The Ampitheater [A Philosophy Thread]

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The Ampitheater [A Philosophy Thread]

Post  Dinny on Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:00 am

Alright, so I wanted to make this thread to open the floor up to philosophical discussion, ranging from ethics/moral philosophy to epistemology, from existentialism to discussions on determinism vs free will. I will occasionally guide the discussion by asking you questions, but you're all free to post your own and engage in discussion as you normally would.

Today I'm going to post an exercise/paradox, and I will be doing this every now and then. Also, don't cheat. And yes, they all have answers. I have seven of them lined up for you, and I'm giving you the easiest/most commonly heard one today.

A traveller was walking one day when he met a man sitting beside the road, smoking a pipe.

"The first thing said to you by the first person you meet today will not be true," said the man, "Trust me... don't believe what he says."

"OK." Said the traveller. "But hang on a minute... You're the first person I've met today."

"Exactly!" replied the man.


Clue: This is a Formal Logic question, as well as a semantics question.
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Re: The Ampitheater [A Philosophy Thread]

Post  mi-cuit on Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:10 am

I don't get it. Sad
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Re: The Ampitheater [A Philosophy Thread]

Post  PapiChuloLeon on Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:05 pm

Dinny wrote:Alright, so I wanted to make this thread to open the floor up to philosophical discussion, ranging from ethics/moral philosophy to epistemology, from existentialism to discussions on determinism vs free will. I will occasionally guide the discussion by asking you questions, but you're all free to post your own and engage in discussion as you normally would.

Today I'm going to post an exercise/paradox, and I will be doing this every now and then. Also, don't cheat. And yes, they all have answers. I have seven of them lined up for you, and I'm giving you the easiest/most commonly heard one today.

A traveller was walking one day when he met a man sitting beside the road, smoking a pipe.

"The first thing said to you by the first person you meet today will not be true," said the man, "Trust me... don't believe what he says."

"OK." Said the traveller. "But hang on a minute... You're the first person I've met today."

"Exactly!" replied the man.


Clue: This is a Formal Logic question, as well as a semantics question.
“See Shane and other fighters, they can fight 3 and 4 times a year. I can’t. You know, when Floyd Mayweather fight, it’s like the All-Star, it’s like the Superbowl. It comes once a
year, you know what I’m saying, so you better pay and watch!”

- Floyd Mayweather Jr
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Re: The Ampitheater [A Philosophy Thread]

Post  Monty on Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:02 pm

I do wonder if there is a divine purpose to everyone and their lives? Does stuff happen because it's supposed to?
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Re: The Ampitheater [A Philosophy Thread]

Post  Dinny on Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:48 am

Monty wrote:I do wonder if there is a divine purpose to everyone and their lives? Does stuff happen because it's supposed to?

Sounds like a determinism/freewill thing. I'm still undecided on this. I'll talk about it more later, now that you've brought it up at all.
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Re: The Ampitheater [A Philosophy Thread]

Post  lilith on Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:57 pm

Dinny wrote:Alright, so I wanted to make this thread to open the floor up to philosophical discussion, ranging from ethics/moral philosophy to epistemology, from existentialism to discussions on determinism vs free will. I will occasionally guide the discussion by asking you questions, but you're all free to post your own and engage in discussion as you normally would.

Today I'm going to post an exercise/paradox, and I will be doing this every now and then. Also, don't cheat. And yes, they all have answers. I have seven of them lined up for you, and I'm giving you the easiest/most commonly heard one today.

A traveller was walking one day when he met a man sitting beside the road, smoking a pipe.

"The first thing said to you by the first person you meet today will not be true," said the man, "Trust me... don't believe what he says."

"OK." Said the traveller. "But hang on a minute... You're the first person I've met today."

"Exactly!" replied the man.


Clue: This is a Formal Logic question, as well as a semantics question.

This reminds me of the paradox, "I am lying. Am I lying?" I'm considering, "The first thing said to you by the first person you meet today will not be true. Trust me... don't believe what he says." as the first thing he says, and not "Exactly!" because if it were the latter (considering the longer sentence is some kind of introduction), then it's unsure whether or not the man smoking the pipe is the first man the traveller has met today. What I'm seeing is the two parts of the first section go back and forth between each other, making each other false then true and so on (or the other way around).
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Re: The Ampitheater [A Philosophy Thread]

Post  Dinny on Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:32 pm

lilith wrote:
Dinny wrote:Alright, so I wanted to make this thread to open the floor up to philosophical discussion, ranging from ethics/moral philosophy to epistemology, from existentialism to discussions on determinism vs free will. I will occasionally guide the discussion by asking you questions, but you're all free to post your own and engage in discussion as you normally would.

Today I'm going to post an exercise/paradox, and I will be doing this every now and then. Also, don't cheat. And yes, they all have answers. I have seven of them lined up for you, and I'm giving you the easiest/most commonly heard one today.

A traveller was walking one day when he met a man sitting beside the road, smoking a pipe.

"The first thing said to you by the first person you meet today will not be true," said the man, "Trust me... don't believe what he says."

"OK." Said the traveller. "But hang on a minute... You're the first person I've met today."

"Exactly!" replied the man.


Clue: This is a Formal Logic question, as well as a semantics question.

This reminds me of the paradox, "I am lying. Am I lying?" I'm considering, "The first thing said to you by the first person you meet today will not be true. Trust me... don't believe what he says." as the first thing he says, and not "Exactly!" because if it were the latter (considering the longer sentence is some kind of introduction), then it's unsure whether or not the man smoking the pipe is the first man the traveller has met today. What I'm seeing is the two parts of the first section go back and forth between each other, making each other false then true and so on (or the other way around).

While I see where you're going, and you're on the right track, it's not the final answer.

The final answer is (this is classical logic) that un-true and false (or lie) actually don't mean the same thing in logic. We have four types of statements: all x are y (universal affirmative), no x are y (universal negative), some x are y (particular affirmative) and some x are not y (particular negative). There are then many ways we play with these forms, and one of them is experimenting with the use of "un".

The second thing, and this is what you picked up on, is that we should be able to admit to the existence of contradictions. It is indeed possible for something to be true and false at the same time in classical logic, but not for something to be true and untrue.

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Re: The Ampitheater [A Philosophy Thread]

Post  lilith on Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:21 pm

I think you and I are confusing each other. In classical logic, there is only true and false, and it's closely related to set theory. Other systems are more open to different interpretations of truth like fuzzy logic, for example. Classical logic is almost mathematical... as far as I know there is no debate over the difference in definitions of "untrue" and "false" and there is nothing that can be true and false simultaneously.

edit: I looked it up, and I found a source (some .edu site) that said that a statement that's true AND false is known as contradictory. I thought there was "true", "false", and "a contradiction/paradox". I guess a paradox is considered both (and not neither)?
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Re: The Ampitheater [A Philosophy Thread]

Post  Dinny on Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:00 am

lilith wrote:I think you and I are confusing each other. In classical logic, there is only true and false, and it's closely related to set theory. Other systems are more open to different interpretations of truth like fuzzy logic, for example. Classical logic is almost mathematical... as far as I know there is no debate over the difference in definitions of "untrue" and "false" and there is nothing that can be true and false simultaneously.

edit: I looked it up, and I found a source (some .edu site) that said that a statement that's true AND false is known as contradictory. I thought there was "true", "false", and "a contradiction/paradox". I guess a paradox is considered both (and not neither)?

I think we are too. I'm talking partially about syllogisms, and that's not classical logic, that was a mistake on my behalf. Classical logic is as you say almost mathematical. I hated it to be honest. Laughing

I'll give you the "answer" to this riddle as in the book in which it is contained, verbatim:

"You might be tempted to bite the bullet and say: "Ok, so what the old man says is both true and not true. It's a contradiction. What's the problem with admitting the existence of contradictions?"

This strategy won't satisfy the question fully. Not only are there plenty of problems with admitted contradictions, which I will not go to here, we can in any case rework the paradox so that admitting to the existence of contradictions does not help.

Suppose we introduce the prefix "un-p" (Dinny's note: this is the syllogism/etc I was going on about) in such a way that "un-p" applies to all and only those things to which the term "p" applies. That's stipulated. So for example, "un-horse" applies to all and only those things that aren't horses. Now consider this sentence:

This sentence is un-true.

It follows that this sentence is both true and un-true. But we just defined "un-" in such a way that, by stipulation, nothing can be both true and un-true. Admitting contradictions does nothing to solve this variation of the paradox."


Will finish the explanation later, I have to run off to the gym, I just noticed the time. So stay tuned.
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Re: The Ampitheater [A Philosophy Thread]

Post  Dinny on Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:44 am

I gave up on typing out the full "answer", but: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liar_paradox

The next point it was going to address was false dichotomy (something I'm prone to all the time, shamefully enough, despite me being aware of it), and it's explored somewhat in the wikipedia article but not as much as I'd like it to be. It's explanations of the variants are reaaaally good though!
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Re: The Ampitheater [A Philosophy Thread]

Post  lilith on Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:12 am

Dinny wrote:I gave up on typing out the full "answer", but: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liar_paradox

The next point it was going to address was false dichotomy (something I'm prone to all the time, shamefully enough, despite me being aware of it), and it's explored somewhat in the wikipedia article but not as much as I'd like it to be. It's explanations of the variants are reaaaally good though!

Are you prone to "black-and-white" thinking then? It said in the article that some people are like that emotionally. Both you and Josh seem to be that way (nothing wrong with that). =)

~~~~~~~

I remember I was accusing someone of not telling the whole truth and that they distorted things a lot, often misleading people. Then, one day I found that there is a term for what he tends to do: tell a 'vacuous truth'. "For example, a child might tell his parents 'I ate every vegetable on my plate,' when there were no vegetables on the child’s plate to begin with." Evil or Very Mad
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Re: The Ampitheater [A Philosophy Thread]

Post  Dinny on Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:12 pm

lilith wrote:
Dinny wrote:I gave up on typing out the full "answer", but: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liar_paradox

The next point it was going to address was false dichotomy (something I'm prone to all the time, shamefully enough, despite me being aware of it), and it's explored somewhat in the wikipedia article but not as much as I'd like it to be. It's explanations of the variants are reaaaally good though!

Are you prone to "black-and-white" thinking then? It said in the article that some people are like that emotionally. Both you and Josh seem to be that way (nothing wrong with that). =)

~~~~~~~

I remember I was accusing someone of not telling the whole truth and that they distorted things a lot, often misleading people. Then, one day I found that there is a term for what he tends to do: tell a 'vacuous truth'. "For example, a child might tell his parents 'I ate every vegetable on my plate,' when there were no vegetables on the child’s plate to begin with." Evil or Very Mad

To the first part: Yes, very much so. It's something I try to break free from as much as possible, but it's always going to be a component of my thinking. It's not that I can't think outside of binary terms, but that I feel like I understand everything more if it falls into a certain category. Usually, my categorizing is pretty on the ball, but it never covers every possible eventuality. To give an example: someone is in a certain situation. I think: "Only people who have done (this), (this) or (this) would be in this situation." I'll ask them and 90% of the time it'd be one of the three categories I predicted. And I tend to calculate the likelihood of those categories by percentage from what knowledge I have (i.e. If I go bungee jumping today, there's a 75% It'll be safe and I'll enjoy it, there's a 20% chance It'll be safe but I'll be too scared, and a 5% chance I'll get either injured or killed).

To the second: The idea of vacuous truth sounds bizarre, it seems like a lot of kids do that. I can't recall a time I've seen it particularly, but I'm sure I might have even said something like that myself.
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Re: The Ampitheater [A Philosophy Thread]

Post  lilith on Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:16 am

How funny, since I'm the opposite, usually jumping to conclusions and imagining up bizarre outcomes. Adam is like this, but much worse. When we were in Norway, I was an hour late at the station because of a ferry problem. During this hour, he called every hospital in Oslo to see if I was there, called the police, called all of his IAESTE (like an exchange) friends to see if they saw me anywhere, gave someone a tour around the city, ran back to the apartment 15 minutes away to see if I got there early and went to bed or to see if I went there without telling him and was mad at him, and came back to wait again. In one hour. What he didn't do was call anyone working at the ferry to see if it was late, which is hilarious because his IQ registers somewhere between 160 and 180.

And about the vacuous truth, it's not even a kids' thing as many adults do it, especially the slimy ones. Evil or Very Mad
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Re: The Ampitheater [A Philosophy Thread]

Post  Wags on Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:56 pm

I don't know who will see this other than Leon and myself (and those 1 or 2 lurkers) but, Dinny mentioned ethics/morality in the first post.

I was wondering about anyone's thoughts on moral objectivity vs relativism (sometimes known as subjectivity).

I've been on both sides, finally going back to the notion of objectivity. Logically it makes more sense. Relativism isn't a real moral system, regardless of whether you subscribe to it or not. If morals are only dependent on the mind, then there isn't an intrinsic system, and this undermines morality itself. And I don't think this point can be argued. The only thing that can be argued then is determining whether intrinsic morals exist.
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