Tag Archives: Plato

The Law of the Included Middle

11 Aug

Aristotle is NOT an idiot!

The Law of the Excluded Middle impeded science for hundreds of years and still impedes science.

Even those studies that are not normally thought of as science.

Such as economics.

As I pointed out in the law of contradiction, although not directly, everything is connected. All anything is is a different batch of a set of common ingredients to produce a recipe of creation.

Most of the interesting things happen in the middle.

First lets look at Aristotle:

Either (A or Not A)

A thing either exists or does not exist.

Every statement is ether true or false.

Logically this may be true.

Mapologically nothing exists quite as it is perceived and nothing exists until it is perceived. Until then it is simply potential.

Thus Neither (A nor Not A)

Truth is transitory and even that is worthless unless it has use. To be useful it must be grounded.

Example:

The Big Dipper is a constellation in the sky.

This is true.

But to be of any value two things must happen.

The person must know that the Big Dipper indicates north.

The Big Dipper must be visible.

Both conditions above must exist when you need them.

Perhaps when you are lost.

One of the difficulties many people have with my system of thought is that a lie can be seen as more useful, and therefore more desirable, than the truth.

Example:

A desperate killer is headed toward a theater. If he gets there and people are present he would have hostages. If you walk out on stage and explain the situation, answer questions, etc. He will be there.

On the other hand telling everyone there is a fire and to get away might be a superior alternative.

Lets take a look at the middle.

Let me give you a quick lesson in economics. It is applicable in many, perhaps most, situations. If you are making decisions it works. If you are trying to get your kids, or your employees to do a good job, it works. If you are trying to understand political issues it works.

Picture a teeter totter.

Got that?

Somewhere in the middle is the balance point where rewards and punishments exactly balance. If it is taking out the garbage there is a specific point where the bother of taking it out exactly balances the reward of having somewhere to put the garbage.

Okay, so your teenager is the one who is assigned the bother of taking out the kitchen garbage.

But the teenager never suffers the inconvenience of not having anyplace to put the potato peelings while cooking dinner. It is quite possible the teenager cannot even fathom the necessity of taking out the kitchen garbage.

This becomes a useful map of the family dynamics.

The solution is to either make the chores more pertinent to what the teenager is doing, or alter what the teenager is doing to make the chores more pertinent.

Perhaps the teenager should be the one peeling the potatoes.

Most people think economics has to do with the stock market.

Economics is simple. It is the science of the carrot and the stick. When the reward for doing something is worth the time and resources required to do it you have equilibrium. The reward may not be money. It might be self-respect. The resources might not be time or money. It could be self respect. When the teeter totter tips one way or the other then more people will either respond by avoiding the cost or by obtaining the reward. The further the tip the more people will respond to it.

Economics resides in the middle.

Without the included middle economics cannot be explored in any way, manner, shape, or form.

This is true of science and knowledge in general.

Aristotelean logic leads to dead ends, prison cells of the mind, and locks the thinker in them in the name of truth. Once there creativity stops, exploration stops, and real thinking stops.

Once a person who has found the one real truth they become a “believer” in that truth. There is no reason to look further. In fact looking further can seem blasphemous — Even though religion is not involved.

Aristotle is a case in point. A lot of philosophers have disagreed with Aristotle. Yet when I was in school the teachers idolized Aristotle. When I said I preferred Socrates I felt as though I were dealing with Sunday School talking God rather than a Parochial School talking philosophy. The difference being that Aristotle was the Holy One and Socrates the Questioner was a Satanic force.

When I said “Socrates died for my Questions” I was told that I was too young to discuss philosophy. There would be plenty of time for that when I went to college.

Like that was ever going to happen.

But wait a minute. Lets take a closer look at Aristotle himself.

When Aristotle wrote about the Virtues what did he espouse?

Balance and Moderation.

In other words when Aristotle tackled a real subject he did what any sensible person would do: He went right to the middle: He did not exclude it.

I wish I had known this when I was still in school. It would have changed my disagreements with teachers considerably. The outcome I do not know. But I am curious. After I left school I was able to find in libraries and read things about Aristotle that was not available in school.

All I found as a child was the Three Laws of Thought and the Syllogism.

At the time I had serious problems with them but had no argument against them except Socrates. The teachers were no help because their interests lay in “either – or” thinking by the students. Either you are a good student or a bad student. I was a bad student, therefore I needed to shape up or be punished.

I rejected the concept that I was a “bad” student.

Which meant they had to be bad teachers.

Nowadays, as a Map Thinker™ I would realize, at least intellectually, that the scholastic situation is such that it promotes conformity over education.

Somewhere after the sixth grade I wrote my first treatise on Philosophy. It was called Quizology and I wish I still had a copy. It was a study of questions. Most, if not all, of Quizology is embodied in Map Thinking™. I did not take care of it because I accepted the premise one of my teachers gave me, “No one will ever care what an ignorant Halfbreed has to say.”

The sad conclusion is that most people who claim to be logical use the most simplistic “Either – Or” tools available to them and ignore, or are unable to comprehend, the complexity of truly logical thought.

Oddly there is a definite parallel here with a certain type of Biblically ignorant person who claims to be a Christian but has no concept of what Christ said or did according to the new testament.

There is a rule here, I believe. Any belief system will attract a significant number of people who use the most simplified version of it and ignore the intricacies.

So far I have not tackled one thing; How does one find the middle?

That, it turns out is the easy part. You use Aristotle’s laws of thought. The simplest either / or mentality.

Without realizing what she was doing, my mother taught me Map Thinking™ when I was a small child. When someone would ask me, “Are you a good boy?” The pressure on the child is to say, “Yes.” Because either you are a good boy or you are a bad boy.

Most parents either let the child answer and beam with pride as the poor child is programmed, not so much to “goodness” — but programmed into this simplistic model of Aristotelean logic. Either / or. If the child hesitates the parent will often answer for them, “He is a very good boy (girl)”. Never thinking they are modeling not just the child’s behavior, which it probably doesn’t, but they are modeling the child’s methodology of thinking.

Not my mother.

“Tell him you are just a little boy, honey.” Which I would dutifully repeat.

What did I take away?

Somehow in my psyche was ingrained. I wasn’t good. I wasn’t bad. There is no either / or. I was just another little boy doing little boy things in little boy ways.

I still remember the odd looks on the faces of the adults who could not understand what had happened to a simple, culturally acceptable question that was normally asked of little children.

Scientists have studied some of the ways we humans reach false conclusions. Pretty much they have reached the conclusion our minds are wired in ways that produce certain fallacies of thought. What the scientists studying this phenomena don’t seem to have taken into consideration is that children are culturally and scholastically indoctrinated in these ways of thought.

And it doesn’t have to be that way.

So let us look at the Law of the Excluded Middle from a Map Thinker’s™ Point of View.

Either (A or not A)

Becomes:

A+ <- An ->A

Where A+ is one extreme. 

Where A- is the other extreme.

and An is all possible degrees in between.

 

© 2013, All Rights Reserved

Advertisements

Aristotle is an idiot (part one)

18 May

Aristotle was an idiot (part one)

He was probably an idiot in his own time

When compared to real thinkers such as Socrates

And it is certainly idiotic to follow his lead 2300 years after his death.

Lets look at the three laws of thought:

#1: THE LAW OF IDENTITY:

OR:

A = A

Everything is itself and the same as itself.

That sentence does have meaning, although in today’s world, full of scientific knowledge, we know that the only thing that is itself and only itself is whatever you are able to stand and point to / at.

And this is problematical.

But that thing is only itself for as long as it is there and not changed. A tree may outlive us for a thousand years but someday it too will be gone. And it will, in all likely hood not be the same tree after a thousand years. It will have grown taller, fatter, may have been trough a fire and lost twenty per cent of its foliage or half of its limbs. It may have been topped for a Christmas tree.

Hey, lets propagate that tree, which means the new tree will in effect be the same tree — but let’s do some science. How about we inject a little human DNA to the new growth.

Not sure how that could be done but I’m willing to bet there will come a time when someone does it.

Wait a minute, humans already share what, 50%, 70% of their DNA with trees — and a company called Biopresence will put YOUR DNA into a tree as a memorial.

Come to think of it eating a banana is cannibalism.

Using that criteria one must wonder just how much difference there is between a vegetarian and a carnivore or an omnivore?

How would you feel if the tree created using your DNA was used someday to build a house? Would it matter which house was built? Would it matter if it were used in a housing project or a funeral home or an orphanage?

There would appear serious evidence exists that meteorites carry the basic building blocks of DNA with them trough space.

So you can think of meteorites as space sperm looking for a fertile female planet to impregnate.

The next time you skip a rock across a lake think of the idea you may be drowning a distant cousin.

There is a tiny bit more to the law of identity.

A final point of absurdity:

“A statement cannot remain the same and change its truth value.”

WTBDTM? ™

For Aristotle it meant a lot. He believed in an absolute, independent, truth.

For a Map Thinker this makes no sense.

A map thinker knows truth is an accurate statement of a specific event at a specific place that lasts a specific length of time. Last Tuesday at ten a.m. The stop light was green.

The big dipper will be recognizable in its present form for the next thousand years.

Okay, the point of all this:

We need to rewrite the Law of Identity for use today.

A thing is distinguishable as itself to the extent it is different from everything else.

We are going to abolish the whole thing about truth value.

For example Aristotle believed the human species was the unquestionably superior creature of all creation.

This, to him, was an absolute truth.

Most people today would have at least a degree of doubt that humans are in fact the perfect species.

The biggest problem with the Law of Identity, as Aristotle promulgates it, is that it separates things completely from all other things they relate too and from time. That is a thing in Aristotle’s world has no connections to any thing else, has no past and no future.

Such a thing cannot exist in our reality.

Lets apply this to you as a person.

Your identity depends on those things that distinguish you from all other people in the world.

Part of that is genetics.

Part of that is your past.

Part of that is how you see yourself today.

Part of that is what you wish, or believe, you will, or may become in the future.

You don’t have to strive to do any of this. All you have to do is strive to be yourself and strive to create yourself into the future person you would wish to become.

Nice to meet you. 🙂

© 2013 All Rights Reserved

ultimatemindsettoday

A great WordPress.com site

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

War By Other Means

Politics & Philosophy

this is... The Neighborhood

the Story within the Story

stillness of heart

MUSINGS : CRITICISM : HISTORY : PASSION

The Guilty Preacher Man

abandoned illustrations

matchtall

A tall women amazon model WordPress.com sit

Gotta Find a Home

Conversations with Street People

Three Wise Guys

Best not to think about it

Mister G Kids

A daily comic about real stuff little kids say in school. By Matt Gajdoš

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

The Judy-Jodie and Kelli Memorial Blog

A great WordPress.com site

A Financial Life Coach

Your Financial Life Coach

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Dysfunctional Literacy

Reading from a writer's perspective... and vice versa!

Top 10 of Anything and Everything

Animals, Gift Ideas, Travel, Books, Recycling Ideas and Many, Many More

ajrogersphilosophy

A fine WordPress.com site

Thoughts

What ever I'm thinking