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On Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 12:37 PM, Patrick Dunn <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 10:34 AM, Jörg Rhiemeier <[log in to unmask]
> >wrote:
>
> > =====================================
> > >
> > > Finally, I read Plato as part of my BA degree very many
> > > years ago; I was not persuaded by his theory of Forms
> > > ("Ideas") then and have not been since. I cannot go along
> > > with any notion that there is some 'perfect Form of English'
> > > or 'perfect Form of Lojban' or indeed any other language. My
> > > approach is unashamedly empirical.
> >
> > Same to me.  How can eternal, unchangeable Forms account for
> > a universe which is characterized by variation, evolution and
> > creativity?  One would have to assume an infinity of Forms
> > for everything that could ever be, most of which are never
> > ever manifested in the physical world.  To me, that is nonsense.
> >
> >
> That would be nonsense, or at least pretty unlikely, but that's not the sum
> total of Platonism.  In fact, Platonic forms may be more or less roughly
> equivalent to universal laws, which even you empiricists admit do not
> change
> (at least, not since the establishment of the universe).  The laws of
> geometry do not change, and we can imagine that an alien with no contact
> with human culture would very likely develop something quite a bit like the
> Pythagorean theorem all on its own.  Yet the universe is not, on the whole,
> a plane, and no triangle within the physical universe is a perfect right
> triangle, so how can it be that two beings separated by lightyears could
> acquire the same thought?  If the Pyth. th. is an approximation based on
> empirical evidence, then how is it that two people separated in time and
> space could make the same exactly approximation?
>

Because that's part of your initial assumption: "we can imagine that an
alien with no contact
with human culture would very likely develop something quite a bit like the
Pythagorean theorem all on its own."

stevo

>
> --
> Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
> pre-order from Finishing Line
> Press<
> http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>.
>