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2014年1月26日 星期日

Weekend Fun

Been reading quite a lot of so-called "philosophy" lately because I got lots of questions on my mind, hoping to find some answers. And sure I found lots of answers. But many of them appear to be the kind of answers which seem merely to raise even more fundamental questions! Perhaps that's the true nature of philosophy: to dig out problems in matters  which everybody else will happily take for granted in their lives.To the ordinary folks, "philosophers" are just a bunch of "impractical" fools who wrack their brains over little of importance and almost nothing that really matters. But is that so? If it were not for philosophers, would there ever have been any "science" as we know it? And without "science", would we have technological innovations? Whatever the truth may be, can we blame the "philosophers" for raising questions to which there probably won't be any conclusive answers? They merely learn from their illustrious great, great, great......grandfather: Socrates who openly said that he didn't know a thing about anything and had nothing but questions. But what fatal questions! They led eventually to his being given the death sentence by the Athenian city council for "corrupting" the minds of their young men. Who wants to care a jot about who the Athenian council members who condemned Socrates were or even know that they existed except through the account of Socrates' death through the writings of his pupil Plato?  But sometimes, philosophy can be a source not of terminal demise but of fun too.

1. 

The First Law of Philosophy: For every philosopher, there exists an equal and opposite philosopher.
The Second Law of Philosophy: They're both wrong.


2.

 This is claimed to have been found as a graffiti in a college rest room:
 "God is dead: Nietzsche." and below it, another line:
 "Nietzsche is 
dead: God."

3.
 Some claim to have overheard in 18th century England:
"Did you hear that George 
Berkeley died? His girlfriend stopped seeing him."

4.

If a telephone rings in an empty room and no one is there to answer it, was there really a phone call?
Help me investigate this phenomenon by leaving your name and number after the tone.

5.

An eccentric philosophy professor gave a one question final exam after a semester dealing with a broad array of topics.
The class was already seated and ready to go when the professor picked up his chair, plopped it on his desk and wrote on the board: "Using everything we have learned this semester, prove that this chair does not exist."
Fingers flew, erasers erased, notebooks were filled in furious fashion.
Some students wrote over 30 pages in one hour attempting to refute the existence of the chair.
One member of the class however, was up and finished in less than a minute.
Weeks later when the grades were posted, the rest of the group wondered how he could have gotten an A when he had barely written anything at all.
"How on earth did you do it?"
"Simple. I just wrote" 'What chair?'"


6. And finally, the last one, the ultimate joke to end all jokes on philosophers: it's called "Proofs that p". Here it goes:

Davidson's proof that p:
    Let us make the following bold conjecture: p

Wallace's proof that p:
    Davidson has made the following bold conjecture: p

Grunbaum:
    As I have asserted again and again in previous publications, p.

Putnam:
    Some philosophers have argued that not-p, on the grounds that q. It would be an interesting exercise to count all the fallacies in this "argument". (It's really awful, isn't it?) Therefore p.

Rawls:
    It would be nice to have a deductive argument that p from self- evident premises. Unfortunately I am unable to provide one. So I will have to rest content with the following intuitive considerations in its support: p.

Unger:
    Suppose it were the case that not-p. It would follow from this that someone knows that q. But on my view, no one knows anything whatsoever. Therefore p. (Unger believes that the louder you say this argument, the more persuasive it becomes).

Katz:
    I have seventeen arguments for the claim that p, and I know of only four for the claim that not-p. Therefore p.

Lewis:
    Most people find the claim that not-p completely obvious and when I assert p they give me an incredulous stare. But the fact that they find not- p obvious is no argument that it is true; and I do not know how to refute an incredulous stare. Therefore, p.

Fodor:
    My argument for p is based on three premises:

        q
        r
        and
        p


    From these, the claim that p deductively follows. Some people may find the third premise controversial, but it is clear that if we replaced that premise by any other reasonable premise, the argument would go through just as well.

Sellars' proof that p:
    Unfortunately limitations of space prevent it from being included here, but important parts of the proof can be found in each of the articles in the attached bibliography.

Earman:
    There are solutions to the field equations of general relativity in which space-time has the structure of a four- dimensional Klein bottle and in which there is no matter. In each such space-time, the claim that not-p is false. Therefore p.

Goodman:
    Zabludowski has insinuated that my thesis that p is false, on the basis of alleged counterexamples. But these so- called "counterexamples" depend on construing my thesis that p in a way that it was obviously not intended -- for I intended my thesis to have no counterexamples. Therefore p.
.

 Outline Of A Proof That P (1):
 Saul Kripke

    Some philosophers have argued that not-p. But none of them seems to me to have made a convincing argument against the intuitive view that this is not the case. Therefore, p.
    _________________

    (1) This outline was prepared hastily -- at the editor's insistence -- from a taped manuscript of a lecture. Since I was not even given the opportunity to revise the first draft before publication, I cannot be held responsible for any lacunae in the (published version of the) argument, or for any fallacious or garbled inferences resulting from faulty preparation of the typescript. Also, the argument now seems to me to have problems which I did not know when I wrote it, but which I can't discuss here, and which are completely unrelated to any criticisms that have appeared in the literature (or that I have seen in manuscript); all such criticisms misconstrue my argument. It will be noted that the present version of the argument seems to presuppose the (intuitionistically unacceptable) law of double negation. But the argument can easily be reformulated in a way that avoids employing such an inference rule. I hope to expand on these matters further in a separate monograph.

Routley and Meyer:
    If (q & not-q) is true, then there is a model for p. Therefore p.

Plantinga:
    It is a modal theorem that <>[]p -> []p. Surely its possible that p must be true. Thus []p. But it is a modal theorem that []p -> p. Therefore p.

Chisholm:
    P-ness is self-presenting. Therefore, p.

Morganbesser:
    If not p, what? q maybe?

Philosophers do appear to have the most peculiar ability to chatter and chatter and chatter and never seem able to come to any conclusions which is not sooner or later "disproved" by one or more of their successors. So as long as we have philosophers, we shall never have to worry we will have seen the last of them! Have a nice weekend, if you got nothing better to do, ponder over some of the "answers" given above.