Aristotle was an Idiot: Part 3

1 Jun

Aristotle was an idiot (Part 3)


We now come to the most idiotic of Aristotle’s three laws.


The law of the excluded middle.


Either (A or not A)


Either something exists or it does not exist.


Either a statement is true or it is false.


The tree exists in one sense. It does not exactly exist in several other senses. It is an emergent phenomena that we don’t have a clue how to explain. It is a novel emergence that is an example of the genus tree.

A river exists in a sense. But it has less existence in another some ways than the tree. The tree is a process that is slow. Its sap is a sluggish thing hidden from our eyes. Its other processes are also hidden, including the way it changes sunlight into nourishment. A river is a quicker process. It changes before our eyes so quickly that the water we were looking at the beginning of this paragraph is long gone now and other water from somewhere upstream has taken its place.

So the river neither exists nor does it not exist. It is an emergent phenomena that we are able to perceive and name.

Even the name is fluid.

Many of the rivers in California are creeks in Missouri.

Size matters.

Who is looking matters.


The biggest problem with the excluded middle is that it promotes ignorance and unreasonable thinking.


It promotes ignorant concepts such as, “You are either with us or against us.”

It is the kind of thinking that promotes bigotry, hatred, and superiority thinking — Either you think like Aristotle thinks or you are an ignorant jackass.

Either you give the answer that is in the back of the book or you get an “F”.


Excluding the middle, if a person actually did that, would be to take our society back at least 2,000 years.


ALL of science takes place in the middle.


Let me give you a quick course in economics using Map Thinking™.

Take a picture of a teeter totter.

When the benefits on one end equal the cost in resources on the other the teeter totter will balance. When this has happened the most efficient decision has been reached.

Note that economics is a great way of reaching decisions for future actions in all kinds of situations.

And it is far less complicated than logic to learn.


And where is this decision for optimal action made?

In the middle.

The center of the teeter totter where pros and cons balance each other.


The Bell Curve has so many uses in so many ways I cannot begin to even enumerate them all.

And where is the Bell Curve?

In the middle.


If you want to add Complexity Theory to the mix then you add the Power Law, a sort of Deformed Bell Curve with a serious slope, or slide on one side.

And where is this found?

In the middle.


All of the progress in science has been made either at the edges of our knowledge or in the excluded middle.


Steven Hawking makes a massive statement in “The Universe in a Nutshell”:


“The question, ‘Do extra dimensions really exist?’ has no meaning. All one can ask is whether mathematical models with extra dimensions provide a good description of the universe.”


And that, my friend, is Map Thinking™ in a nutshell. Not just about mathematics, or about extra dimensions — But about everything.


The excluded middle, in effect, rejects all maps, models, graphs, pictures, and actions. All that is left is the words and the definitions you apply to them.

Conclusions from these, in logic, are called truth.


Let’s go back to Steven Hawking:


“I take the positivist viewpoint that a physical theory is just a mathematical model and that it is meaningless to ask whether it corresponds to reality. All that one can ask is that its predictions should be in agreement with observation.”


One thing that places Aristotle totally in the idiot category is that in other things — He stayed, and demanded others stay — Square in the middle.


In The Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle constantly harps on finding the middle way between two extremes. Choose bravery, which is the middle position between cowardice and foolhardiness. Choose politeness which is between rudeness and servility. One should be neither a glutton nor neglect oneself through self denial.

Unfortunately those who chose to follow his thinking were more idiotic than he and they chose to ignore his sensible ethics.

Thus if gluttony is bad his followers believe there is virtue in starving oneself. If greed is a sin then self denial is a virtue. If lust is wrong then virginity is the only virtue. And son on and so on.


In other words Aristotle was only half an idiot.


His followers were complete idiots.


Come to think of it, this could be said of most religions.


Map Thinking™  places reasoning where reasoning should be, between the extremes, where reality lies and where the action is. Not at the extremes, which are dead ends.


Map Thinking™ is by nature both empirical and positivist.


That is Map Thinking™ first looks to empirical evidence. From the empirical evidence maps, models, graphs, charts, etc are built. The maps are checked for usefulness. Not for accuracy.


In Map Thinking™ comprehension of relationships are considered of primary importance.


I hope you will take the adventure into Map Thinking™ with me starting with how this effects the “three laws of thought” as espoused by Aristotle.





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