Synthetic <i>a priori</i> judgements

A recent thread on TCOW concerning evolution vs. creationism brought up the issue of a priori judgements, and the subtle difference between synthetic and analytic a priori judgements. It lead me to do a bit of online research, during which time I discovered that many of the texts I’ve referred to so often in dead tree form have been transcribed, without encumberance of copyright. Hooray for the Internet!

If you’re interested, read my posting here. Comments can be made here or there, I get notification of both. :-)

11 thoughts on “Synthetic <i>a priori</i> judgements

  1. I read it. I’d love to comment, but have no brainspace to spare.
    Still, heck of a good post.

  2. Ok. Off topic. Dprime(?) attempts to use the “fact” that “Eskimo” have multiple words for “snow.” Thats actually a topic of contention amongst linguists. Personally, I agree. Eskimo/Inuit do not have multiple words for “snow” any more than we have multiple words for “day” as in “cold day” “warm day.” Oh yes, the northern native peoples in Canada prefer “Inuit” vs. “Eskimo.” This is also a contentious issue! The people of Alaska prefer the term “Eskimo” but the Canadian northern native peoples prefer “Inuit.” Since the Eskimo aren’t even in the same linguistic group as the Inuit. yay for confusion! Moreover, linguistically the word “Eskimo” has multiple meanings only one of which could be stretched to mean “raw meat eater.” (from memory) Which was the term objected to by some Inuit.
    What does that mean for your argument? I suppose indirectly it all comes down to not looking at only one source doesn’t it? ;-)


    Is glue one of your readers? They hadn’t posted on TCOW previously.

    What do you think of the question I asked? I think it’s fair.

  4. Readers? Hrmmm…. perhaps..

    You should stick around on LJ though. I’ve only read your evolution vs intelligent design stuff, but I like your writing.

  5. I guessed correctly. Sort of. Hooray!

    Well, I’m glad you like my writing since I tend to be discontent with it (who isn’t?). It’s always nice to have people contributing to TCOW, especially these days when it’s being overrun by kids who’s only interest is playing live-action rpg’s.

  6. HOST: Ladies and Gentlemen,
    Good evening and welcome to the 6th annual Debate on Creation and Evolution. Allow me to introduce you to our distingushed panel of judges who have graciously agreed to moderate tonight’s discussion: Mr. Kurt Gödel, … Mr. Immanuel Kant, … and Mr. Nikolai Lobachevsky.
    [Gödel, Kant, and Lobachevsky each briefly rise and nod politely, as the camera pans across the table]

    HOST: Now, as per tradition, a toss of a coin determines who gets to start.
    [pulls an oversized, gold-coloured coin out of his vest pocket, throws it up in the air and lets it fall on the floor]
    Uh… it looks like we have “heads” here. Which means … which means … omygod, we forgot to decide who’s “heads” and who’s “tails”.

    TEAM “CREATION”: Sir, if I may — We have reasons to believe that our team should have been assigned the “heads” side of the coin, since that has been the case 3 times out of 5 in the …

    TEAM “EVOLUTION”: [interrupts] Sir, this is an outrage. Why do they ALWAYS get to be “heads”?

    HOST: Ah, a very good question indeed, Team Evolution! Perhaps, one of our venerable judges will help us resolve this lil’ dilemma of ours. Mr. Lobachevsky, would you like to address this issue?

    LOBACHEVSKY: Yes, Jim. I certainly would. But before I do, permit me to digress a bit. You see, this is the first time I’ve had an opportunity to speak publicly since I was, er, dug up, and… anyways, the other day I was on the internet, searching for my name on Google, and this was one of the, uh, documents among the top ten search results. [pulls out a folded sheet of paper from a briefcase and puts on his glasses, preparing to read. Then, suddenly, as if remembering something important, looks up from the page, turns around and addresses the audience] Now, ladies and gentlemen, … who is this Tom Lehrer anyway?

    KANT: Herr Lobachevsky!! How could you? This is neither the time nor the place for such trivialities! Remember when I was on Jay Leno last month? Not once — not a single time, Herr Lobachevsky! — did I mention any of that Monty Python business, deeply insulted as I may have been. [mutters, barely audible:] And still am. Privately, of course.

    HOST: Ladies and gentlemen, since it appears to be something of a contentious issue as to who gets to “fire the opening salvo”, so to speak — why don’t we, instead, begin with a question from the audience.
    [an assistant hands HOST a note]
    One of our viewers, in a message we’ve just received via the internet, writes: [reads out loud] “creationism and evolution are compatible; … evolution is based on sound scientific argument whereas creation is an appalling” — oops, sorry, i mean “appealing” — “philosophy that provides meaning where no scientific argument can be made.”
    Another viewer suggests: [flips the page] “If you can explain the process of creation, go ahead. We’re all waiting.” [looks up; grins] Looks like we’re in for a li-i-i-i-vely discussion tonight, ladies and gentlemen!
    But, before we continue, here’s a brief message from our sponsors…

    [commercial break]

  7. notify what, specifically? I’m confused. It’s always good to have more people post on tcow, is it not? especially those who are, well, more intelligent than your average candy raver?

  8. Interesting.

    Creationsim sufferes from a single very important logical problem. The argument simply stated is What created Us? Answer is god. Well What created the god? A greater god? Well what created the greater god? The answer creationsim offers to the Question What created God, is nothing God sprung to existence fully formed all knowing and all powerful. But logically if an all knowing all powerful sentient being can spring into existence spontaneously, can’t a less knowing and less powerful creature (humans) also spring into existence, without God, spontaneuosly? If the lesser being can’t spring into existence, why can an all knowing all powerful sentient being?

    Second part, evolution, gets around the problem by simply using the scientific principals of thermodynamics, physics, and chemistry. Evolution is based on a scientific belief system that can be upheld by observation. It does not claim to be correct, it only claims to be observable, and to not violate the scientific belief system.


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