Author Topic: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip  (Read 37440 times)

hutch--

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Re: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip
« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2013, 04:00:20 AM »
This has been an interesting debate for interesting reasons, three different practitioners from a similar cultural background yet with different philosophical dispositions. Long ago I studied philosophy both at university and personally as I found it to be a fascinating subject but I went in the direction of British empiricism rather than the metaphysics of the continent. While having suffered most on the historical forms of philosophy I leant in the direction of David Hume, Bertrand Russell and Quine and did a lot of work on the 20th century debate on linguistic philosophy from Wittgenstein through the Vienna school up to its end at Oxford with a few practitioners like Strawson in the middle to late 1950s.

I was particularly a fan of Russell and Whitehead with Principia but interestingly enough learned a system of logic that used Tarski's notation rather than Russell's dots. Logic is an excellent tool if you know its boundaries and here Kurt Godel was influential in determining the limits to formal logic. I have very little feel for social philosophy as it appears to be too far from the basics of consistency and proof. The action as I have seen it is in the area of metaphilosophical comparison, basically comparing multiple philosophical systems rather than being an adherent to any one in particular.

At the risk of offending some, I tend to see Nietzsche in relation to philosophy as I see Van Gogh in relation to art, probably talented but screwloose.
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Gunther

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Re: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip
« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2013, 05:45:48 AM »
Steve,

This has been an interesting debate for interesting reasons, three different practitioners from a similar cultural background yet with different philosophical dispositions. Long ago I studied philosophy both at university and personally as I found it to be a fascinating subject but I went in the direction of British empiricism rather than the metaphysics of the continent. While having suffered most on the historical forms of philosophy I leant in the direction of David Hume, Bertrand Russell and Quine and did a lot of work on the 20th century debate on linguistic philosophy from Wittgenstein through the Vienna school up to its end at Oxford with a few practitioners like Strawson in the middle to late 1950s.

that's an interesting point. But it seems to me that there isn't a large contradiction between the philosophical direction in England and the continent. David Hume, for example,  suggested on Immanuel Kant  in his Critique of Pure Reason (Kritik der reinen Vernunft). Hume was a pioneer of the European Enlightenment. Wittgenstein was also in the tradition of the Enlightenment. By the way, Wittgenstein was a distant cousin (Großcousin) from Friedrich August von Hayek (we've come to full circle). And another savory note: By the support of Bertrand Russell,  Wittgenstein became a member of the secret society Cambridge Apostles. This later developed into the famous, infamous Cambridge Five. Graham Greene wrote about that; but also in John le Carré's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy one can find the reverberation. But again, it's only a marginalia of our discussion.

I was particularly a fan of Russell and Whitehead with Principia but interestingly enough learned a system of logic that used Tarski's notation rather than Russell's dots. Logic is an excellent tool if you know its boundaries and here Kurt Godel was influential in determining the limits to formal logic. I have very little feel for social philosophy as it appears to be too far from the basics of consistency and proof. The action as I have seen it is in the area of metaphilosophical comparison, basically comparing multiple philosophical systems rather than being an adherent to any one in particular.

Russell and Whitehead wanted to build the mathematics with clear axiomatic basis and they've found: Russell's paradox. Cantor and Hilbert were not amused. That was funny. For an explanation of the human society, formal logic isn't enough. Gödel came later; he dealt the death blow to Hilbert's formalism. But Gödel's end in Princeton was tragic.

Gunther 
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japheth

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Re: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip
« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2013, 07:08:11 PM »
Quote
If man is shaped by environment, his environment must be made human. (Wenn der Mensch von den Umständen gebildet wird, so muß man die Umstände menschlich bilden.) MECW, p. 263

Well, let's see if I'm able to say something positive about this theory ... it is somewhat logical ... but the problem with logical theories is that they are usually just tautologies ( if all swans are white, then you won't find a black one ).  :bgrin:

The other positive thing that comes into my mind is that it's an epitome of the still strong belief in human reason during the first half of the nineteenth century - and if there's a time when this belief was somewhat justified it's the 19th century.

However, putting mathematical or historical viewpoints aside, it's just a strong expression of hubris - the (failed) experiments that were based on this thinking did waste a good amount of resources and did ruin a lot of lives. I cannot prove it, of course, but the amount of damage caused by "good intention"-plans seems to be worse than the damage caused by "malicious" ideologies.

So for me the only aspect worth thinking about this "theory" is why it hasn't been buried yet.  :icon_mrgreen:

Quote
By the way, it was Nietzsche, who wrote of the Übermensch (German for Overman, Overhuman, Above-Human, Superman, Super-human). Do you recognize the contradiction ... ?

Sorry, I don't understand - contradiction between what?

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Re: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip
« Reply #48 on: November 11, 2013, 09:34:49 PM »
I would not worry too much about tautological implication, its other name is "deduction".  :biggrin:
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Farabi

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Re: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2013, 10:18:59 AM »
Anger usefull for case of emergency like wars, even only for short period, in the age of sword, it was enough to protect yourself, better than nothing. One slash, miss, better than nothing, youre killed, or enslaved, your enemy call. Hate usefull for anyone who hurted you so bad so you dont keep beeing hurted again and again and again and youre not dead. What about racism, well, you will not like it if youre not the strongest race. I heard racism good for identifying a dissease or genetical defections like illness, and many things but as a AIDS carrier for example, even youre not AIDS from born, I bet you wont like it if people treat you so bad or discriminate you. You may want to try to live here and proclaim your self as an HIV positive, I bet you will disagree with racism anymore.

Even though there could be some use on racism, there is no need to use racism as a tools to survive, just like anger. Sometime beeing patient make your survival chance higher. With wisdom, your survival can turn to 10,000% higher than anyone, people will ask you to be their leader and gave you their money, and that is how the spiritual leader here started their carrier. Some managing money from donations, and some are scaming their follower for lust and moneys, no one know. But it shown that, racism is not everything for the survival chance. Cooperation is a lot better for surviving.
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Gunther

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Re: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip
« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2013, 10:21:06 PM »
Andreas,

sorry for the delay, but I've a strong cold. Nevertheless I'll try to explain some points.

Quote
By the way, it was Nietzsche, who wrote of the Übermensch (German for Overman, Overhuman, Above-Human, Superman, Super-human). Do you recognize the contradiction ... ?

Sorry, I don't understand - contradiction between what?

That's easy. Nietzsche took over the conception of the Übermensch by Helvetius (homme supérieur). This Übermensch (Superman, new man, neuer Mensch) has a spiritual as well as a bilogical importance in Nietzsche's writings (for example in Also sprach Zarathustra, Menschliches, Allzumenschliches). You write as a follower of Nietzsche's philosophy:
Quote
... so I don't think that you can create a "new" and "better" man by education ( or manipulation ).

This is an obvious contradiction, isn't it?

The other positive thing that comes into my mind is that it's an epitome of the still strong belief in human reason during the first half of the nineteenth century - and if there's a time when this belief was somewhat justified it's the 19th century.

But Nietzsche is also a child of the 19th century. Where is the quality difference?

You should read the quote:
Quote
If man is shaped by environment, his environment must be made human. (Wenn der Mensch von den Umständen gebildet wird, so muß man die Umstände menschlich bilden.) MECW, p. 263
in the context with another quote from the same authors:
Quote
In place of the old society, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.
(An die Stelle der alten Gesellschaft tritt eine Assoziation, worin die freie Entwicklung eines jeden die Bedingung für die freie Entwicklung aller ist.)
These are not so bad ideas, although they are from the 19th century.

Well, let's see if I'm able to say something positive about this theory ... it is somewhat logical ... but the problem with logical theories is that they are usually just tautologies ( if all swans are white, then you won't find a black one ).  :bgrin:

No, that isn't a tautology, but only a fallacy, because black swans exists. In the propositional logic is a tautology a powerful tool, because it's always true. A OR (NOT A) is a classic tautology, but also the indirect proof, which is often used in mathematics.

Gunther
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hutch--

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Re: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip
« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2013, 01:08:55 AM »
Paradox is in fact a very useful tool. Russell produced a class inclusion paradox with the barber, earlier version were the paradox of the liar and the slightly later set theory version by Grelling and the use a a class inclusion paradox is that if any argument can validly derive a paradox from its axioms, then it is broken.

Now the contribution of Kurt Godel to the area of symbolic logic was in fact very important in that while Russell and Whitehead produced the first complete truth function calculus, from Wittgenstein's Tractatus onwards there was a movement to try and construct an "ideal language" where ambiguity was impossible using the basic mechanics of Russell and Whitehead's Principia Mathematica. Godel proved that for any given set of axioms you could produce a finite set of conclusions yet in the same category there were true statements that could not be derived from the axioms. Now if the set of axioms were increased the same problem occurred but on a larger scale.

Once Godel's proof was digested, people like Rudolph Carnap, Schlick and most of the others in the linguistic movement abandoned the idea as unworkable. A few like A.J. Ayer and P.F. Strawson struggled on but it was dead by about 1960. The win with Godel was that mechanistic systems based of a finite set of axioms were proven to be incomplete.
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Gunther

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Re: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip
« Reply #52 on: November 13, 2013, 02:29:40 AM »
Steve,

The win with Godel was that mechanistic systems based of a finite set of axioms were proven to be incomplete.

absolutely true. You can have two different things:

  • An axiomatic system without contradictions, but that isn't complete.
  • An axiomatic system, which is complete, but that has contradictions.

You can't have both: Completeness and Consistency. To show this was Gödel's merit.
Russell produced a class inclusion paradox with the barber, earlier version were the paradox of the liar and the slightly later set theory version by Grelling and the use a a class inclusion paradox is that if any argument can validly derive a paradox from its axioms, then it is broken.
...
A few like A.J. Ayer and P.F. Strawson struggled on but it was dead by about 1960. The win with Godel was that mechanistic systems based of a finite set of axioms were proven to be incomplete.
Of course. We have the classic form with All Cretans lie. The problem arises when that a Cretan says. Or another version: Never take advice from a stranger. What happens if a stranger says that? One can also find a lot of paradoxes (long before Grelling and Nelson) by Bernhard Bolzano in his Paradoxes of the infinite.

In parallel to construct an "ideal language" there have been attempts to construct an "ideal mathematics". The goal was: All mathematical propositions should follow without contradictions from some axioms. To name a few: Russel and Whitehead, Hilbert's program, Bourbaki. No project has been completed; all projects failed. That has to do with two things:
  • Gödel's incompleteness theorems.
  • Brouwer's excellent question: May we apply the tertium non datur on infinite sets?


Gunther
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japheth

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Re: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip
« Reply #53 on: November 13, 2013, 06:14:31 AM »
That's easy. Nietzsche took over the conception of the Übermensch by Helvetius (homme supérieur). This Übermensch (Superman, new man, neuer Mensch) has a spiritual as well as a bilogical importance in Nietzsche's writings

I disagree - there's no "biological importance" - Nietzsche is interested only in culture and ethics.

Quote
... so I don't think that you can create a "new" and "better" man by education ( or manipulation ).
...
This is an obvious contradiction, isn't it?

No - the "new" / "better" was put in quotes for a reason - because that "new"/"better" referred to a being where certain "destructive" attitudes ( i.e. racism ) have been "eliminated" or "reduced" - surely nothing that Nietzsche has considered for his übermensch idea.

btw, I would not call myself a follower - I'm well aware of certain obsessions in N.'s thinking.

Quote
These are not so bad ideas, although they are from the 19th century.

I really hate  to repeat myself ... hubris.

Quote
No, that isn't a tautology, ...

I actually didn't claim that the "if man... "-sentence IS a tautology - actually, it's a normative statement "disguised" as a theory  -  OTOH, my "if all swans..."  sentence definitely IS a tautology.

btw; your style is still awful, has become even worse - we're not in school here!

hutch--

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Re: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip
« Reply #54 on: November 13, 2013, 08:44:55 AM »
Aha, the distinctions of quantifier calculus. ALL/NONE versus SOME.

If all swans are white then black swans are either not black or not swans. The universal quantifier "ALL" generates the problem here.

If SOME swan are black then NOT(ALL swans are white). The "EXISTENTIAL" quantifier "SOME" reduces ALL to either false or SOME.

You can comfortably live with,

All swans are birds.        -----  swans are a member of the class of birds.
Some birds are black.
Some swans are black.
Some black birds are not swans.
Some swans are not black.

and of course the tautology,

All swans are swans.

The class inclusion paradox form is a misuse of the universal quantifier ALL.

"ALL things I say are false".

If this statement is true, then it is false. If it is false then its true.

You can live with,

Some things I say are false.
I have been known to tell a white lie.
Most things I say are true.
etc ....

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K_F

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Re: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip
« Reply #55 on: November 13, 2013, 07:39:33 PM »
Next time you feel sorry for an african country and are about to empty your pockets... remember this..
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2238017/UK-gives-19million-aid-South-Africa--president-spends-17-5million-palace.html

.. it's your money that keeps criminals like these in power.. with no money they have no 'power' to corrupt.
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dedndave

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Re: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip
« Reply #56 on: November 13, 2013, 09:17:15 PM »
i think they'll find a way - diamond mines and oil fields

as for the logic session....
i try to keep the quantum version in mind:
every possible case occurs, at some place, at some time   :P
i.e. all white and black swans wind up being pink with purple polka-dots, at some point

Gunther

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Re: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip
« Reply #57 on: November 13, 2013, 10:47:27 PM »
Hi K_F,

.. it's your money that keeps criminals like these in power.. with no money they have no 'power' to corrupt.
:-)
yes, it is. But that here is also our money and that has in most cases nothing to do with the color of the skin. And the magnitude of this fraud is exorbitant.

Gunther
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K_F

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Re: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip
« Reply #58 on: November 14, 2013, 01:55:47 AM »
While I agree that there is corruption worldwide, african continent corruption is bad to the extreme, and they can ill afford it.

I agree whole heartedly with jj2007 friends who ask the world to stop helping africa in the way of cash, as it results in more suffering at the hands of despots in control.
 ;)
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dedndave

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Re: Never a True-er word spoken about ZA than this clip
« Reply #59 on: November 14, 2013, 04:20:41 AM »
it's not really "foriegn aide", it's a "legal form of bribery"
the US gov't bribes countries to be allies
prime example is North Korea
they misbehave - the bribery payments stop