-Science as propaganda for those allergic to ultimates.

-Large ideas vs. subconscious ultimates; i.e. large ideas as opposed to infinite ones.

-Poincare on Euclid’s common notions: “I regard them as analytic a priori, and think of them no further.”

-We begin in media res, philosophy tracing backwards to more distinctly discern what we already know, the sciences striving to find conclusions.

-The indifference to first things. A shrug with an “I don’t get it, it works,”  Bohm vs. Feynman. (a sign of who won: spellcheck recognizes Feynman)

-Possibility: the first things demand that we accept them as invisible. False, though the most successful and dominant ideas are the invisible ones.

-Einstein understood Bohr as ruining the reality of the universe and even its intelligibility. Bohr might even have wanted to be taken that way. One wonders how the dialogue would have went if Bohr, like many of those who followed him, advanced his position as resting on the reality of the subject and requiring an indeterminism that allows for freedom.


  1. Kristor said,

    August 30, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Possibility: the first things demand that we accept them as invisible. False, though the most successful and dominant ideas are the invisible ones.

    False? I don’t know whether I disagree, because I can’t tell quite what you mean. Do we see the being of the dog? We see that there is a dog, but don’t we see the dog himself, rather than his being, or for that matter his blackness, his ancestry in Labrador, his good cheer? We do see these things, and it is by virtue of having seen these things that we figure out we are seeing good old Rover, but we see these things at all only by virtue of seeing Rover himself.

    To try to be more clear: the order of operations in our brains is, 1) register colors in one channel of perceptual analysis, shapes in another, smells in a third, &c.; 2) compile and search for match 3) deduction: it’s a Black Lab; indeed, Rover.

    But the order of operations in the world includes step 0) Rover himself generates effects on his environment. So if things are all in proper working order, steps 1 &c. never occur without step 0. Thus when we see the electromagnetic effects of Rover, we see the effects *of Rover.* We see the outermost causal surface of Rover himself.

    Likewise also a fortiori with Rover’s being. In the brain we say, “I see a being, I see some *thing;* I see black; I see shapes that look like a labrador.” But these are interpretations of a feeling of the outermost causal surface of Rover himself. In feeling these things – which we then abstract out of the concrete reality we are feeling so that we can then analyse what it is we are feeling – we are feeling Rover himself.

    So, where could we look then to see just naked being? Isn’t naked being then invisible? Where likewise could we look to see naked four? We see the fourness of some togethernesses of things. Do we ever see just four itself?

    But, anyway, I am probably just not understanding what you are trying to say here.

    • August 31, 2012 at 7:53 am

      The best entryway into that thought was through cultural or political movements: once they get accepted, the principles they were based on become axiomatic and therefore invisible. The first truth is never called into question. That said, I don’t think its a merely political truth but a general axiom – or maybe what I mean to say is that human reasoning is in a great degree social and therefore political. Either way, this invisibility problem will manifest itself in the sort of metaphysical questions you are raising.

      (when I said “false” I just meant to express an opposition – I didn’t claim to see which side was true.)

  2. Kristor said,

    August 30, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Or do you mean to say only that while first things demand that we *understand* them as invisible – immaterial, more generally *not concrete* – the reality is that they cannot be *apprehended,* cannot really be found anywhere, except in connection with some concrete actuality? In which case, yes, of course, just so.

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