I supposed I should state this clearly, and probably write a little history of Truth in order to get across why we tend to use Platonic truth. But I’ll have to get to that in my chapter on Truth.

If we require, as does science, that we reduce all statements to operational language, then what action are we describing when we use the term ‘Truth”?

We are using its original meaning as “as true as possible given the best of my abilities”.

All other truths are platonist.

Described as human action, ‘Truth’ can only describe attestation because it is only such attestation that can be brought into observable existence.

This solves the long standing problem of the hierarchy of truth.

Cheers.

 

(I’m slow. Painfully diligent and slow. I frustrate people around me when working on a theory. But I seem to pretty much always get there. It was a great day today. I’m confident that I will succeed in reforming or delegitimizing both misesian pseudoscience and rothbardian parasitic ethics. I can see it all working now. ……but… right now, I need some chocolate cake.)

 

Proofs are properties of axiomatic systems. Axiomatic arguments are complete by definition. Proof and completeness are why axiomatic systems merely state internal consistency not external correspondence. As such axiomatic systems allow us to construct proofs – not truths.

One cannot prove a theory, only falsify it. A theory corresponds with reality, but is forever incomplete, or it is not a theory but a tautology. Axiomatic arguments are bounded only by the imaginary, and theoretic arguments are bounded by correspondence with reality.

This is why axiomatic systems are argumentatively weak (as we have seen in postwar physics) and theoretic arguments are strong: because the set of all possible and falsifiable theories is smaller than the set provable axiomatic statements.

This delta in ability is why axiomatic systems are useful for assisting us in the construction of theoretical systems. Mathematics for example can represent more possible relations than the universe can represent since the combinations of elementary particles is smaller than can be represented by natural numbers. Logic can represent more combinations of language than humans can organize into meaningful statements. In both language and mathematics external correspondence is required, and axiomatic arguments are merely exploratory devices to help us in the further construction of theories.

Economic statements allow us to test the rationality of actions and incentives. And we must always retest them if they are more than reductio statements, because no economic circumstance is unique enough that we can categorize it. That human interpretations are constant is not the same as saying that the circumstance is constant.

Problem Theory Test stated correctly would be:
Intuitive pattern->Imagination->theory->test of internal consistency->test of external correspondence->test of falsification->increase in knowledge->new intuitive pattern.

Hoppe’s arguments for example make these same errors: (from “Economic Science and the Austrian Method – Praxeology and Economic Science”

1 —” Whenever two people A and B engage in a voluntary exchange, they must both expect to profit from it. And they must have reverse preference orders for the goods and services exchanged so that A values what he receives from B more highly than what he gives to him, and B must evaluate the same things the other way around.”—

However, this is not correct. They must expect satisfaction from it, not profit. As an axiomatic statement it is false.

I’ve been corrected by a reader since Hoppe is referring to ‘psychic profit’. On the other hand I do not think blackmail gives us a psychic profit, and blackmail is a voluntary exchagne. As such, I think that the statement fails since voluntary exchange is not a sufficient test of ethical and moral exchange and therefor politically possible property rights.

–”Whenever an exchange is not voluntary but coerced, one party profits at the expense of the other.”—

This is not correct. All we can know is that on party is unsatisfied with the exchange. Involuntary restitution is unsatisfying or it would be unnecessary. The statement is not axiomatic, it’s false.

—”Whenever the supply of a good increases by one additional unit, provided each unit is regarded as of equal serviceability by a person, the value attached to this unit must decrease.”—

Subjective value is not moderated on a unit basis but on a utility basis. As such this statement is not axiomatic (its false)

—”Of two producers, if A is more productive in the production of two types of goods than is B, they can still engage in a mutually beneficial division of labor. This is because overall physical productivity is higher if A specializes in producing one good which he can produce most efficiently, rather than both A and B producing both goods separately and autonomously.”—

But demonstrably this is untrue, since the effort to produce an inferior good at a lower profit does not remove it’s portfolio value, and as such profibabilty is a property of the set of effort and risk involved, not the price and profiablity of any element of the portfolio of goods and services. Again, this statemetn is not axiomatic, and it’s false.

—”Whenever the quantity of money is increased while the demand for money to be held as cash reserve on hand is unchanged, the purchasing power of money will fall.”—

First, the question remains as to whether demand for cash on hand CAN remain constant, or if there is value to holding it constant, because while money is neutral, it is only neutral over time, and as such it is not unclear that even savers benefit (profit) if consumption is increased during the period, OR whether it is moral to refrain from encouraging consumption simply so that savers can obtain higher interest rates than consumers can consume and producers profit. So no, the statemetn is not axiomatic and I at least suspect it is either questionably moral, if not empirically false.

—” is the validation process involved in establishing them as true or false of the same type as that involved in establishing a proposition in the natural sciences?”—

Evidently, yes. As we have just seen, economic statemsts are set-theoretical and incomplete, general rules. Not axiomatic, complete, and open to deduction absent empirical test.

What separates economic science from the physical sciences both of the material world (physics et al) and cognitive science, Is that we require instrumentation to test statements about the physical world to compensate for the limits of our sense and perception, and likewise we require instrumentation to test the mind – since our senses are limited at the act of introspection. HOwever, economic statements that are reduced to operational language – a series of steps of human action in sequence – are universally perceptible or we could not take those actions.

As such economic statements are testable by sympathetic experience. We are marginally indifferent in our reactions to specific circumstances, and as such over subjective sympathy can be expressed as a general rule (theory). But given the uniqueness of every experience in time, these can never be more than general rules (theories), and are subject to testing each example incident.

One may say that economics is a science in which we need not rely upon instrumentation for testing statements. One may say that we can produce a logic of human action, consisting of the empirically derived theories.

Man’s reaction may be consistent throughout time, and consistent across all humans – at least to some degree. But since no two instances are the same, economics remains a theoretical rather than axiomatic discipline. Theories do not require completeness and axioms do by definition.

This post should be one of the more profound arguments that you will have encountered on a FB – that’s pretty likely from my experience.

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev

(PS very dense above. I may have to edit and expand it for additional clarity. But as an argument it’s pretty rock solid. And eventually I expect to put a permanent bullet in Misesian nonsense with it.)

 

WHICH IS MORE CRANKISH? SIMPLE SCIENCE AND LOGIC, OR RATIONALIST PSEUDOSCIENCE?

I am pretty confident that the praxeological line of reasoning, as currently constructed, is a dead end, as I’ve argued elsewhere. In no small part because it cannot compete with the universality of the language and processes of the ratio-scientific method. But while an inferior method, it’s still a useful method. And if it helps people understand micro and ethics then that’s good enough.

The challenge at this inflection point in intellectual history, is that Hoppe has created the formal language of political ethics and political economy, and taught most of us to argue politics ethics and morality in economic terms. Yet that language is unnecessarily dependent upon Argumentation, Continental Rationalism, and a misguided attempt to conflate logic and science, in order to defend against a positivism that is not present in the philosophy or practice of science – if it ever was.

Logic is axiomatic, and therefore both prescriptive and deductive. Science is theoretic, and therefore descriptive and deductive.
But we can make statements in logic that are internally consistent yet not externally correspondent, yet we cannot make theories that fail external correspondence, whether or not our language is internally consistent.

But the empirical test is obvious: if praxeology and rothbardian ethics are correct, then why are they both rejected almost universally? If these things are true, then why do we fail?

Comparative ethics, empirically studied, yields a universal descriptive ethics that is theoretically rigid and more sustainable from criticism than rothbardian ethics.

—”in all cultures and all civilizations, manners, ethics and morals reflect the necessary rules for organizing reproduction (the family) and the polity of families, such that they may cooperate in whatever structure of production is available to them. The content of those rules, under analysis, can be represented as property rights, each of which is distributed between the individual to the commons. Demand for third party authority as a means of resolving differences (the state) is determined by the degree of suppression of free riding (parasitism), and the number of competing sets of rules (family structures and classes) within any given structure of production. These sets of rules can be expressed as a simple formal grammar, which allows us to render all moral and ethical systems commensurable.”—

Macro economics, experimental psychology, and cognitive science have contributed all economic insights over the past three decades, and none of these insights were deducible (cognitive biases in particular), or were emergent effects of economic cooperation (stickiness of prices, the time delay until money achieves neutrality, and the quantitative impact on interest and production in the interim, within each sustainable pattern of specialization and trade.)

So, WHICH IS MORE PARSIMONIOUS A THEORY?
Which theory is easier to understand?
Which theory is more obscurant?
Which more accurately reflects reality?
I can explain and demonstrate this theory to anyone with a ratio-scientific background. I know this because it is simply an advancement to Ostrom’s work on institutions and she was able to do so.

Cheers.

 

Axiomatic vs Theoretic

1 – axiomatic (independent of action and observation) versus theoretic (action and observation)
a) Axiomatic systems allow us to make statements independent of any correspondence with reality.
b) Theoretical systems require us to make statements dependent upon correspondence with reality.
c) It is universally possible to create axiomatic systems by copying theoretical statements.
d) But it is not universally possible to create theoretical statements by copying axiomatic statements.

2 – Testing against our perception in an empirical test. Not a logical one. If economic statements are reduced to human actions which we can observe, then we are not in fact making a logical test, but an empirical one.

3 – What separates economics from the other sciences, (where science means observation) is that we can sense and perceive changes in state without the use of instrumentation. That does not mean that because we do not require instrumentation, we are not making observations. Introspection is still observation. Our statements are not logical, they are empirical because they are based upon that form of observation we call introspection.

4 – Praxeology, if it’s a science, cannot depend on axiomatic statements since sciences are not axiomatically based, but theoretically based. But if we claim it is axiomatic then it does not require observation and if it does not require observation than must include a prohibition on introspection as a means of testing, and that all such tests are truth or false independent of our sense perception.

5 – metaphysics states that reality is deterministic or knowledge of the universe is impossible. This stipulation required prior theory or axiom. Reason is impossible without it. We must assume regularity of the universe, even if we tend to construct history in retrospect for our ease of use.

BACKWARDS
Mises got it backwards. Economics is an observational science which we have the power of introspection to test. We can, from those observations both introspective and external, We can test the rationality of any statement (it’s truth content) but we cannot deduce much of anything from it. Because complex properties of action are emergent and impossible to forecast.

Kant was an intellectual criminal, and the continental and cosmopolitan schools have done nothing to help us eliminate obscurantism and pseudoscience favored by the left. In fact, All the triumvirate have seemed to want to do is create yet another pseudoscience.

I can’t save Hoppe unless I can fix this problem. Otherwise our movement is done when he is. Either we reform this nonsense, or libertarianism dies as a continental and cosmopolitan pseudosciences like the rest of the 20th century pseudosciences, or we convert libertarian language from the pseudoscientific to the scientific.

Science won. Cognitive science, experimental psychology, and empirical economics have provided all the insights. Meanwhile we’ve spent thirty to forty years now masturbating with a pseudoscience only an autistic moron could possibly fall for.

Time for libertarians to grow up.

If you can’t answer my objections above, with statements of human action you’re just a sucker for pseudoscience. Because that’s what Praxeology is. It doesn’t have to be. But that’s what it is.

LIBERTARIANS OUGHT TO STUDY MORE THAN “SCRIPTURE”. Because while knowledgable about economics, libertarians tend to be absolutely ignorant of anything outside the approved canon. I gain more understanding of the autistic nature of libertarians every day. Even though I’m one of them. I see that the lack of empathic comprehension applies to all disciplines.

Time to grow up kiddies.

 

Innovations are good. Better innovations are better. And, yes, Mises made an innovation, but the expository and explanatory power of the deductive and axiomatic method is LESS than the expository and explanatory power of the ratio-empirical method – not more.

Congratulating Mises on improving Kant, who was probably the single greatest contributor to philosophical obscurantism and the destruction of reason in human history, is hardly a compliment. Its an accusation of conspiracy. (See Rand on Kant. Kantian pseudoscience is part of the reason the libertarian project from the continent has failed.)

Hoppe’s argument is stated within the context of economic action. He is arguing that economics is purely deductive rather than like all other ‘sciences’ a mixture of:
(a) the limits of our biological ability to perceive in real time,
(b) a theory describing a general rule,
(c) the use of logic to test the internal consistence of the theory,
(d) and instrumental tests that replicate and falsify the theory

But he misunderstands (or intentionally mischaracterizes) the development of theories. There is no point in retesting them if they’ve been sufficiently tested and criteria for falsification defined. We can develop economic laws just like we can develop physical laws. But we cannot develop economic axioms because axioms are not required to be correspondent with reality, while theories are – and human action exists in reality.

Philosophy itself, when expressed operationally, as action (realism), rather than as analogy (platonism etc), or as experience (phenomenalism etc), results in a statement of the ratio-empirical method. The philosophy of action is science, not rationalism, precisely because only science requires demonstration of action. Reason does not. Reason is a continental attempt to conflate authority, morality and reason as a reaction to ratio-empircal science, and commercial morality which would upset the hierarchy as it has in the anglo countries.

It’s nonsense though. Economics, and human action, are empirical sciences that may, for the purposes of convenience be reduced to laws that are expressible in axiomatic terms. But axiomatic systems are not dependent upon external correspondence, and as such economics cannot under any circumstances be reduced to a logic. It is a science. It is the most challenging science because it lacks causal relations but it is a science born of observation, reducible to theories, we can use as laws, but these laws are not equivalent to axioms because axioms are not bounded by reality.

Period.

 

(on praxeology) (getting closer) (attestation theory of truth)

So, if the defining property of the discipline of science is observation, and praxeology is purely deductive independent of observation, then how can praxeology honestly be termed a science? It cannot. Praxeology can be defined as a logic, but not a science. Formal Logic and mathematics are branches of logic that produce proofs, but not truths. Truth, to have any universal meaning at all must mean correspondence to reality with increasingly weaker definitions in niche application as we move into various branches of logic.

Yet while truth is constrained by reality, axiomatic systems are not constrained by reality. We may produce theories, and rigid theories at that, but correspondence with reality is never axiomatic – axioms are limited to internal consistency. We are certainly missing a logic of cooperation with which to repair ethics. (I think I have articulated the criterion for that logic as voluntary transfer, symmetrically informed, warrantied, and free of externality.) But, I do not yet understand why we require a logic of action – or if there is any value in such a thing. But regardless of that question, logics are not identical to sciences and sciences not identical to logics, any more than proofs are identical to truths, or axioms identical to theories.
We may pretend for amusement purposes that human actions are, by analogy, functionally axiomatic rather than functionally theories in a given context, but this is a mere pretense. Theoretic systems must retain correspondence with reality, while axiomatic systems are not bound by correspondence with reality. Human actions occur within reality and are bounded by reality. Axiomatic systems are imaginary and are only bounded by imagination. For this reason human actions can only be theoretically constructed as correspondent with reality, just as logical systems can only be axiomatically constructed.

As such axiomatic systems tell us only about the internal consistency of our statements, and theoretical systems tell us only about the external correspondence of our theories – but not the internal consistency of our descriptions of those theories. If we use both tests of internal consistency and tests of external correspondence, and our statements are demonstrably valid proofs, and our theories are demonstrably valid tests, and both proofs and theories are stated operationally, then we can attest to the truth of our theories.

And the only means by which we can subjectively test either axiomatic or theoretic statements is to reduce them to analogies to experience, by stating them in operational sequence – which we call “Constructionism”.

If we cannot test the internal consistency or our arguments and external correspondence of our actions, then we cannot EVER honestly attest that our theories are true to our knowledge and understanding.

This is the only standard of truth for any theory that I know of: attestation. If a theory is both externally correspondent, internally consistent, operationally stated, and falsifiable, then to our current knowledge that theory as stated is true – one can attest to its truth, and not commit unethical attestation. This does not mean that the theory cannot be improved upon. But it means one’s attestation about it is true. And that is the best that we can ever hope for.
There is a great difference between a true theory and a complete theory. At some point any theory must evolve into a tautology, at which point one cannot attest to one’s hypothesis (theory, conjecture). Than is non-sensical. So a theory free of attestation is merely complete – tautological. Identical. Not correspondent dependent upon attestation ‘true’, nor imaginary and proven ‘proof’.)

Getting closer. It should be possible, if difficult, to follow that argument. I bet within six months I can get lightbulbs to come on. Not quite there yet. But very close. This approach reduces all statements to human actions and truth to attestation rather than the platonic.

 

Enlightenment Political and economic ethics, whether under classical liberal, libertarian, socialist and ‘dishonest socialist (keynesian)’ theory are predicated on the two assumptions (a)that moral and ethical behavior are ‘givens’ that we must agree upon, and that (b) our labors in the act of production are the means by which we earn rewards.

This logic assumes that entry into, and participation in the market (society, the order in which cooperation is possible), is all that one obtains for one’s constant payment of the costs of respecting property and other norms.

However, norms that permit property rights, and norms that permit trust (low transaction costs), and norms that prohibit conspiracy, are as equal in value in creating a polity in which the voluntary organization of production (capitalism) is possible. Respect for property rights, eschewing corruption and conspiracy, and demonstrating honestly, are all costs that the individual must bear. And he must bear them prior to any participation in production.

But if it is not possible for the individual to participate in the market (and it demonstrably is not), then entry into the market is not POSSIBLE, and as such it is non-rational for that individual to pay the very high costs of entry into that market. And therefore demands that they respect for property, honesty, and combat against conspiracy and corruption are simply attempts at theft of their opportunity, time and effort, without compensation.

As such, the alternative is to pay people to respect property rights, demonstrate honesty, eschew corruption and conspiracy, so that they work to enable the voluntary organization of production (capitalism), and function as consumers – to pay people to construct a society, polity, and economy, wherein the dynamic voluntary organization of production is possible.

People who enforce and respect property rights, manners, ethics, morals and norms, do so at a cost. The benefit of capitalism for everyone, is that production can be cheaply (low transaction costs) organized dynamically and voluntarily. However, if we cannot equally participate in the market (as we did under labor and farming) then the only alternative is to pay people for the work of facilitating the dynamic and voluntary organization of production.

Those people, paid as such, will have the same interests as producers: to minimize state consumption of the fruits of productivity.

That logic can be attacked from any number of angles but in the end, the result will be the same. You cannot make an operational argument in favor of property rights and at the same time defeat this argument. (Or you can try a lot, but it won’t work.)

Conversely, telling people that they must pay high costs for rights that they cannot make use of is merely theft by capitalist means.

 

This is where I’ve ended up thanks to Constructive Mathematics (Intuitionism, Intuitional Mathematics, Neointuitionism).

Logic: I apply the same requirement of operational language (strict construction) to logic – the logic of language. Of all the logics, the logic of language is the most misleading. I have the most work to do here. Much to the disappointment of practitioners of formal logic. Most of the mistakes I have come across (particularly in critical rationalism) are caused by erroneous elimination of action from that which depends upon action.

Math: In mathematics – the logic of names, numbers and relations. This work has been done by the generations before me. They just have not had the moral criticism I have given them as an argumentative weapon before in their attack on ‘magical’ mathematics.

Physics: It’s already present in the canons of science, and is already universally applied in physics – the logic of causality. There is very little work to be done here other than to cast some branches of physics as non-logical as currently stated.

Cooperation: I apply the same argument to the logic of cooperation (ethics). Ethics was the easiest problem to solve by the requirement for operational language (strict constructionism).

    i) The world is real, our actions are likewise real within that world.
    ii) There is only one MORAL and ETHICAL epistemological method, and that is the scientific method – or ‘the method’.
    iii) We have invented multiple methodologies of logic that help us isolate certain properties within this method.

    iv) Statements produced by this method are ‘theories’.
    v) Some theories can be logically treated axiomatically even though they are not in fact axioms but theories.

Knowledge of use is not equal to knowledge of construction.

MOTIVATIONS: ELIMINATION OF LOADING, FRAMING, DECEPTION, OBSCURANTISM, AND PSEUDOSCIENCE FROM POLITICAL DISCOURSE.

Law is but another logic. Politics is discourse on law. There is no logical specialization to citizenship save the logic of cooperation and even that specialization will forever be above the masses. If we are to eliminate deception from political discourse, we must eliminate it in all the logics. I was not correct that immorality in language originated with mathematics. Only that mathematical legitimacy was used as a means for expanding pseudoscience.

Just because something is convenient, if it is immoral, it remains immoral. Obscurantism, platonism, and use without comprehension of construction, are all forms of deception that insert magic and religion into the world.

Most of these conveniences are easy means of compensating for the problem of reducing any ‘computation’ into the two or three second window of human cognitive ability. However, as long as we can construct from operations, any entity, we can forever use the name of that construction as a function – giving us a shorthand for it that fits within our cognitive window.

I am sorry for labeling conveniences and contrivances as immoral, despite the cherished mythos that philosophers, logicians and mathematicians have warmed themselves in against the cold of realism. But no one else has yet attacked platonism as immoral. And I’ve done it I think pretty conclusively.

If you can purvey platonism, then others can equally claim to purvey mysticism, obscurantism, pseudoscience, loading and framing. Because if utility is the only tests, then religion is clearly superior to rational politics, and pseudoscience an effective means of governing (keynesianism), and the mind finds greater comfort in loading, framing, conflation and justifying, than it does in grasping objective reality.

Sorry, but if you can’t construct it, you don’t understand it. And the reason you don’t understand it is probably a cover for a lie.

Certainly that’s what’s happened in math and logic. Most of philosophy, continental in particular is deception. Justification. Lie.

The only moral statements are those under strict construction.

 

I‘m going to add Kant (obscurant anti-realism), to the ranks of history’s most destructive minds: Cantor(obscurant Pseudoscience), Freud(obscurant pseudoscience), Marx(pseudoscience), Napoleon (total war), Constantine(christianization of Europe), Plato (the Republic), Abraham(monotheism), Zoroaster (divine scripture).

Intellectual Sainthood
- Aristotle
- Machiavelli
- Bacon, Newton and Leibniz
- Smith, Hume and Jefferson
- Jevons, Menger, Walras, Marshall, Böhm-Bawerk, Wieser;
- Pareto, Durkheim, Weber and Hayek.
- Poincaré, Mandelbrot, Brouwer, Bishop, Taleb

Now, if I could get Hoppe off his Continental and Kantian platonism, then he would have be the first person to succeed in reducing all rights to property rights. Even if his definition of property is incomplete he would have done it. He managed to articulate the morality of states, but not the morality of polities necessary for the voluntary organization of production. And possibly, that was his only goal. Whereas with propertarianism, I’ve illustrated the definition of property necessary for the formation of a polity capable of voluntary organization of production in the absence of a state. But he isn’t a candidate for intellectual sainthood if he’s stuck in Kantian nonsense.

Failing that I’m stuck with doing it myself. And while I feel I have mastered ethics better than anyone else, I do not feel the same for philosophy proper. And while I’m getting there, I’m not there yet. I’m getting there. But the standard of measure is not my own comprehension, but the structure of my arguments. And I am just getting, after a year of solid hard work, to where I feel I can construct those arguments.

Einstein was right (even if a plagiarist) that most of doing something innovative is just working at it longer than anyone else.

 
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