View Full Version : Adam's Philosophy
I always plan to develop and formalise on paper my on philosophy, but I never get around to it. I've recently had the idea of doing it, and applying Boolean algebra to all the concepts involved in order to make it 100% logical. Do you think I can do it? Make a humane philosophy for life, the unviverse, and everything, which is 100% logical?
Adam: I have been trying, actually.
My goal is somthing so simple that I could write a computer program that covers it.
So far, the only basis I can find is this:
"Do as you please, but do no harm to others" based on the Hypocratic oath and John Locke and J.S Mill. But it's kinda hard to prove logically...
I'd add more, but I'm pissed at you for casting aspersions on my character. Sir Loone indeed! You're the one who really loves him!
04-22-02, 12:16 AM
Not a chance adam
we are not logical creatures so logic will never work (unless it cirular logic)
Example is tolerance, simple on paper but that requires you to fight people who ARN'T tolerant. This means your not tolerating there intolerance
Xev: please tell
Again, you can't blame me for your romantic adventures. I'm just providing commentary.
I believe most of our basic behaviours are entirely logical and based on natural factors which affected our evolution.
Xev, you said "My goal is somthing so simple that I could write a computer program that covers it."
I actually had the idea of applying Boolean algebra to ethics while considering how to create humanoid AI earlier. It occured to me that if I could create a set of logical rules or statements which defined the core of humane behaviour, I could create a programme which could, by use of Boolean logic, decide courses of action and develop its throughts based on some logical precepts.
Killing in self-defence or defence of others = A.
Killing except in defence = B.
Comptuer wonders "Can I run over those pedestrians for fun?" It considers which of A or B is applicable, and determines A. From now on, the computer knows it can not run over pedestrians for fun.
This is a general example of what I am thinking about.
04-22-02, 05:58 AM
Do you believe there is an objective truth in ethics?
if not: stop trying.
if so: hooray! Let's find the basics of that ethics. Only after that it is possible to formalize ethics.
Interesting! (as osme my rememer: I also started a similar project once)
Do I believe such truths can be found? I don't know. But I think it's worth the time and effort to try. And the application of Boolean logic to the problem seems a damn good way to test it.
"application of Boolean logic to the problem seems a damn good way to test it"
This is way to naive approach. You need much more advanced logic like first order predicatelogic or higher order predicatelogic. Also try looking up some 18th and 19th century german philosophers.
Like with any logic you still need axoims to be able to deduce anything and these axoims can't be proven. And you can't use a logic to prove anything "outside" the system so its impossible to explain everything.
But its funny you should ask about such a thing because I've thought about it myself. It just shows that its not an original idea.
If you want to try and explain everything I think you should start with the most fundamental question of all in my opinion.
"How can there be existence?"
At first glance this question maybe doesn't say much. But if you really think about what it means you will probably be shocked. If you realise the significanse of this question you should feel a cold shudder right down to your bones.
Fortunately I have begun to form my own theory about this but I've said enough for now.
Boolean algebra was made up by George Boole, a genius. Boole developed his algebra specifically for use in philosophy, specifically to do what I want to do. It is not advanced, complex logic that is required to attain simple rules, but simply hard logic such as Boolean.
"How can there be existence?"
I've been asking myself that since I was about 4 years old. At least now I may have the logical tools to sort it out somewhat.
Boolean logic can't generalise over a set of objects. For instance you can't say "all humans have two eyes", you would have to explicitly provide a formula for each individual. Very inefficient, specialy for infinite sets. :)
Adam: Yes! That is exactly what I am looking to do!
Unfortunatly, I need to study programming and Boolean algebra to do it. But there have been computer models of belief systems...if you can find a copy (probably can't, it's from my local university's press) of 'Subjective Understanding' by Jaime G. Carbonell....
"How can there be existence?"
Tyler's right..."Great are not those who hold the answers...."
I am thinking of two 'proofs':
Descartes' "I think, therefore I am"
And the identity principle... 2=2.
Perhaps existance is a necessary outgrowth of the identity principle? 2 must exist to be 2.....
Itchy: That's not my understanding. Admittedly, my math is not as good as I would like but I think that you could provide a formula that applied to all humans.
Basing the world in logic is of course an ancient idea. It is also of course (and quite ironically :D) a logical impossibility.
Russell and Whitehead attempted a simpler task: basing mathematics in logic. They wrote hundreds of pages attempting to prove that 1+1=2 is logical. The result: failure (not that they didn't accomplish a lot, but they failed to base math in logic). Look up Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, if you're not familiar with it. No one has been able to dispute it, it seems a very sound theorem. The result of it is that it's logically impossible to base math in logic.
So, if it's proven impossible to base math in logic, I'm sure you won't have any trouble basing the entire universe in logic. ;) The attempt to create an ideal language to replace human languages, with the ideal language being logically based, has been popular for at least a century or so. There are always problems, certain meanings of natural languages which can't be broken down correctly as logic. The subjunctive was what stumped Carnap, and then John Austin was worried about uses of exaggeration. No one really got very far.