Thursday, June 7, 2007

A Rage to Live: The Problem of Induction, or More Humean than a Humean.

Once upon a time in South America, Rowdy, Boullionnui, and two friends were finishing up their dinner as table-talk turned to the possibility of post-pollo entertainment. We all agreed that we probably shouldn’t go too hard since the next morning we would be attempting a climb to a glacial lagoon near the summit of Nevado Churup which stands at just under 18,000ft. But after dinner we found a few local hotspots and familiarized ourselves with a handful of smiling native women…

At this point you might be saying to yourself “What does any of this have to do with Capitol Hill Bars?” Well, be patient... After a few beers, the other two dudes stayed true to our plan of not overdoing it and went back to our place of lodging, but Rowdy and Boullionnui are not men who fall prey to such logic, for they possess a certain rage to live which renders them incapable of surrender. We pressed on to the wee morning hours and paid the price the next day on the mountain.

Now jump ahead two and a half years to yesterday when, after many Wednesday evening margaritas, we could’ve just called it quits. Some of our party did just that, and we bade them no ill will, but there was an implicit understanding that we could not follow a similar path. This is not what we do.

There are, no doubt, many of you out there who would flatly accuse us of being insane and illogical, of allowing our bodies and lives to be continually abused by implementing our policy of live in the moment and bollocks to the maƱana. But are we illogical? Are we??? No, dear readers, not these barbloggers; Let us examine the problem of induction:

We give out a "heavy petting" award to David Hume who famously observed that we cannot logically arrive at the conclusion that the future will resemble the past in any way shape or form, and the argument that the sun will rise tomorrow because it always has in the past is circular because it inductively justifies induction. Rowdy and Boullionnui are keenly aware of this point and it genearlly leads us to live hard. After all, why should we worry about being hungover for work tomorrow when we cannot logically assume that our offices will exist by then? Karl Popper’s so called “solution” to this problem is merely a functional temporary concealment/avoidance of it, so that does nothing to slow us down.

While Hume himself allowed that radical skepticism is entirely impractical, this is just Hume protecting the world from the secret of the world, a secret that not all are hearty enough to live with. So while we readily admit that your life may not be able to handle Hume’s logical positivism, Capitol Hill Bar Review calls Hume’s scotch and skepticism, and raises him three Jager-blasters and a complete ban on a priori reasoning. In this way, we're more Humean than Hume.

Of course, we would never ask our readers to subject themselves to this sort of ban, but keep in mind that it is this strict reading of Hume that, in part, makes Capitol Hill Bar Review possible.

-Rowdy Chowder

4 comments:

chbarreview said...

Hundreds of our more philosphically minded readers have pointed out that our strict reading of Hume would seem to undermine the authority of our entire blog. Says one reader: "Do you not see that every review you've posted so far implies a relationship between past and future that is not, strictly speaking, logically justifiable through your radical skepticism? I mean, how do you know that 18th Ammendment will even exist tomorrow?"

Understand that while we ourselves have not resolved the problem of induction, the problem is ours. Our blog exists in a fully operational virtual realm where this conundrum never has the opportunity to appear.

AbsentBroth said...

"Rowdy, Boullionnui, and two friends"!?!?!? I am deeply hurt. Don't you mean "Rowdy, Boullionui, Absent Broth, and Forever Bisque?" Er, wait a second...

chbarreview said...

The thing is, if I'd mentioned Absent Broth, I'd have felt like a mention of Scooty would've been necessary, and that might have taken me onto a whole other tangent. Apologies to Senor Caldo Ausente.

AbsentBroth said...

Apologia acepto.