26 July 2013

Another attack of severe pain last night but at 5:30 AM I awoke to do 5 minutes lowrise step (100 steps), 10 minutes walking, 3 minutes step on the stairs (50 steps) and about 7 minutes prone weight movements for a 25 minute exercise session. Pain after the workout caused me to cancel a subsequent physio session. Tonight shall sleep on a flat bed to see if this helps.

Kant Study

Includes significant updates added 28 Feb 2028

Finished Michelle Grier on “The Ideal of Pure Reason”, primarily a discussion of the ontological proof method in general. Although Kant famously rejected the equivocation on properties and “existence” and other prerequisites to having properties he did believe that objects in the world could have a perfection as it were of properties and tried in the Ideal to make use of this.

To determine (or describe) a thing completely would seem to require that we know all possible positive predicates of that thing and have a list, say (A…Z, A0…Z0, … Az…Zz) of applicable predicates handy. Each NEGATIVE predicate (where, for example, “bad” is ~good or “male” is ~female in the sort of taxonomy we’d look for at this point) can be removed.

Of course, Kant’s optimism on this is rather touching. We can discover new predicates and in other cases we can find predicates meaningless as applied to certain objects. But proceeding as if these wrinkles were ironed-over…

…there exists a perfect being PB such that A(PB) & B(PB) & C(PB) & … Zz(PB) qed.

For example, if we can in such a facile manner prove the existence of the perfect being we also can prove using the same method, the existence of the Perfect Being’s “foil”, PBF, let’s say the Devil, simply by writing (~A(PBF) & ~B(PBF) & … & ~Zz(PBF).

And, if God doesn’t exist, and the same set of properties applies to God and the Devil in reverse, then the Devil doesn’t exist. “Imagine there’s no heaven”.

At this point, we’ve been reduced to conjuror’s tricks which assume almost that beings can be brought into existence by writing or saying certain Kabbalah-like things but that is nonsense. What we’ve done is shown the backward-looking nature of Kant’s thought in addition to its forward looking nature. Kant’s thought is the ground of the very developments in modern logic which he would probably have found most useful, but which defy him here, including the very idea that our ordinary language including the ordinary mathematical notation we use in the spot (without fear that our calculus has occult, Kabbalistic power).

Both traditional and modern logic can treat properties as things and thereby making lists of properties including the excellencies of a Perfect Being. But modern logic can discover contradictory and nonsense properties that much better.

In a sort of “hack” of symbolic logic notation I can “say” things that look meaningful such as this paraphrase of “some properties are excellencies but not all”.

(Ex)[isProperty(x) && isAnExcellency(x)] && (Ey)[isProperty(x) && ~isAnExcellency(x)]

These amusing parlor games raise issues. For example, the above implies that the world has two objects, one of which is an ordinary object and the other a property.

Now, suppose we have implemented the above notation as a “programming language” (which I ask you not to do). If its world data base contains fewer than two objects then we crash, or at best “there is a bug”. If the And operator is not implemented lazily such that in A && B, the “lazy” evaluator does NOT evaluate B when A implies that such evaluation may be a problem, then we crash.

But because my painkiller base dosage on the patch has been increased by the Sunday resident, and owing to my four requests Fentanyl jungle jump joy juice earlier today, I am getting quite fuzzy and unequal to digital philosophy.

Change Record

28 July 2013 Correction to spelling error (“primary”=>”primarily”)
28 July 2013 Significant additions to the Kant Study section


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