When starting any endeavour, the beginning is often a little nerve-racking because it is such a decisive moment. Like a brand new journal with its creamy-white pages, just waiting for the first inky stroke of the pen.
By the time you read this, the exam will be over and you will have missed it. But you didn’t fail. In fact you passed, because of my quick-thinking. I told them you left as a statement: Your absence is your answer to the exam topic.
George Spencer-Brown (GSB) did some wonderful work for a system of logic that has us consistently painting ourselves into a corner. That’s the problem. His work contributes to a system of reasoning that is consistent but incomplete.
What he doesn’t see (and few who I’ve encountered who understand his work) is that he is stuck within a cataphatic mode of thought. When he says “Let us take the form of distinction for the form.” he effectively merges the boundary between things with one of the spaces that boundary ‘encloses’.
So he takes ‘the mark’ as being indicative of what it encloses. This is wrong – or maybe it’s better that I say it’s ‘too eager’. Continue reading “Spencer-Brown: Cataphatist”→
Fear is the path to the dark side. – Yoda, Star Wars
Fear is the mind-killer. – Litany Against Fear, Dune
A Torrent of Insecurity
This morning I woke up and, in between bites of lime marmalade on buttered toast, read my social media ‘new feed’. It was one long queue of sensationalistic headlines and attention traps that masqueraded as a procession of ‘important’ information – and I was disgusted. Normally my ‘news feed’ is packed with articles from science magazines (yes, I see the same ‘latest discovery’ related to me by four different ‘magazines’ all of whom are shamelessly copying or reposting from each other) or philosophy sites with witty or engaging quotations and questions. I normally have beautiful visuals of mathematics or magnificent photographs of some of the most mind-boggling fractals of all – Nature in all its glory. But this morning, that is not what was in ‘my feed’ – that’s not what I saw.
To say that the Universe ‘exploded’ from a ‘thing smaller than an electron’ in what’s commonly called “The Big Bang” could be a complete misunderstanding of the data we’ve gathered from our observations of the galaxies and ‘stuff out there around us’. Let me show you the ‘other side’: Continue reading “Honey, I Shrunk the Universe…”→
In my previous post, I promised to illustrate how the Laws of Thought, as they are used today, emerge naturally from the Law of Existence. Time to make good on my promise.
In a comment left by reader SelfAwarePatterns he mentioned that he didn’t see how the Law of the Excluded Middle (LEM) was rendered false by the Law of Existence. He’s absolutely right – it’s not false, and indeed it’s very naturally present already within the Law of Existence. What is false however, is the ‘closed’ interpretation of the LEM which says that a Thing only ever is or (exclusive or) is not. That is clearly false, and to use the example he gave: Continue reading “The Law of Existence – Part 2”→
George Boole’s “Laws of Thought” have been extremely useful in many disciplines, but I contend that they are nevertheless incomplete. In their dominance over most of Logic and Philosophy, they have caused a conceptual ‘blind spot’ in the many fields of research which use or emanate from such reasoning – including the Foundations of Mathematics. It’s time we set the records straight. I propose one law, which for now I call “The Law of Existence”, and show how the Laws of Thought emerge naturally from its consequences. Continue reading “The Law of Existence – a better logic?”→