**From:** Scott R (*jse885@spinn.net*)

**Date:** Sat Apr 19 2003 - 04:06:58 BST

**Previous message:**Scott R: "Re: MD Making sense of it (levels)"**In reply to:**Platt Holden: "Re: MD Undeniable Facts"**Next in thread:**Platt Holden: "Re: MD Undeniable Facts"**Reply:**Platt Holden: "Re: MD Undeniable Facts"**Messages sorted by:**[ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] [ attachment ]

Platt,

*> What do you think of defining a philosphical axiom as a concept that
*

*> has to be accepted and used in the process of denying it?
*

I would guess that you would get a lot of logical conundrums, but not a very

useful philosophy.

*>Examples:
*

*>
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*> What is, is.
*

Let's see. Suppose I deny that what is, is. This implies that there is

something that is, but is not. How about, "This statement is not". If it is,

it is not. If it is not, well, I don't know what it is.

Another question: how can I use this axiom. What can I substitute for the

word "What". A unicorn?

*>
*

*> Consciousness is the faculty of perceiving what is.
*

Well, you have defined "consciousness" as "perception", now what is

perception? But, I admit, I know how to use the word "perception" for the

most part. So since last night I perceived a unicorn in my dreams, I can

conclude that a unicorn is.

*>
*

*> What is is possessed by identity.
*

This one I just disagree with, since I assume it defines "possessed by

identity" to be synonymous to "what is". However, I deem identity to exist

only by virtue of difference, and vice versa (for which I appeal to the

logic of contradictory identity, no less).

Anyway, on whether an axiomatic philosophy is possible, I doubt it. The

virtue of a mathematical axiomatic system is that there is no need to go

outside the axioms for further explication. (Not true, actually, since one

needs the "rules for using an axiomatic system" which somehow one "just

knows", but let it go).

The only way I could see doing something similar in philosophy is to also

borrow from mathematics that virtue. Here, for example, are the Peano axioms

for arithmetic, which establish how one is to use 'number', '0', and

'successor of':

0 is a number.

If n is a number, then the successor of n is a number.

For all n (n a number) 0 is not the successor of n.

If the successor of n = the successor of m (n and m numbers) then n = m.

If a property P holds for 0 and if for any n (n a number) if P holds for n

then P holds for the successor of n, then P holds for all numbers.

(Note, all the surrounding verbiage, e.g. If..then.., and "a property holds

for..", etc. can all be put into the formalism of first order predicate

calculus, which is presupposed here.)

The point being that these axioms implicitly define 'number', '0', and

'successor of', with no implication to or from anything outside the system.

I don't know how to do that in philosophy, but if one did, I think one

would be very deep in postmodern-land. In fact, in my pursuit of an "ironic

metaphysics" I have sometimes pondered trying to incorporate this approach.

But since it would require the logic of contradictory identity, and not

first order predicate calculus, I suspect I am not going to get very far.

- Scott

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