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Re: Those Puzzling Logicians

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Posted by Harvey on April 6, 2002 13:55:01 UTC


***Funny thing is; to defeat the logician one would have to show he was contradicting himself! He would then go round in circles saying he was allowed to do that. So he cannot be refuted. But he can die! That's why I said the earlier comment; if people want to fool themselves, it is they who do it, and they who bear the consequences. So the responsibility of dealing with that law is for each of us to face himself. But I don't mean to be preachy; its just that there is a responsibility for each one of us to get real and not kid ourselves, including those puzzling logicians!***

Really, Alan! You sound like a (fundamentalist) creationist referring to evolutionists. Logic is like math, people play with axioms and try to work around them. What you are saying is really distasteful to me.

***Quote: "we have never confirmed a clear case":
here you introduce a qualifier "clear".
I stand by the claim that it is true by definition that something cannot exist and not exist. If there is a LACK of clarity then the matter to be resolved is one of clarity and error margins. It does not alter the truth of the law of non-contradiction.***

It is only a 'truth' because you accept it as a truth due to your experiences. Many logicians, who actually study these things, do not see it as a logical truth.

***Any "contradictory" elements occuring in a not-fully-clarified scenario do not breach the law-of-non-contradiction, as those "contradictions" are pseudo and not real. Real contradictions are impossible by definition.***

We are talking the differences between ontological commitments (e.g., logical laws that exist) and epistemological issues. Epistemologically, there is no reason to reject the duality principle. There isn't any overwhelming evidence that forces us to reject it. The ontological issue is just a matter of belief (or religion as Dick might say).

***Page 700 of "LIGHT" by Ditchburn gives a clear explanation of wave-particle duality showing there is no mystery. Note that "frequency" is a characteristic of waves and particles; "mass" is frequency (as is "energy"). Waves and particles are considered to be "limiting theories" on energy and matter. High frequency wave quanta pack a punch like a particle (which itself is a high frequency wave bundle).***

This duality is not solved in these analogies. Both Einstein and Schrodinger tried to enforce a realist interpretation over QM and failed. Schrodinger even tried to say that the wavefunction could account for particle-like behavior, but as was pointed out to him by Pauli (I think), waves dissipate - particles don't. Also, waves don't leave tracks in cloud chambers.

I think Bohr's words on this are still valid even today:

"‘The quantum theory is characterized by the acknowledgement of a fundamental limitation of the classical ideas when applied to atomic phenomena. The situation thus created is of a peculiar nature, since our interpretation of the experimental material rests essentially on the classical concepts.'" (Bohr, N. Address to the International Congress of Physics at Como, Italy, on 16th September 1927).

***Whatever rules so-called paraconsistent logic has; the law of non-contradiction will still be implied somewhere even if not stated.***

And you would support that by...?

***And (2) is not defeated! It cannot be by definition.***

"It cannot be by definition"? That is what I said. Your statement that what is the case can only be one case is not true by definition. Nothing can make that statement true.

***Lack of clarity is lack of clarity; induction has nothing to do with the law of non-contradiction,***

What does clarity have to do with (2)? Why did you introduce induction for (2)?***

***it is impossible to exist and not exist!***

Think about what you are saying. You are saying (using the interpretation of (2)) that it is not the case that for 'something' to be the case and that 'something' not to be the case. For example, it is impossible for a field to be a particle and not a particle. However, this is what is disputed! You cannot use reason to deny a concept that states that human reason is not valid. In a sense you are saying you have to be rational to be rational! When it comes to knowing reality (in full), you simply cannot say you know! You need logic to state your logical claims, but it is the 'logic' that is in question.

***It is possible to get muddled though; or for an existent pattern to get diffused among other patterns so change its form of existence.
Things just ARE.***

You are thinking only in terms of how you perceive reality. But, as the anti-realist of interpretation of QM suggests, you cannot impute your classical notions on something that is beyond our reasoning abilities to understand. The anti-realists are very strong on this point and they have a good point in this issue. Bohr's quote cannot be refuted (not by you, and not by any known philosopher or physicist). We have simply approached the edge of human knowledge and are looking over the cliff.

***You are very open-minded and willing to face the activities of the logicians; but I contend that their attempts to circumvent the law of non-contradiction can be easily defeated!
Open-mindedness has nothing to fear, because by definition their attempts can only fail. Of course you cannot "prove" an ultimate explanation, as that would be contradictory as the "proof" would be more ultimate.***

You cannot 'prove'? Then you do not know! If you do not know then why insist that the denial of LNC can easily be defeated? It can't. The denial of LNC is simply denying an axiom of logic. Axioms can be denied. Fighting over axioms leads to a great deal of contention (in logic, in math, etc), but it also leads to new insights.

***But I don't think you need to downgrade to "belief" status your acceptance of non-contradiction; I think you or I or anyone can defeat anyone who tries to refute that law (perhaps unless the logician one tackles gets so bogged-down in jargon that one cannot be bothered unravelling it all!).***

I consider a belief anything that we do not know. In terms of ontological commitments I only have beliefs. I claim no knowledge of ontological things that are true or false or both or neither. I do claim that we should try anyway and form reasonable opinions of ontological things (we do anyway whether we like to or not), but that's as far as I go - and can go.

****Hope I don't sound too terse or anything.
Sorry if I do.***

I have no idea why you talk in terms of 'death', 'he can die', etc. You sound like a fanatic. Stop doing that please.

Warm regards, Harv

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