# Thread: I think therefore I am?

1. Originally Posted by sprinkles
I'm sort of positing that world, with an additional catch: If we posit a world where all entities which posit things both think and exist...
Unfortunately, the "catch" releases the logical validity of "I am therefore I think" as long as the world also posits the existence of entities that don't posit things.

Modal logic is used in a similar manner to the conception of Flatland. It is amusing to think about how imaginary two dimensional creatures would interact in a two dimensional world--especially when we consider what it would be like when we interacted with them.

This is meant to give us some sort of analogy of higher dimensions may interact with our usual 3 dimensional conception of the spatial world. However, nobody would make statements about Flatland that are false in three dimensions, and claim that it is true about our world.

But this did trigger a thought about a perhaps "higher dimensional conception" where both statements where true.

For instance, if we assume that there is only one entity, say Atman, and that we are all just Atman interacting with Atman. Suppose all existence is Atman, and Atman thinks. In this case, both "I think therefore I am" and "I am therefore I think" are valid. In this case, it is Atman, that is speaking.

Perhaps, you, @FireShield, and @Ginko are simply Atman expressing thoughts directly

Originally Posted by sprinkles
The catch is that with Descartes, he wasn't telling this to other people. He was telling it to himself. So if we consider what is true in a given 'universe' we can interpret that 'I' does not refer to "I, Descartes" and does not refer to "I, sprinkles" because for all we know we could be some part of a collective and the way we conceive ourselves could be entirely an illusion, but the one thing we can't get around in that possible universe is that somebody is doing the thinking to themselves. 'I' does not have to be 'me' it just has to be the author of the equation.
Unfortunately, even in such a universe, we have to explicitly exclude the existence of other entities to say "I am therefore I think". If we are open to other entities, some of which don't think, then the "therefore" is not valid. (Again "and" is OK)

EDIT: All Descartes needed was "I think therefore I am". The reverse did not need to be considered. If he was doubting things, he was open to both the possibility of other things existing and not existing. "I am therefore I think" needs more certainty about other things. (Again, "I am and I think" is fine)

2. @ygolo

True. But again I did say that "I am therefore I think" is logically false. However I'm not looking at the contents of the statement. I'm looking at the implications of the statement being made.

Or to put it another way: if we're talking about the output of a calculator, I'm referring to the fact that the calculator has computed an output, and has necessarily made a computation. I'm not looking at what the computation was or what the output was.

3. Originally Posted by sprinkles
@ygolo

True. But again I did say that "I am therefore I think" is logically false. However I'm not looking at the contents of the statement. I'm looking at the implications of the statement being made.

Or to put it another way: if we're talking about the output of a calculator, I'm referring to the fact that the calculator has computed an output, and has necessarily made a computation. I'm not looking at what the computation was or what the output was.
Can you elaborate on this?

How does one look at the implications of a statement without looking at the content? Do you look at the time and the place the statement was made and who made it? The tone with which the statement was made? and so on?

What can be gleaned from such things when those that make these statements are on an internet forum? (I mean beyond the fact that a statement was made).

4. Originally Posted by ygolo
Can you elaborate on this?

How does one look at the implications of a statement without looking at the content? Do you look at the time and the place the statement was made and who made it? The tone with which the statement was made? and so on?
Not the implications of the statement, the implications of having made the statement. I worded it quite poorly I guess.

What can be gleaned from such things when those that make these statements are on an internet forum? (I mean beyond the fact that a statement was made).
You can try to look at what is making the statement and how they are making it depending on what truths we assume, as well as other things. You could for example infer that "Ms. sprinkles has responded to me, therefore the internet is functioning" where "Ms. sprinkles responded to me" could be inferred from me typing "I like cats" - or, this post that I'm writing.

5. Originally Posted by sprinkles
Not the implications of the statement, the implications of having made the statement. I worded it quite poorly I guess.

You can try to look at what is making the statement and how they are making it depending on what truths we assume, as well as other things. You could for example infer that "Ms. sprinkles has responded to me, therefore the internet is functioning" where "Ms. sprinkles responded to me" could be inferred from me typing "I like cats" - or, this post that I'm writing.
I see. How does this apply in the situation we have in this thread?

6. The next time the police ask me if I go by any other aliases, I'll be sure to say "Atman" with confidence.

Yeah, it's a tautology. All deductions are but partial tautologies. How else would you arrive at them? "Therefore, I exist" doesn't add any new understanding, other than understanding we've made a deduction.

1. Being implies thinking. Yes.
2.Yes
3. I'm not sure. If, by thinking, we mean the thinking you defined earlier, then no. If, by thinking, we mean consciousness, then yes.

7. Originally Posted by ygolo
I see. How does this apply in the situation we have in this thread?
When one makes a statement and we look at it within the context of a statement being made by an entity, or a predicate which follows a subject, and we do not quarantine it for content out of context of who or what is making the statement, and we presume certain truths, then we can infer things not contained within the statement.

This is what I was talking about with logic being detached from the world. If you put two high inputs into a 1 bit full adder and you don't get a C out, you don't look at it in isolation and tell the adder 'that's incorrect' - you replace/fix the adder because it's apparently broken.

8. Originally Posted by Ginkgo
The next time the police ask me if I go by any other aliases, I'll be sure to say "Atman" with confidence.

Yeah, it's a tautology. All deductions are but partial tautologies. How else would you arrive at them? "Therefore, I exist" doesn't add any new understanding, other than understanding we've made a deduction.

1. Being implies thinking. Yes.
2.Yes
3. I'm not sure. If, by thinking, we mean the thinking you defined earlier, then no. If, by thinking, we mean consciousness, then yes.
Logical forms are tautologies. But deductions themselves require the choice of assumptions to begin with.

So you do have an ontology where everything that exists thinks in someway. You know, I would have understood things a lot more quickly if you had stated that you believed rocks actually think or that they don't exist.

Originally Posted by sprinkles
When one makes a statement and we look at it within the context of a statement being made by an entity, or a predicate which follows a subject, and we do not quarantine it for content out of context of who or what is making the statement, and we presume certain truths, then we can infer things not contained within the statement.
I was hoping for specifics. I thought I had considered the context, and still believed that "I am therefore I think" was false.

What is the context I am missing in which these statements were made? Do you know something about FireShield, Ginko, or Destartes that I do not? Is there reason to believe that they were using a unique modal style of logic?

Originally Posted by sprinkles
This is what I was talking about with logic being detached from the world. If you put two high inputs into a 1 bit full adder and you don't get a C out, you don't look at it in isolation and tell the adder 'that's incorrect' - you replace/fix the adder because it's apparently broken.
I see this as showing that logic can be mechanized. There is the possibility that everything is mechanized in this manner (including you and me). The adder (broken or not) seems like as much a part of the world as anything else that exists.

Interestingly, there is an algorithm for creating a full adder, where you would essentially tell the adder "this is incorrect" and have it fix itself. This is what you might do if the full adder was implemented using a neural network...and inefficient implementation to be sure, but possible.

9. That's not what I believe, though.

10. Originally Posted by ygolo
I was hoping for specifics. I thought I had considered the context, and still believed that "I am therefore I think" was false.
It still is false but I'm not looking at the statement being false. We already covered this and I'm beginning to repeat myself...

What is the context I am missing in which these statements were made?
That they are being made? It seems? That they are a predicate, and a predicate modifies a subject - not the subject contained in the statement but in this case it's the subject making the statement.

Do you know something about FireShield, Ginko, or Destartes that I do not? Is there reason to believe that they were using a unique modal style of logic?
No, but I can conclude that they are making statements, which is a predication.

I see this as showing that logic can be mechanized. There is the possibility that everything is mechanized in this manner (including you and me). The adder (broken or not) seems like as much a part of the world as anything else that exists.
Yes it's possible and I haven't tried to say otherwise.

Interestingly, there is an algorithm for creating a full adder, where you would essentially tell the adder "this is incorrect" and have it fix itself. This is what you might do if the full adder was implemented using a neural network...and inefficient implementation to be sure, but possible.
Things still predicate even virtually.

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