Re: analytical rigor

From: Russell Wallace (
Date: Tue Jun 27 2006 - 17:23:53 MDT

On 6/27/06, Richard Loosemore <> wrote:
> If this were a debate about particular results within a science, your
> request for falsifiable predictions would be justified. But because you
> *know* full well that I have made my statements at the paradigm level
> -- in other words, for people who might be reading this and do not know
> what I mean by that, I am attacking the foundational assumptions and the
> methodology of the mainstream AI approach -- your request for a bold
> precise, flasifiable prediction is specious.

I think "paradigm" is a rather overused word, but I'm prepared to admit it
here for the sake of argument.

The thing is, you don't actually get a new paradigm by just coming along and
saying "hey guys, the old paradigm doesn't work, it's time for a new one".
Kepler didn't just go "Greek geometry isn't the way forward, let's go to a
paradigm based on algebraic equations", he came up with a _specific_ theory
that incidentally ushered in the new paradigm. Einstein didn't just go "it's
time for a change from classical mechanics, guys". Etc.

So even - especially - if you want to make statements at the paradigm level,
you've got to back them up with positive specifics if you want them to be
useful. Maybe you're "attacking the foundational assumptions and the
methodology of the mainstream AI approach", but if that's all you're doing
it's useless even if correct. Forget about attacking other people's ideas
for the moment, and concentrate on putting forward something positive of
your own. Old ideas being discarded is something that _follows_ new ones
being accepted.

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