**Happy New Year!** The January Philosophy Book of the Month is *The Runaway Species*. Discuss it now.

The February Philosophy Book of the Month is *The Fourth Age* by Byron Reese (Nominated by RJG.)

## Can "one equals one" be used as reality therapy?

- TryingMyBest
**Posts:**40**Joined:**November 29th, 2018, 4:34 pm

### Can "one equals one" be used as reality therapy?

A simple solution is to treat such people with equivocal truths grounded in reality.

I propose an entire category of such truths: the category of "One equals one." This category works equivocally and is quickly recognized as truth by all people. The formula is A = A or 1 = 1. This category has been used extensively in everyday language, music, and media; yet I have never seen it categorized as a formula as such. Has this category of truisms ever been identified and used as reality therapy? If not, I propose it.

A handful of examples follow:

It is what it is. It ain't what it ain't. You have to do what you have to do; you can't do what you can't do. Reality is reality. Love is love. The truth is the truth. Wisdom is wisdom. Reality is what it is. You can't change what you can't change. You control what you control; you can't control what you can't control. I love who I love. I am who I am; I am I. You are who you are. We are who we are. They are who they are. The past is the past. The future is the future. What's right is right. What's wrong is wrong. Boys are boys. Grandmas are grandmas. Dogs are dogs...Etc., ad infinitum.

- ktz
**Posts:**165**Joined:**November 9th, 2018, 12:21 am**Favorite Philosopher:**Habermas

### Re: Can "one equals one" be used as reality therapy?

Symmetric property -- If A * B then B * A

Transitive property -- If A * B and B * C, then A * C

What I'm getting at is that the insights you are trying to present, as well as many other tautologies and self-evident truths, may not possess a wide enough range of valid inferences on their own to be usefully applied to broader evaluations of reality. Basically I'm saying, even if what you're saying is always true -- so what? That objective truth doesn't help me solve the kinds of problems that therapeutic intervention usually intends to solve.

As you move further and further away from the objective truths of pure mathematics, our conceptual understanding has to manage more and more noise, uncertainty and chaos from all the things we do not yet know we don't know. Modern therapeutic techniques like CBT, mindfulness, and medication are designed with consideration for this stochastic variation in a way that a focus on pure objective grounding can't provide.

- h_k_s
**Posts:**205**Joined:**November 25th, 2018, 12:09 pm**Favorite Philosopher:**Aristotle**Location:**Rocky Mountains

### Re: Can "one equals one" be used as reality therapy?

So you are talking about identity logic in mathematics.TryingMyBest wrote: ↑December 11th, 2018, 4:50 pmOne reason that people suffer psychologically is that they reject the facts of reality and refuse to accept reality "as is."

A simple solution is to treat such people with equivocal truths grounded in reality.

I propose an entire category of such truths: the category of "One equals one." This category works equivocally and is quickly recognized as truth by all people. The formula is A = A or 1 = 1. This category has been used extensively in everyday language, music, and media; yet I have never seen it categorized as a formula as such. Has this category of truisms ever been identified and used as reality therapy? If not, I propose it.

A handful of examples follow:

It is what it is. It ain't what it ain't. You have to do what you have to do; you can't do what you can't do. Reality is reality. Love is love. The truth is the truth. Wisdom is wisdom. Reality is what it is. You can't change what you can't change. You control what you control; you can't control what you can't control. I love who I love. I am who I am; I am I. You are who you are. We are who we are. They are who they are. The past is the past. The future is the future. What's right is right. What's wrong is wrong. Boys are boys. Grandmas are grandmas. Dogs are dogs...Etc., ad infinitum.

Mathematics is over rated however. All it really consists of is a set of definitions followed by manipulations of these definitions to arrive at deductions and inferences (direct and indirect proofs) involving numbers.

But it is what it is.

- h_k_s
**Posts:**205**Joined:**November 25th, 2018, 12:09 pm**Favorite Philosopher:**Aristotle**Location:**Rocky Mountains

### Re: Can "one equals one" be used as reality therapy?

Even such "properties" are not really properties. They are simply definitions.ktz wrote: ↑December 13th, 2018, 7:57 pmIn mathematics, for a given comparison operator *, if the statement A * A for all A holds true for all elements in the domain, the operator * is said to have the reflexive property. Even in the realm of mathematics this property is not enough to say much about an operation. To be considered an equivalence relation, which is the main case where reflexivity is important, the operation * will still need two more properties:

Symmetric property -- If A * B then B * A

Transitive property -- If A * B and B * C, then A * C

What I'm getting at is that the insights you are trying to present, as well as many other tautologies and self-evident truths, may not possess a wide enough range of valid inferences on their own to be usefully applied to broader evaluations of reality. Basically I'm saying, even if what you're saying is always true -- so what? That objective truth doesn't help me solve the kinds of problems that therapeutic intervention usually intends to solve.

As you move further and further away from the objective truths of pure mathematics, our conceptual understanding has to manage more and more noise, uncertainty and chaos from all the things we do not yet know we don't know. Modern therapeutic techniques like CBT, mindfulness, and medication are designed with consideration for this stochastic variation in a way that a focus on pure objective grounding can't provide.

- TryingMyBest
**Posts:**40**Joined:**November 29th, 2018, 4:34 pm

### Re: Can "one equals one" be used as reality therapy?

Thank you for pointing out that it is identity mathematics.h_k_s wrote: ↑December 13th, 2018, 10:07 pmSo you are talking about identity logic in mathematics.TryingMyBest wrote: ↑December 11th, 2018, 4:50 pmOne reason that people suffer psychologically is that they reject the facts of reality and refuse to accept reality "as is."

A simple solution is to treat such people with equivocal truths grounded in reality.

I propose an entire category of such truths: the category of "One equals one." This category works equivocally and is quickly recognized as truth by all people. The formula is A = A or 1 = 1. This category has been used extensively in everyday language, music, and media; yet I have never seen it categorized as a formula as such. Has this category of truisms ever been identified and used as reality therapy? If not, I propose it.

A handful of examples follow:

It is what it is. It ain't what it ain't. You have to do what you have to do; you can't do what you can't do. Reality is reality. Love is love. The truth is the truth. Wisdom is wisdom. Reality is what it is. You can't change what you can't change. You control what you control; you can't control what you can't control. I love who I love. I am who I am; I am I. You are who you are. We are who we are. They are who they are. The past is the past. The future is the future. What's right is right. What's wrong is wrong. Boys are boys. Grandmas are grandmas. Dogs are dogs...Etc., ad infinitum.

Mathematics is over rated however. All it really consists of is a set of definitions followed by manipulations of these definitions to arrive at deductions and inferences (direct and indirect proofs) involving numbers.

But it is what it is.

I think that mathematics should be applied to the dictionary too. It also defines and philosophers manipulate these definitions to arrive at deductions and inferences involving words. It's just words instead of numbers. It would be very interesting if philosophical arguments are able to be represented in math.

- Burning ghost
**Posts:**2904**Joined:**February 27th, 2016, 3:10 am

### Re: Can "one equals one" be used as reality therapy?

- ktz
**Posts:**165**Joined:**November 9th, 2018, 12:21 am**Favorite Philosopher:**Habermas

### Re: Can "one equals one" be used as reality therapy?

We could probably get into a conversation on whether or not this particular reduction falls into the category of semantic bleaching, but ultimately I think we're trying to make the same point here.

You might be interested in a similar discussion on the math stack exchange website. I found the most relevant highlight to be a quote from G.-C. Rota, in "The Pernicious Influence of Mathematics upon Philosophy":TryingMyBest wrote: ↑December 13th, 2018, 10:39 pmI think that mathematics should be applied to the dictionary too. It also defines and philosophers manipulate these definitions to arrive at deductions and inferences involving words. It's just words instead of numbers. It would be very interesting if philosophical arguments are able to be represented in math.

The fake philosophical terminology of mathematical logic has misled philosophers into believing that mathematical logic deals with the truth in the philosophical sense. But this is a mistake. Mathematical logic deals not with the truth, but with the game of truth.

- h_k_s
**Posts:**205**Joined:**November 25th, 2018, 12:09 pm**Favorite Philosopher:**Aristotle**Location:**Rocky Mountains

### Re: Can "one equals one" be used as reality therapy?

Yes. Seems like Rota and I agree.ktz wrote: ↑December 13th, 2018, 11:12 pmWe could probably get into a conversation on whether or not this particular reduction falls into the category of semantic bleaching, but ultimately I think we're trying to make the same point here.

You might be interested in a similar discussion on the math stack exchange website. I found the most relevant highlight to be a quote from G.-C. Rota, in "The Pernicious Influence of Mathematics upon Philosophy":TryingMyBest wrote: ↑December 13th, 2018, 10:39 pmI think that mathematics should be applied to the dictionary too. It also defines and philosophers manipulate these definitions to arrive at deductions and inferences involving words. It's just words instead of numbers. It would be very interesting if philosophical arguments are able to be represented in math.

The fake philosophical terminology of mathematical logic has misled philosophers into believing that mathematical logic deals with the truth in the philosophical sense. But this is a mistake. Mathematical logic deals not with the truth, but with the game of truth.