On 3/5/2012 7:01 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:

It is not that bad to say that we do not know something. Yet, it might be even better to specify more accurately what exactly we do not know.

Think of your younger colleagues that do chemistry research right now. Chemists have been quite successful and the story continues. The concepts of atom, molecule, macromolecule, electron density, etc. have helped a lot along this way. We may take this concepts ontologically or just pragmatically, this is after all not that important. Materials science seems not to be affected.


On 05.03.2012 00:17 John Mikes said the following:
Hello, Evgenii, my fellow (former) chemist: I ended up after my 38
patents in (environmental-polymer) chemistry with an agnosticism, not
'believeing' in the atom (don't even mention 'molecules' or the
macromolecules I created). It is all the figment of the human mind to
EXPLAIN whatever transpired into our 'model' of presently knowables
from (some?) infinite complexity - way beyond our imaginative power.
Maxim: EVERYTHING *does* exist that pops up in the mind, if not
otherwise: as an idea - in the mind. That is not too much help for
your condition of "independently from the mind", but nothing we can
'think of' is independent from the mind. Pi is a formulatin of some
effect humans found in the figment of their physical world
explanations. The fact that we cannot express it in real numbers has
nothing to do with its 'existence'. The 'effect did not evolve, it
came with the "big Bang" (if you are a believer of it). Not with that
'retrograde history' of course, lineraly as it is drawn, reversing a
postulated developmental course that is by far not 'linear'. Also: we
have no proof that everything that ever showed up for us NOW is still
available for us to know of. Also it is childish to apply the
mathematics of our expanded universe to the un-really concentrated
energy-knot of the alleged beginning. (Physics as well). (Just think
about the fairytale of the Inflation).

Please do not position your executable 2 scientists in the bunker
before the human mind invented (discovered, as some would say) the
zero. Or: writing. Or: before the Great Greeks (Euclide, Plato,
Archimedes, Aristotle etc.) The 'setup' is by all means within my
dismissal of 'thought experiments'. IMO PI is a human formulation of
something that is more than just human.



Hi Evgenii,

This is a very fascinating statement to me and I find John's comments to be very wise! "...it might be even better to specify more accurately what exactly we do not know. " Does it not lead to a paradox? For if we could state exactly what we do not know then it would be the case that we do in fact know it and thus "we would known what we do not know", which appears to be a contradiction. Is this a sample of a more general kind of situation that is inevitable given the idea of self-reference? It seems to me that we need to consider that Bivalency <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_bivalence> can be a source of error sometimes, or claim that knowledge is impossible. (note the bivalence here! LOL!) I am focusing on this because it it part of my overall critique of the idea of a Theory of Everything. For example, what exactly does it mean for a sentence to have a definite truth value absent the ability to evaluate that truth value? This is what I see your hypothetical situation as discussing....



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