[Wittrs] Syntax and Semantics of Rational Thinking

  • From: Joseph Polanik <jpolanik@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2010 15:56:53 -0500

SWM wrote:

>Philosophy needn't be and, indeed, shouldn't be about endless
>argumentation geared to logical proofs and such. It needs to be
>descriptive and supportive of what is known or studied in other
>disciplines. That's why Wittgenstein's approach is so valuable. He
>showed how so much of what we once took for philosophy is confusion in
>the way we use our words.

if so; then, we will benefit from the linguistic clarification of the
material you've posted; for, it is increasingly apparent that your
position is little more than a network of interlocking fallacies
concealed within a quagmire of ambiguity produced by cranking out a
cloud of verbiage using an idiosyncratic vocabulary.

let us start with your bizarre claim that 'implies' can mean either
'logically entails a conclusion' or 'logically requires a presumption'
because, ...

"there is no difference between 'logically entails a conclusion' and
'logically requires a presumption'. The latter merely notes that there
is a suppressed premise in the argument that enables the conclusion to
be reached. A suppressed premise, of course, is something that is
unstated but which is included in the series of steps needed to reach
the conclusion." [SWM: 2010-03-11 - 09:00 PM]

most people have sense enough to say something like "the argument 'A
implies B' presupposes proposition P" when they want to articulate the
thought that the argument presupposes or depends on P as well as A to
reach its conclusion, B.

'A implies B' is written A -> B (where '->' or some symbol is the
implication operator (aka material implication operator or entailment

in translating statements that (allegedly) are semantically meaningful
into logical forms that are syntactically correct, the statement 'if A
then B' is translated into 'A implies B' and symbolized as 'A -> B'.

thus, when you say that premise 1 of your own argument is "If you think
consciousness cannot be broken down to non-conscious constituents, then
you are a Cartesian Dualist", it'll be translated into something like
'Thinking that consciousness is not reducible to non-conscious
constituents implies that the thinker is a Cartesian dualist' and
symbolized as 'T -> C'.

this leads to the bizarre (and obviously false) results.

for example, non-reductive (N) physicalists affirm T above. therefore,
by your logic, all non-reductive physicalists are interactive substance
dualists --- a false conclusion.

"THAT is completely wrong. Premise 1 is about what it means to be a
Cartesian dualist and nothing more than that. Many distinct doctrines
are possible but there are only three basic possibilities:"

if you want to say something about what Cartesian dualists believe, it'd
be much clearer if you said 'C -> T'.

the two statements 'T -> C' and 'C -> T' have very different logical
properties. if you can't keep that straight you can't make a coherent
case without suspending the normal rules of logic.

should we construe all the verbiage you crank out as philosophy based on
the presupposition that the normal rules of logic have been suspended so
that you can prove that Searle is an interactive substance dualist?



Nothing Unreal is Self-Aware



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