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? -- 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>.