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11308.  Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:07 am Reply with quote

"There is an exception to every rule"

What about that one?

Where did this rule(?) originate?

11312.  Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:16 am Reply with quote

I don't think I've come across that statement as a proverb. There was some discussion of the expression "the exception that proves the rule" on this board a little while ago, which noted that "proves" means "tests" in this context. Maybe this is what you were thinking of?

11313.  Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:39 am Reply with quote

if there are rules, then things exist. If things exist and produce exceptions to any rule , then these so-called rules are not rules...they only apply occasionally! I think I can conclude from this that either there are no rules (or not by definition at all) or that there is only one rule to which all things conform to. Interestingly (or interestringly), taking the latter, this shows that perhaps our rules (the good ones at least) are snippets of a larger singular law. Otherwise..the whole universe is just a big mess! Probability vs. order i guess.

Not much to do with that...just a thought :)

11315.  Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:02 am Reply with quote

At last, a metaphysician amongst us!

11316.  Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:05 am Reply with quote

In approximately 2,500 years of trying, metaphysics has come with NO established facts.

This makes it a particularly interesting area for discussion because we all start with exactly the same kit.

11319.  Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:08 am Reply with quote

The question is;

Why is there no agreed-upon body of philosophical information?

11320.  Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:12 am Reply with quote

I thought Descartes' 'I think therefore I am' was a fairly universal starting point?

11321.  Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:21 am Reply with quote

Good morrow, Mrs Doughty.

I don't think that famous Cartesian statement can be classed as a 'fact'. An idea, certainly, or a theory. An interesting opinion, no doubt.

The questions and statements above are not mine – and perhaps I should have said so at the outset. They are extracted from a rather good book I am looking at right now: 'Metaphysics' by Peter van Inwagen, who is Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University in New York.

He sounds an eminently sane person.

11322.  Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:25 am Reply with quote

The great Socrates, the preacher of maieutics, once said 'I only know that I don’t know anything', maybe he was a metaphysicist at heart. This is questionable: 'how does he know this?'.

Now his presence at that time would mean some law or theory or whatever made him say this. We all have some knowledge as implied by Einstein (or something like this):

'Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.'

The question is how much?

I'm going to add a point here...surely to understand anything...we need to know definitively the points that surround other words (+some more logic) we need to understand not only the big but the small also in order to understand the contrary.

Now, to your point, jumpingjack, let us refine the above question.How many facts does anybody know?...that's the question (?)...indeed, was Socrates right?

11323.  Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:27 am Reply with quote

From out of all the many particulars comes oneness, and out of oneness come all the many particulars.

11324.  Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:38 am Reply with quote

"we are one but we're not the same'

U2 :)

11325.  Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:40 am Reply with quote


A pedant writes:

I understand from the book referred to above that the correct word for a student of metaphysics is 'metaphysician' not 'metaphysicist', just as the correct word for a student of physics should be a 'physician' as it is in French (ie physicien).

The latter point was made by William Whewell when he coined the word 'physicist' (meaning a student of physics) in 1840 (the same year he invented the word 'scientist').

The word 'physician' would obviously have been extremely confusing given that it was already widely in use meaning 'doctor'.

I gather from the OED that the word 'physicist' meaning 'doctor' (perhaps unbeknownst to Whewell) enjoyed the briefest of vogues in the early eighteenth century – being coined in 1716 and almost immediately becoming obsolete.

Not that it matters in the least, of course.

11326.  Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:41 am Reply with quote

Ee, that Bono, he's a brainbox.

11327.  Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:46 am Reply with quote

...but would he known that 'maieutics' is from the Greek word for midwifery?

11328.  Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:50 am Reply with quote

i am not 'metaphysician' nor 'metaphysicist',...nor clearly am i a literary scholar...though I gladly accept your comment. thankyou. Should it ever be the fate that a doctor is known as a physicist, or a metaphysicist known as merely a physician, i will be glad to hear it. And i will gladly forget it..quickly.

Ooh...theres a good point...the difference between information and knowledge.


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