Ryan V

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Ryan V

Post Number:#1  Postby Ryveit » April 10th, 2017, 10:33 am

I am a college student majoring in Computer Science. I took a Philosophy 101 class as my Arts and Humanities education requirement. I took this class online using the text book "Exploring Philosophy" by Steven M. Cahn. I had a really great professor who created power points and video lessons that made the complex arguments in the book much more understandable. After this class i continued studying Philosophy on my own and I really enjoy the deep thinking that Philosophy involves. Being a Computer Science major, i enjoy the abstract ideas and computational logic that computers and Mathematics involves. But Philosophy is the other spectrum of Logic that i feel gets ignored in Mathematical Logic. Learning both sides of Logic is important in becoming a strong thinker. My favorite Philosopher is Rene Descartes, who was also a well known Mathematician. I often feel as though i think the same way Descartes thinks. Interestingly, Descartes often talks about his objections of the truth that Mathematics claims. He questions his own reality, which contradicts the ideas of Science. Science is the all knowing truth, the idea that Mathematically we can discover exactly how the world works. But Philosophically we cant know how the world works if we don't if know if the world is real, or if we are even real.
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Re: Ryan V

Post Number:#2  Postby Fooloso4 » April 10th, 2017, 12:15 pm

Interestingly, Descartes often talks about his objections of the truth that Mathematics claims. He questions his own reality, which contradicts the ideas of Science.


Good point. This is part of Descartes rhetoric. First, it should be pointed out that his concept of science is different than our own. We no longer use certainty as a criterion, but rather deal with probabilities. Second, mathematics stands as Descartes model of reason and certainty. I think indubitability serves as a way to question the Church without suffering the fate of Galileo. In the dedication to the Meditations he is obsequious to the Church leaders, but then goes on to question everything, which includes the Church, but he is careful not to state that and expects the reader to reach that conclusion on his or her own. He also points out that as a practical matter we cannot doubt everything, and many of the things he goes on to claim are evident by the light of reason can be doubted - most notably his “proofs” of the existence of God. But he uses God’s goodness to affirm that we are not deceived about everything and that not everything should be doubted.

As I see it, if he were to rigorously and consistently follow the practice of doubt there would be nothing he could be certain of. He could not even be certain of his own existence, for the logic that he must exist in order to be deceived might also be a deception. He has, however, been successful in so far as he has established his Archimedean point, the independent authority of human reason.
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Re: Ryan V

Post Number:#3  Postby Steve3007 » April 11th, 2017, 6:48 am

Fooloso4:
He could not even be certain of his own existence, for the logic that he must exist in order to be deceived might also be a deception.


So what you seem to be saying here is that the simple logic of the proposition "I think, therefore I am" might itself be a deception. The conclusion that in order to doubt my existence there must be something there doing the doubting is the conclusion of a logical argument. Whose reality/validity can be doubted.

But if we attempt to extend the method of doubt to the logical structure of our sentences surely the very sentences that we use to describe and justify that extension crumble away into meaninglessness. Using a reasoned argument to doubt the existence of reasoned arguments is self contradictory. But then, I guess we can doubt the logic that leads us to believe that it is self contradictory.
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Re: Ryan V

Post Number:#4  Postby Fooloso4 » April 11th, 2017, 10:37 am

Steve3007:
But if we attempt to extend the method of doubt to the logical structure of our sentences surely the very sentences that we use to describe and justify that extension crumble away into meaninglessness. Using a reasoned argument to doubt the existence of reasoned arguments is self contradictory. But then, I guess we can doubt the logic that leads us to believe that it is self contradictory.


Yes, and that is why I said that it is rhetorical. He does not doubt reason. He establishes reason, not revelation, not the doctrines of the Church, not “the philosopher” (as Aristotle was known at the time), is the sole source of knowledge. Doubt was the method of clearing, but algebra - solving for any unknown variable using what is known, is the method by which man is able to become “infinitely perfectible”.
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Re: Ryan V

Post Number:#5  Postby Steve3007 » April 17th, 2017, 8:18 am

Yes, and that is why I said that it is rhetorical...


Fair enough. That's what comes of me plucking a couple of sentences out of their proper context.
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