# numbers vs. words

Fido

Sun 3 Jan, 2010 10:20 am
@cws910,
cws910;116630 wrote:
Okay, lets just use physics for an example. Do any of you think that words could carry sufficiant meaning to be able to explain unolved or unsolveable problems?

If it were not for words I would not grasp but the smallest fraction of physics; but because I have read much about physics, and they are able to express much of what their research shows in words, so I can, and do grasp some of what their numbers show... With that said; I have talked to some physicists, some theoretical, and one even confessed that he had no model of the cosmos; because he had no model apart from the math which rather took him where it took him, which was to the atom in microscopia... So much that can be expressed with numbers cannot be expressed exactly in any other form, and much that is expressed with numbers is not exact in any sense either...Words on a page take more space, involve more basic units, is tied to culture which is not easily translated into other cultural form...Numbers are universal, take little space, and are better applied to the physical world free of moral qualities...It is no wonder that the Pythagoreans thought number preceeded reality since they so neatly describe it...

fast

Sun 3 Jan, 2010 11:03 am
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;116558 wrote:
Sure.

The number "2" has at least three meanings:

1. The cardinal number next after one.

2. The abstract number equal to one and one.

:flowers:

The numeral two is what has meaning, and the numeral two is what has a referent. Just as words have meaning, so too do numerals. Just as the referent of the word two doesn't have meaning, neither does the referent of the numeral two. The number two doesn't mean anything.

Fido

Sun 3 Jan, 2010 12:34 pm
@fast,
fast;116650 wrote:
The numeral two is what has meaning, and the numeral two is what has a referent. Just as words have meaning, so too do numerals. Just as the referent of the word two doesn't have meaning, neither does the referent of the numeral two. The number two doesn't mean anything.

This post, and the post to which it replied are both wrong...Number is a concept, but the meaning of that concept rests upon a single thing, with the value of one, and all numbers are in relation to one, and have their meaning from one...Two is two ones...Three is Three ones, and etc... As a sign, 2. -has no independent value...

fast

Sun 3 Jan, 2010 11:15 pm
@Fido,
[QUOTE=Fido;116669]This post, and the post to which it replied are both wrong...Number is a concept, but the meaning of that concept rests upon a single thing, with the value of one, and all numbers are in relation to one, and have their meaning from one...Two is two ones...Three is Three ones, and etc... As a sign, 2. -has no independent value...[/QUOTE]
A concept is a mental entity. Mental entities reside, we're told, in the mind, although that too is a bit of a misnomer, since not even the mind has a location, but the point is that a concept, a mental entity, which is brain dependent, is human dependent. Numbers, however, are not human dependent. Numerals are human dependent.

You would do well to distinguish between a concept of a number and a number.

Fido

Mon 4 Jan, 2010 12:22 am
@fast,
fast;116801 wrote:

A concept is a mental entity. Mental entities reside, we're told, in the mind, although that too is a bit of a misnomer, since not even the mind has a location, but the point is that a concept, a mental entity, which is brain dependent, is human dependent. Numbers, however, are not human dependent. Numerals are human dependent.

You would do well to distinguish between a concept of a number and a number.

Not an entity at all...Entities are what is conceived...Even the mind is a concept of a real entity: The brain..

cws910

Mon 4 Jan, 2010 01:39 pm
@cws910,
We have no proof that the mind is part of the brain. We have proof that the brain controls the body, but conciousness has yet to be explained.

Fido

Mon 4 Jan, 2010 04:13 pm
@cws910,
Correct to a point cw...We have no prooof that there is such a thing as a mind...It is just another moral form, and infinite, a muliplied entity as old Ocham would have it...You are wrong even to isolate the brain from the nervous system...Your nerves are as extensive as your blood vessels, and for a nervous system so large, taking up so much space, literally in touch with reality at every moment- consciousness needs no explanation, but unconsciouness would need a lot of explaining...

longknowledge

Tue 5 Jan, 2010 12:07 am
@cws910,
cws910;116985 wrote:
We have no proof that the mind is part of the brain. We have proof that the brain controls the body, but conciousness has yet to be explained.

We do have proof that the mind can control the body. Our everyday actions are proof enough. We also now have evidence that the mind controls the brain. There are MRI studies of people while they are carrying out various mental activities indicating that different parts of the brain are involved. What we don't have proof of is the "mechanism," if such is the appropriate word, whereby the mind causes the body or the brain to function.

fast

Tue 5 Jan, 2010 01:01 pm
@cws910,
cws910;116985 wrote:
We have no proof that the mind is part of the brain. We have proof that the brain controls the body, but conciousness has yet to be explained.
Nor will we. The mind is a product of the brain. The mind is not part of the brain.

---------- Post added 01-05-2010 at 02:44 PM ----------

[QUOTE=Fido;116824]Not an entity at all...Entities are what is conceived...Even the mind is a concept of a real entity: The brain..[/QUOTE]I have an oak tree, and I have a concept of what oak trees are. The mental concept that I have is not a physical, material, or tangible object like that of my oak tree, but my concept of what oak trees are is an entity of a particular (yet different) kind. It exists. Some people call them mental objects. I'm calling it a mental entity.

cws910

Tue 5 Jan, 2010 04:05 pm
@fast,
fast;117349 wrote:
Nor will we. The mind is a product of the brain. The mind is not part of the brain.

Your proof that the mind is a product of the brain?

Fido

Tue 5 Jan, 2010 07:44 pm
@cws910,
The mind is the way the brain conceives of itself, and of consciousness... All right, are we going to reconceive of this conception as Ego, Super ego, Id, and etc... Mind is an abstraction of an entity, it stands for brain consciousness, something we can sense, but not prove apart from brain...Is there anything to be gained from this talking of the concept apart from the reality as though it were the reality, or further dividing the concept, which amounts to an abstraction of an abstraction???... Mind is only an abstraction..

fast

Tue 5 Jan, 2010 10:43 pm
@cws910,
cws910;117417 wrote:
fast;117349 wrote:
Nor will we. The mind is a product of the brain. The mind is not part of the brain.

Your proof that the mind is a product of the brain?

There are no minds without brains.

Our brain is a physical object that gives rise to our mind that itself is not a physical object. If you smash the brain of another, then so too goes away the mind of another.

---------- Post added 01-05-2010 at 11:52 PM ----------

[QUOTE=Fido;117463]Is there anything to be gained from this talking of the concept apart from the reality as though it were the reality, [...]
Concepts are real. So are ideas and thoughts. They are all real, and they all exist. Numbers are real too. They even exist. And words; they are real, and they exist. Strawberries; they are real, exist, and taste good! Yum yum.[/COLOR]

Fido

Tue 5 Jan, 2010 11:02 pm
@fast,
fast;117554 wrote:
cws910;117417 wrote:

There are no minds without brains.

Our brain is a physical object that gives rise to our mind that itself is not a physical object. If you smash the brain of another, then so too goes away the mind of another.

---------- Post added 01-05-2010 at 11:52 PM ----------

Concepts are real. So are ideas and thoughts. They are all real, and they all exist. Numbers are real too. They even exist. And words; they are real, and they exist. Strawberries; they are real, exist, and taste good! Yum yum.

Not true, and that is were much of the confusion rests, with people who cannot distinguish their reality from their conception of it...This is easy enough to do with math, as the Pythagoreans discovered, since they could not tell the difference between their reality and the numbers used to conceive of it...But to conceive of reality is an active process which we carry on all of our lives, and yet we must at any time say of such concepts as mind, that they are only a concept formed to serve a specific purpose, and that people think with their brains, perhaps even their whole nervous system, which is indistinguishable from their being...

I grow strawberries, and I agree they are real, but I could not say their name, nor grow them without some concept of them...We only know so much of reality as we can abstract, which we do as concepts/forms/ideas...

fast

Wed 6 Jan, 2010 08:18 am
@Fido,
[QUOTE=Fido;117564]Not true, and that is were much of the confusion rests, with people who cannot distinguish their reality from their conception of it...[/QUOTE]There is most certainly a difference between reality and our perception of reality, which is not to deny, of course, that our perception of reality is real as well.

Here's an example. A mugging took place, and there were five different people that were present during the very same event; however, one was drunk, and another was stoned at the time. A third saw it but didn't look until it was almost over. A fourth was half asleep, and the last person saw it but from across the street.

Each person did not have what I suspect you call his or her own realities. What each person had was his or her very own perception of reality. Reality would be, simplistically, the event that actually took place.

But, this is an entirely different confusion from the one I was discussing. When I look at a person, I'm not seeing a concept of a person. What I see is a person. What shouldn't be confused is the actual person with our concept of people.

[QUOTE]I grow strawberries, and I agree they are real, but I could not say their name, nor grow them without some concept of them...We only know so much of reality as we can abstract, which we do as concepts/forms/ideas...[/QUOTE]If you're saying knowledge implies truth, but truth does not imply knowledge, then I agree.

Fido

Wed 6 Jan, 2010 09:05 am
@fast,
fast;117663 wrote:
There is most certainly a difference between reality and our perception of reality, which is not to deny, of course, that our perception of reality is real as well.

Here's an example. A mugging took place, and there were five different people that were present during the very same event; however, one was drunk, and another was stoned at the time. A third saw it but didn't look until it was almost over. A fourth was half asleep, and the last person saw it but from across the street.

Each person did not have what I suspect you call his or her own realities. What each person had was his or her very own perception of reality. Reality would be, simplistically, the event that actually took place.

But, this is an entirely different confusion from the one I was discussing. When I look at a person, I'm not seeing a concept of a person. What I see is a person. What shouldn't be confused is the actual person with our concept of people.

If you're saying knowledge implies truth, but truth does not imply knowledge, then I agree.

No, perception is unreal, and unreliable, and the concepts that we build out of them, though they represent reality are not things, and not the thing represented...Reality is a part of the identity of things, and that identity of reality is a given in abstractions, concepts, of real things...The sense of the real is something common to all concepts...When we turn this ability on moral reality, we still have the sense of a real quality, is if, for example, that justice is real; but justice only a meaning, and the fact that we can conceive of this meaning gives it a sense of reality... Forms do not make reality real even though they some times make reality possible...We think we can conceive of God; but we make God real by conceiving him...

Zetherin

Wed 6 Jan, 2010 09:35 am
@cws910,
cws910;117417 wrote:
Your proof that the mind is a product of the brain?

Do you think you'd have a mind without a brain?

fast

Wed 6 Jan, 2010 09:59 am
@Fido,
[QUOTE=Fido;117690]No, perception is unreal, and unreliable, and the concepts that we build out of them, though they represent reality are not things, and not the thing represented...[/QUOTE]

Our perception is, I would have thought, quite reliable. It's not unfaulty, and there are sometimes certainly some variances between people's accounts of actual events, but reliable, I think they are.

I'm not really sure what you mean when you say perception is unreal. If I didn't know better, I'd say it comes across as an exclamatory remark, almost as if you are in awe, but I'm pretty sure you don't mean that, so what do you mean? That perception is not real? Why would you think such a thing? Rhetorically, can't you perceive the road when you're driving? Perception is a real phenomenon, even if it's not a thing per se.

When you say that concepts are not things, that brings to mind a very important point. You're right. It's not a thing (in the narrow sense of the word, "thing") (i.e. it's not some thing like a chair or a tree that you can touch). But, it's something. It's not some thing per se, but it is something. In fact, "some thing" implies "something", but "something" doesn't imply "some thing."

Fido

Wed 6 Jan, 2010 02:06 pm
@fast,
fast;117716 wrote:

Our perception is, I would have thought, quite reliable. It's not unfaulty, and there are sometimes certainly some variances between people's accounts of actual events, but reliable, I think they are.

I'm not really sure what you mean when you say perception is unreal. If I didn't know better, I'd say it comes across as an exclamatory remark, almost as if you are in awe, but I'm pretty sure you don't mean that, so what do you mean? That perception is not real? Why would you think such a thing? Rhetorically, can't you perceive the road when you're driving? Perception is a real phenomenon, even if it's not a thing per se.

When you say that concepts are not things, that brings to mind a very important point. You're right. It's not a thing (in the narrow sense of the word, "thing") (i.e. it's not some thing like a chair or a tree that you can touch). But, it's something. It's not some thing per se, but it is something. In fact, "some thing" implies "something", but "something" doesn't imply "some thing."

If our perceptions were at all accurate the first scientific instrament would never have been built...

With out the form of the road in your mind, as a concept, you would not even recognize it as such...But then, you would probably not be driving which involves a lot of other concepts...See the World as Idea, by Schopenhaur...

Res from Latin, our source of the word reality means thing...Something of substance is a thing, but seeing something completely new, we cannot classify it, but the second time we see it we can recognize it, and begin to classify it... Concepts are abstractions, the facts of the matter at hand, by which we recognize our reality and begin to recreate it in a form more to our liking...

Zetherin

Wed 6 Jan, 2010 02:21 pm
@cws910,
Fido wrote:

If our perceptions were at all accurate the first scientific instrament would never have been built...

If your perception wasn't at all accurate, you would have never been able to type that sentence.

Fido

Wed 6 Jan, 2010 02:32 pm
@cws910,
That sentence, is, in some respects, the work of fifty years... A cockroach on cocain could have done it in half the time..