Do we need "motivation, background, and spelled out reasoning" for any question that is not easily parceled up?

So I posted this question, and apparently it doesn't make sense, because I have not explained my motivation, background, and reasoning, even-though I did all these things (both in the question and in comments).

Reasoning: I was disappointed it's (Bayesian epistemology) not more received, but that's obviously cos it's new.

Motivation: I'm pretty ignorant of both. I find the question exciting, both (Bayesian epistemology and paraconsistent logic) being cutting edge. I think both will fit together (they do, see the article in comments) and (as I commented) I think much everyday reasoning might borrow from BOTH.

Background: I've encountered Bayesian epistemology before, but it was quite some time ago.

How much more of these things do we need? Do I need to write a sprawling personal statement to ask unusual questions?

More generally, can people not separate out the salient points in an exchange? And respond to them, rather than top down processing of philosophy.stack?

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    why has this been dwnovted? i explicitly show how the question did not lack what it was claimed it did. unless something else was meant? i guess we'll never know
    – user38026
    Apr 8, 2019 at 1:26
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    +1 I don't see why this was down voted either. Apr 8, 2019 at 12:42
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    +1 I think your main question is a very good one in spirit; I would also be interested to see if Bayesian epistemology + paraconsistent logic might provide a good model of how real (imperfect and capable of holding contradictory beliefs, as opposed to ideal) reasoners form and evaluate beliefs in relation to existing beliefs, for example. But I also agree with others' issues. You say you're interested in how they might relate; why do you think they might? Is it for the same reason that I gave above, or do you think they might relate for a different reason? This helps the answers add focus. Apr 8, 2019 at 14:28
  • BTW, welcome to Philosophy SE :) Apr 8, 2019 at 14:32

2 Answers 2


Here are the questions:

How much more of these things do we need? Do I need to write a sprawling personal statement to ask unusual questions?

Perhaps the key is "unusual question". Don't ask unusual questions. Hint around those unusual questions with simpler questions that can be answered quickly by someone who is likely to be reading. Rather than one question, plan on asking many (no more than one per day) that might lead to a better understanding of that unusual question.

Remember, the answer someone provides should be short, about a page of text, preferably with a reference that you can use for more information that will lead to your next question and perhaps help with answering other questions. What you should be looking for in an answer is that reference.

Also, people want to be able to answer questions that are not likely to be closed. Don't disappoint them.

More generally, can people not separate out the salient points in an exchange? And respond to them, rather than top down processing of philosophy.stack?

Sometimes I can; sometimes I can't. You are communicating with real human beings here. Some are professionals; some aren't. Some know what they are talking about; some don't. It is a rhetorical challenge to communicate with any "community of practice", but the existence of that community gives you an opportunity and feedback to practice that communication.

Keep trying.

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    hey, this covers everything relevant, that needs to be said, and is non-conflictual. i think i've been hung up on the idea that conflict can be creative, even on the internet. i have now realized that this new age ideal is total crap
    – user38026
    Apr 8, 2019 at 19:04

I don't think that "motivation, background, and spelled out reasoning" are always needed. Sometimes it just doesn't matter. If someone asks, for example, "what solutions have been offered to Hume's problem of induction?", I don't think any motivation/background/reasoning is needed to answer the question.

(To take another, recent example: Hiring someone is unethical to Kantians because you're treating them as a means?. I don't think it's particularly good question, but it's answerable without further motivation/background/reasoning.)

In other cases, some motivation/background/reasoning is needed to help clarify what is being asked. I think your question falls into this category. The main problem I see with your question is that it's not clear what connection you see between bayesian epistemology and paraconsistent logic. Yes, you say they are both are "cutting edge and important" but that's not very helpful. You also say you think "both will fit together", but you don't say why. You say "everyday reasoning might borrow from both", but again not why or how.

So this is the main thing missing from your question: what connection do you see between bayesian epistemology and paraconsistent logic? This is important because it could change how your question is answered. Without any further details, an answer like Conifold's first comment seems good enough: here's a paper that studies paraconsistent bayesian epistemology. Was that good enough for you? From your comments, it seems not. But why? Perhaps there's more to your question. But if so, you should spell it out. Perhaps you're looking for something more exciting than working out the technical details of applying paraconsistent logic to probability theory (which is done in that linked paper). Again, if so, you should make it clear in your question: what sort of answer are you looking for?

  • fair enough, but i still think you're missing what i said. i'll go to more effort to spell out a rationale for the question, why it interests me, try and prove the importance of the question. even-though that is often a big ask. i.e. one that, if actually established, would generate opportunities beyond asking a question on stackexchange
    – user38026
    Apr 7, 2019 at 16:15
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    @another_name I'm not sure how you got that from my answer. You don't need to say why it interests you or prove that the question is important. Just make it clear what connection you see between the two fields and what sort of answer you're looking for (references to relevant papers? an explanation of how the fields are related? etc).
    – E...
    Apr 7, 2019 at 16:18
  • what else is showing that everyday reasoning may borrow from both, making a clear connection between them, and explaining why they're important, except "showing why they interest me", given these are all reasons for them interesting me, and hence the motivation for my question (which was meant to be lacking according to conifold etc.). if you just mean the question is too open ended, then fine. if you mean you need an essay on everything that is introduced, then that is less clearly relevant to the discussion
    – user38026
    Apr 8, 2019 at 1:30
  • so yet again my question gets downvoted, and its answer is upvoted despite that contradicting itself?
    – user38026
    Apr 8, 2019 at 1:38
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    @another_name: As this answer states, the comment of Conifold show that they have been linked (Google scholar gives 800+ results for 'paraconsistent bayesianism') and that it is impossible to decipher what you deem an appropriate answer. Do some authors deem the link important? Certainly. Do authors object to linking the two? Yes. But authors link the two in different, numerous ways, all for different reasons, which to consider breaks the mould of an answer. So, "motivation, reasoning, and background" are not needed to specify whether there is an answer, but what to pick out.
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Apr 8, 2019 at 15:21
  • ok, so be less open ended in what you want. i get that! not wanting to sound confrontational, but that should have been said in the comments, rather than stuff about my motivation etc.. @PhilipKlöcking\
    – user38026
    Apr 8, 2019 at 15:47

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