Archive for March 2009

New Link

March 22, 2009

I’m adding a link to LOLsaints to my blog.  That’s just too…awesome.

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Ordinary Language and Formal Logic

March 22, 2009

Take the following sentence:  “If you are as angry as I am, we should cancel our lunch appointment today.”  In formal logic, the antecedent of a hypothetical does not have a determined truth value; it could be possible that the person being addressed is not as angry as the speaker, meaning that it may be safe to meet for lunch. 

What I find interesting about this proposition is the information communicated in ordinary language that is missed by the formal logic.  In formal logic, it is not possible to derive from the antecedent the proposition, “the speaker is angry”; and yet, in ordinary language that proposition seems to be implied.  If someone actually spoke that statement, I wouldn’t expect to see him wearing a happy face if I ate lunch with him in the near future.

The more philosophy I take, the more I realize how valuable, and yet how limited, formal logic can be.

Demogogues

March 20, 2009

Didn’t Aristotle say somewhere in the Politics that one sign of a collapsing democracy is when the demogogue appears and stops the city from ruling by law, but rather passes rulings based on the particular rather than the universal? 

Not saying that Obama is a demogogue or anything…although he is the only POTUS to appear on Jay Leno.  Fear the powerful man who appeals to the public to swipe the money of the rich.

Virtuous Leaders

March 18, 2009

It’s good to see that people from all parties are upset about recent events.  Now my question is this:  when are we going to realize that a person’s character has everything to do with how good of a ruler they will be in office?  Even if you think a politician’s economic policies are better in an election in which the economy seems to be the most important thing, you can’t elect a crook and expect him to rule for the common good.

I suggest adding a box next to every name on every ballot called the “vote of no confidence” box.  It wouldn’t effect the election results in any way, but  it would ensure that when a politician gets elected merely because people hate the other guy more, the politician will be reminded in the course of his great victory how many people hate him.  It probably wouldn’t be productive in any way, but it would sure make voting a lot more fun and make me feel a bit less dirty after casting my ballot.