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Whether I believe it is irrelevant. I was just pointing out that your
argument consists of "If we assume A, how can A be true?"

stevo

On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 7:32 PM, Patrick Dunn <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>  On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 6:09 PM, MorphemeAddict <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > 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
> >
> > Do you regard it as possible, then, that an alien orbiting another planet
> in another solar system might conclude, correctly, that for any right
> triangle in a plane  x^3 + y^3 = z^3?  Or does x^2 + y^2 = z^2 describe
> every single right (planar) triangle?   If you believe the former, then you
> claim something intuitively and logically -- ahem -- unusual.  If you
> believe the latter, then you (or someone, somewhere) needs to account for
> how it can be that we can make universally true claims about ideal objects.
>
> When we do make contact with extraterrestrial intelligence (or they with
> us), I imagine our very first conversations will consist of x^2 + y^2 =
> z^2,
> and 3.14159 . . . so that we can judge whether or not they know this.  If
> our friends from Gliese say back to us, No, it's not 3.14159, it's 4 1/3, I
> imagine we will think them not very smart.  (Of course, correcting for base
> and so on, just for you Mensa members who will insist on that)
>
>
>
> --
>  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>.
>