceptions in philosophy,
are aesthetics, ethics, and logic.

Resources
=========

• Inquiry
( https://oeis.org/wiki/Inquiry )

• Descriptive Science
( https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Descriptive_science )

• Normative Science
( https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Normative_science )

• Prospects for Inquiry Driven Systems
( https://oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey/Prospects_for_Inquiry_Driven_Systems )
• Logic, Ethics, Aesthetics
( https://oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey/Prospects_for_Inquiry_Driven_Systems#Logic.2C_Ethics.2C_Aesthetics )

Regards,

Jon

João Oliveira Lima

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Nov 8, 2020, 5:51:54 AM11/8/20
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Dear Jon Awbrey,

Considering that “Normative Science” is about “knowing what ought to be” and “Descriptive Science” is about “knowing what is the case”, what is the Science category name that deals with “knowing what may be hoped”?

Regards

João Lima
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João Oliveira Lima

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Nov 8, 2020, 8:39:07 AM11/8/20
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... in addition 

maybe the science categories names could be: descriptive science, prescriptive science (=normative science), and prospective science. 

Regards

Joao Lima

John F. Sowa

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Nov 9, 2020, 8:14:19 AM11/9/20
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João Lima> Considering that “Normative Science” is about “knowing what


ought to be” and “Descriptive Science” is about “knowing what is the
case”, what is the Science category name that deals with “knowing what
may be hoped”?

First, science is not about what is true at the moment, but what is
possible, actual, and necessary.  All the laws of science are predictions
about what would be the case if we took some particular action.  Engineering
is primarily about the future.  Therefore, engineering could be defined as
the study of what doesn't yet exist, but ought to exist.

That point shows how to interpret verbs like hoping, fearing, wanting...
All of them depend on value judgments about nonexistent situations.
Those judgments depend on human intentions, which are fundamental aspects
of Thirdness.

Instead of saying the modal verb 'ought' determines normative science,
it's more general to say that normative science is based on intentions.

As for the question whether one can infer 'ought' from 'is', it's better
to ask whether you can infer someone's intentions by observing their actions.
The entire system of trials with a judge and jury is based on the assumption
that it's possible.  But that depends on jurors who understand intentions.

John

Azamat Abdoullaev

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Nov 9, 2020, 10:49:45 AM11/9/20
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John wrote:
"Engineering is primarily about the future.  Therefore, engineering could be defined as the study of what doesn't yet exist, but ought to exist".
It is rather technology, future and emerging.
Engineering is engineering, devising inventions from simple machines to the internet to global AI. Or, "the creative application of scientific principles to design or develop structures, machines, apparatus, or manufacturing processes..."
"Scientists study the world as it is; engineers create the world that has never been".
Strictly speaking, there is no science of future, not mentioning future studies/futures research or futurology looking more as a pseudoscience.
The lack of such a trans-science of world system dynamics and long-term planning is the root cause why humanity is liable to all sorts of global risks and threats, like the pandemic or climate change. 


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Jon Awbrey

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Nov 9, 2020, 1:36:15 PM11/9/20
to Cybernetic Communications, Ontolog Forum, Peirce List, Structural Modeling, SysSciWG
Cf: Problems In Philosophy • 11
http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2020/11/09/problems-in-philosophy-11/

Re: Richard Saunders
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2020/11/05/problems-in-philosophy-9/#comment-66196

RS: BTW I'm not sure I really see a distinction between descriptive
and normative (prescriptive?) science except in the set of aims,
goals, etc. that are entertained. It might be useful to try to
*characterize* some distinctions in the goals of each.

Re: Richard Saunders
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2020/11/07/problems-in-philosophy-10/#comment-66204

RS: Jon, the philosophy of science is all about the aims of science
AND good ways of achieving them. I'm still not seeing a clear
distinction, traditions notwithstanding, between descriptive
and normative science. I do see the recursive entanglement
though, and I’m still wondering if we can find common axioms
that underlie both.

Saturday, November 7
====================

Dear Richard,

Sue and I will be downing some bubbly and sleeping it off till the
dawn's early light, but Sue was into this Policy-Theory Reunion stuff
well before I clued into it, so here's one of her earlier papers you
might find of interest in the interim.

• Scott, David K., and Awbrey, Susan M. (1993), “Transforming Scholarship”,
Change : The Magazine of Higher Learning, 25(4), 38–43.
1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00091383.1993.9939888
2. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40165071
3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254338300_Transforming_Scholarship

Monday, November 9
==================

I am still trying to unscramble my brains after the week's events but
I'm surprised to see so much difficulty over the difference between
descriptive sciences, the "special sciences" as Peirce called them,
and normative sciences like aesthetics, ethics, and logic. I deferred
to common idiom and conventional wisdom regarding the irreducibility of
“Ought” to “Is” but roughly the same dimension and tension is recognized
under a legion of names — policy vs. theory, procedural vs. declarative,
deontic vs. ontic, and many others.

A pragmatic semiotician's ears will naturally perk up at reading the word
"irreducibility" above and lead to wondering whether the irreducibility
of normative to descriptive has anything to do with the irreducibility
of triadic relations to dyadic relations.

To my way of thinking, yes, it does.

Regards,

Jon

John F. Sowa

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Nov 9, 2020, 9:47:29 PM11/9/20
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Azamat, 

I was not talking about futurology.  I was talking about every branch of science and common sense.

AA> Strictly speaking, there is no science of future, not mentioning future studies/futures research or futurology looking more as a pseudoscience.

Please note that all the laws of science are predictions about what would happen under certain conditions.  All the laws are tested by making experiments and checking the observed results with the predictions.

In fact, all of our actions in everday life are based on predictions that are true in 99.9% of the cases.  When we walk down the street, we make predictions about where to place our feet for the next step.  We make predictions that the earth will not crumble under out feet.

With every breath, we predict that our lungs will be filled with oxygen and the CO2 and H2O will be pumped out.  As we type on the computer, we predict that words will appear before our eyes, and our messages will be sent to our correspondents.

The future is the focus of attention for everything we do and say.  Every year we buy calendars that predict the days ahead, the phases of the moon, the holidays, and all the additional notes we add for our plans, meetings, and other events.

Fundamental principle:  Every purposeful action we take in every second of our lives is based on our predictions about the future.  And the overwhelming majority of our predictions come true.   Just look at the traffic on the highways -- every driver is making predictions every second, and almost all of them come true.  The ones that don't are called accidents.

John

Azamat Abdoullaev

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Nov 10, 2020, 3:58:35 AM11/10/20
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"Fundamental principle:  Every purposeful action we take in every second of our lives is based on our predictions about the future.  And the overwhelming majority of our predictions come true.   Just look at the traffic on the highways -- every driver is making predictions every second, and almost all of them come true.  The ones that don't are called accidents".
Agree, with some reservations.
It is hardly any prediction, but rather learnt habitual actions in the known stable environments.
To predict is to know beforehand basing on data, experience or theory, as Einstein predicted a curved space or an exit polling predicted Trump or Biden's winning
The only formal models of futuring look today statistics, data analysis or ML, where there are two polar cases of predictive regression, backcasting and its opposite, forecasting:
  • forecasting involves the prediction of the future (unknown) values of the dependent variables based on known values of the independent variable.
  • backcasting involves the prediction of the unknown values of the independent variables that might have existed, in order to explain the known values of the dependent variable.
It is true that common sense helps us foresee a bit further. But this is not enough to predict future events in a complex dynamic world which is full of uncertainty. 

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João Oliveira Lima

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Nov 10, 2020, 8:00:33 AM11/10/20
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Dear John Sowa,

   I agree with you that we are not talking about futurology. 

   All disciplines that deal with projects, define what is desired for the future. Among others, we would have architecture, industrial design and (legal/social) policy design.


<quote-with-my-emphasis>
logic and ethics do not set goals, they merely serve them. Of course, logic may examine the consistency of an arbitrary selection of goals in the light of what science tells about the likely repercussions in nature of trying to actualize them all. Logic and ethics may serve the criticism of certain goals by pointing out the deductive implications and probable effects of striving toward them, but it has to be some other science which finds and tells whether these effects are preferred and encouraged or detested and discouraged relative to a particular form of being.
</quote>

Regards,

Joao Lima

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Nadin, Mihai

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Nov 10, 2020, 10:07:31 AM11/10/20
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Dear and respected colleagues,

Intrigued by the views on the future. And slightly disappointed that the distinction probability (informed by the past, the deterministic causation) anticipation (informed by the possible future) is not acknowledged. On this note, let me suggest to you the “iron rule of explanation” advanced by Michael Strevens (in The Knowledge Machine: How Irrationlity Created Modern Science—a book published by Liveright).

Of course, on issues of anticipation—as definitory of the living—I would gladly answer questions from anyone interested.

Stay healthy!

 

Mihai Nadin

Azamat Abdoullaev

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Nov 10, 2020, 12:31:09 PM11/10/20
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Mihai Nadin wrote:
"let me suggest to you the “iron rule of explanation” advanced by Michael Strevens (in The Knowledge Machine: How Irrationlity Created Modern Science)"
I knew the Iron law of oligarchy that "all organizations, including those committed to democratic ideals and practices, will inevitably succumb to rule by an elite few".
As for the “iron rule of explanation", it ”denies that knowledge follows from thinking, logic, or infallible authority" and that no political, religious, or philosophical reflection allowed; just the facts. 
It strikes as a naive radical empiricism. 
Science develops by the interplay of theories and facts, models and data, hypothesis and observations. To deny such an iron law of science is rather irrational.   

Jon Awbrey

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Nov 10, 2020, 4:28:50 PM11/10/20
to Cybernetic Communications, Ontolog Forum, Peirce List, Structural Modeling, SysSciWG
Cf: Problems In Philosophy • 12
http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2020/11/10/problems-in-philosophy-12/

Re: R.J. Lipton and K.W. Regan • The Night Of The Ethical Algorithm
https://rjlipton.wordpress.com/2020/11/02/the-night-of-the-ethical-algorithm/

Re: K.W. Regan • The Election Night Time Warp
https://rjlipton.wordpress.com/2020/11/03/the-election-night-time-warp/
::: John Sowa
https://groups.google.com/d/msg/ontolog-forum/xwFwCa0j8qI/LDGWQr9mCAAJ

JFS: C.S. Peirce made a very clear and sharp distinction between
formal or mathematical logic and logic as semiotic.
...
Short summary: When Peirce uses the word ‘logic’ by itself,
it's important to check the context to see whether he's talking
about formal logic or logic as semiotic.

Dear John,

The first post in this series was prompted by a post 4 years ago
( https://rjlipton.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/you-think-we-have-problems/ )
on the "Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP" blog which jumped from the frying pan
of problems in programming to the fire of problems in philosophy. Then last
week two more posts, linked above, made the leap to two of the most flagrant
problems in politics, namely, (1) the passage from effective and efficient
algorithms to ethical algorithms and (2) the perils of navigating turbulent
seas in a ship of state guided by elective representation, where the people
pick their pilots from among themselves to represent their collective will
and whatever wits they can muster.

Bearing all that in mind, I would like to keep exploring the ancient issues
of aesthetics, ethics, and logic from our contemporary algorithmic perspective.
There the descriptive and normative orientations to knowledge parallel the
systems-theoretic dimensions of information and control. And there we find
normative sciences appearing under the banner of "design sciences". In that
frame the art of crafting a ship of state becomes a question of optimal design
for a human society.

When it comes to logic, then, a generic conception will do for now,
leaving Peirce's definition of logic as formal semiotic and the
fine points of the difference between “mathematical logic”
and “mathematics of logic” to another day.

Regards,

Jon

John F. Sowa

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Nov 12, 2020, 11:36:32 PM11/12/20
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Alex,

Habit is the most fundamental method for making predictions in any field.

AA> [Habit] is hardly any prediction, but rather learnt habitual actions in known stable environments.  To predict is to know beforehand basing on data, experience or theory

No.  For any subject, from learning to ride a bicycle to doing the most advanced math and science, the novice is somebody who thinks about every step in great detail, but an expert is someone who does it by habit.

Thinking in science and mathematics is very similar to playing games like chess, go, bridge, poker...  When faced with any problem, the expert sees the right move at a glance, while the novice is contemplating and analyzing tons of data and evidence.

I don't deny that it's important to do the careful analysis.  But the expert does that analysis in order to verify that the initial insight is correct.   Novices do far more analysis than experts.  But the experts select the correct line of analysis on the first or second try, while the novices are aimlessly sifting through one blind alley after another.

And habit is much more than learning a few patterns for reacting in static environments.  A beginner learns to ride a bicycle on a quiet street.  But mastery of any skill requires a huge supply of habits for every possible technique in any imaginable circumstance.  And it requires the ability to "see" the correct sequence for applying those habits to handle any emergency in a split second.

John

David Whitten

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Nov 13, 2020, 11:05:49 AM11/13/20
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I like that there is a more 'intuitive' definition for "normative science" than I got from Google.


João Lima
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