Friday, May 23, 2008

ZenTiger Thinking out of the box

Zucchini is another vegetable that starts with the letter C
It seems the deductive* powers of many are extraordinary. Take this situation; there are 6 closed boxes on the table. You open the first and find a cauliflower. You open the second and find a cabbage. You open the third and find a carrot.

Zucchini is another vegetable that starts with the letter C

We are halfway through the boxes. To digress for a moment - people look for patterns. They look for order. They apply their learnings and make what seem to be objective deductions. But we'll still get different opinions. Vegetables? Things starting with the letter C? Vegetables starting with the letter C?

We open box four. Potato.
OK. Well, it's vegetables then.

Box 5. Lettuce.
Yep, case closed. Vegetables.

Do we need to open box 6? Some people don't bother at this point. But we will be thorough. We open box 6. An apple.

Yep, it's a vegetable. At least that's what many people would have you believe.


* Deductive, in the general sense, but more accurately, an issue of inductive reasoning, as David points out below.

4 comment(s):

David Winter said...

But that's induction (with which we have a Problem) not deduction your portraying.

ZenTiger said...

Fair enough. Nice link, by the way.

David Winter said...

Yup, that encyclopaedia is a pretty amazing resource. Just another reason to fund Humanities research!

It occurs to me all this vegetable-revealing talk might be a good way of understanding how philosophers think science avoids the problem of induction but it also occurs.

a) that kind of talk has a limited audience and
b)it's a cold Friday afternoon and I ought to find an Emersons and a warm Fire.

Do have a good weekend

Barnsley Bill said...

Sigh, my head hurts...

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