2.2 The Problem of Interpretation

Copyright © ‘Reality’ Doug 2013

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To Philosopher to King by ‘Reality’ Doug is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Interpretation is a challenge of construction with the raw material of observation. The activity of construction is a sequence of joining actions. Make a mistake near the foundation and the interpretative framework as a whole is troublesomely misleading. Not all inaccuracies are mistakes. A working understanding is a simplification until that understanding is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Repetitive testing is a way to identify most mistakes that lead to false expectations. Philosophy can be tested by numerous observations of social outcomes under analogous circumstances through direct observation and from history. The philosophically sound thinker, the only kind of sound thinker, meets emotional, referential, and structural requirements of thinking.

The sound thinker, if human anyway, must meet the emotional requirement of harmonious humility and ambition. The right frame of mind for physical challenges is called being in the zone, a condition of being relaxed and intense simultaneously with harmonious purpose. The frame of mind of a PUA is called inner game. The right inner game is both logic and irrationality harmoniously fitted for purpose dictated by the common emotive needs of the dull masses. Similarly, the competent thinker has the humility to recognize what he thinks is not entirely right and may be proven obsolete or outright wrong harmoniously fitted with the ambition to work and rework through the structure of his conceptions and to apply his ideas in matters of consequence.

The philosophically sound thinker must meet the referential requirement of observation. No mortal can meet that requirement for The Truth in total, but a mortal can restrict himself to some domain of consideration, such as a domain of discourse or a problem/solution space. Wisdom is a working understanding of relationships of comprehensive breadth and insightful depth adequate to identifying the principles suitable to the situations typical of people. Data holes are filled only with studious observation. Principles, hypotheses, and theories are evaluated only with studious observation. We might choose for a principle ‘I think’.

The philosophically sound thinker must meet the structural requirements of mental construction. The thoughtful use of vocabulary makes that possible too:
Boolean Value – A value of true or a value of false.
Proposition – A statement or declaration that may be true or may be false but not both. A letter, such as p or q, may be used to designate some particular proposition. Also called Assertion, Hypothesis, or Conjecture.
Connective – A logical operator representing an operation that creates a more complex proposition from associating simpler propositions. For example, logical and, logical or (inclusive), logical negation, and logical implication.
Simple Proposition – A proposition without any connectives.
Compound Proposition – A proposition with any connectives.
Implication – The logical operation having a conditional proposition that when true asserts the truth of a consequential statement, or the compound proposition composed of a conditional proposition, an implication operator, and a consequential statement. If-then represents the implication operator in the implication statement: “If p, then q.” Alternatively, q if p, p→q, or p⇒q. Also called Conditional Implication or Conditional. Unidirectional Implication is not commonly used.
Antecedent – The conditional or given (independent) proposition of an implication, i.e. the ‘p’ of p→q. Also called Hypothesis or Premise.
Consequent – The resultant (dependent) proposition of an implication, i.e. the ‘q’ of p→q. Also called Conclusion.
Bidirectional Implication – The logical operation of implication in both possible directions between the two associated propositions, or the compound proposition composed of a proposition, a bidirectional implication operator, and a logically equivalent form of the former proposition. Bidirectional implication asserts equivalence and may be recognized by the phrase “if and only if.” This is an example: “If and only if p, then q.” So is this: “q if and only if p.” Alternatively, q iff p, p↔q, or p⇔q. A bidirectional implication is functionally an implication further constrained by its converse implication (defined shortly). Also called Biconditional.
Tautology – A compound proposition always true regardless of the associated simpler propositions. For example, “p or not p” is true whether p evaluates to true or to false.
Contradiction – A compound proposition always false regardless of the associated simpler propositions. For example…you got this, right?

Did you get all that? You’ll need to grasp those basics and a bit more to leverage the elegant clarity of rationalism. For example, suppose we adopt the axiom “I think,” equivalent to asserting the proposition “I think” is true. We could then assert by rational construction “I am” is also true by combining the axiom “I think” with the implication “if I think, then I must exist.” The truth of “I think” is transferred by logical attachment to “I am.” Thank you, René Descartes.

A preemptive judgment on the symbolism of implication may assuage the logic literacy learning curve some readers will independently attempt further. Some make intrinsic distinction between → and ⇒ and between ↔ and ⇔. I posit the distinction is mere convention sometimes exaggerated to attribute the nature of the operands (antecedent and consequence) inherent to the domain of discourse but only contextual to the conditional or biconditional as inherent to said implication. This is really a subtle philosophical debate on vocabulary: formal symbolism is extended vocabulary. There is no need to maintain any distinction for purposes here.

This basic, progressively ordered lexicon culminates with four definitions:
Contingency – A proposition that is neither a tautology nor a contradiction. A simple proposition is a contingency. A compound proposition conveys intellectual significance relating its simpler propositions if and only if it is a contingency.
Converse – An implication of the form ‘q implies p’ when compared to the related implication of form ‘p implies q’.
Inverse – An implication of the form ‘the negation of p implies the negation of q’ when compared to the related implication of form ‘p implies q’.
Contrapositive – An implication of the form ‘the negation of q implies the negation of p’ when compared to the related implication of form ‘p implies q’. An implication (simple or compound as matched converses of a biconditional) is logically equivalent to its contrapositive.

The converse and inverse of an implication generally need not evaluate to the same Boolean value given by the implication, but the contrapositive must. The logic of the assertion all girls are female, meaning “if subject x is a girl, then subject x is female,” is exactly equivalent to the less concise logic of the contrapositive “if subject x is not female, then subject x is not a girl.” Per the contrapositive, if subject x is a girl, then subject x can’t be not a female because being not a female would necessitate that subject x is not a girl. The labels ‘original proposition’ and ‘contrapositive’ are technically interchangeable because of an interesting property of binary circuity. Double contraposition like its component double negation and double conversion takes you back to the starting condition.

Propositions may be joined into a framework for modeling the causality of phenomena. If the propositions employ mathematics, aspects of phenomena may be correlated quantitatively and more advanced forms of mathematic description may be discovered. The DNA value of a set of axioms and principles can be fleshed out by deductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning may be used to intelligently suppose general rules that may prove to be useful principles. Analysis is the study of phenomena by localized search for constitutional elements. Synthesis is the study of phenomena by the observation of synergy between constitutional elements.

Our frameworks of understanding can have varying degrees of utility due to considerations of breath, depth, and consistency. Deficiency of only one of the three, consistency, may result in a fallacious conception. Common types of erroneous construction include:
Circular Reasoning – Implication of a group of one or more consequents as true by dual usage as antecedents in a circular syllogistic chain, for example: “If a→b and b→c and c→a, then a, b, and c (are true propositions).” The degenerate case of a single implication linkage is called Begging the Question, as in: “If a, then a.”
Affirming the Consequent – Deducing as true a proposition of the form ‘q→p’ from the related propositions of forms ‘p’ and ‘p→q’ given as true. In plain English, this is fallacy of the converse of a true implication.
Denying the Antecedent – Deducing as true a proposition of the form ‘not p→not q’ from the related propositions of forms ‘not p’ and ‘p→q’ given as true. In plain English, this is fallacy of the inverse of a true implication.

Circular reasoning is essentially implication’s failed attempt at tautology. Chained negation can pointlessly link together propositions with their negated selves such that the composite proposition is always true regardless of the truth value of the underlying propositions. Implication chaining can only link the truth value of underlying propositions such that they are consistent in one way or in the opposite way. For example, the following proposition is true: “If a→b and b→c and c→a, then a, b, and c are either all true propositions or else all false propositions.”
It only takes only a little thought to understand that the converse or inverse of a true implication is not necessarily true. (Deductive reasoning is construction of logical necessity.) It is true that “all girls are female.” However, it is not true that “all females are girls” or that “all who are not girls are not female.”

Some errors are genuine, unintentional mistakes, but some errors are meant to deceive. Here are some common types of fraudulent construction:
(Argumentum) Ad Hominem – Argument that an idea is false by inference to its supposed contraction of antithesis to truth from the the contagious negative character attributed to the individual affirming the idea.
Non Sequitur – Argument by nonsensical implication or inference, denotatively any fallacious argument but connotatively a crudely nonsensical argument not lending itself to more specific categorization.
Red Herring – A misleading clue or a diversion meant to draw attention away from pertinent logical analysis. The technique or act of using a red herring for avoidance argumentation is called muddying the waters.
Straw Man – A presumably more untenable misrepresentation of an idea to be attacked or discredited as if it were the actual idea, or the argument employing such a strategy.

There are plenty more species of fraudulent construction. Public opinion in the West is managed increasingly less by fallacies of logic and increasingly more by apathy and emotional prejudice. The human worker is more productive with logic skills than without. The internalization of stock orthodoxy by emotional conditioning makes that added value possible with domesticated workers. Westerners are being educated for creative allegiance and logical dispatch, with fantastic results.

Politically correct broads, male or female, are quick to correct the label of ‘stupidity’ with ‘ignorance’. There is no practical difference since the means of correcting plebeian ignorance are terminally unavailable. Wealth of the plebes is systematically reduced by extraction and obstruction, with much of the extracted wealth repurposed for the debasement and ultimate harvest of those who produced it. Think of this as an Einsteinian principle of Social Relativity: Ignorance that is unfeasible to correct is indistinguishable from stupidity.

The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America by Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt seems to be the definitive work on the U.S. childhood indoctrination system and is entered in the reading list at the end of this work.

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