Monday, February 28, 2011

its been awhile

But I thought I would say something, even though it is not very philosophical, especially since each day I feel like I forget more and more of what I learned at BYU.

The other day Brian, Leisa, and I (and my Dad...I guess) were playing a game that Brian had come up with called "nims" (nyms? I forget). In the game you come up with homonyms and other types of "nims" for words. For example, if you pick a card that says "days" you could say "daze" (I'm not really sure what all the "nyms" are, but I that's how the game goes). Well, we got into a discussion about "french" and whether "french bread" or "french toast" could be different meanings of the word "french". I argued that they couldn't, though I wasn't quite satisfied with my arguments at the time and I think neither Brian nor Leisa were either. I want to improve upon one argument that I made.

I made a mistaken reference to something we talked about in my philosophy of language class at BYU. We talked about how a name of a thing sticks with that thing even though the name of the thing doesn't necessarily stick with that thing. For example, Dartmouth is the name of a city. If that city was originally named Dartmouth because it was a city located at the mouth of the Dart river, then when you said Dartmouth, you would know where it was located. However, lets say the mouth of the Dart river moves, but the city Dartmouth stays there. Can the city still be called Dartmouth? Of course, because the word "Dartmouth" refers to the city after it got named such, rather to simply the mouth of the Dart river.

In our discussion I talked myself into a corner by admitting that yes, french toast originated from France (or at least that is what my friend who served his mission there said: only that the French use old stale breach rather than Texas Toast, and they probably don't use maple syrup). So, thus although the french toast that we eat in the US probably has very little resemblance to what they eat in France, it did actually come from France, and thus could be another meaning of "french".

However, I think the example works in my favor. You see, in my example "Dartmouth" refers to the city, even though it currently has nothing to do with the mouth of the Dart because it is not located on the mouth of the Dart. The mouth of the Dart has moved elsewhere. So therefore "Dartmouth" doesn't have anything to do with the city at mouth of the Dart anymore, but simply refers to the city Dartmouth. In other words, the reasons why a thing (referent?) was given its name no longer matters (for the purposes of our game, but probably for a lot of other things as well). French toast now has nothing to do with France. It now simply refers to white bread dipped in a mixture of egg and milk (and hopefully some cinnamon) and then fried and covered with butter and syrup, usually eaten for breakfast.

So, no, I don't think that french toast is a "nim" of "french".

Not sure when somebody will actually read this, but when you do, let me know if I got this right. And forgive the typos, as I wrote this in one draft, since I should actually be working on a paper....

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Is Plato coming out of the cave? And that P in the background is backwards. I'm wondering if that backwards P is a manifestation of the Form of P, and if it is, how much of that Form is it a part of? Could it really be a part of it, if it is backwards? And is there a Form for Forms? Is there a Form of all Forms? Do I have a Form?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sample illistrations

So, I am all done with the poems. I wanted to give you all a taste of the illustrations. I have 10 more to do.

(G. Liebniz)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Another jump start - PhilosophABCs

So, to try to get things rolling again, I will post the first batch of my up and coming colection of philosophical poems entitled "PhilosophABC's". I have 13 out of 26 done. I have another half dozen or so that are almost done, and the rest will require some more research to reaquaint myself with various philosophers and their major ideas. But here are the first three:


Aristotle starts with A
A rational animal with plenty to say,
From Plato he made a total reversal
On what is particular and what’s universal
Five elements, Four causes, and one Academy
Teaching ethics, physics, logic and anatomy,
We still use his system of classification,
And he taught that in all things there be moderation.


B is for Berkeley,
Pronounced like “bark”
In the realm of ontology
Where he made his mark
Beyond what our senses
Can see, hear and feel,
He said that ideas
Are what’s really real.


C is for Cartesian
As in Rene DesCartes,
The Enlightenment Parisian
Renown for being smart,
While meditating in his room,
He doubted things once thought assumed,
He grabbed his ink, and then his plume,
And said “cogito ergo sum*”

(*For those who may not understand, that means I think therefore I am.)

More to come

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Best Possible World

I'm re-reading Leibniz's Monadology right now and re-thinking about the role some of his principles and concepts have in explaining or illuminating some doctrinal principles. Of course, this is upon interpretation, so please discuss or argue regarding this.

Basically, the concept of a pre-established harmony and the best possible world. I see these as excellent solutions to problem of evil dilemmas and principles to grasp the possibility of omniscience. The problem is how prophesies can direct toward an individual who will apostatize or act in some evil. Assuming that for the plan to be just, every person must have the opportunity for exaltation. There appears to be a contradiction: Person X is prophesied to not receive exaltation, and Person X is required to have the opportunity for exaltation. Now, granted that depending on the interpretation of what it means to be prophesied, the role of knowledge on action, the power of the interaction between personality and situation to derive an outcome, and so on--this might not be an exact contradiction. But, at a simple level: assuming God is omniscient and He placed person X in the place to fulfill the negative prophesy, there appears to be a contradiction. Unless, the place where God put person X was the best possible place for that individual. In other words, the individual by spiritual or natural disposition (or whatever else) would bring upon him or herself the same outcome in every possible situation, but of those possible worlds--God placed person X in the optimal situation for that person, despite the outcome being a fulfillment of a negative prophesy. Hence, the best possible world may have a role in explaining or illuminating doctrine regarding agency, prophesy, and God's omniscience. (On another note, I don't agree with pre-established harmony, but maybe later for that.)

Also, I realize my argument is rough, I'm working at ironing it out and making it more clear, but I figure, it might be better to post and discuss than just hammering at it in my head.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Leibniz, a favorite

It's sad that I haven't checked this blog for some time. However, I will be sure to check it more frequently. Brian, Leibniz is my favorite philosopher. Without checking notes or textbook (I'm going to look at these more tomorrow (and I'll probably add or change what I am saying now)), some of his contributions have been 1) Monadology, 2) Best possible world (of course, this does link with the monadology), 3) calculus, 4) attempt to establish a perfect language. Spinoza was a Jewish-Dutch philosopher who argued for a pantheistic concept, but I can't get my thoughts concrete enough to make a bullet point. Interestingly, H. G. Well's book World of the Wars demonstrates a Spinozian atonement (I realized this as I watched the movie and did some research to verify that this theory is plausible, and it is. H. G. Well's new Spinoza and his theories..., now to read that book some time soon). Voltaire was Leibniz's nemesis. His Candide is a refutation and satire of Leibniz's philosophy. Hobbes' argued for man's natural state to be a base nature, and I believe he had something to do with the social contract. Well, ultimately, I know what I'll be reading on the train to work tomorrow. On another note, I argue that Leibniz's best possible world offers valuable insight into man's relation to God and God's omniscience (but that's for another time).

On the note of Atlas Shrugged, I am reading Dostoevsky's Devils right now, and he offers some interesting refutations to Ayn Rand's philosophy; however, I need to finish this book before I speak too soon. Perhaps, when the Atlas Shrugged discussion begins, I'll be done with it.