On 05 Dec 2013, at 13:28, Roger Clough wrote:

Bertrand Russell's gross misunderstanding of Plato's theory of knowledge and perception

In http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1EiQEwn1lc

Plato believed that truth is a conceptual form of knowledge, which
is a priori and so not obtained through the senses. Truth obtained
through the senses, Plato believed, was changeable.

Yes. And among the Platonists, you have the one called "Mathematicians", which should be called today the "mathematicalists", like Xeusippes, and which believed that the fundamental reality was the eternal Mathematical principles. A bit like Tegmark, Wheeler, perhaps Schmiduber, and ... comp, for the ontology, but not for the epistemologies, which are bigger than any conceivable mathematical reality.

But, presumably because he was an empiricist, Russell essentially
treats Plato as an empiricist gone wrong. Russell thus grossly misunderstands
Plato, apparently not undestrstanding that, as Leibniz and Kant have
stated, there is a difference between necessary or a priori knowledge
(which does not change) and the changeable, contingent truths of perception.

Hmmm ..okay

Because of Russell's apparent confusion between these two forms
of knowledge, and denial of a priori knowledge, Russell wastes
many words apparently trying to show that the changeable knowledge
obtained through the senses can somehow be necessarily true,
giving "snow is white" as an example. Anyone who grew up
as I did, in what was then sooty smokey Pittsburgh, knows that
snow can sometimes be dark gray. Similarly, Russell incorrectly bases
his repudiation of a priori knowledge by using the changeable
nature of contingent knowledge as an example.

I have not checked Russell's treatment of Kant, but
because of this ignorance, Russell also apparently
treats Kant as an empiricist gpone bad.

It was due to his philosophy of mathematics and logic, but it has been refuted. So we can move on a little bit.

That type of mistake is well explained by the fact that if the arithmetical reality is "eternal", actually even "atemporal", viewed from outside (as can be done by some simple god or non recursively enumerable sets) it re-appears, when viewed from inside, like developing many *relative* contingent relations in between many universal numbers.

There is no change, but you have to climb on the shoulder of some god or goddess to appreciate the eternal panorama.

Hereby, things appear and disappear. For example, I found back my books on the Neoplatonist Muslims. And on Averoes. They survived the moving!



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