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02/28/2018

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Justin Vlasits

Thanks for the post! I think you are here pointing to a real weakness in contemporary philosophical methodology. If one takes an even cursory glance through the methodology in Plato/Aristotle/Galen/Avicenna/Zabarella/lots of early modern folks, I think it is pretty clear that *precisely* what they are concerned with is "anchoring those starting points in bits of reality".

My question is: why is contemporary philosophical methodology like this? You suggest Russell, which seems plausible, since other early 20th century philosophical methodologies did seem to be more systematically oriented (neo-Kantianism, phenomenology, maybe even logical empiricism). But what was the reason that this view of Russell's got so much uptake?

David Duffy

"five-sigma results": This is difficult for me to think about, in that this is a correction for multiplicity of hypotheses eg in genomic statistical tests, one performs the equivalent of ~10^7 independent t-tests, so the strict threshold gives one a manageable experiment-wise type-1 error rate (speaking in frequentist terms; in a Bayesian framework, one usually ends with quite similar corrections). The point is that these are financial or resource constraints - one just accumulates more data until everyone agrees. In the philosophical settings...

Eric Schliesser

yep, there are lot of differences between the resources and practices of science and philosophy. It would be good if folk did not forget that so often.:)

Eric Schliesser

Justin, I can warmly recommend Michael Della Rocca's methodological work: "The taming of philosophy." in Philosophy and Its History (2013): 178-208. It says quite a bit about the origins and pervasive commitment to methods that will not be really anchored in reality. (That's compatible with disagreeing with Michael's own proposals.)

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.

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