Thread: Do you agree with this?

1. Originally Posted by Kalach
And why am I thinking true mathematics and logic? Both maths and logic are axiom-based. Chock fulla tautologies. Everything true in maths and logic is true by definition. Innit? (I should be thinking semantics, I guess you mean.)
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Actually I do mean mathematics and logic. The first and second order differences. I'm thinking specifically of Goedel (the incompleteness theorem), Tarski (the undecidability theorem) and Peano arithmetic. There's also Cantor's theorem, and the problem Russell presented to Frege...which ultimately forced Frege to abandon his position. There's nothing relativistic in any of these systems or even semantically ambiguous. Truth is, nevertheless, a bit of a problem for all of them. So tautologies are in there, but the systems also present us with paradoxes and contradictions as we move from one to the next if we assume there is an absolute truth. Is everything true by definition in mathematics and logic? Only if you narrowly restrict the system in which you're working...and even then it's a little iffy.

2. Originally Posted by juggernaut
It does, however, have an Aristotelian ring to it, insofar as it defines value in functionalist terms, so perhaps it's one the Greeks.
Hmmm...it's been a while since I've touched my copy of the Nicomachian Ethics, but I'm pretty sure I remember Aristotle subordinating practical wisdom to theoretical knowledge. That action couldn't be the end value because action is by definition a means...and that to say that human action is the highest value is absurd because man is not the best of things.

But I agree that the quote sounds like it came from someone with existentialist leanings.

3. Think we need to go back to the Metaphysics to get to the heart of Aristotle's productive reason, the functionalism I mentioned. The NE doesn't deal with this at all, which is really problematic since it is the backbone of his own teleological position. Aristotle believed that the greatest good was one which involved both a constitutive (means) and absolute (end) aspect. Subordinate goods are still goods, just not as high as those that are both goods in themselves and useful as a means. As a biologist, he was very much a functionalist however.

4. Moved from The NT Rationale.

5. Originally Posted by juggernaut
Actually I do mean mathematics and logic. The first and second order differences. I'm thinking specifically of Goedel (the incompleteness theorem), Tarski (the undecidability theorem) and Peano arithmetic. There's also Cantor's theorem, and the problem Russell presented to Frege...which ultimately forced Frege to abandon his position. There's nothing relativistic in any of these systems or even semantically ambiguous. Truth is, nevertheless, a bit of a problem for all of them. So tautologies are in there, but the systems also present us with paradoxes and contradictions as we move from one to the next if we assume there is an absolute truth. Is everything true by definition in mathematics and logic? Only if you narrowly restrict the system in which you're working...and even then it's a little iffy.
Okay, I barely understood that, and wikipedia brought back only the vaguest of memories from Logic 3H, so...

Assuming anything I say here is going to be a naive statement of something brought up and laughed at by famous philosophers, I'll just go with, "I use Te and Se, dammit!" And I'm Ni dom, so if I can't perceive "truth", I'm screwed. What's floating around in my brain the size of a planet is ultimately shapeless! This I don't like.

So I will of course tend to fall on the side of the fence that says perception is valid eventually somehow.

Philosophical discussion of the predicate "true" can catch up to what I know already if all those NTP philosophers would just get off their asses and stop trying to make everyone else have solipsistic Ti too. Yah, boo, sucks.

(I'm so ashamed.)

6. Originally Posted by Harlow_Jem
Is this supposed to be a paradox?

If...

Originally Posted by Harlow_Jem
...nothing has meaning, and there are no given morals...
...making man a nihilist, causing him to be idle, which stops him from contributing to society so that...

Originally Posted by Harlow_Jem
...he has then proved that he has no right to exist if his existence contributes to decreasing the total sum of the worth of the entire human race...
...wouldn't the worth of the entire human race mean nothing anyway?

It seems to be saying (replacing big, elegant words with those more concise) If nothing's meaningful, then you won't achieve anything meaningful.

Well... of course not. Where's the rub?

It seems that the author, starting with the objective "nothing means anything", fall into subjectivity by the end of the quote as if only to give the paragraph... well, meaning.

7. Originally Posted by juggernaut
Think we need to go back to the Metaphysics to get to the heart of Aristotle's productive reason, the functionalism I mentioned. The NE doesn't deal with this at all, which is really problematic since it is the backbone of his own teleological position. Aristotle believed that the greatest good was one which involved both a constitutive (means) and absolute (end) aspect. Subordinate goods are still goods, just not as high as those that are both goods in themselves and useful as a means. As a biologist, he was very much a functionalist however.
Ah, it's been even longer since I've touched the Metaphysics. I was more referring to NE book VI, where he talks about phronesis (good in itself and useful as a means) being subordinate to theoria. Unlike Plato, he gives the realm of politike autonomy from theoretical knowledge such that the best practical rulers would not need to be philosopher-kings. But the realm of the political should function in such a way that it supports (as the means) the philosophical lifestyle, which is the most virtuous. I'll have to re-read these for a good understanding again, though.

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