On 15 Jan 2014, at 10:50, LizR wrote:

OK, I see what you mean. (And you're right, it was on FOAR that you set me various exercises.)

Yes. nice to see you on the everything list!

So maybe I asked for the wrong thing from Edgar.

I think that you ask, what we all ask. To be intelligible. But Edgar, like some other seem to have "certainties", which is a defect of bad scientists/philosophers. That makes them arguing like "bad priest".

I don't suppose I will get anything remotely like the Principia no matter how many times I ask,

Thousand of pages of symbolic writing? That would not help.

but out of interest, what should I be asking him for?

Clear informal assumptions. He made a good try for his p-time.
That he does not understand (or really study) the rebuttal is his problem, not yours.

Better always to focus on the points. You can always say: "sorry, I don't understand". It is up to him to be more clear. Again, if he thinks that you are stupid, that is his own problem, not yours (unless he is your director of thesis of course, or your boss or something).

I'm sure there is something that is more "formal" than just a lot of hand waving and nonsensical-seeming verbiage,

Yes. A clear theory, clear statements and clear means of verification, like honest scientists and like serious philosophers, but unlike anyone trying to convince that some statements are true or obvious.

Assumptions are the "obvious" things that we can try to refute.

while not being formal in the sense used by logicians.

Sure. In fact rigor is orthogonal to formalness. The logicians distinction between formal and informal is very important for us, though. We will come back on this.

Note that we can study informally the formal things, like in mathematical logic. But we can also study formally some notion of informalness, and that is what appears with the Bp & p logic (as with the Bp & Dt & p) formal logics (S4Grz, X, Z, X*, etc.). That will be important later. that motivates me even more to explain the modal logic.



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