Author wrote: ..Natural selection predicts that heritable variations lead to differential reproductive success.....
Until the author defines whether he uses NS literally or as a metaphor for a yet to be defined full sentence he isn't even wrong.
Only sentences and phrases can be tautologies. Natural Selection as a term can be used as a metaphor for anything. If used literally it makes a sentence meaningless, because decision can't be natural .
States that only sentences can be tautologies and not phrases, which is incorrect. Only Phrases and sentences can be used to formulated rhetorical tautologies(type3). Terms should only be used as metaphors to refer to full sentences in order to avoid writing out the full sentence.
A rhetorical tautology is defined as formulating an argument that guarantees the truth of a proposition. Arguments consist of full sentences. SoF as a phrase is inserted into paragraphs with the result that the propositional argument is being guaranteed , immune to falsification.
Circular reasoning is a distinct concept separate from a tautology. In an argument(full sentences making a paragraph) a conclusion will be inferred from a premise. If the conclusion is stated without stating the premise then we have begging the question.
The conclusion itself could contain additional non-essential terms, either synonymous or dissimilar that self-referentially refer to the same fact, guaranteeing the truth of the proposition. Failure to identify the tautology3 terms might lead to failure to infer that the premise was never stated.
Thus there must be a difference between begging the question and formulating propositional arguments(phrases,sentences) in such a way that their truth can't be disputed. The types of tautologies must be tagged with subscripts to avoid confusion as per http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Naming_Conventions#Tautology_naming_conventions
Sober equivocated between tautologies1 in propositional logic and rhetorical tautologies(which I defined on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tautology_%28rhetoric%29 as arguments formulated in such a way that it cannot be disputed. Rhetorical tautologies are fallacious arguments consisting of multiple phrases and sentences formulated such that the truth of the proposition is guaranteed.
Survival of the fittest is a tautology.
Both you and Sober equivocate between tautologies in propositional logic and tautologies in propositional arguments.
A or not-A is tautology in propositional logic, while a paragraph containing SoF, guarantees the truth of the proposition. Thus we must use Tautology1 (logic) and Tautology3(rhetorical) to differentiate between the two .
Please use subscripts to designate which type of tautology you refer to.
Because on Wikipedia RT it states: .... A rhetorical tautology should not be confused with a tautology in propositional logic, since the inherent meanings and subsequent conclusions in rhetorical and logical tautologies are very different..........
=== post 88 ===On Jan 11, 6:45 pm, Burkhard wrote: > > Survival of the fittest is a tautology.
> No it isn't, in any shape, way or form. It is of the wrong syntactic > category to be a tautology to start with,
As a logical tautology you are correct, but as tautological propositional argument I would beg to differ.
> Even if you render it into a sentence like "Only the fit survive", it is not a tautology.
Lets rather not do this and stick with the propositional argument Spencer formulated:
That is to say, it cannot but happen that those individuals whos functions are most out of equilibrium with the modified aggregate of external forces, will be those to die; and that those will survive whos functions happen to be most nearly in equilibrium with the modified aggregate of external forces.
But this survival of the fittest, implies multiplication of the fittest. Out of the fittest thus multiplied, there will, as before be an overthrowing of the moving equilibrium wherever it presents the least opposing force to the new incident force. And by the continual destruction of the individuals that are the least capable of maintaining their equilibria in presence of this new incident force, there must eventuallv be arrived at an altered type completely in equilibrium with the altered conditions. The Principles of Biology By Herbert Spencer
Spencer wrote: "....That is to say, it cannot but happen that those individuals whos functions are most out of equilibrium with the modified aggregate of external forces, will be those to die; and that those will survive whos functions happen to be most nearly in equilibrium with the modified aggregate of external forces...."
rephrase for tautology: "...those individuals out of equilibrium ..... will ... die; and that those will survive who are in equilibrium..."
rephrase: "...those out of equilibrium die, while those in equilibrium will survive..." which reduces to What happens, happens.
finally: "...those out of Fitness(equilibrium) die, while those in Fitness(equilibrium) will survive..." which reduces to What happens, happens. ....................