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Philosopher Virtues; Quine – ‘On What ..
7) argues that the way in whichthe pragmatic virtues do this is precisely by making cognition efficientin guiding action. They are the product of good design or designby natural selection. A hyperskilled cognitive bioengineer fittinghuman beings for a postPleistocene environment would, arguably, have endowedus with the same habits of hypothesis preference as those listed in section3 above. For example, she would have built us to prefer (other thingsbeing equal, as always) simpler hypotheses to complex ones. Simplerhypotheses are more efficient to work with. Complexities incur greaterrisk of error in application. And for that matter, simplicity isitself a form of efficiency, in that we want to achieve plenitude of result,in the way of data subsumed and results predicted, but with economy ofmeans. For the same sorts of reason, the engineer would program usto seek explanatory power when other costs are low.
Other pragmatic virtues include:
Testability. Other things being equal,a hypothesis H will be preferred to a competitor H´ if H has morereadily testable implications. The verificationists were rash tohold that untestability amounted to cognitive meaninglessness, but testabilityis an important component of a hypothesis merit. Intuitively, ifa hypothesis makes no testable predictions, it has little explanatory force. Suppose someone believes that the tides and the weather at sea are controlledby capricious demons who are invisible and otherwise undetectable. This subject has no further belief on the topic, and is unable to predictfuture weather because, he says, it all depends on the demons whims atthe time. Thus, his only available explanation of a past event is,The demons must have wanted it that way, which (n.b., even if we areperfectly happy to accept the existence of demons) is not highly explanatory.
Following Quine’s 6 virtues of hypotheses ..
The virtueshave to do with the roles that hypotheses play in our private cognitiveeconomies, not with anything external to us. They are (in Hackingsphrase) only what make our minds feel good. The point is no longerjust to ask rhetorically why making our minds feel good should be takento be a warrant of truth; it is that the virtues are positively the wrongsort of properties to be so taken.
Cartwright(1983)): Truth is a relation between a theory or hypothesis and theworld. But the pragmatic virtues are relations between theories andour human minds, to which relations the world seems irrelevant.
Scientific Realism and Antirealism | Internet …
The principled reason why some objects, characterized by some properties, are retained despite theory change is that we have managed to forge strong causal connections with them (Chakravartty 2007). The electron can be detected by the impressively precise measurement of some specific properties, using different methods. Moreover, some mathematical formulae, which state relations between these properties, have been repeatedly verified. Even though the mathematical objects in a theory (unlike the terms used in ordinary language) are defined with exactitude and provide a complete characterization of existing systems, this situation does not preclude novelty. Some new empirical evidence will be linked to theoretical features, provided that we modify the structure of the old theory so that what we call “electron” becomes another theoretical object, albeit one possessing many properties in common with the old electron. For example, according to the old theory, the electron has a mass and a charge; in the new theory it retains these same properties but gains a spin. Given the possibility of completing theories in such a way, the truth of a theory remains only partial. It is also approximate, in the sense that the value of certain quantities is known only within a certain margin of experimental error.
Hollywood movies have consistently exhibited certain specific patterns of bias with respect to the people and places portrayed. Some of such patterns of bias have been consistently negative and others, consistently positive. Michael Medved's book vigorously, and in most instances, correctly, criticized Hollywood for attacking religion, assaulting the family, using excessive foul language, being addicted to violence, being hostile to heroes and for bashing America and its government agencies.
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Human Knowledge: Foundations and Limits
Getting closer to one of the main theses of the earlier chapter ("Who Really Controls Hollywood"), investigative reporter Terry Pristin suggests that one of the reasons for Hollywood's tendency to churn out homogeneous films is the homogeneity in the people who make such films. The Pristin article's subtitle is: "Who can you trust better than kin? Nobody. So, the question is: Does this old Hollywood tradition keep new blood and fresh ideas out of the movies?" The research supporting this book and its companion volumes mandates an unequivocal "yes" answer to that question. Pristin further states: " . . . clearly, nepotism works to the disadvantage of those from the outside. And some say that has consequences for moviegoers, as well as moviemakers. 'The movies pay a price for having a relatively limited view of American society,' said author Neal Gabler, noting the scarcity of blacks, women and other minorities in the studios' higher echelons. 'That's clearly to the detriment of American movies.' In other words, if movies mirror the values, interests, cultural perspectives and prejudices of their makers (as the research for this book series suggests), then as long as the people in the film industry who make the important decisions about which movies are going to be made, who gets to work on those movies and the content of such movies are relatively homogeneous, we can expect to get relatively homogeneous movies (certainly less diversity on the screen than would otherwise be the case).
Infinite | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
In the more contemporary U.S. film industry, Edward James Olmos first appeared in a bit part in 1975 and has only been in ten features since, including (1992), a film he had to co-produce himself. As recently as 1992, the celebrated University of Texas film student Robert Rodriguez who had just produced the Spanish-language film for $7,000 (the film was subsequently acquired for distribution by Columbia) reiterated that "[t]here aren't enough Hispanic actors working in Hollywood . . . "
Working with the infinite is tricky business
Why, then, should we believe that a hypothesisbeing simpler (or more fruitful or neater or whatever) make that hypothesismore likely to be true? Some philosophers have suggested that theappeal to a pragmatic virtue can justify only if one has first shown insome substantive way that that virtue is truth-conducive, even if one neednot do that showing by invoking a sweeping metaphysical generalizationabout what the world is like. It seems unlikely that anyone couldestablish such a thing. To make an induction over the history ofthought, for example, in the hope of establishing that simpler theorieshad a better truth-tracking record than more complicated ones, would notonly be unfeasible but would require us (now) to have access to past truthsindependently of appeals to simplicity and the other pragmatic virtues.
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