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What can I do in my specific case to show my positive contribution to the site to get my question ban lifted?

I just asked this question several different ways on the SE meta site and the answer that I derived from all of the feedback is that providing good conventional answers that get up votes can unblock my question asking on this site.

The other difficult follow up that is best asked here is how I can "fix" my existing (very unconventional) questions/answers.

To the very best of my current understanding the only thing that was "wrong" about any of my questions / answers was that they are very unconventional. From my perspective it really seems that thinking outside-of-the box in generally regarded as incorrect.

When I spoke much more in depth about this aspect with Philip Klöcking and Conifold the idea that I was being rejected on the basis of outside-the-box thinking was reaffirmed.

The foundationalism you envision has been tried time and again and is, philosophically, a dead horse. Nuff said. – Philip Klöcking

"philosophically, a dead horse" How so? What objective basis do you have for this assertion? – polcott

He responded with many different objections that only applied to the synthetic side of the analytic versus synthetic distinction and I was not able to redirect the conversion back to this analytic perspective.

@Conifold If truth is provability then true and unprovable (thus incompleteness) is necessarily impossible. Also impossible is Tarski Undefinability when we simply define True as provable. polcott

You are mistaken because "true" and "provable" have different meanings in the incompleteness theorem and in intuitionism. – Conifold

This conversion has not been resolved.

So my question is how do I best "fix" my questions and answers so that they are acceptable, yet still retain their thinking-out-side-the-box unconventional perspective? To the best of my current knowledge no one has ever actually pointed out any actual error.


This notion of strong foundationalism makes every element of the body of analytical knowledge a theorem of a formal system comprised of a recursive language with a membership algorithm

Analytical knowledge is merely semantic meanings expressed using language and encoded like this: Successor(Successor(Successor(0))) = 3 where the LHS encodes the semantics of the RHS.

It is self-evident to me that the entire body of analytical truth (including all of mathematics) is essentially theorems in a single formal system expressed as a recursive language with a membership algorithm.

So far all of the objections to this kind of strong foundationalism that I have encountered rejects its application to analytical knowledge entirely on the basis that it does not work on synthetic knowledge. That is like saying that you can't drive a car on the street because you can't drive a car in the ocean. Copyright PL_OLCOTT 2020

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    Every meta-discussion that you start quickly becomes a first-order discussion of some philosophical questions. (Just look at the last few edits to this question or the comments below.) You seem unable to engage in any sort of meta-discussion, and given this, I think it's best for everyone to not respond to you here. – Eliran May 18 at 17:57
  • @Eliran the only reason that I am currently blocked from asking philosophical questions is that these questions got a very bad reviews entirely on the basis that they were too difficult for the people reviewing these questions to understand. My questions are based on brand new material. The answers to these questions cannot be looked up in any book because they are brand new questions that no one has asked before. – polcott May 18 at 18:07
  • @Eliran The fact that I have many very well received questions on Earth Science proves that I can write very good questions. The only problem on philosophy is that thinking-outside-the-box is not very well received. In a philosophical forum thinking-outside-the-box should be encouraged and not discouraged. Only because of the reviews that I have received on SE can I express my ideas using conventional terms and conventional bases. SE has proved to be the best forum in the world for reviewing my work. – polcott May 18 at 18:31
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    SE is not designed to review anyone's work, and if you come here with that expectation you will be disappointed. Have you formally studied philosophy? That is the usual way to learn a field's terminology. – curiousdannii May 19 at 11:07
  • @curiousdannii The only problem with using SE for reviewing my philosophical innovations is that people have voted down my work to the extent that I can no longer ask questions. They did this on the basis that my questions come from thinking outside-the-box where no textbook answer can be applied. The fact that no textbook answer can be applied has been misinterpreted as my question was not written clearly enough. – polcott May 19 at 19:36
  • @curiousdannii I have studied philosophy from the very unconventional approach of reasoning from first principles: jamesclear.com/first-principles This approach intially requires that I not look at anything that anyone else has ever said but start from scratch. The biggest issue with conventional terms of the art is that they sometimes frame the basic concepts in such a way that gaps in these basic concepts are inexpressible, and are thus essentially defined out of existence. – polcott May 19 at 19:37
  • @curiousdannii PhilipKlöcking and a few others have given me reviews of the greatest quality that I have ever had. It may have been Phillip that told me that Wittgenstein had a similar view of Gödel: (Wittgenstein's notorious paragraph). It was Phillip that pointed me to Foundationalism as the most relevent area of philosophy. Now that I have logical closure on these things I can address prior work in this same area. I can't do that very well without being able to ask questions. – polcott May 19 at 19:38
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Stack Exchange sites are rarely an appropriate place to "try out" new or eclectic theories. Like Wikipedia, Stack Exchange sites are only meant to be secondary sources, quoting and linking to the primary sources of knowledge. Maybe on occasion people will in the process of answering a question give some new novel insight or pose a question that leads to a new theory, but we shouldn't expect that to be a common occurrence. This site is definitely not an appropriate venue to present a novel theory and ask for feedback.

If someone else has already published in an academic venue some philosophical model or theory, then even if it's uncommon, I'd say that it's not "outside the box" and is an appropriate subject for questions on this site. I know that many of your questions definitely refer to existing authors and theories, but I don't know whether you're trying to push the boundaries of knowledge here rather than in an academic journal. What do you think? Are you just asking for explanations and references from primary sources, or are you trying to do some primary research here?

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  • I am doing primary research in the mathematical formal nature of truth and the foundation of knowledge on the basis of reasoning from first principles thus through direct analysis instead of reading what anyone else has ever said. jamesclear.com/first-principles – polcott May 14 at 15:32
  • @PhilipKlöcking was very helpful in that he named the philosophical area of my research as foundationalism. Conifold and Mauro ALLEGRANZA were also very helpful in mentioning that intuitionists and formalists hold similar views. Mauro ALLEGRANZA even provided a reference to a text book. – polcott May 14 at 15:32
  • The problem that remains is that people continue to vote down my work on the basis that it it unconventional new ideas. Wittgenstein mentioned the same issue with reviews of his work. There is no better forum for the review of my work than SE, so we really need to find some common middle ground. – polcott May 14 at 15:33
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    @polcott It is neither unconventional nor new. It had been pushed as a project in the 1920s and 1930s and been abandoned in philosophy since then due to numerous reasons which only got strengthened by later developments in philosophy. Also, there is no need for the whole of the community and the main principles of how StackExchange works to comply just because you need something. I cannot fathom how you can think that just because you need to pursue something that obviously the scientific community rejects (see Math.SE and journals), we had any reason to support this. – Philip Klöcking May 14 at 18:20
  • @PhilipKlöcking That we have not had sufficient dialogue for you to see the new aspects of what I propose is not a sufficient basis for you to conclude that there are no new aspects. That you seem to have a bias against these ideas is part of the reason that you do not notice the new aspects that I propose when I propose them. Wittgenstein had the same problem with the review of his work. When mathematicians reviewed his philosophy of mathematics they decided it was incorrect entirely on the basis that it was unconventional. – polcott May 14 at 18:41
  • @PhilipKlöcking You and the two others that I have referenced have provided the best critiques of my work that I have ever received. No one else was ever able to point me to any similar views. This is especially helpful because all of my work is reasoning from first principles. jamesclear.com/first-principles Now because of you I know to proceed on the basis of foundationalism. – polcott May 14 at 18:41
  • @PhilipKlöcking I have already addressed this aspect of foundationalism in my updated answer to the Curry question plato.stanford.edu/entries/justep-foundational/… – polcott May 14 at 18:57
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    If you think you've overcome the problems with foundationalism etc, then go show the philosophical world by publishing in philosophy journals! – curiousdannii May 14 at 23:04
  • @curiousdannii I didn't even know that the subject that I was talking about is called "foundationalism" until PhilipKlöcking pointed that out because I always work from the basis of First Principles jamesclear.com/first-principles thus have no way to know what anyone else has ever said or done. – polcott May 15 at 2:52
  • @curiousdannii Now that I have a way to see exactly where everyone else left off I can directly address this. plato.stanford.edu/entries/justep-foundational/… – polcott May 15 at 2:57
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    @polcott Maybe one last friendly advice: You will get nowhere without addressing a) the different terminologies and arguments in both mathematical/logical and epistemological foundationalism and how your position fits into the picture and b) Wittgensteinian (the LATE!) - and generally pragmatist - objections against any kind of absolutist take on language and truth since semantics and truth, in their view, are mostly contextual within a holistic, plastic, and historical use of language. Pragmatism has basically won the discourse, there is not much dissent here. – Philip Klöcking May 18 at 12:25
  • "you're trying to push the boundaries of knowledge here rather than in an academic journal." You got that right SE is the best venue in the world for this for me. If I was a tenured college professor I could get other college professors to review my work, I am not so I can't. – polcott May 18 at 15:50
  • The only way to approach problems as difficult as these problems is to reason from first principles: jamesclear.com/first-principles When one reasons from first principles they start from scratch not even bothering to look at conventional wisdom. When one does not even bother to look at conventional wisdom one is not aware of conventional objections. These convention objections can still be quite easily addressed, yet only when they are raised. When someone objects to my work without raising a specific objection I cannot address this unstated objection because I am unaware of it. – polcott May 18 at 15:50
  • @PhilipKlöcking "and generally pragmatist - objections against any kind of absolutist take on language and truth since semantics and truth, in their view, are mostly contextual within a holistic, plastic, and historical use of language." I can't quite parse that sentence. I citation might help. – polcott May 18 at 15:58
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    @polcott I get that you envision some kind of general frame semantics (Montague grammar with Kripke semantics but complete). That's fine by me, even though a bit 80s style. But if you think that this model allows us to really and finally get rid of incompleteness and paradoxes, just because it is designed not to allow for them, this gets really off the rails. You can say that your systematic compositional model allows for definite truth values for all well-formed combinations of finite strings. This does not mean that the truth values determined in your model show any Real Truth. I'm out. – Philip Klöcking May 19 at 7:49
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Phil SE exists because the "work from first principles only" paradigm DOES NOT WORK! It is the nature of humans to be blind to their own unexplored pre-conceptions. We NEED other humans to help us identify, and critique, the assumptions we hide from ourselves. This is a process of dialog, with others both interactively, and by research into prior published thought.

You appear to realize this, and realize you need readers to point out the flaws in your thinking. Hence, your wish for others to offer answers to questions you post here.

Most of what you are looking for exists in the criticism's of Logical Positivism that lead to the collapse of that movement. The writers who made those critiques include Popper, Quine and Wittgenstein. Other posters could point you to other critics. As LP was rejecting the limits on analyticity that Russell and Whitehead discovered when they tried this same approach to philosophy, the later writings of Russell and Whitehead would also be of use to you, to see what analytically inclined philosophers did after establishing the limits to analyticity.

Once you do that research, then your answers here will become much more useful to other members. This is a payback to the site. You might also be able to improve your questions that have been downvoted.

However, as your primary interest seems to be in live dialog, which the question/answer format of the site discourages, what you are really looking for is Chat discussions. Posting Chats is still in your permission set.

You have been criticized in most of your dialogs for not LISTENING to the responses you get in discussion, hence limiting the benefit to either party from dialog. So you may discover there is little interest in engaging with you.

A core skill in doing philosophy is to learn to identify and question assumptions. This may be a skill you could benefit from practicing.

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    This reply is symptomatic of the problem I have noted. You have been told repeatedly that comments are not for extended discussion, they are primarily for eliciting clarifications about a question or answer, and suggestions to improve it. A site mod has even indirectly threatened you with banning if you do not abide by these principles. Yes here you are, ARGUING, and not even arguing with my answer, but arguing with the community rejection of your premises of the question that inspired your most recent question about the site! You could hardly illustrate NOT LISTENING more clearly. – Dcleve Jun 6 at 19:41
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    @polcott -- these replies also illustrate the issue of your not questioning assumptions. People of dogmatic mind, go looking for "verifications" of their views -- IE confirmation bias. PHILOSOPHERS go looking for CONTRADICTONS to their views, so that they can learn something. Apply to the selection: Latter W operates by innuendo, not explicit assertions. Your interpretation that he is rejecting Gödel is read in, based on your desire for confirmation bias. – Dcleve Jun 6 at 19:48
  • But latter W REJECTED logical positivism, and the project you are engaged in. And there is no refutation of Gödel in any of the selection. What he shows, is that if one accepts Gödel, this subjects every closed system to the principle of explosion, and this makes TRUE invalid as a logic state. And as he does not refute Gödel, then by implication he is endorsing this as a universal conclusion. Your reading of the passage as support for your project -- is only possible for someone firmly embedded in confirmation bias. – Dcleve Jun 6 at 19:52
  • Go back to the Foundationalism chat if you want to continue. I posted a reply to you there. chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/108022/2020/6/6 – polcott Jun 6 at 20:12
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Question: "What can I do in my specific case to show my positive contribution to the site to get my question ban lifted?"

Answer (part one): Look for questions that make reference to philosophical literature on topics that interest you. Carefully read the cited philosophical literature, or at least the most important parts of it, and apply your understanding of that reading to post your own answers to such questions.

Your question might not be as clear, in indicating your present situation on Stack Exchange, as the following comments that you posted:

"I have studied philosophy from the very unconventional approach of reasoning from first principles: jamesclear.com/first-principles This approach initially requires that I not look at anything that anyone else has ever said but start from scratch. – polcott May 19 at 19:37"

"I am doing primary research in the mathematical formal nature of truth and the foundation of knowledge on the basis of reasoning from first principles thus through direct analysis instead of reading what anyone else has ever said. jamesclear.com/first-principles – polcott May 14 at 15:32"

"The only way to approach problems as difficult as these problems is to reason from first principles: jamesclear.com/first-principles When one reasons from first principles they start from scratch not even bothering to look at conventional wisdom. When one does not even bother to look at conventional wisdom one is not aware of conventional objections."


Answer (part two):

It sounds as though you want people to explain to you, step-by-step, things that you could learn directly from the literature. How will relying upon second-hand information protect you from the hazards of "conventional wisdom"?

Sometimes, the conventional wisdom includes influence from secondary sources, such as textbooks, and popularizations that sell more copies than textbooks, but that aren't reliable enough or of high enough quality to be used as textbooks.

Thus, you could protect yourself from some errors of conventional wisdom by going directly to works written by well-known philosophers, instead of reading what well-known writers have to say about their own interpretations of the ideas of well-known philosophers.


Answer (part three):

You wrote, in your question, the following: "To the best of my current knowledge no one has ever actually pointed out any actual error."

One possible error is the belief that your philosophical ideas weren't already thought of by other people, and published before you thought of them. One advantage of reading philosophical literature is that you will see for yourself that, although you may have thought of some ideas independently, in some cases those ideas aren't new.

Another way for you to make a positive contribution is to read through Unanswered Questions on Stack Exchange, and perhaps find something interesting that goes beyond the range of philosophy topics that you are familiar with. In answering such questions, you would be indicating that your future performance on Stack Exchange might be something other than a repeat of your past performance on Stack Exchange.

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