On 10/30/2012 5:21 PM, meekerdb wrote:
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
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
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.
Rubbish. You are projecting your concept of "17 is prime" onto an
imaginary entity and discussing the idea of that entity with me, that
makes 3 people - not one; even if one - the person on the island - of
them is just in your and my mind.
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.
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