[lit-ideas] Re: Valid-Some Thoughts

  • From: wokshevs@xxxxxx
  • To: jlm@xxxxxxxxxxxx, John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2008 21:11:10 -0330

Quoting John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>:

> If all this comes down to is, "We have to make some assumptions in order to
> get started," the only proper response is, "No, duh." If the claim is that
> certain assumptions are "necessary presuppositions" that remains to be
> demonstrated.  All I have seen so far are flat assertions and arbitrary
> dismissal of competing claims. What I am looking for is a demonstration of
> what a transcendental proof looks like, if the conclusion is not assumed
> before the argument begins.
> Palma's description may be a cartoon. Like a good cartoon, however, it at
> least suggests a good starting point for further discussion. My take on it
> is that Palma is asserting that transcendental proof is not a proof at all
> but belongs to a family of pseudo-proofs, for which, in my mind, the
> prototype is the method proposed by Descartes. The method consists of going
> off by oneself and throwing away everything possible until one reaches the
> point that one says, "This is perfectly clear to me," then taking whatever
> that "this" is to be a necessary presupposition for any subsequent argument.
> For Descartes the "this" was cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am), to
> which the Zen master replies with a whack on the head and the Buddhist
> metaphysician with the question "What makes this heap of transient
> sensations that you identify as 'I' more permanent than anything else?"
> If this is what transcendental proof amounts to, I wonder why we don't
> simply call it failure of imagination. I suspect that Walter will bridle as
> much at this characterization of words dear to his heart as I do at the
> perpetual down-my-nose tone of his casual dismissals of anyone who disagrees
> with his claims. But I still haven't seen how to get from assumptions (which
> I do agree, we make all the time) to **Necessary Presuppositions**, which
> seems an awfully large step.
> Perhaps the eminent professor from Mutton College could lend a hand here.
> John
> -- 
> John McCreery
> The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
> Tel. +81-45-314-9324
> http://www.wordworks.jp/

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