[KB] Incomplete Nature
wblakesx at yahoo.com
Sat Aug 9 15:03:15 EDT 2014
I mis-posted again (face palm:)
This is a copy with a few middling edits.
Thank you Mr. Simons and sorry for sending this to you twice. I
was trying to infer the meanings from parsing the terms, and
I foolishly forgot our friend Google.
Ms Cox, perhaps you can chime if I touch upon your interest. If I had time now I would like to
think through those terms. Might be easier to read through a
thread. But, I need to get to the root, as I see it, rather
than the branches.
Seeing as some have delved-into/are-familiar with 'theories of explanation' i
put down the proposition that Explanations necessarily refer
to Intuitions or Axioms. That is a first point. If accepted,
the next is that both can be wrong, so we need to examine
them and on and on, the anti-foundationalist arg is one way
to name it. It relates to the 'bundle theory' of ontology.
I strongly suspect you know these arguments
but I wonder if I should develop them... or move on, or give a
list of topics, which converge on the core subject, in
preview. If I lay things down too baldly my task may appear
more disjointed than it must.
Let's go for a moment to N Cusa and the
squaring of the circle. No matter how many sides the polgon
used to approximate the dimensions of the circle they are
Incommensurable. He then applies the concept to the Infinite
vrs the finite.
Now I have
jumped ahead, back to that later, I need to announce part of
I might at
times be terse, stilted, prolixicative, repetitive etc; but
it's time to make an attempt. While no academic I am
peripatetic (an Aristotlean pun? once the highest form of
humour). This is a discourse, not a thesis, a prolegomena
Cusa's insight regarding the difference between the
"Straight" and the "Curved" that while
"an inscribed polygon grows more like a circle the more
angles it has," "even though the multiplication of
its angles were infinite, nothing will make the polygon
equal the circle unless the polygon is resolved into
identity with the circle." (On Learned Ignorance, H.
Lawrence Bond translation, p. 91). Now we have a rather different
schema with calculus. Cusa was a major influence on Leibnetz and
Now we need to step deeper... Man is not
created in the image of God; man climbed out of the slime
through pain and death and has huge reservoirs of fear,
terror. In compensation he forms many structures in his mind
to avoid the associated pains (perhaps note Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation).
That mind is the product of Living in the Flesh, not pure
logic, it has errors and biases, some having some value, some
history, etc, some merely adventitious. Kant (mainly through
Cassirer for me): we don't see the world as it is.
One of the perennial sources
of philosophical difficulties is not 'seeing' that
the gene/society/civilization/human-individual contains
ontological and epistemological filters. If one can
conceptually merge the learning of the mammal from infant to
adult... with the learning of the species (of the
'blood', the genes... Animalia as a neotenous
expressions of 'mature' genes), of the lineage into
the very distant past, one only has to add how society,
language, writing, civilization merge to form a creature
somewhat different from the idea of him which has been
Guardedly handed down for more than a millennium.
'The infinite in the palm
of your hand', 'if the doors of perception were
cleansed everything would appear as it is. Infinite'.
This concept shows up here and there in bits of history.
I'm pretty sure Socrates expresses it several times (The
Symposium for one) and it fits well with his honest opinion
of knowing nothing. It shows up in my reading of
Aristotle's categories and is consistent with Platos
cave, C S Pierce's bet-a-bility , Cusa's Learned Ignorance , I think Bruno ,
Cassirer's Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, etc. [ please remember:
discursive, not a thesis. that might come later but it is
Not always a proper form]
We tend to think of a category as
'filled' with things. In our consciousness or at
least formal thinking (Burkeans) we register categories as
Big, things as small. From Aristotle's Categories we
have a list (which I take as tentative) of kinds of
propositions one can make about Any Thing (Burke was another with a similar list).
I've been through different reading of this over many years, I think
he starts with Ousia as the Infinite Individual thing. We
can assign abstracted qualities to categories which unite
individual things...infinitely. (In doing so they form a new thing... a category.)
The closer we get the more such qualities appear. A thing might only have a very few
Relevant Categories, but if we gaze deeply we can never
fathom all it's qualities. This applies to All Things.
We think in categories, which become our 'Mind Forged
What is a
'thing'? Gestalt theory helps, there are others...
network theory is very promising if one looks at the
formation of networks/association. Space is a primal
ground/mode, narrative another, inter alia. We have
conceived our cosmos as rooted on primals of
space/time/matter/energy for awhile; now we do well to focus
on Order and the related sciences that have been emerging
lately. Ontology is everything, every frame we may take on the nature of being.
This is only a bare
beginning, and it reaches into at least one epochal new tool
(or so i am firmly persuaded). Here I should pause.
On Sat, 8/9/14, Herbert W. Simons <hsimons at temple.edu>
Subject: Re: [KB] (no
To: "Carrol Cox" <cbcox at ilstu.edu>
Cc: "de gava" <wblakesx at yahoo.com>,
kb at kbjournal.org
Date: Saturday, August 9, 2014, 10:03 AM
theoretical explanation provides an answer to a why
in a thought experiment. Example:
Gilbert Ryle asked the
the difference between a wink and a
one-eyed blink? His answer took him to the mind-brain
distinction and could have taken KB to
ARE DONE IN ORDER TO;
BLINKS TO BECAUSE OF.
On Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at
10:46 PM, Carrol Cox <cbcox at ilstu.edu>
need to click "Reply All"; otherwise it goes
to the post's sender
rather than to kb.)
interested in your somewhat cryptic message because
on another list I am
writing on the difference between theory on
the one hand and
"what needs to
be explained" on the
other. And involved in that is a
empirical generalization and theoretical
From: kb-bounces at kbjournal.org
[mailto:kb-bounces at kbjournal.org]
Of de gava
August 08, 2014 9:34 PM
To: kb at kbjournal.org
Subject: [KB] (no
I think I can add to this
discussion. In earlier days I
emails I received but
they went to Ed so to kick off I'd
kb at kbjournal.org
an address to the e-list and ask if
anyone has looked
into the nature of 'explanations'. More to
KB mailing list
KB at kbjournal.org
KB mailing list
KB at kbjournal.org
W. Simons, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of
Dep't of Strategic
Temple University, Philadelphia
Home phone: 215 844
Academic Fellow, Center for Transformative
Strategic Initiatives (CTSI)
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