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deductive or prescriptive

deductive or prescriptive
January 12, 2014, 02:18:06 AM
Found somewhere on the web:

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Since most people canít pronounce ideology, much less define it, a brief definition is in order: any prescriptive values system, in contrast to deductive value systems. A prescriptive value system tells you what you should do; a deductive one tries to figure out reality, and tell you what will happen if you do x, y or z, and thus points out what an optimal course of action is.

Our prescriptive system follows from out of rationalism which is rooted in an imaginary reality of what ought to be instead of the temporal one of what is or must be. Since what's rational can also be deduced, the conflict is therefore between empiricism and rationalism.

We have a real problem marrying the two. We refuse to believe consistent observations about our world because some exceptions have shown us otherwise. The exceptions themselves are subjected to a kind of broad brushed, idealistic artistic license like Thomas Jefferson's famous quote about all men created equal along with some of the experiences of parts of early America.


Our rationalism tells us that these various exceptions exemplify a basis for a prescriptive rule set and that by applying this rule set (equality, world democracy e.g.) we may overcome the conditions we have been observing.

When we fail to overcome, our sole solution is to reapply the rule set:

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If the action fails, there wasnít enough of the ideology, or it was sabotaged by some ideological enemy. There is never any means for the ideology to stop and criticize itself.

Re: deductive or prescriptive
January 17, 2014, 01:05:51 AM
What is the difference between:

1. tells you what you should do
2. points out what an optimal course of action is

Re: deductive or prescriptive
January 17, 2014, 07:00:48 PM
From which are we better off drawing our conclusions?

Rationalists tend to believe in the magical transmutation of particulars into universals and the reapplication of this social engineering alchemy in response to its failure. But instead, we could use the scientific method where at least if we don't always invoke good feelings with our conclusions, they won't end up a fallacious error everyone is stuck with.

Re: deductive or prescriptive
January 17, 2014, 08:34:09 PM
Conflating rationalism with the cultural narratives of a rationalist period is not remotely helpful and it confuses your entire argument. Empiricism is a subset of rationalism. Deductive value system is purely rationalist.

Action B has outcomes X or Y. Action C produces outcome W or Z. From what perspective are the outcomes analyzed to determine the preferable course of action? Given the reality of human behavior, one may empirically derive outcome, but empiricism won't tell you which avenue to proceed with. It is ill equipped to handle the "why"

"We should do this" completes the circuit as you're looking for empirical evidence to support a pre-existing value during the process of deduction.

Re: deductive or prescriptive
January 17, 2014, 09:00:16 PM
You've accurately identified the failure of rationalism: mistaking abstractions for the things they represent.

In providing a solution to the error, you reassert rationalism, inadvertently becoming a partisan of the sort you decry.

Re: deductive or prescriptive
January 18, 2014, 12:30:51 AM
It was a deliberately rational critique of the rationalism that is in practice. Some empirical points were offered in support. I think it is bad logic to apply situational particulars as if they were universals in the pursuit of some unlikely ideal like the transition from functional, limited republic to a bloated, nominal mass democracy while claiming the transition is a logical outcome.

It's like causing a truck that used to run on the highway to break down from excessive payload and saying its new motionless state was its destiny all along; this destiny being what it was designed for anyway. We end up with more or less a rational(ized) assertion that we are expected to call progress with the bonus that a greater number of people than before are satisfied for a while.

Re: deductive or prescriptive
January 18, 2014, 06:25:49 AM
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What is the difference between:

1. tells you what you should do
2. points out what an optimal course of action is

From which are we better off drawing our conclusions?

I'm guessing you favour the second option.

But 'should' and 'optimal' are cut from the exact same cloth: subjective judgement

Illustration: 'Optimal' under whose interpretation? What is optimal for the deer is not going to be optimal for the lion. Optimal just collapses into Should.

More generally, I cannot see what a 'deductive value system' is. It sounds to me as though 'deductive' is being used to impart some sort of objectivity to some limited class of value judgements: those that are 'optimal', what ever that means.

Nihilism means that NO value judgements, of any sort, follow logically (deductively) from the mind-independent world. This doesn't mean nihilism has no function (personal or subjective), it's just that its philosophical, or objective, function is purely negative.

Re: deductive or prescriptive
January 20, 2014, 12:57:52 AM
I see the confusion. The aim all along isn't creating value judgments but instead causing results.

In the original article, collective value judgment replaces creating results as an overarching goal. Strangely, results no longer matter much because maintaining ideology is paramount. This is because we ended up best rewarded socially and economically in consistently upholding the ideology regardless of outcome.

Discarding value judgments in the pursuit of an outcome that may or may not fail to fit the ideal narrative or its methods would fit a nihilistic mind.

Re: deductive or prescriptive
January 20, 2014, 10:58:24 AM
I see the confusion. The aim all along isn't creating value judgments but instead causing results.

In the original article, collective value judgment replaces creating results as an overarching goal. Strangely, results no longer matter much because maintaining ideology is paramount. This is because we ended up best rewarded socially and economically in consistently upholding the ideology regardless of outcome.

Discarding value judgments in the pursuit of an outcome that may or may not fail to fit the ideal narrative or its methods would fit a nihilistic mind.

I think the same confusion still has its claws in the issue.

'Results' imparts a value judgement, at least in the sense you are using it, I think.

People whose ideology you don't like get 'results', they just aren't 'optimal' to you....



Re: deductive or prescriptive
January 20, 2014, 05:28:39 PM
I see the confusion. The aim all along isn't creating value judgments but instead causing results.

In the original article, collective value judgment replaces creating results as an overarching goal. Strangely, results no longer matter much because maintaining ideology is paramount. This is because we ended up best rewarded socially and economically in consistently upholding the ideology regardless of outcome.

Discarding value judgments in the pursuit of an outcome that may or may not fail to fit the ideal narrative or its methods would fit a nihilistic mind.

What I was getting at is that the optimal result is always going to be determined by a value judgment.

It's worth mentioning that the Rationalist Religion of Progress did provide results for over 300 years of industry. The delusion of infinite growth remains despite the depletion of the resource base that made the ideology viable in the first place is the reason results are no longer happening.

Of course, the partisans of this brand of rationalist ideology will retreat into the comfort of increasingly desperate fantasy. Commonplace behavior for people who's conception of the world is about to shatter.

Re: deductive or prescriptive
January 21, 2014, 02:57:06 AM
I see the confusion. The aim all along isn't creating value judgments but instead causing results.

In the original article, collective value judgment replaces creating results as an overarching goal. Strangely, results no longer matter much because maintaining ideology is paramount. This is because we ended up best rewarded socially and economically in consistently upholding the ideology regardless of outcome.

Discarding value judgments in the pursuit of an outcome that may or may not fail to fit the ideal narrative or its methods would fit a nihilistic mind.

What I was getting at is that the optimal result is always going to be determined by a value judgment.

It's worth mentioning that the Rationalist Religion of Progress did provide results for over 300 years of industry. The delusion of infinite growth remains despite the depletion of the resource base that made the ideology viable in the first place is the reason results are no longer happening.

Of course, the partisans of this brand of rationalist ideology will retreat into the comfort of increasingly desperate fantasy. Commonplace behavior for people who's conception of the world is about to shatter.

Right.

Diverging, people can have fantastical views about reality. But as soon as you attach a value judgement 'bad'/'wrong'/'sub-optimal' etc to these fantasies (like 'resources are unlimited'), you are entering the realm of the subjective.

All politics/ideology/results/optimality/values is just a clash of wills, when you get down to it.