First Causes

Alex Green dralexgreen at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Sep 14 03:21:02 EST 2004


lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net (Lester Zick) wrote in message news:<4145c332.21563699 at netnews.att.net>...
> On 13 Sep 2004 03:05:43 -0700, dralexgreen at yahoo.co.uk (Alex Green) in
> comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
> 
> >lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net (Lester Zick) wrote in message news:<4144b29f.14688843 at netnews.att.net>...
> >> On 12 Sep 2004 10:36:21 -0700, dralexgreen at yahoo.co.uk (Alex Green) in
> >> comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
> 
> [. . .]
> 
> (At the risk of violaing my own dictum, I'm trimming as much as I can
> to focus on this particular issue.)
> 
> >Let me do a quick check to make sure we are on the same wavelength. In
> >the sentence "cars are blue" the words "are blue" are the predicate
> >(often represented as Blue(cars)).  P "not" when applied to this
> >sentence is "cars are not blue" (often represented by ¬Blue(cars).
> 
> No. This example is hard to translate directly, but when I say P "not"
> the "not" predicate is primary not secondary. "Blue cars" is secondary
> in such a case, being derived indirectly from "not", "negation", or
> "contradiction". P "not" would thus not be applied to "cars are blue"
> to produce "cars are not blue". Contradicting P "cars are blue" would
> just result in not P or P "cars are not blue". But this is just a
> specific negation of "cars are blue" and not a general negation.
> 
> What I mean in saying P "not" is that there is a general negation or
> not or contradiction applicable across the board to all things whether
> particular propositions are positive or negative in form. We derive
> positive propositions from P "not" P "negation" or P "contradiction"
> through the application of P "not" P "negation" or P "contradiction"
> to itself.
> 
> >You wrote earlier:
> >"let's consider that everything is the result of P "not" in the sense
> >of negation or differences. Then alternatives to P "not" are cast in
> >the inherently self contradictory form of Q "not not".  And self
> >contradiction is the cause of nothing."
> >
> >Translating your statements:
> >
> >1. "everything is the result of P "not"" means EITHER
> >everything is (the things that are not everything). 
> >OR
> >everything is not(the things that are not everything). 
> >
> >Only the second meaning makes sense so I'll take this as what you
> >meant. In which case:
> >
> >2. "alternatives to P "not"" = things that are not (not(the things
> >that are not everything)) = the things that are not everything
> >
> >Put simply you seem to be saying that if negation is universal then
> >the set of all things (everything) cannot exist. This seems like a
> >reasonable proof of a theorem that 'differences' are not fundamental
> >but depend on something else, like the existence of space, so that you
> >can say 'set A' is here and all not 'set A' are over there.
> >
> >If I have misunderstood you please clarify what you are saying with
> >actual logical statements in english.
> 
> I'm not sure what the above means, but let me try to state clearly
> what I intend.
> 
> I maintain that everything from blue cars to vivid thoughts can be and
> is derived mechanically from differences and differences between
> differences. And what I prove through exclusion of self contradictory
> alternatives is there can be no non self contradictory alternative to
> differences in the form of not, contradiction, or negation. Therefore
> any positive thing is the indirect result of differences between
> differences and thus cannot be primary despite being positive.
> 
> As far as plain english examples are concerned, let me offer the
> following observation. No positive specifics like blue cars or vivid
> thoughts or atoms can be primary because they are particular and not
> universal. They are not universal because none of them can be proven
> applicable to everything of logical necessity. The only thing that can
> be proven universal in the sense of being necessarily applicable to
> everything of logical necessity is contradiction because contradiction
> of contradiction is self contradiction.
> 
> If I have some positive specific like blue cars, how could it be
> proven universally applicable to everything. It couldn't. We could use
> exemplary denial and produce non blue cars to show that blue cars
> aren't universal. But there is no way to demonstrate that blue cars
> can be, much less have to be, universal. The only way to prove that
> something, anything, can be and has to be universal is by showing that
> alternatives are inherently self contradictory. And the only way to do
> that is if the primary principle is differences in the form of not,
> negation, or contradiction to begin with because no other basic
> principle produces self contradictory alternatives.

Above you write that P "not" "would not be applied to "cars are blue"
to produce "cars are not blue"." This means that it is neither a
negation nor an operation that produces a negation. I can see that
there is a possibility of a qualitative 'difference' such as
post-structuralists use but this just allows students to sound
intellectual when writing essays on literature courses.

Earlier you said that P "not" symbolised differences and above you
write: "everything from blue cars to vivid thoughts can be and is
derived mechanically from differences and differences between
differences".  Please can you detail the operation that would be
performed mechanically to implement P "not". As an example, AND can be
performed electromechanically by a set of switches arranged serially
along a single wire. Please explain the mechanical implementation of P
"not" so it can be understood.

Best Wishes

Alex Green



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