Re: Zeciousness Re: Taking the billion? Re: Gedankenexperiments

Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

From: Jeff Bone (
Date: Thu Aug 17 2000 - 23:16:08 PDT

> If you think it's good to "clean up your act" by stating your
> proposition cleanly and concisely, and then, upon further
> reflection, announce 3 hours later that yes, your "proper
> formulation" is in fact tautologically worthless,

I wasn't expecting to discover that my assertion was tautologically
worthless. It was just the logical consequence of the course the
argument took.

> then you're
> playing some game with yourself that is inscrutable to me and
> I'd best stay out of. I value consistency of position, vocabulary,
> and context;

Consistency is one thing; being static is something else. You seem to
be arguing that it's impossible to have a logical discussion unless
you're absolutely unwilling to decide for yourself during the
conversation that the facts point in a different direction than your
original thesis. Or that it's impossible to have a logical discussion
that starts at some level of ambiguity and iteratively and interactively
gets ever more specific. Weird that you would think that.

> you enjoy varying each as much as possible

No, but neither do I stubbornly resist when the course of the discussion
demands refinement, increased precision, new corollaries and
subconclusions, etc. (Which is what you seem to be implying by
"damning" my inconsistency in ultimately deciding that the whole
argument was meaningless, in a way conceeding. Logic is a method;
argument, a process.

> I find that undermines the entire
> purpose of the discussion, which is, in my mind, establishing
> some common truths to build from.

How can you arrive at common truths --- both our stated goals, here ---
unless you are willing to accept iterative clarification of both your
and your opponents position? (I'm not particularly thrilled to discover
that my assertion was in fact meaningless. But hey, now that I have
figured that out, I'm pleased to know it.)


Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Aug 17 2000 - 23:42:47 PDT