The Difference Between Cognitively Meaningful, and Existentially True

–“or put another way “But one thing is the thought, another thing is the deed, and another thing is the idea of the deed. The wheel of causality doth not roll between them”.—

[L]aurence, (Danny),

Exactly. I tend to describe this problem as the Point of View in the grammar of testimony. (my emphasis being that it remain constant – meaning non-conflationary – lest we not engage in escaping the test of knowledge of causality by the speaker).

    Experience: “But one thing is the thought,”
    Action: “another thing is the deed,”
    Observation: “and another thing is the idea of the deed.”

Because we are human, because we can empathize with other humans (or cooperation would be impossible), we can as observer suggest both action and experience.

But because we are human, and we do not yet know the first principles of the universe, we can manage only observation. And if we can construct an experiment then we can act, and record our actions – but the universe merely reacts to us. We are mere observers until we can construct a sufficiently thorough model of the universe that we can empathize with it as we do other men. It is also possible (though difficult to imagine) that we cannot do so.

This difference between the empathically testable and the empathically untestable, is the reason for the necessity of praxeological explanation of social science, and operational description of physical science in order to test whether we imagine a sequence of imaginary relations, or whether we can describe a sequence of extant causal relations.

We are forever in frustrated by the fact that the physical universe appears deterministic even if we cannot empathize with it, while the human universe is less deterministic despite that we’re able to empathize with it, for the simple reason that while humans are marginally indifferent at scale, and can act consistently in their interests, that humans can react to combinations of memory and information that we are as insulated from observing as we are the subatomic world that we currently cannot peer into.

Hence the problem of “meaningful theories” that assist us in creative free association, and “true recipes” for action that assist us in predictable transformation.

I can testify to a sequence of operations. I cannot testify to meaning. I can only be honest about it.

And herein lies the difference between:
1) the judicial and the judge (decidable): the critical, and;
2) the producer and production (actionable): the productive, and;
3) the artistic and the scientist (exploratory): the creative.
4) the nurturer and the mother (consumptive): the reproductive.

Which we can take further into:
1 – the conservative and judicial (substantial majority)
2 – the conservative libertarian producer (minority)
3 – the progressive libertarian investigator (smaller minority)
4 – the progressive progressive consumer (dominant majority)

We all seek to justify our genetic biases, reproductive strategies, and greatest interests.

We all tolerate, accept, or advocate that the externalities produced by our biases should be considered acceptable losses by others.

When the limit of that tolerance for loss can only be determined by exchange: no other method can capture ‘value’ and price of knowledge, any more than any method other than exchange can capture value and price.


1) Popper does not account for costs, nor externalizations, which is rational since he was unsophisticated in these matters.
2) Popper fails to define the market as the tolerance for externalities. This is forgivable. He was a victim of his heritage and his era.
3) Popper is concerned that creativity not be imposed upon, that creativity not be used to impose upon others, since the truth of it is uncertain. And it is clear he was (like Mises) happy to just ‘make stuff up’ to fight the socialists. He is showing his cognitive bias by defending his cognitive, reproductive, and genetic bias.
4) But popper’s arguments are not true in the sense that they satisfy the seven or eight tests of warranty of due diligence against falsehood. His arguments are instead a moral warning. Not a logical, not an empirical, but a moral warning.
5) Under the demands of decidability, we tend to refine our most abstract theories, not falsify them.
6) When we refine theories we seem to falsify the verbal ‘Meaning’ used in free association (creativity), not the instrumental (operational), “truth” in the application of the recipe (method).
7) for the creative, the meaningful is profoundly important, the existential operationalization of it less so, and he resists external demands on his free association (stimuli pursuit), and immoral impositions on his pursuit of gratification.
8) Why should the producer of ideas be less accountable for externalities of his product than are the providers of goods and services? Why is fixed and organizational capital more valuable than informational capital? Why do we defend the physical commons, the normative commons, the institutional commons, the traditional commons, and even the mythological commons, but we do not defend the informational commons?
8) Non operational, non-existential terms like “positive and negative liberty” are perhaps meaningful, but they have little to no truth content. One can experience a condition of liberty. He can do so either because he errs (liberty by permission is not liberty) or he can do so because he experience an existental condition of liberty. What liberty can exist? The liberty that can exist is moral action by any monopoly organization with power to act immoraly, yet its members do not. What morality can exist? when others impose no cost upon you while at the same time you impose no cost upon them – especially the cost of free ridership.

I am not interested in improving creativity. I am unconvinced that trial and error, using least cost method of investigation. can be improved upon.

We seem to do fairly well with the advancement of the physical sciences. But we have been tragically incompetent at advancing the social sciences. Why?

Why, as Hayek, Poincare, Brouwer, Bridgman and dozens of others – even Mises in his crude way – did the late 19th and the 20th century result in the pervasive expansion of pseudosciences – if not outright lies?

What was the cost of those ‘lies?’
—Boaz (anthropology), Marx (economics and sociology), Freud (psychology), and Cantor(mathematical platonism), Mises (economics and philosophy) the 20th century saw the subsequent wave of philosophical liars, Michel Foucault, the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, the developmental psychologist Jean Piaget, the linguists Roman Jakobson and Noam Chomsky, the literary critic Roland Barthes
…. and the Marxist theorists Louis Althusser and Nicos Poulantzas, Max Horkheimer, Theodor W. Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Friedrich Pollock, Erich Fromm, Otto Kirchheimer, Leo Löwenthal,, Franz Leopold Neumann, Henryk Grossman, Siegfried Kracauer, Alfred Sohn-Rethel, Walter Benjamin, Jürgen Habermas, Claus Offe, Axel, Honneth, Oskar Negt, Alfred Schmidt, Albrecht Wellmer
…. and the postmodernists Martin Heidegger, Jean-François Lyotard, Richard Rorty, Jean Baudrillard, Fredric Jameson, Douglas Kellner…
Although we must take notice that the french, german, american, and British postmodernists are making use of the german method of pseudo-moral, pseudo-rationalism: ADVICE – not the pseudoscientific: LAW.
… and Ayn Rand, and Murray Rothbard as well. The fact that Hoppe’s work on incentives is solid has no bearing on his nonsense-arguments advancing Misesian and Rothbardian pseudoscience (which I’ve written extensively about elsewhere).

How do we improve science by preventing another dark age created by the pseudoscientists, pseudo-rationalists, verbalists, mystics, mathematical platonists?

We require them to warranty due diligence in the production of their informational products just as we warranty goods and services against falsehood, and we hold them liable for them.

If one fulfills all the warranties of due diligence, then it is hard for one to be liable. If one fulfills the warranties of due diligence then it is hard to publish falsehoods.

This method has been working fairly effectively in the hard sciences, merely by requiring operational language.

There is no reason we cannot extend this to the social sciences, by requiring operational language as a test of existential possibility each step of which is subjectively testable.

So I view popper as cognitively and culturally biased, and having correctly deduced that we must remove the rock from the marble to expose the statue of truth.

And that the advancement of knowledge – scientific, meaning truthful knowledge – in all fields requires not that we improve the method of free association (that’s non logical) but that we improve our tests that limit our errors.


My concern with the paper was that this is an inarticulate use of non-operational, non-existential and perhaps ‘meaningful’ but not ‘truthful’ attempt to defend priors, rather than a critical analysis of the method of constructing a condition of liberty, and the costs we bear to do so, and the warranty we must place upon our utterances – not to limit our creativity, but TO IMPROVE OUR CREATIVITY on the one hand, and LIMIT OUR VIOLATION OF LIBERTY by the imposition of harm by externality.

Simply, it persists in the mainstream libertarian use of verbalisms and therefore persists the persistence of pseudoscientific argument in libertarian thought.

Although I doubt authors of rationalist argument realize what they are doing, because they do not know how to argue truthfully, only meaningfully.

“We only know what works”. Because actions are testable in reality. Our meanings “labels, justifications” are just that and nothing more. If we cannot describe something existentially then we do not in fact know that of which we claim by our speech.

Meaning is analogous to a parable. A recipe or formula that ‘works’ is true.

I am fairly certain that if we were to require warranty of due diligence of intellectual products prior to any kind of publication, that publications would plummet, falsehoods would plummet, and truth content would expand.

Moreover, I am fairly certain that this would produce as great a change in human knowledge as the scientific enlightenment did in the physical sciences.

I have a lot of respect for Danny (you) since he’s about the only person who produces anything in the liberty movement worth more than use for birdcage lining.

That said, I was unable to determine which argument he was (you were danny) making since the terminology is metaphorical, and not existential, scientific, real or ‘possible’ that I know of. Postive and negative liberty cannot exist. Liberty can be brought into existence. We can have more or less of it. That’s it.

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