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Hacking and Style of Reasoning

The real nub of H's ideas on styles of reasoning is that most sentences we utter do not encode any particular style of reasoning and can be tested easily using common sense techniques that are not culture-dependent, but that may be. His point here is that in the case of most sentences and testing their truth or falsity, one can easily or at least can translate these sentences from one language to another and preserve the essential meaning and the ways to test them across cultural lines. But H also believes that cultures develop highly specialized ways to say things, and that part of these specialized ways are rules for generating sentence candidates, that is sentences made in such a way that their truth and falsehood within that style can be established. He uses Renaissance alchemical practice as a model, as we could use modern medical talk about any disease type. In both of these styles of reasoning one needs to earn a conceptual scheme, a way of thinking and talking and making tests, in order to understand what is going on and also in order to learn how to generate meaningful true-or-false sentences within that style.

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