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Ian_C. comments on The Logical Fallacy of Generalization from Fictional Evidence - Less Wrong

39 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 16 October 2007 03:57AM

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Comment author: Ian_C. 20 November 2007 04:49:58PM 1 point [-]

If fictional evidence is admissible, then doesn't generalization itself becomes suspect, since people can simply imagine the black swan?

As for science fiction (and art in general), it may skew your concepts if you're not careful, but it also provides emotional fuel and inspiration to keep going. And since the human need for such fuel is observably true, it's not really an option to go cold turkey on art. You are either a researcher with some mildly skewed concepts, or not a researcher at all, but some poor fellow who has lost all hope. The researcher with perfectly fact-based concepts may be another case of an impossible fictional character seeping in to our reasoning.