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Lady Chaterly: Episode Two

Lady Chaterly: Episode Two

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Published by Ian Beardsley
Lady Chaterly embarks on a lesson in philosophy.
Lady Chaterly embarks on a lesson in philosophy.

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Published by: Ian Beardsley on May 07, 2011
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05/07/2011

 
Lady ChaterlyEpisode TwoByIan BeardsleyCopyright © 2011 by Ian Beardsley
 
Lady Chaterly: Episode TwoLady Chaterly is at the house of the writer.The Writer: Today we are going to review the basic tenets of philosophy.We will begin with reason. Reason is the process by which we demonstrate atruth through a logical process. Now, Lady Chaterly, pay close attention,there are two processes by which we can use reason: induction anddeduction. An example of induction is: The sun rose three days ago, it thenrose two days ago and it rose yesterday, therefore by this experience we cansay it will rise tomorrow. However, this is not strong evidence that it willrise tomorrow, something that we are not aware of could happen to the sun,that would cause it to not rise tomorrow. That is why the other mechanism,deduction, provides for a much stronger certainty in the truth. Deduction iswhere we start with one principle, and proceed by logical argument based onit to a new statement until we arrive at the conclusion. For example, weknow that the earth spins, and when we are on the side facing away from thesun, it is night. Based on the knowledge that it spins, we can argue that itsspin will carry us around until we face the sun. We know that as we comearound to face the sun, it will appear to rise. Thus, we conclude the sun willrise every day, barring natural catastrophe. You see, that was the big mistakeof the Church in the time of Galileo, they insisted the sun was movingaround the earth, and that was why it rose each day.Lady Chaterly: Key point to make here. With deduction you said we startwith a statement, upon which all others are derived. How do you know thatthe first statement is true? I mean, like, how real is that?The Writer: Ah, but you are forgetting your Borges, he wrote: “Reality, alas,is real. I, alas, am Borges.” You see, the first statement is self-evident. It iscalled a proposition. Everything that follows from it is proved by argument,and is thus true. It is self evident in the sense that if two triangles are thesame in shape to a third, they are the same in shape to one another. Theproved statement is called a theorem. With several theorems andpropositions, we can solve any problem that presents itself. Such a body of knowledge is called a formal system. But, if you want to enter a moremodern interpretation of mathematics, it is only fair I tell of the theorem of Gödel. He developed a mathematics wherein he could convert a phrase intoa mathematical statement. He chose the statement by a famous Cretian – andCretians had a reputation at the time for being liars – that was: “All Cretians

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