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Posted by Aurino Souza on September 6, 2002 18:20:00 UTC

the streets generally have a simple, logical layout, and if you have a map and/or experience, no sweat.

Sorry but you're wrong. Streets don't have a simple, logical layout, they can be ordered as in Manhattan or messy as in Milan, but in either case you can't see any layout, all you can see is one or two streets at a time. You think they are simple because maps are easy to understand. Try understanding this "map":

Queen St: starts at 240 Kennedy North, goes 12 miles to the West and ends up on 932 Islington South
Dufferin: starts at the north shore of the lake, runs parallel to Bathurst but makes a 35 degree right turn at 583 Bloor West

Imagine a whole city described like that. It would make biological evolution seem like child play!

Our street system may be complex, but it pales in comparison to biological systems.

But that doesn't mean biology couldn't use a notation system (language) that is less ambiguous than plain English. That's all I'm saying.

I agree with you, to a certain extent, but I think this reasoning is a BIT flawed. Try discussion entirely subjective but universal phenomena like consciousness using objectivity and see how far it gets you.

I don't see where the flaw is. Is consciousness an objective thing? No, so first requirement dropped. Can we talk about consciousness in purely logical terms? I don't know, nobody ever tried. So, according to my argument, presenting theories for consciousness without the appropriate language for their expression will take us nowhere. Isn't that exactly the situation?

In addition, using logic is wonderful, and I try to do so whenever I possibly can, but as we are inside the box, logic based on observations may provide numerous possible answers.

It's probably too early to drop this, but I'll do it anyway: all logical arguments must be expressed as tautologies. Doing otherwise will leave room for misinterpretation and betray the whole purpose of any rational argument. That's why I said if you don't want to stick to logic then you must accept that you have left the realm of rationality. Which is not the same thing as being wrong, by the way.

We should try to escape from our subjective cages, but we need to acknowledge that we will never fully succeed in doing so.

I have no problem with that at all. Can you imagine how boring the world would be if everything were cast in stone and there were no room for interpretation, for ambiguity, for imagination?

All I'm saying is that, as long as we are claiming to be rational, we must abide by all rules of rationality. Being 99% rational is not enough! Either you know how to communicate your ideas or just don't bother trying to be rational. You can say "it's 92 degrees outside", or you can say "it's very hot". You have a right to expect to be understood when you tell the temperature, and you have no right to expect to be understood when you describe your feelings. However, sometimes your feelings are more relevant than the temperature, and that's all perfect and fine.

I guess you can think of this whole thing as "a crusade against pseudo-rationality".

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