[lit-ideas] Re: Here's a new spin on preventative medicine

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 31 May 2008 17:47:09 -0700

I did not say that 'only statements, etc., exist in a true/false context.' I have no idea what that means and don't want to guess. I said that it is only statements. etc., of which truth or falsity is predicated. I grant that 'true' and 'false' are sometimes used to distinguish the genuine from the fake, as in 'true friend,' 'true Scotsman,' etc. But here 'true' and 'false' can be replaced, with no loss of meaning with 'genuine, 'real, 'authentic,' or 'fake,' 'ersatz,' 'phony,' 'unreliable,' 'Made in China,' as needed.

Truth, in the interesting sense usually takes a that clause: 'It's true that [whales are mammals], as does falsehood: 'It's false [that whales are fish].' I really don't know what mindedness is (is is something like sentience?) or what it has to do with truth or falsity.

I'm not sure a tree 'knows how' to keep itself going, as opposed to merely doing it. Could a tree forget and suddenly wither? Do kudzu vines really care about the environment, or are they botanical rogues? These are questions for the philosophers here. I believe, of course, in Ents, and have no doubt that my dogs think deep thoughts.

Robert Paul

Responding to Robert Paul first, if one says only statements, etc. exist in a true/false context, we eliminate a huge chunk of mindedness, i.e. nearly all of life. A tree has mindedness. It knows how to turn the sun into life, how to grow leaves, how to get water, and on and on. It lives in the same realm of electrical and chemical impulses and communication within itself and with its environment that we do, and every bit as sophisticated as we are. And it's far more intelligent, since it doesn't destroy the environment it lives in. To limit truth/falsity to concrete statements and concrete things is to say that humans are such a reduced species.

To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

Other related posts: