Archive for August, 2009

“Proof in the strict sense only comes in mathematics”, says Prof Lennox. Except, of course, mathematical logicians love to equivocate between:

(a) proof consists of deduction by a valid rule of inference from premises assumed to be true

(b) the above proposition, plus the premises are necessarily true

When one asks how (b) is know to be true, one is either told that the premises cannot be properly understood and yet not understood to be true; or that the premises can just be seen to be true; or one is offered yet another proof from other premises.

I do wish mathematicians would stop pretending that, if they pursue the concept of this special category of “logical” truth, they are somehow better than philosophers talking of necessary or analytic or a-priori truths.

Whereas, in fact, all claims to “truth” are open to disproof, including such fundamental rules of inference as non-contradiction, ie ┐[p AND ┐p], or the rule [p ├ ┐(┐(p)]. Including, of course, the sentence that I just wrote down – I mean the one beginning “Whereas, in fact….”

The thirst for logical truth is the final and purest expression of the transcendental religious impulse, which is why Prof Lucas is happiest in these two worlds of thought.

Regards and ♥, andrea

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“Forget a rubber, go get a vasectomy”, that one is going straight into my Handy Little Book of Ice-Cold Put Downs.

Very funny vid, ♥ andrea

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Dear Emily,

I like this vid. It’s not quite that the observer and the observed are the same thing. Rather, it is that:

(a) we inhabit the same realm of existence, and hence dualistic models of external reality and internal consciousness are false. Dangerously false and paranoid, which is why theories of solipsism are not respectable philosophy, but the reductio ad absurdam of “masculine” egotism and fear.

(b) consciousness and existence are inextricably intertwined. Given a geometry of suitably high dimensions, we would see consciousness flowing over and within reality, like glistening mercury spilling across richly worked surfaces.

(c) the idea of a private, isolated self is wrong. Each of us is conjured and conceived in a deeply interpersonal space, incorporating fragments, echoes and precognitions of each other. The primary relation between us is reverential love. People who do not love each other enough are regretably blind to this interpersonality. The trick is for us to have a secure sense of self that is playfully permeable to each other’s feelings. With that, there is almost nothing that creativity cannot do 🙂 .

This is all a bit mystical, but that is what my heart tells me.

Such sharing and creativity can be experienced in, for instance, what is customarily called “making love”, though in the minds of many “XY-people-with-penises-who-think-of-themselves-as-masculine-in-their-psycho-social-makeup “, this has a reductive, genitally focused and obsessive quality.

For me it means to hold hands, talk and talk, and to kiss and embrace and talk some more, for hours ;-0

Regards and ♥, andrea

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Dear Jonisdaman, being just a simple XX-chromosomal-type, feminist, atheist philosopher, I like to ask simple preliminary 😉 questions:

(i) is there a difficulty in specifying a real world location and properties for this place called hell?

(ii) if there is some difficulty, what excuse is being offered to those who would dismiss statements about “hell” as (a) purely metaphorical/poetical, or (b) metaphysical nonsense, with no truth value, and/or no intelligible content?

Regards, andrea

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Dear Lea,

Thanks for a nice vid. May I offer some thoughts of mine?

Before you have either “gender self-identity” or “gender role” or “sexual identity”, you need an idea, a feeling, of F or M, or as one might call it, an impression of Sex-and-Gender dimorphism. Or to put it even more generally, and a bit pompously, a model of people as belonging to an n-type morphology, at various levels of their psycho-social-erotic being.

For me, this XX-standard-natal-configuration person, I find myself happiest when I know myself to be not on such (F, M) dimensions. That is, I do not care to see myself as properly described anywhere in my psycho-social-erotic being using a dimension that has F or M as well-defined points, irrespective of whether those “points” are at the end or within such a dimension.

Put another way, F or M is never a solution to the equations that truly describe who I am, or how others sensuously understand me, or how we may live together. Of course, even if there were such n-types, that hardly proves that F or M as currently conceived (ie within contemporary Western European society) belong within those types.

That is why I style myself as a sex-and-gender rebel. More uncomfortably, when I bump into people who wish to strongly type me on some dimension of myself, it sets off all those giddy, depressive feelings of unhappiness, which some might call “gender disphoria” or identity “disorder”. The very term disorder is a rude piece of medical moralising. Hence I say my life is lived as “radical trans” [(F or M) → x ].

If people attempt a classification of my self-identity or social being in terms of “gender identity” or “gender role”, using a spectrum with F or M as end points, or even significant values, then most of the time I’m aiming to make that procedure either non-terminating [“I just can’t decide if s/he’s F or M”], or terminating with what on their terms ought to be a contradiction [“I’ve come to a decision – s/he’s both F and M”].

Deeply connected with this is the feeling that I cannot be properly understood unless one synthesises the perspective I have on myself, with the comprehension another person has of me. Thus even the most apparently private truths about me are actually interpersonal.

So, as I often say to my sparing partners, why not dispense with these n-type conceptions, and instead think of yourself as a person, with a highly rich and multi-dimensional identity, partly visible in public, partly better known only to yourself, partly better understood only by your friends and lovers. An identity that is quite malleable, according to friends and circumstances.

And credit yourself with a glorious capacity to be friends with and love many others. Who you click with, and who clicks with you, now that is all about affectional orientation …..

Some people may like this way of understanding themselves, some not. All I do is offer it, like a hand given in love …. and try to live such an ideal myself.

Regards and ♥, andrea

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