[Wittrs] Re: Strawson on Experience and Experiencers

  • From: "iro3isdx" <xznwrjnk-evca@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2010 23:52:10 -0000

--- In Wittrs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "gabuddabout" <wittrsamr@...> wrote:

> Is the following argument nonsense?

> 1. The most complete scientific account of all of nature would come
> in the form of a series of statements.

> 2. It is often possible to express the same propositional content
> with two or more differently worded propositions.

> Ergo, 3. There is a shortest way to express all the propositions
> necessary for the most complete scientific account of all of nature,
> as compared to longer ways using longer sentences.

Yes it's nonsense.  I'm also unsure of its relation to the topic  of
this thread.

(1) may already be nonsense.  It presupposes that there is such  a thing
as "the most complete scientific account of all nature".  But maybe no
account can be complete, and any account can always be  extended to be
more complete (but never reach the "most complete"  level).  That is to
say, all of nature might not be finitely  specifiable.

With (2), you run into a different problem.  The alternative
description may be using different concepts, and so be dependent on
different meanings.  If we are allowed to introduce new concepts,  we
can always shorten descriptions.  For example, "pi" (or "\pi"  for latex
users) gives a very short finite account of what is not  finitely
presentable it we restrict to purely numeric concepts.

As a consequence, any idea of "shortest" would depend on the system  of
concepts being used in that account.  And since we do not have  any
known way of specifying concepts, there's no way to include  that
dependency as part of the account.

In a way, it is a little amusing that you raise this issue.  For,  in
other posts, you have agreed with Searle in his claim that you  cannot
get semantics from syntax.  Yet this whole argument seems  to depend on
there being a way of getting semantics from syntax.  I base this
assessment on the fact that "shortness" is a property of  syntax, while
an "account of all nature" is a semantic requirement.


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