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Inverse Theory

Evolution requires truth to function. Evolution progresses towards truth. The inverse view may be complete and stable but it is not true by the normal use of the word.

The term inverse theory originally came from the following notion: an idiotarian is a person who needs an anti-idiotarian to tell her/him what white is, so s/he can call it black. I don't think this is the right definition for idiotarian, but I do think it's a useful idea and deserving of a word. Moral inverter is fitting.

(I've been using 'view' and 'moral view' interchangeably. I just used 'moral inverter' for someone who inverted a physical fact. Basically, I don't think there's any particular difference. Because people twist their factual theories according to their moral ones.)

If a moral inverter's view is not true, s/he cannot evolve it. So, to create it, s/he must find a true view to reverse.

But how can we reconcile this with the notion that someone holding on to a part of the inverse view, will, as s/he approaches a complete worldview, approach the inverse? Well, if an inverter has a bunch of inverse theories in a sphere, s/he can compare new ones to the preexisting ones for consistency, and to see how well the theories mesh in terms of explanation. However, when approaching a completely new issue, won't the inverter be at a loss?

In a sphere, to make very much progress, one needs to have some notion of what truth means. It doesn't need to be explicit (in a language with symbols and grammar). Without some notion, how can one evaluate theories? One cannot. Of course, in all objective spheres, every person alive does have such a notion. But sometimes the notion is only marginally better than none at all. I would offer up aesthetics as an example of a sphere where people do not have a good conception of truth. I would offer up science as one where people have a very good conception of truth -- true scientific ideas correspond to physical reality.

If a practitioner of the good view approaches a new sphere, s/he will create some notion of truth, and try to make progress. If a practitioner of the inverse view approaches a new sphere, I do not expect her/him to create an inverted notion of truth -- an inverse-epistemology -- and make progress towards it. This is because no one wants to be bad.

Talk to an inverter. Ask her/him about her/his view in some sphere s/he hasn't thought about much -- try to get her/him to create a view. In my experience, s/he will likely be at a loss. This is because s/he does not have any epistemology to work with in the sphere. However, if I present my view, the inverter will no longer be lost. Her/his worldview is very clear that I must be opposed, and thus s/he will chronically disagree with me, and set about creating the inverse view of mine.

The word 'true' generally refers to the good view. But the inverse view can have its own meaning for truth. But few or no people actually adopt the inverse meaning for truth explicitly. It is very difficult to adopt, because no one wants to be bad.

Elliot Temple on February 16, 2003

Comments (9)

i think i understood less than 1% of this.

what is "the inverse view"?

what is a "sphere"? do you mean like *field of knowledge*?


> If a moral inverter's view is not true, s/he cannot evolve it.

Why not?

Anonymous at 6:05 PM on January 22, 2016 | #4582
inverse view = complete, consistent worldview but with everything opposite instead of true

sphere = domain = field, yes

Anonymous at 9:31 AM on January 23, 2016 | #4589

what is a moral inverter?

so, what is a moral inverter?

Anonymous at 12:44 PM on January 23, 2016 | #4594
moral inverter = person advocating the inverse view

Anonymous at 12:47 PM on January 23, 2016 | #4596

what ideas can't be evolved?

> If a moral inverter's view is not true, s/he cannot evolve it.

what ideas can't be evolved?

well, none.

but a *person* who blocks criticism, of an idea he holds, cannot evolve that idea.

am i understanding you?

Anonymous at 12:48 PM on January 23, 2016 | #4597
> am i understanding you?

no. the idea here is evolution makes things more adapted. evolution is truth-seeking. you can't use that with anti-truth stuff to get more perfectly opposite ideas.

(right or wrong, that's what the post said – that evolution goes TOWARDS truth and requires truth to function.)

Anonymous at 12:50 PM on January 23, 2016 | #4598
> moral inverter = person advocating the inverse view

what problem is this idea intended to solve? i don't get the point. i guess it's just for illustration. but for illustrating what? (i'm gonna read the OP again. maybe i'll figure it out.) or are there really people who advocate the inverse view?

you said in the OP:

> The term inverse theory originally came from the following notion: an idiotarian is a person who needs an anti-idiotarian to tell her/him what white is, so s/he can call it black. I don't think this is the right definition for idiotarian, but I do think it's a useful idea and deserving of a word. Moral inverter is fitting.

can you give a more realistic example instead of the "tell her/him what white is, so s/he can call it black"?

i'm imagining situations where somebody contradicts another person not because he has a reason but instead because he got emotional and defensive, as if he thinks someone is trying to hurt him.

is that an example of somebody doing a moral inversion? and is a moral inverter just somebody who does moral inversions?

Anonymous at 1:01 PM on January 23, 2016 | #4606
the main problem is: what CONSISTENT, COMPLETE worldviews exist?

if your ONE TOOL is NON-CONTRADICTION, **how far does that get you??**

the answer i came up with is something like: there's only 3 consistent, complete worldviews: true, null, inverse (opposite of true).

Anonymous at 1:04 PM on January 23, 2016 | #4608
> the main problem is: what CONSISTENT, COMPLETE worldviews exist?

this is kinda weird because i think of a worldview as something a person can actually hold, and after reading below, i don't think any of the 3 things you described are possible for a person to hold.


> if your ONE TOOL is NON-CONTRADICTION, **how far does that get you??**
>
> the answer i came up with is something like: there's only 3 consistent, complete worldviews: true, null, inverse (opposite of true).

i get how the tool of non-contradiction helps a person get towards the true view.

but how could it help a person move towards the inverse view? or the null view?

Anonymous at 4:33 PM on January 23, 2016 | #4610

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)