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Pragmatism

A lot of pragmatism is because people lose arguments but still disagree. They don't know how to deny the truth of an idea, but they still don't want to do it.

There is a gap between the knowledge they live by and the knowledge they use in debates. The knowledge applied to debates is what they call ivory tower abstractions, and the knowledge applied to life they call pragmatic.

This gap is a very very bad thing.

This separation results in lots of bad intellectual ideas that contradict reality. And lots of bad life choices that contradict principles and logic, e.g. by being superstitious.

Being able to speak intelligently about your life knowledge allows for getting advice and learning from criticism. Being able to apply abstract knowledge to life allows for using the scientific method, free trade, or successfully finding a book in a Dewey Decimal organized library.

Elliot Temple on February 27, 2016

Comments (7)

Mostly agreed. But:

> A lot of pragmatism is because people lose arguments but still disagree. They don't know how to deny the truth of an idea, but they still don't want to do it.

Do you think it's rational to do everything you can't deny the truth of explicitly?

What about when people have inexplicit ideas that oppose the idea. So they have some resistance to it, but don't know how to explain it. It might be true or false.

If they were to act on your argument because they are unable to explain why they disagree, wouldn't they be acting against their inexplicit idea and so suffer?

Anonymous at 6:08 AM on May 7, 2016 | #5187
> Do you think it's rational to do everything you can't deny the truth of explicitly?

of course not. if you have an inexplicit problem with an idea, *there is a conflict there that you need to solve*.

but people don't know that, so they run into big problems.

Anonymous at 10:09 AM on May 7, 2016 | #5189
> of course not. if you have an inexplicit problem with an idea, *there is a conflict there that you need to solve*.

It's a conflict between your arguments and their decisions. But is it a conflict for *them*?

If they're not convinced by your argument because of some inexplicit idea, they might not be in conflict at all. Their inexplicit idea might successfully beat your argument and they just don't know how to explain that to you.

Anonymous at 10:44 AM on May 7, 2016 | #5190
> It's a conflict between your arguments and their decisions. But is it a conflict for *them*?

i have no idea what you're talking about. i was talking about *one person*. where you got an idea in the first place (e.g. from someone else) mostly doesn't matter once you have it.

Anonymous at 4:39 PM on May 7, 2016 | #5192
Yeah, it was misleading context in my post, didn't add relevant content.

I'll try again.

If someone isn't convinced by an idea because of some inexplicit idea they have, could they not be in conflict at all?
Their inexplicit idea might successfully beat the other idea and they just don't know how to put that explicitly.

Anonymous at 3:23 AM on May 8, 2016 | #5197
if there is no conflict, why are we talking about it?

if they have trouble standing up to the explicit idea, that's a conflict.

Anonymous at 3:39 AM on May 8, 2016 | #5200
> if they have trouble standing up to the explicit idea, that's a conflict.

(earlier quote)
>> Do you think it's rational to do everything you can't deny the truth of explicitly?
> of course not. if you have an inexplicit problem with an idea, *there is a conflict there that you need to solve*.
(end earlier quote)

My first thought was you're contradicting yourself here.

But I think I misunderstood the earlier quote. Yes, if there is a *problem* with an idea then there is a conflict to solve. I think I was being imprecise about how I read "problem" before.

> if there is no conflict, why are we talking about it?
So to answer your question: Because I'm trying to work out what I got wrong :)

Anonymous at 3:52 AM on May 8, 2016 | #5201

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)