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gjm comments on Double Crux — A Strategy for Resolving Disagreement - Less Wrong

61 Post author: Duncan_Sabien 29 November 2016 09:23PM

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Comment author: I_D_Sparse 10 March 2017 07:57:56PM 0 points [-]

What if the disagreeing parties have radical epistemological differences? Double crux seems like a good strategy for resolving disagreements between parties that have an epistemological system in common (and access to the same relevant data), because getting to the core of the matter should expose that one or both of them is making a mistake. However, between two or more parties that use entirely different epistemological systems - e.g. rationalism and empiricism, or skepticism and "faith" - double crux should, if used correctly, eventually lead all disagreements back to epistemology, at which point... what, exactly? Use double-crux again? What if the parties don't have a meta-epistemological system in common, or indeed, any nth-order epistemological system in common? Double crux sounds really useful, and this is a great post, but a system for resolving epistemological disputes would be extremely helpful as well (especially for those of us who regularly converse with "faith"-ists about philosophy).

Comment author: gjm 13 March 2017 06:02:37PM 0 points [-]

Is there good reason to believe that any method exists that will reliably resolve epistemological disputes between parties with very different underlying assumptions?

Comment author: Lumifer 15 March 2017 03:06:17PM 2 points [-]

Alcohol helps :-P

Comment deleted 17 March 2017 04:26:35PM [-]
Comment author: I_D_Sparse 17 March 2017 07:31:58PM 1 point [-]

Yes, but the idea is that a proof within one axiomatic system does not constitute a proof within another.

Comment deleted 17 March 2017 11:44:29PM [-]
Comment author: I_D_Sparse 18 March 2017 12:50:32AM 0 points [-]

If someone uses different rules than you to decide what to believe, then things that you can prove using your rules won't necessarily be provable using their rules.

Comment author: SnowSage4444 18 March 2017 03:01:28PM 0 points [-]

No, really, what?

What "Different rules" could someone use to decide what to believe, besides "Because logic and science say so"? "Because my God said so"? "Because these tea leaves said so"?

Comment author: hairyfigment 20 March 2017 06:32:33PM 0 points [-]

Yes, but as it happens that kind of difference is unnecessary in the abstract. Besides the point I mentioned earlier, you could have a logical set of assumptions for "self-hating arithmetic" that proves arithmetic contradicts itself.

Completely unnecessary details here.

Comment author: I_D_Sparse 18 March 2017 08:56:42PM *  0 points [-]

Unfortunately, yes.

Comment author: hairyfigment 14 March 2017 01:10:56AM 0 points [-]

Not if they're sufficiently different. Even within Bayesian probability (technically) we have an example in the hypothetical lemming race with a strong Gambler's Fallacy prior. ("Lemming" because you'd never meet a species like that unless someone had played games with them.)

On the other hand, if an epistemological dispute actually stems from factual disagreements, we might approach the problem by looking for the actual reasons people adopted their different beliefs before having an explicit epistemology. Discussing a religious believer's faith in their parents may not be productive, but at least progress seems mathematically possible.

Comment author: I_D_Sparse 13 March 2017 08:12:10PM 0 points [-]

Not particularly, no. In fact, there probably is no such method - either the parties must agree to disagree (which they could honestly do if they're not all Bayesians), or they must persuade each other using rhetoric as opposed to honest, rational inquiry. I find this unfortunate.

Comment author: snewmark 15 March 2017 01:52:16PM *  0 points [-]

Either the parties must agree to disagree (which they could honestly do if they're not all Bayesians...

Could you elaborate on that? Sorry, I just don't get it.

Comment author: Lumifer 15 March 2017 03:11:50PM 1 point [-]

It's a hint at Aumann's theorem.

Comment author: snewmark 16 March 2017 03:04:30PM 0 points [-]

Oh, I wasn't aware that they had to be Bayesian for that rule to apply, thanks for the help.