[lit-ideas] Re: A thought for the coming year

  • From: "Walter C. Okshevsky" <wokshevs@xxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2013 15:27:21 -0330

Well, when I asked RP to articulate for us his conception of a thought, I was
not thinking he would simply compile a number of examples of "thought" or
"thinking. From these examples proffered, we see that the terms, as understood
by RP can refer to:

1. an argument
2. a belief
3. a thought dreamt (this one sort of begs the question, I would think)
4. a decision made or report on a decision made
5. a phenomenon or word to which "weird" could be attributed
6. an activity

and probably much more that escapes my perusal of RP's list.

But RP must still be firmly ensconced in the lap of family and friends since he
resists the labour of the concept called for by  the philosophical question I

In order to adequately answer that question, he is required to provide us not
with a laundry-list, a bag, of examples of "thought"/"thinking" but rather with
the criteria he deploys in identifying all these examples as examples *of*
"thought"/"thinking." RP surely must be in possession of such criteria, else he
would not be able to differentiate "thought"/"thinking" from anything else in
the world (i.e., pizza, doggy-bags, birdfeeders, a 40 yr old Highland Park) and
thus would be unable to identify some things and events as "examples." 

Awaiting, glass in hand, RP's arousal from domestic slumbers and the provision
of his set of necessary and sufficient conditions ... and for Christmas,
(Hristos Voskresye!)

Walter O

P.S.  Socrates 5, Wittgenstein 0.

Quoting Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>:

> Gualterus dicit,
> Now that RP has seen fit to return to his philosophical saddle, after an
> inexcusably extended period of silence indulging relations with
> immediate family and friends, perhaps he could explain to us his
> conception of a "thought"? (If it's a mere stipulative definition,
> allowing for no counter-examples, then of course we want no truck with
> it.)
> *I once thought Descartes spoke Chinese because there were Chinese
> ideograms on his dressing gown. I’ve since learned that this thought
> was mistaken; that is, that I was mistaken in thinking that.
> ‘Have you seen Huygenson, this afternoon?’
> ‘I think I saw him going into his office just a few minutes ago (Newton
> time).’
> ‘I had this strange dream: I thought I was to read a paper at the
> annual Toot Baldon philosophy gathering, but when I reached the place
> shown on the invitation, nobody had heard of Toot Baldon.
> ‘Methinks I will.’
> ‘Believe me, that guy has some really weird thoughts.’
> ‘People used to think that whales were fish.’
> ‘I am doing something. I’m thinking. And it’s hard.’ [Reply by one of
> my former professors when his wife accused him of sitting around all
> day doing nothing.]
> —————————————————————————————————
> I ask because I would have thought that a sentence with all them
> commas and semi-colons harbours more than a single thought.
> And would there be a couple of claims to "k-that" in all of that? If so, do
> they satisfy the necessary conditions?
> —————————————————————————————————
> *I think there are e.g. that
> ‘Absolute, true, and mathematical time, from its own nature, passes
> equably without relation to anything external, and thus without
> reference to any change or way of measuring of time (e.g., the hour,
> day, month, or year).'
> ...but whether they satisfy condition DM, I'm not certain.
> Robert Paul
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