On 10/30/2012 2:03 PM, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 10/30/2012 3:05 PM, meekerdb wrote:
[SPK] Unless multiple entities can agree that the sequence of symbols "17 is prime" is
an indicator of some particular mathematical object and one of its particular
properties, then how does "17 is prime" come to mean anything at all?
I agree with that. But you're talking about the tokens "17 is prime" not the concept
that 17 is prime. Could not a person who grew up alone on an island realize that 17
has no divisors, and he could even invent a private language in which he could write
down Peano's axioms.
Why are you using such trivial and parochial framing for abstract questions? Why the
reference to single individuals? Did you not understand that I am claiming that
meaningfulness requires at least the possibility of interaction between many entities
such that each can evaluate the truth value of a proposition and thus can truthfully
claim to have knowledge of true statements?
A person that grew and died on a desert island may have discovered for itself that
17 objects cannot be divided into equal subsets,
So no additional entities are needed for a person know that 17 is prime and to express it
symbollically. You seem to contradict what you just wrote in the prior paragraph.
but our statements about that are mere figemnts of our imagination as we could know
nothing objective and non-imaginative at all about that person. We are imagining
ourselves to have powers that we simply do not have. We are not omniscient voyeurs of
Reality and there is not anything that is.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at