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Is there a philosopher on board?

Posted by Ward on April 25, 2004

In Reply to: Is there a philosopher on board? posted by ESC on April 25, 2004

: : : : What does it mean to say that something proves too much?

: : : It turns out to be overwhelming. "She was working two jobs but it proved too much for her."

: : I meant it in more of a philosophical context. For example, Professor A says "Whatever the intent of the violator, the harm is the same." Professor B ripostes: "Ah, that proves too much."

: I don't have a clue.

: Googling "philosophy" "proves too much" yields several sites but no explanation of the term. I did find: "Quod nimis probat, nihil probat; the medieval adage 'what proves too much, proves nothing,' comes immediately to mind."

::: A philosopher (or perhaps a lawyer) might say that the conclusion reached is far beyond that which could be supported by the evidence. As an academic at one time in my life (and a bit of a philosopher) I'm always amused at research studies which take rather ragged behavioral concepts and expose them to the most precise statistical measures and arrive at concluions and statistical significance to three or four decimal places. Evidence, or research, should not be used to support conclusions beyond that which is specifically relevant to the experiment or study.