"The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits." G.K. Chesterton

Friday, November 18, 2011


I don’t think that it is too much of a presumption to claim that our conceptual repertoire developed thought human intellectual history is largely an outgrowth (and conditioned by) of the world we happen to occupy and the form we happen to posses.
We have had some success and seen a development of intellectual brevity which in effect made it possible to surpass our perceptual and rational limitations, leaving them behind as hindering properties of our human form (example: existence of the electromagnetic spectrum - our senses do not perceive X rays for instance, and peculiar existential nature of quantum entities - it seems that the distributivity theorem of propositional calculus fails at the quantum level ) . Nevertheless it is that very form that was the starting point, and persistently forces it’s limitations on our creativity and ingenuity.
Furthermore it should be noted that the universe we happen to occupy is a rather narrow experimental and severely conditioning ground – why, it just happens to be a world where sentient beings are possible. Empiria seems to suggest that other worlds are physically possible, and logic certainly doesn’t demand that possible worlds necessarily contain sentient beings.
One may find oneself wondering whether the universe (or the multiverse in its entire spatio- temporal and/or Hugh Everett’ian sense, or modal realism sense after David Lewis) is finite or infinite. If the latter than we should , with mature humility, accept epistemic defeat, in the “let’s ask nature what she is” game. If the former, then the problem doesn’t disappear but becomes more interesting when we consider questions of information, self-reference and computational complexity. 
But notice that I have introduced a rather presumptuous classical dichotomy which in itself is an effect of intellectual conditioning to particular type of logic. Why not finite and infinite simultaneously (?), or neither finite nor infinite? And if simultaneously finite and infinite, then it appears that, again, I’m  introducing crude notions concerning what we call time, yet have no conclusive answer to what it is or even whether it is a fundamentally coherent notion at all. What we refer to as time may just be a phenomenal manifestation of  some more fundamental properties (Sean Carroll), peculiarities if you will, of the universe we happen to find ourselves in. So again one is reasoning from possibly perceptual limitations, making any inquiry fundamentally unsound.
So we continue on what we supposedly do best – conjure up new concepts about what is, and what could be, with more lucid moments realizing that this is just a peculiar property of some peculiar (what we call, sentient and intelligent) entity occupying some peculiar universe – a property motivated by the desire and hope of finding an alibi for our existence, or maybe not even motivated at all, but it sure sounds more reassuring that such behavior is intended.

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