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Re: [ontolog-forum] Laws: physical and social

To: Steven Ericsson-Zenith <steven@xxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2013 08:41:01 -0400
Message-id: <51B5C95D.5070109@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Steven,    (01)

I agree.  I should have added some statement along those lines.    (02)

> I would add only the following because "the humility of science" is
> often misunderstood as "we can never know anything." And this is not the case.    (03)

Yes.  Peirce had no sympathy with philosophers like Descartes who
pretended to doubt everything.  He said that life would be impossible
if most of the things we think we know were completely false.    (04)

His criterion for belief is "whatever you are prepared to act upon".
Since Descartes lived a rather successful life, he clearly acted upon
many beliefs that he never had the slightest inclination to doubt.    (05)

> That mathematics works so well speaks to the profound uniformity of
> the world, itself, naturally enough, a falsifiable assumption -
> but necessary if we are to know anything at all.    (06)

Yes, but it is also true that any particular statement can only be
trusted for those domains on which it has been tested.    (07)

For example, my cat believes many things (i.e., he is prepared to act
upon them on a regular basis).  But they don't generalize very well.    (08)

For example, "Humans will provide all good things -- and it helps
to jump on their bed in the morning to encourage them."    (09)

John    (010)

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