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Re: Our 'enry and somthing new
I must say I am immensely impressed with the quality of your arguments, AND the
statistical superiority of the Scots. (It must be those long nights.) :-)
(I know you hate emoticons, but it seemed appropriate to use one in this case)
My point was that searching for historical evidence of necessary pre and post
conditions for hypothetical events is a valid approach which can prove the
falsity of a hypothesis. If some precondition HAD TO HAVE EXISTED before some
hypothetical event, and if you can use the historical record to prove that
those preconditions didn't exist, then the hypothetical event simply can't be
true. The same is true for a necessary post condition.
On the other hand, proving the historical reality of a necessary pre or post
condition doesn't prove that the event occurred, but it does strengthen the
arguments for it. If you can pile up enough of them (proven links in a causal
chain) in support of a hypothesis, then when someone argues that that
hypothesis is not true, it begins to stretch "coincidence" a bit too far. Not
proof, of course, but evidence nonetheless.
My examples are not particularly good, but I hope they demonstrate the line of
argument I am trying to make.
> Dear Joe,
> The problem with Henry we now face is a lack of new evidence to test the
> working hypothesis. Nothing can progress until we find new information, or
> old evidence is presented in a different way.. The causal chain is sound, if
> the preconditions are accepted. There is doubt both ways, only an acceptance
> and assessment of certain events produces conclusions. Other preconditions,
> if accepted, can lead to radically different conclusions. The events
> necessary to form valid preconditions are unclear. We can find syllogistic
> truth but not existential import.
> The why Henry went, to me, is the big question. Answer that and everything
[ Excess quotations omitted. ]