Got a paper coming out? Get in touch!

As a freelance writer I’m always looking for story ideas and interesting research to cover in the mainstream media as well as here, so if you’ve got a paper coming out on something related to the content of this blog, feel free to drop me a line. You can reach me at dan[dot]jones[at]multipledrafts[dot]com.

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3 Responses to Got a paper coming out? Get in touch!

  1. I am working on the theme of psycho-spirituality and have about 25-35 rough pages that could use a good review by an expert on philosophy of sciences.
    Thank you

  2. Liam says:

    Hi!

    I’m having a huge headache over helping my friend decide if this is inductive or deductive. Is there any way you could help ? We’ve chopped and changed our minds 4 times now, it’s a hard one!

    Premise 6: Daylight savings causes lower power usage in some areas (“decreased lighting demand.”)
    Premise 7: Daylight savings causes additional power usage in other areas (“more air-conditioning use.”)
    Conclusion: Therefore, any energy savings from daylight savings are likely to be minimal.

    Valid deductive argument ?? (premises regardless of being true will guarantee 100% the conclusion?)

    (The quotes are from an article we found on the internet which we will just assume for our debate are true)

    Cheers!

    • Dan Jones says:

      Hi Liam, thanks for dropping by. I’m no logician, but that doesn’t strike me as a deductive argument, at least in the traditional syllogistic form (“All men are mortal/Socrates is man/Therefore Socrates is mortal”), and certainly not a valid one. That is, I can’t see how the conclusion can logically follow from the premises: for example, if it’s an empirical fact that the area in which power usage is lowered (fewer lights on) is vastly larger than the area in which it’s increased (more people switch on AC), then the energy savings could, potentially, be large. But those questions are matters of empirical fact; they are not answered by the logical relationships between the content of the concepts used in the argument, which would be required for it to yield a deductively valid conclusion (a truthful, logically irrefutable claim). At the same time, it could be that using lights less only achieves small energy savings per household, while extra air conditioning causes big increases, so even if there are more households leaving lights off than those switching the AC on, the net effect could even be more power usage. Given that the premises can be true and the conclusion not true, it is not a valid deductive argument; instead, it’s an empirical claim that cannot be properly assessed because we lack the relevant facts.

      So I guess if we have to put a label on it, this argument is a form of inductive reasoning: it isn’t trying to establish a logical or certain truth, but merely a probable empirical claim (hence the word “likely” in the conclusion). Is it valid? Well, I think that making a call about validity in these verbal arguments for probable outcomes is a bit tricky. I just don’t have the facts available to know whether, given the two simple premises, energy savings are likely to be minimal. They might be significant; they might not. I don’t know. So I reject the conclusion.

      Hope that’s of some help.

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