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Posted by Paul R. Martin on June 19, 2001 16:50:48 UTC

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your thoughts.I don't think you meant to be serious, but one of my many faults is that I take most things too seriously. So I did your exercise.

1. Original thought happens? Okay, maybe not.

2. An original thinker is one who has original thoughts? This has to be true because it is a simple definition.

3. An original thinker can produce original thoughts by imagination? This statement does not claim that there are any original thinkers; only that if there were one, he/she/it could produce original thoughts by imagination. Here again, this is simply the definition of 'imagination'.

... and so on.

But this is quibbling over an issue not worth discussing.

The important idea I tried to thinly disguise in this list was the possibility of a non-human thinker. I tried to construct a set of true, or at least easily believable, statements about thought and thinking without ever attributing thought solely to humans.

A common assumption is that (some) humans are the only things that think and I think this assumption limits or impedes our attempts at understanding our world.

Let me give you a general picture of where I was going with my list:

1. There is something and not nothing.
2. We can't discover or even know the origin of this "something".
3. Suppose that the original "something" was a thinker thinking. What could you get?
4. Well, you could get the entire universe exactly as we see it.

Now I suppose that idea is not original and has been around for ages. But among all the ideas that have been kicked around, I am less interested in original ideas than I am in ideas that make sense to me.

Warm regards,

Paul

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