Re: The foundation of reason

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Fri, 05 Mar 1999 08:06:03 -0600

Dan Fabulich wrote:
> Pragmatism can't help us here, because a logical skeptic can accept all of
> our premises and still disagree with our conclusions. Any proof we provide
> in defense of logic is just a proof; if the question you're trying to
> settle is "Why should I believe proofs?" then hearing a proof on the matter
> probably won't satisfy you.

Why are you asking a *pragmatist* for *proof*? A pragmatist has no more truck with "proving" things than science itself! Absolute certainty is the domain of mistaken philosophers.

The argument in favor of logic and reason is by no means certain, but it is better than anything else. If you try to deny all arguments as invalid, you wind up with a theory that provides no useful advice, and thus - however probable - cancels out of decision making. That's all anyone has to argue.

--         Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.