organon

Induction as measurement omission of _properties_

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"2 + 2 = 4" means that if we have two units and add two units it causes us to have four units.

I'm having difficulty reconciling "if we have two units and add two units it causes us to have four units" with the fact that entities and not actions are causes. If the "it" in your statement refers to the action "addition," then aren't you stating that the action is the cause?

When it comes to particular causes, the cause is an entity. When it comes to generalizations, we are talking about all units of a concept -- i.e., each and every entity that is a unit of the concept. When we say "Joe died" it means the entity, Joe, or some characteristic(s) of Joe, caused Joe's death. When we say "All men are mortal" it means that each and every entity subsumed as a unit of the concept "man," or some characteristic(s) of each and every one of those entities has or will cause each and every one of those entities to die.

In the case of the generalization "2 + 2 = 4," the causal entity is each and every unit of the concept "two" -- i.e., each and every group of things that we count as two units of some one concept. The causal entity is the "group of two." The nature of every group of two is such that when it is combined with another group of two units (of the same concept), it will always cause you to have a group of four units (of the same concept).

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When it comes to particular causes, the cause is an entity. When it comes to generalizations, we are talking about all units of a concept -- i.e., each and every entity that is a unit of the concept. When we say "Joe died" it means the entity, Joe, or some characteristic(s) of Joe, caused Joe's death. When we say "All men are mortal" it means that each and every entity subsumed as a unit of the concept "man," or some characteristic(s) of each and every one of those entities has or will cause each and every one of those entities to die.

In the case of the generalization "2 + 2 = 4," the causal entity is each and every unit of the concept "two" -- i.e., each and every group of things that we count as two units of some one concept. The causal entity is the "group of two." The nature of every group of two is such that when it is combined with another group of two units (of the same concept), it will always cause you to have a group of four units (of the same concept).

I think I understand now: would then it be correct to say that causality is only operative in physical existents, or that abstractions have no causal nature (even among themselves)?

BTW, I think you can leave off "of the same concept," seeing as if I add a group of two rabbits (group R) to a group of two billiard balls (group B) I still get a new group of four existents (group W*); it just happens that the only effective relationship they have is "membership in the group I've named 'W'."

_____

*No doubt I would place this weird assortment on the Group W bench...

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I think I understand now: would then it be correct to say that causality is only operative in physical existents,

Generalizations are statements about concepts and concepts all ultimately reduce to concretes. The concrete, however, can be an entity existing in consciousness such as a thought or an emotion. If a generalization involves concepts of consciousness ("Evasion causes anxiety and a loss of self-esteem"), it can be validly causal without referring to physical existents (other than the fact that consciousness is a faculty of a physical existent).

or that abstractions have no causal nature (even among themselves)?

Abstractions do not exist in reality; only concrete things do. Valid concepts, however, do refer to real entities with causal properties and valid generalizations refer to the real causal properties of each and every unit of a given concept.

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-------------

BTW, I think you can leave off "of the same concept," seeing as if I add a group of two rabbits (group R) to a group of two billiard balls (group B) I still get a new group of four existents (group W*); it just happens that the only effective relationship they have is "membership in the group I've named 'W'."

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I don't think you can leave off "of the same concept." In the case of your "W" the concept is then wider than either rabbits or balls: the concept may said to be "things." If you add 2 grams of salt to 2 ounces of water, you do not get 4 of anything because the units of the concepts are different. That is, they are non-commensurate. One can only add units of concepts that are commensurate.

To illustrate causality of the entities, consider 2 rabbits plus 2 rabbits equals 16 rabbit legs. Yet 2 rabbits plus 2 billiard balls does not yield 16 rabbit legs or 16 anything.

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That's what I'm objecting to. Generalization is not synonymous with induction and assuming it is leads to some serious errors.
Suppose a company produces wine gum and sells two different kinds of pieces. The red pieces look like strawberries and the blue pieces look like smurfs. It’s impossible to identify an aspect of a red piece which is the cause of the strawberry shape. So an induction (“induction” in the uncommon sense in which it is used here) is impossible but a generalization like “All red pieces look like strawberries” is. The correlation between a piece’s color and its shape is not accidental, though. Looking at the history of a piece, particularly how it came into existence, could reveal that the producer chose that correlation for some reason. What is true for pieces of wine gum as well as other artifacts can also be observed in living things. One can generalize that all human beings have eyes but one would have to explain this fact in terms of the process of how human beings came into existence. Neither production nor evolution are random processes. They involve entities acting according to their identities. In the case of wine gum there are two classes of entities: human beings (the producers) and pieces of wine gum. Your 1997 article about induction talks about a relationship between the identity of a class of entities and their actions or properties:
All generalizations involve either a relationship between members of a class and their properties ("All men are mortal.") or between members of a class and their actions ("Acorns grow into oak trees.") Because of this, all generalizations depend on the truth of a causal relationship.
My question is whether your view of induction covers scenarios like the ones I have talked about in which more than one class of entities (e.g. the producers of wine gum and pieces of wine gum) is involved. One could certainly ask (and answer) the question: “Why do they produce red pieces that look like strawberries?” But one would have to look at both pieces of wine gum and the producers (multiple classes of entities) to explain the correlation (if one doesn’t just generalize without attempting to identify causes).

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One can generalize that all human beings have eyes but one would have to explain this fact in terms of the process of how human beings came into existence.
Strictly speaking, this is false. Eyes develop during pregnancy and this is caused by the embryo's DNA. But then one could ask why human beings have a DNA which causes two eyes to develop during pregnancy? This would have to be explained in evolutionary terms.

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Suppose a company produces wine gum and sells two different kinds of pieces. The red pieces look like strawberries and the blue pieces look like smurfs. It’s impossible to identify an aspect of a red piece which is the cause of the strawberry shape. [...]What is true for pieces of wine gum as well as other artifacts can also be observed in living things.[...]My question is whether your view of induction covers scenarios like the ones I have talked about in which more than one class of entities (e.g. the producers of wine gum and pieces of wine gum) is involved. One could certainly ask (and answer) the question: “Why do they produce red pieces that look like strawberries?” But one would have to look at both pieces of wine gum and the producers (multiple classes of entities) to explain the correlation (if one doesn’t just generalize without attempting to identify causes).

But we know pieces of wine gum are not a class of entities that can act to cause the strawberry shape (or colour). If 6CO2 + 12H2O + UV > C6H1206 + 6O2 + 6H2O, there are multiple entities involved in the reaction but the glucose itself having a cyclic form or a hydroxyl sidegroup correlates to the glucose entity, not the reaction. Did you mean something like this, multiple entities combining?

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But we know pieces of wine gum are not a class of entities that can act to cause the strawberry shape (or colour).
Yes, but one can still form the (true) general statement "All red pieces look like strawberries" and the property (i.e. looking like a strawberry) is not caused by any aspect of the entity's identity yet the correlation between the color and the shape of those pieces is not random. The shape is caused by something but not by any aspect of the entity's identity.
If 6CO2 + 12H2O + UV > C6H1206 + 6O2 + 6H2O, there are multiple entities involved in the reaction but the glucose itself having a cyclic form or a hydroxyl sidegroup correlates to the glucose entity, not the reaction. Did you mean something like this, multiple entities combining?
I don't know because I don't know this reaction...

I mean situations in which all members of a class of entities have a specific property but not because of an aspect of their identities but because of the process in which they came into existence (e.g. through a process of production or evolution). The above-mentioned red piece of wine gum does not look like a strawberry because it is red or because it tastes sweet or because it weighs less than a kilogram. The property (i.e. the piece being red) is the result of the actions of another class of entities (i.e. the producer who made the wine gum).

If I understand Betsy's view of the process of induction correctly then in such situations one can't induce the general statement "All red pieces look like strawberries" because the property's cause "lies outside" of the entity (i.e. exists apart from the entity; is not part of the entity's identity). If Betsy claims, however, that she can use her process of induction in such situations then my view of her process is flawed and then the next step for me would be to find out why.

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Suppose a company produces wine gum and sells two different kinds of pieces. The red pieces look like strawberries and the blue pieces look like smurfs. It’s impossible to identify an aspect of a red piece which is the cause of the strawberry shape.

Its chemical composition makes it possible to be shaped, colored and flavored like a strawberry. Try making candy out of a lump of iron.

(“induction” in the uncommon sense in which it is used here)

What do you mean "uncommon"?

One can generalize that all human beings have eyes but one would have to explain this fact in terms of the process of how human beings came into existence.

A child has no idea how humans came into existence, but if you showed them a picture of a person without eyes they could tell you immediately what was wrong with it. (and they might have nightmares later)

Explaining why humans have eyes is a different story. What information you need to make an induction depends on what it is you're trying to induce. If you just need to know what humans look like, you certainly don't need an evolutionary history lesson. Similarly, you don't need to know how a piece of wine gum was made to know that it looks like a strawberry.

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Yes, but one can still form the (true) general statement "All red pieces look like strawberries" and the property (i.e. looking like a strawberry) is not caused by any aspect of the entity's identity yet the correlation between the color and the shape of those pieces is not random. The shape is caused by something but not by any aspect of the entity's identity.

If I were to say the cause of the red is the way we perceive the dye (rather than saying it is the producer's choice), you could still trace the manufacture of the dye back to a human consciousness anyway. So you say it is a process, but then skip the manufacturing process to create your general statement. Your question presupposes that the statement you proposed is not flawed, but I don't see how you can say this statement is representative of "such situations".

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One could certainly ask (and answer) the question: “Why do they produce red pieces that look like strawberries?” But one would have to look at both pieces of wine gum and the producers (multiple classes of entities) to explain the correlation (if one doesn’t just generalize without attempting to identify causes).

The red pieces look like strawberries because men who desired to make a profit chose to make gum that connotes the pleasant taste and color of strawberries so that their customers would buy a lot of gum and create a larger profit. The *fundamental* cause of the gum was arguably the will of the producer who made it, but he had to follow known laws of nature in order to produce the gum. It is fundamental because without that will, the particular components in that gum would have been "scattered to the four winds", used in many different ways; with that will, they come together to make a coherent entity.

In any complex example, there *will* be multiple causal chains happening. Also, you have to limit the context to something sensible. One could ask how the sugars in the gum came into existence and then have to study the complex biochemical reactions in corn cells that used sunlight, H2O, and CO2 to create the sugar. You could then ask how the photon came into existence then have to study the nuclear reactions in the sun, then how the sun itself came into existence, etc. How deep and wide you want to study the causal chains depends on your goal.

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Yes, but one can still form the (true) general statement "All red pieces look like strawberries" and the property (i.e. looking like a strawberry) is not caused by any aspect of the entity's identity yet the correlation between the color and the shape of those pieces is not random.

I don't think it's correct to speak of properties as "caused." Remember, existents are their properties. Actions are caused by entities, not properties.

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Suppose a company produces wine gum and sells two different kinds of pieces. The red pieces look like strawberries and the blue pieces look like smurfs. It’s impossible to identify an aspect of a red piece which is the cause of the strawberry shape.

No it's not. You can investigate what the gum is made of that allows it hold a shape, how the gum was formed into the strawberry shape, why the manufacturer chose to form it in that shape, etc. The causes are not given automatically or instantly by sense perception, but you can identify what caused the shape by exploring reality using an effortful, purposeful process of induction.

So an induction (“induction” in the uncommon sense in which it is used here) is impossible but a generalization like “All red pieces look like strawberries” is.

Doing that would be a logical fallacy called Hasty Generalization (here and here) What happens when you find a piece of red wine gum shaped like a cherry?

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I mean situations in which all members of a class of entities have a specific property but not because of an aspect of their identities but because of the process in which they came into existence.

The process by which they came into existence is part of their identity too.

Note that there can be several characteristics or properties of an entity that cause a single given action. You can observe that a ball rolls when you push it and show why its shape causes it to roll, but there are additional causes required simultaneously for the rolling as well. The ball is made of a solid material that holds its shape and it wouldn't roll if it were soft and squishy.

Interactions with other entities and their causal properties are also required for the rolling to occur. The ball is located on a hard level surface and it wouldn't roll if it were on soft mud or embedded in Jell-o.

Thus, a given action can require more than one causal property of the entity that acts and may involve the causal properties of other entities as well.

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Remember, existents are their properties. Actions are caused by entities, not properties.

More precisely, the actions of entities are caused by particular properties of entities. When a red ball rolls, the rolling is caused by the roundness of the ball and not the redness.

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Remember, existents are their properties. Actions are caused by entities, not properties.

More precisely, the actions of entities are caused by particular properties of entities. When a red ball rolls, the rolling is caused by the roundness of the ball and not the redness.

Roundness by itself won't do. The ball must be in motion relative to the frame in which it is observed to roll. So whatever caused the motion has as much to do with the rolling as the roundness of the ball.

Another example: Something burns Several factors contribute to the burning.

a. There has to be an oxidizer or something chemically equivalent. (Wood won't burn in a nitrogen atmosphere, for example).

b. There has to be something that will oxidize.

c. There has to be something that causes the fuel to oxidize such as a sufficiently hot flame.

So the effect of burning flows from the confluence of several entities and their properties.

ruveyn

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Remember, existents are their properties. Actions are caused by entities, not properties.

More precisely, the actions of entities are caused by particular properties of entities. When a red ball rolls, the rolling is caused by the roundness of the ball and not the redness.

Roundness by itself won't do. The ball must be in motion relative to the frame in which it is observed to roll. So whatever caused the motion has as much to do with the rolling as the roundness of the ball.

Betsy was contrasting an essential vs. an inessential property. I think we can all safely assume that she was aware that balls that aren't moving can't be rolling and that they can't roll if they are only spinning in place.

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Betsy was contrasting an essential vs. an inessential property. I think we can all safely assume that she was aware that balls that aren't moving can't be rolling and that they can't roll if they are only spinning in place.

The motion is just as essential as the shape. I will let my statement stand.

Besides which I don't assume much and I don't assume often. "Safely assume" is not my style or practice.

What I see is what I get.

ruveyn

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What I see is what I get.

If this was true you would have never questioned why the straw looks bent when it is in a glass of water.

I let my statment stand.

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Betsy was contrasting an essential vs. an inessential property. I think we can all safely assume that she was aware that balls that aren't moving can't be rolling and that they can't roll if they are only spinning in place.

The motion is just as essential as the shape. I will let my statement stand.

Besides which I don't assume much and I don't assume often. "Safely assume" is not my style or practice.

What I see is what I get.

Do you really think that Betsy or anyone else does not know that a ball must be moving to roll, that motion is not the required context in a discussion of the kind of motion caused when a ball is made to roll, and that we must all be instructed on that? Or do you think that the motion as such of a rolling ball is a cause of the rolling? "Shallow Pragmatism" is failing you. :angry2:

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Do you really think that Betsy or anyone else does not know that a ball must be moving to roll, that motion is not the required context in a discussion of the kind of motion caused when a ball is made to roll, and that we must all be instructed on that? Or do you think that the motion as such of a rolling ball is a cause of the rolling? "Shallow Pragmatism" is failing you. :angry2:

No move, no roll. It takes a shove to make a move (from rest). In any case effects are often the result of -joint- causes. Ask yourself what causes a fire:

a. an oxidizer or some chemical equivalent.

b. something burnable (i.e. fuel). That is the material cause.

c. a catalyst or a heat source. That is the efficient cause of the burn.

That is three things not one.

The effect needs an action (better known as efficient cause) in addition to participating entities.

I don't know what other people think. I know what they say, I know what they write and sometimes I know what they do when I can see them doing what they do. I don't read minds.

ruveyn

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Do you really think that Betsy or anyone else does not know that a ball must be moving to roll, that motion is not the required context in a discussion of the kind of motion caused when a ball is made to roll, and that we must all be instructed on that? Or do you think that the motion as such of a rolling ball is a cause of the rolling? "Shallow Pragmatism" is failing you. :angry2:

No move, no roll. It takes a shove to make a move (from rest). In any case effects are often the result of -joint- causes. Ask yourself what causes a fire:...

I don't know what other people think. I know what they say, I know what they write and sometimes I know what they do when I can see them doing what they do. I don't read minds.

Do you or do you not think that Forum members need to be instructed by you that a ball can't be rolling while standing still?

Do you or do you not think that the motion of the ball causes it to roll?

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No move, no roll. It takes a shove to make a move (from rest).

Of course, but that was not my point.

The ball also has to be made of a solid material rather than Jello, be situated on an appropriate surface, not be Super Glued to the surface, etc., etc., etc.

My point was that some properties of an entity are essential to a given action the entity can cause and some are not. In the case of the round red ball, the roundness was essential to its rolling and the redness was not.

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Remember, existents are their properties. Actions are caused by entities, not properties.

More precisely, the actions of entities are caused by particular properties of entities. When a red ball rolls, the rolling is caused by the roundness of the ball and not the redness.

Roundness by itself won't do. The ball must be in motion relative to the frame in which it is observed to roll. So whatever caused the motion has as much to do with the rolling as the roundness of the ball.

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ruveyn

But whatever external factor caused the motion is not a property of the entity, which is what the discussion was about. So your comment is irrelevant. For you to hold that motion is essential to rolling is an a-causal explanation. Only entities act, and there must be an essential attribute of the object that causes it to roll when a force is exerted on it. Roundness is that essential property.

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Do you really think that Betsy or anyone else does not know that a ball must be moving to roll, that motion is not the required context in a discussion of the kind of motion caused when a ball is made to roll, and that we must all be instructed on that? Or do you think that the motion as such of a rolling ball is a cause of the rolling? "Shallow Pragmatism" is failing you. :angry2:

No move, no roll. It takes a shove to make a move (from rest). In any case effects are often the result of -joint- causes. Ask yourself what causes a fire:

a. an oxidizer or some chemical equivalent.

b. something burnable (i.e. fuel). That is the material cause.

c. a catalyst or a heat source. That is the efficient cause of the burn.

That is three things not one.

The effect needs an action (better known as efficient cause) in addition to participating entities.

I don't know what other people think. I know what they say, I know what they write and sometimes I know what they do when I can see them doing what they do. I don't read minds.

ruveyn

By themselves, they do not cause a fire. I can heat up oil on my stove and not produce a fire. The heat must be of sufficient quantity as to cause combustion.

You have listed some of the chemical properties of combustion, but you have not listed the essential properties of fire. A heated molecule of oxygen and hydrogen will meet your requirements but will not produce a fire. Combustion is not the same as fire. Fire is the heat and light that result from the combustion of a large quantity of materials that meet your three items listed above as well as all three items acting in combination at the same time.

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