The Postmodernism Generator

The Postmodernism Generator
apokrisis
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Posted Mar 8, 2013 - 5:44 PM:

Landru Guide Us wrote:

Already have. "Truth" has no unitary meaning. It is determined by context.


Yeah, which is kind of why a definition based on invariance works. rolling eyes Have you even read Nozick on this?

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Posted Mar 8, 2013 - 7:16 PM:

apokrisis wrote:


Yeah, which is kind of why a definition based on invariance works. rolling eyes Have you even read Nozick on this?



Is there an article that you would recommend reading on this (preferably free)?
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Posted Mar 8, 2013 - 8:04 PM:

John Creighton wrote:


Is there an article that you would recommend reading on this (preferably free)?


The papers are paywalled as far as I can see. The book should be available through a decent library.
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Posted Mar 8, 2013 - 8:24 PM:

Invariances: The Structure of the Objective World free here.
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Posted Mar 8, 2013 - 9:37 PM:

Landru Guide Us wrote:

That's one definition of metaphysics. There are others. Again, you are engaging in the hyperreductionism that always blights scientism. Complexity is the enemy of scientism.


I can see that you are only speaking here for your own personal prejudices and shouldn't be taken as a spokesperson for continental philosophy.

Take a single example of a central philosopho-scientific truth to emerge in the last century - Noether's theorem - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noether's_theorem

It is a necessary truth of reality that for every symmetry/invariance that satisfies the formal constraint of a Lie group, there is a material quantity that is conserved. The laws of physics have this direct deductive basis.

Now you can bleat about scientism and relativism and contextualism all you like. But there is just no other way to view this fact about reality. For things to be different is mathematically impossible.

However you've probably never heard of Noether's theorem? It might cause your cosy little worldview to implode?






Edited by baden511 on Mar 9, 2013 - 7:58 PM. Reason: flaming
John Creighton
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Posted Mar 9, 2013 - 2:22 AM:

apokrisis wrote:

Now you can bleat about scientism and relativism and contextualism all you like. But there is just no other way to view this fact about reality. For things to be different is mathematically impossible.

However you've probably never heard of Noether's theorem? It might cause your cosy little worldview to implode?


It is perhaps less controversial that certain mathematical truths are necessarily true; such as Noether's theorem. But math is symbolic and therefore is not meaningful in a concrete way unless we relate the symbolic terms with concrete things that we experience. Because of the complexity entailed in most situations -- that we experience (such as social gatherings) -- it is unlikely that we will be able to connect all aspects of these situations with a mathematical form and; therefore, in these complex cases we will always be missing some context. When these unmodeled contextual aspects can change the dynamics of the system in a substantial way (a bifurcation) then we call this missing context a singularity.

It is these unmodeled contextual singularities which lead our inductively formed cognitions to fail. Examples of such failed efforts in reasoning include efforts to try: to predict dates of wars, dates of stock market crashes, and war casualties. I believe that it was Spinoza who put forth this notion of a singularity. In "Capital", Marx gave the consumer as an example of such a singularity because the changes in consumer preferences are to some degree unpredictable. Various institutionalized forms of control such as marketing are used to try to enforce predictable levels of consumption but because businesses compete for this market the exact future preferences are unpredictable.


Edited by John Creighton on Mar 10, 2013 - 2:17 AM
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Posted Mar 9, 2013 - 2:37 PM:

John Creighton wrote:


It is perhaps less controversial that certain mathematical truths are necessarily true; such as Noether's theorem. But math is symbolic and therefore is not meaningful in a concrete way unless we relate the symbolic terms with concrete things that we experience. Because of the complexity entailed in most situations -- that we experience (such as social gatherings) -- it is unlikely that we will be able to connect all aspects of these situations with a mathematical form and; therefore, in these complex cases we will always be missing some context. When these unmodeled contextual aspects can change the dynamics of the system in a substantial way (a bifurcation) then we call this missing context a singularity.

It is these unmodeled contextual singularities which lead our inductively formed cognitions to fail. Examples of such failed efforts in reasoning include efforts to try: to predict dates of wars, dates of stock market crashes, and war casualties. I believe that it was Spinoza who put forth this notion of a singularity. In "Capital", Marx gave the consumer as an example of such a singularity because the changes in consumer preferences are to some degree unpredictable. Various institutionalized forms of control such as marketing are used to try to enforce predictable levels of consumption but because businesses compete for this market the exact preferences are unpredictable.


But I was talking about the rock-hardness of Noether's theorem as an inescapable fact about reality. You're talking about something else.

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Posted Mar 9, 2013 - 4:24 PM:

apokrisis wrote:


But I was talking about the rock-hardness of Noether's theorem as an inescapable fact about reality. You're talking about something else.



Nature appears to have conservation laws and these are necessary by Noether's theorem if there are symmetries in the action (integral of the Lagrangian). I have been looking a bit at Wikipedia and I was wondering how the principle of minimum action was motivated. Wikipedia seems to suggest that for the theorem to hold in general then we have to assume the principle of action:

From source Wikipedia:
Main article: Conservation laws
Symmetries in a physical situation can better be treated with the action principle, together with the Euler–Lagrange equations, which are derived from the action principle. An example is Noether's theorem, which states that to every continuous symmetry in a physical situation there corresponds a conservation law (and conversely). This deep connection requires that the action principle be assumed.[14]
...
14 - ^ Quantum Mechanics, E. Abers, Pearson Ed., Addison Wesley, Prentice Hall Inc, 2004, ISBN 978-0-13-146100-0

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_(physics)#Conservation_laws

So if this hard truth depends on certain properties of the system (such as the principle of action holding) then what does it mean to say that it is a rock hard fact?

What I was talking about in my previous post is when context matters for certain truths to hold. Some things can seem quite certain to us but but have limited relevance to experience in that they are overly symbolic or overly particular. Other things which we observe may be context dependent and sometimes in these cases we may not be certain whether we know all of the necessary conditions for the truth to hold.

Edited by John Creighton on Mar 9, 2013 - 4:33 PM
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Posted Mar 9, 2013 - 5:29 PM:

John Creighton wrote:

I have been looking a bit at Wikipedia and I was wondering how the principle of minimum action was motivated.


That is certainly a very interesting question. My reply would be that the principle is motivated by the notion that the minimum action is what is left after all a system's possible constraints have been satisfied. So as with a path integral formulation, every path that can get cancelled away will get cancelled away, leaving only the uncancellable action.

But while an issue of fundamental importance, this was not exactly the point I was making.

Those babbling about "scientism" talk about truths being *socially* contextual or relative. And what you are talking about is *physical* relativity and contextuality - the fact here for example that the truth of Noether's theorem depends on flat space, a homogeneous and isotropic metric. So in "other contexts" - like a relativistically highly curved or quantumly foamy context - yes, the symmetry is not in definite existence, and so neither is the associated conservation law.
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