[hist-analytic] Reichenbach, Carnap, Positivism

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Sun Oct 18 15:01:59 EDT 2009



Danny, 





The performative component of the argument, I think, rules out its being false if enunciated by the subject ot the sentence. Playing around with '(Ex)(x=b)' can be fun. For example, if 'a=b' then why not, where, the designators are rigid, say 'Nec(Ex)(x=b)'? But maybe all that you can really get is 'Nec[(a=b -> (Ex)(a=b); but if you have 'a=b' you can, where again the designators are rigid, 'Nec[(a=b)'. Now this "asymmetry is a bit curious when looked at in terms of this Cartesian argument. I can't go into this. I just point it out since you raise an interesting idea worth pursuing. Scope has always been an interesting topic in the discussion of these sorts of argument. 



By the way, I do believe (today at least) that 'I' refers and that Hume was not right. There is, I believe, a transcendental Self, although it may not be a "substance" in the usual sense. Selves have minds; bodies don't. Knowledge of my own existence is, I believe, justified without any appeal to induction.I don't believe that the nature of existence can be captured in the quantification theory of first order logic etc. Theser are worldy issues without any resolution in semantics. 



By the way Gimbel was more right than I was, at the time, on Reichenbach. I'm going back over Reichenbach. He's not good on Kant, but very good on physics. I'm gonna take a look at the notion of a Kantian intuition and see how this might tie in with the Poincare vs. Reichenbach debate. I'm just coming off a big project in action theory, so it'll take me a couple of months to think about these problems. 



Also, by the way: I'm intent on putting up O. Veblen's _Analysis Situs_. I've got the first three or so chapters done but can't find the rest. I'll put up what I've got, unless someone can get me a copy of the rest. There are a few other things on the way for the data base, soon. In view of Danny's interest, maybe Hintikka's paper on the subject. I have every reason to believe Hintikka would not object. 



Best wishes 



Steve 

--- On Sun, 10/18/09, Danny Frederick <danny.frederick at btinternet.com> wrote: 



From: Danny Frederick <danny.frederick at btinternet.com> 
Subject: RE: Reichenbach, Carnap, Positivism 
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.com 
Date: Sunday, October 18, 2009, 2:36 PM 





Hi Steve, 



You say: 





‘I've never been completely convinced that the Cogito is a bad argument.’ 





The cogito seems plainly to be a valid argument, since ‘Fa’ entails ‘Ex (x = a)’, at least in the sense that if the former is true then so is the latter. 



But is it sound? Could its premise be false when enunciated? It seems plain to me that it could. ‘I’ brings with it a theory, or a rag-bag of theories, about the self, any or all of which may be false. Thus to affirm ‘I think’ already presupposes ‘I exist’ (i.e. that some of these theories are true); and thus the cogito is a petitio principii. 



Cheers. 



Danny 



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Danny Frederick" <danny.frederick at btinternet.com> 
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.com 
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2009 2:36:11 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern 
Subject: RE: Reichenbach, Carnap, Positivism 




Hi Steve, 



You say: 





‘I've never been completely convinced that the Cogito is a bad argument.’ 





The cogito seems plainly to be a valid argument, since ‘Fa’ entails ‘Ex (x = a)’, at least in the sense that if the former is true then so is the latter. 



But is it sound? Could its premise be false when enunciated? It seems plain to me that it could. ‘I’ brings with it a theory, or a rag-bag of theories, about the self, any or all of which may be false. Thus to affirm ‘I think’ already presupposes ‘I exist’ (i.e. that some of these theories are true); and thus the cogito is a petitio principii. 



Cheers. 



Danny 


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