The Straw Man Fallacy Almost Never Happens

The straw man fallacy is where someone intentionally ignores a person’s actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or intentionally misrepresented version of that position. The idea is the person gives a version of your argument that’s weaker than your actual argument, to make it easier to counter. But in general, people don’t try to … Read more

The Case Against Meta Discussion

Meta discussion is talking about the discussion or its participants, instead of the content of the discussion. Meta is disruptive to a conversation. Meta encourages other people to reply in meta, instead of to the point. It may seem like meta is helpful, but it actually isn’t. It drives arguments into black holes. Common types … Read more

5 Ideas with Reach on Learning

The great thing about ideas with reach is that you don’t need to learn that many to be set upon the right path. Here are five ideas with reach, that if you took seriously would allow you to do better than most on lots of stuff: 1) Human minds are universal computers. That means, it’s … Read more

Examples of Meta

Good example of why meta discussion is bad for discussion: Lots of… Asking “What is the evidence?” Saying “There is lots of evidence.” Ad hominem. Arguing about whether it’s ad hominem. Argument from authority. Talking about the close-mindedness of each other. Asking to accept the “scientific facts”. Talking about how one side or other doesn’t … Read more

Difference Between Philosophy and Science

Philosophy and science are different in one respect: scientific theories can be tested by experiment, philosophy can’t. What does this mean? All the stuff other than testing is done the same. So, how much of this other stuff is there? How similar are they really? Testing is the act of taking two (or more) theories … Read more

Popper & Induction Applied to Art

A common error made by people trying to draw is that they draw what they think they see, rather than what is actually there. Since the brain is specialised in creating and interpreting symbols, people draw the symbols (e.g. “An eye is an almond shape with a circle in it”), instead of their real shapes … Read more

Problems Are Good

“I think that there is only one way to science – or to philosophy, for that matter: to meet a problem, to see its beauty and fall in love with it; to get married to it and to live with it happily, till death do ye part – unless you should meet another and even … Read more

Ways to Tell Whether a Theory is Bad

Welcome to Lulie’s Guide on How to Tell Whether a Theory is Bad: If the person denies that he himself exists. If the person denies that knowledge is possible, or the person denies that science or reason has achieved anything. If the theory doesn’t hold if applied to itself. If the theory doesn’t solve any … Read more

Conjectures with Refutations

Conjecture: Logical Positivism — the theory that says the only statements that are meaningful are statements that are empirically verifiable (in other words, true by using observation) — is right. Refutation: The idea of Logical Positivism isn’t empirically verifiable. So by its own definition, it’s meaningless. Conjecture: With regard to morality: just do what you … Read more