I fail to see any interest in the comparison of laws of nature (f is ma or e is m times c square) and laws of self defense- If, e.g. c were not constant the law is false while if anybody applied wrongly, e.g., deadly force the law is not falsified by anything. Hence theft, stupidity or corruption do not falsify laws that sought to reduce stealing, incompetence idiocies, e.g. in nominations to judicial bench, or in fraud and larceny. The debate is a misnomer. From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Omar Kusturica Sent: 09 March 2015 21:16 To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Causality theory of (not)knowing Well, for one thing, the laws of physics can be - and primarily are - expressed by mathematical formulae. E=mc2 can be rephrased in English language roughly as stating that: "the universal proportionality factor between equivalent amounts of energy and mass is equal to the speed of light<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light>squared" but such a paraphrase is used for pedagogical purposes and the like and it is not what the physician operates with professionally. Insofar as I am aware, I don't think that physicists typically argue, or need to argue, about the meaning of "E" or of "c2." In contrast, the laws of human societies are expressed verbally, and based on verbal definitions, such as: · Imperfect self-defense<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperfect_self-defense>: In some jurisdictions, a person who acted in self-defense with an honest but unreasonable belief that deadly force was necessary to do so can reduce a murder charge to one of voluntary manslaughter or deliberate homicide committed without criminal malice. Malice is found if a person is killed intentionally and without legal excuse or mitigation. If there is a way to express this legal definition via a mathematical equation I would be delighted to know about it. Until such a mathematical formula is supplied, one can hardly help noticing that the concept of Imperfect self-defense is defined in terms of other verbal concepts such as 'self-defense,' 'honest but unreasonable belief' 'intentionally' etc. whose meaning is far from self-evident or indisputable and that stand themselves in need of a definition. In fact at least the conceptual meaning of 'intentionality' has been frequently disputed among philosophers, without any concensus having been reached on it.Thus any practical dispute that arises as to the application of these terms can hardly help engaging the issue of what they mean in the first place. As to whether all this is useful, it depends... This is not a group for exchanging cooking recipees, and I am not certain that I am obliged to demontrate the usefulness of every remark I make, particularly when 'usefulness' itself is not defined. How should it be useful, and to whom ? O.K. On Mon, Mar 9, 2015 at 6:55 PM, Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote: This was posted earlier in another thread but appears to have been there blocked (again). > I don't understand why saying that x is y must be taken to mean that it is > 'merely' y. If I say that a cat is white, I do not necessarily mean that it > is 'merely' white and that it cannot be male, large, a feline and so on. In a > similar way, legal discussions have conceptual dimensions as well as other > dimensions.> We need to check whether uttering "This is conceptual" or "There is a conceptual element to this" is a useful kind of talk - or whether, to borrow W's metaphor, it is just language spinning unconnected to any useful mechanism. How do these utterances achieve more insight, or say anything more worthwhile, than the utterances "This is linguistic" or "There is a linguistic element to this", uttered every time something is expressed in language? We need also to seriously consider whether languages or "concepts" are merely instruments or vehicles or whether they have a more important status than this? > I am not sure that a comparison with physical formulae is helpful because a > different sort of conceptuality is involved.> Please explain how a "different sort of conceptuality is involved"? I mean, that is a massive claim to make and one that requires significant 'justification'. [And just because different concepts are involved would not mean "a different sort of conceptuality is involved".] Please explain all this in a way that removes or lessens the suspicion that this kind of talk is clearly mere language spinning without connection to any worthwhile working mechanism of thought. Dnl On Monday, 9 March 2015, 17:06, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote: A few more remarks on the causality theory of knowledge. As a reminder, the theory stipulates that, for me to say"I know that X," the following three conditions need to be met: 1. X is true 2. I believe that X 3. There is a causal relation between the state of affairs X and my belief At present, I am not taking issue with 1. or 2. - it is only 3. that is in dispute. Thus, I am not disputing that, for me to say that "I know that the snow is white," the condition 1. needs to be fulfilled, i.e. that the snow is white. What is disputed is the causal relation. When we speak of causality in the physical world, we generally mean sufficient conditions. My pushing the door is a sufficient condition for the door to open, barring some hindrance on the other side. It is not a necessary condition, since the door will open when someone else pushes it as well. In contrast, Venus being hot is clearly not a sufficient condition for me to know that it is hot. Instead it turns out to be a logically necessary condition - I cannot know it unless it is true - which is covered by 1. But calling this a cause is like saying that the cause of the door opening is the door, since if it there were no door it wouldn't open. A causal relation has to be established in empirical not in logical terms. In empirical terms, the cause of my knowledge that Venus is hot is that I read it in a book. On a related note, there is some confusion here between the truth of a belief and its ground or justification. For the Gricean theorist they are one and the same, hence strictly speaking the only justification that he can offer for the belief that the snow is white is to (re) assert that the snow is white. But if one were to offer a rational reason for believing x, one needs to offer some ground or explanation distinct from x. O.K.