#62 Dialetheism

#62 Dialetheism

This one may only be humorous if you have a little familiarity with formal logic (and maybe not even then). Still, I hope you enjoy!

The subject matter (and some of the dialogue) is directly inspired by a recent talk given by my buddy Ben. In case you’re interested in learning more about dialetheism (and who isn’t??), go check out his aptly named Blog and Not-Blog. It’s good stuff!


Discussion (9)¬

  1. Liquid_Elf says:

    Ahhh logicians let me count the ways i love thee:
    {the null set}, {{null set}}, {{Null Set},{{Null Set}}}, { {Null Set},{{Null Set}},{{{Null Set}}}}

    Sorry i had to lower the level of to total philosophy geekdom

  2. Rachel says:

    Philosophy dorks much?

    Just kidding. I’ve actually never heard of that idea before in Logic. Then again, it was only Logic 103 :)

  3. Colin Matthews says:

    Dialetheism is a bitch.

  4. Ben says:

    Best comic ever.

  5. Lynne says:

    I remember logic. I think it lost the war though.

  6. Psymon says:

    I cling to the law of non-contradiction with every fiber of my logical being, otherwise you lose the ability to prove anything indirectly–for example, “at least one of the items on this list is true, but all but one can be proven false, therefore the last one must be true.”

    Most paradoxes, in my experience, are a result of the described setup being impossible. As for time travel paradoxes, I subscribe to the “red queen’s race” model–if time travel is possible, the time travel to the past is already incorporated into the present, so any attempted changes in the past only serve to bring about the present. Time travel is probably so confusing because we have no experience with it (like how we try to use Newtonian physics in situations where Einstein’s relativity is much more accurate–which leads to trouble when you try to use Newtonian laws to change frames of reference at relativistic speeds)

  7. benlehman says:

    Sorry for posting so late, doing an archive trawl.

    Psymon: Isn’t that a bad argument, though. “This must be true otherwise it makes my life difficult” is a pretty crappy argument. If you really want the law of non-contradiction, argue it on its own strengths, not on the question of convenience for philosophers: I have a hunch that nature doesn’t actually care whether or not it’s being convenient for philosophers.

  8. Wm Tanksley says:

    benlehman said: “If you really want the law of non-contradiction, argue it on its own strengths, not on the question of convenience for philosophers.”

    Good argument; but it’s not certain to be correct.

    The same argument could be made about (for example) elliptical orbits versus epicycles (geocentric orbits): the only solid physical evidence for non-geocentricity is that we observe that all orbits are elliptical, and that the law of gravity neatly explains that (modulo relativity, gimme a break here :-). This is actually physically accurate, by the way; there is no physical reason NOT to call the Earth the center of the universe; the only reason is that doing so makes us have to solve equations with epicycles in them instead of simple ellipses.

    So the question THERE truly is what system makes reasoning simpler. It’s quite plausible that this is also the question here as well.

    -Wm

  9. liosis says:

    Oh, this makes me so happy.

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