Friday, November 19, 2010

Syaad Vaada and stuff

Here is a curious philosophy of the Jain philosophers which actually seems a bit Godelian...

They call it Syaad-Vaada ( "Perhaps - Exposition" literally )

The sevenfold predication goes as follows :

All affirmations are -

  • true in some sense

  • false in some sense

  • meaningless in some sense

  • true and false in some sense

  • true and meaningless in some sense

  • false and meaningless in some sense

  • true and false and meaningless in some sense

Interesting that someone from millennia ago thought of this. But this all possible combos of truth, false and meaningfulness is a bit tricky. Let's take an example statement and see if we can come up with senses for all the combinations

Lets say ..uh.. "India is a great country"

  • Definitely true in some sense - say culturally, but ignoring everything else

  • Definitely false in the sense of - quality of life, but ignoring everything else

  • Meaningless - perhaps after 100 years when the nation-state is an obsolete concept

  • True and false - nothing new here, everyone believes this

The other three viewpoints can be generated by choosing different meanings of "great" like "Ideal place to hunt vampires", or "The next hotbed of vice" or "Places where the speed limit is < 100 mph".

So there you have it... Truth and falsehood are very hazy terms bound by time and space.

There is a peculiar phenomenon in formal logic where if a statement and its negation are both proved true, then any statement is true within that system - thusly :

  • This chair is brown

  • This chair is not brown

  • Therefore, the moon is made of green cheese

Similar things happen if an irresistible force meets an immovable object or you connect the input and output of a perfect NOT gate!

What about when an irresistible object meets an immovable force? Uh... Well I'm trying to deal with that, I shall post the results soon...


No comments:

Post a Comment