# Amorphous numbers?

Basically, all of his ideas from every single thread amount to this: we can’t describe reality.
That’s fine, John, I say, that’s fine, so while we say useful things over here that help us deal with reality and make reality better (math plays a big part of that), you can sit there and try to futilely dismember all the ideas which you yourself accept and depend on every day.

I see. But I do think there’s a difference between deconstruction and incoherence.

I hesitate to call JJ’s posts deconstructionist.

This, I could only call incoherent. But I did try my best for a more generous reading.

fair enough, no argument here haha.
which make my original question even more important:
why try?

Your OP already named “the throw of a die”. If you’re worried about the practicalities of differentiating the marks, you could add some more marks.

If you’re saying that the marks on a standard die are meaningless, I think you’re wrong. There are many meanings, according to the context of the use; in some contexts, they only have meaning as part of a system of more dice or other rules.

If you’re saying meaning isn’t inherent in numerals, you seem to be going a long way about it.

No, I think this particular passage makes perfect sense. Only, it’s so uncontroversially true that you probably mistook it for saying something different.

JJ is right—there is no way to calculate the probability of a sign (i.e., on a die) without summing up the number of signs on a die and using that as your base set. This is because whatever the probability of, say, a ‘3’ coming up has to be measured against the total number of signs available.

That’s pretty much what I just said. It’s like grade 3 math.

Sometimes when you see something for the first time, while it might seem simple to a seasoned professional, it’s not to you. —Like a new comer to logic who wonders if modus tollens really is valid. I think this is the case with JJ and calculating probabilities.

One of the properties of the die is that it has six sides.

Do you mean that you think that he just discovered that dice have six sides?

JJ appears to be in confusion about something. If we have six balls in a bag, then there are no properties of the balls that determine probabilities. But a die is the bag and the balls. Maybe he just used the wrong example.

Yes, there’s no meaning in numerals. But something more still has to come out. I am bashing the obvious into confusion in the hope that that something will come out. That’s how I work.
There’s something that needs to come out and it hasn’t yet. I can feel it in my bones. There’s a fishy somewhere.

One of my problems is this:

How do we assess the total number of signs or sides on a die?

See new post.

I see. You mean that you do not yet know your point?

That clears a lot up.

So far, you seem to be doing what Monooq suggests - operating on a third-grade level. When I was in third grade, they taught set theory. These things tend to come in and out of fashion, I realise. Whatever you do come up with, I suggest you account for set theory, because so far, you don’t seem to have. Since I was taught this from the start, I cannot help think in set theory. But either way, we have a set of six.

I’m not sure if this will help, but you might want to go to that bag of balls, as i alluded to. here, you can separate the “sides” of the die from its “container”. There are no properties of the individual balls that matter, mathematically - they could be six objects of any shape or size. But you still have a set of objects.

I don’t know set theory, except it’s occasional interface with its own foundations (philosophy).

Philosophy isn’t concerned much with technical detail, and I’m not either. To do philosophy we have to go right back to the first and simplest, and that is found in the inception of a theory, and even prior to that.
That is what I am trying to do. Go back to basics, and then go further back - and that can be hard, you have to work by intuition a lot of the time.

Regarding the balls in the bag or die in the bag, yes, it makes no sense to speak of the outcome of the balls or die. so what are the circumstances under which you can speak of an outcome or probability? This is hard. You can make the bag itself the die, but my question still sits on that.

Set theory was actually developed by Georg Cantor, a mathematician. Your boy Wittgy had a few things to say about him.

You might want to stop by and visit with Cantor, then. And Peano and Frege.

Why don’t you get more basic, and use a coin.

The circumstances under which you can speak of a probability are that you know all the possible outcomes and that you assume randomness. In other words, you have to know the possible outcomes but treat the conditions surrounding those outcomes as unknown. To wit: counting cards while playing blackjack has no purpose if the dealer holds the deck faces-up.

Faust,

JJ seems to have one of the gifts that most great philosophers have, and most mediocre philosophers lack----the ability to look at the world through a child’s eyes, as if nothing were taken for granted. For instance, philosophy divides up into a bunch of different sub-disciplines. Have you ever noticed how “third-grade-ish” are the basic questions???

• How do you know things?
• What makes something right and wrong?
• What should I do?

Kind of elementary, for common people. Anyways, it seems like you’ve wandered into the discipline of philosophy and picked up on some history—but you’ve approached it like an accountant, taking a balance of the sides…and you’ve been totally impervious to the spirit that moves it. Philosophy, I mean. If JJ takes something that seems obvious to us, and starts thinking about why it must be the case; —I call that philosophy. You should call that philosophy. I assume you even know the person who doubted the external world was…external? Descartes, right?

I doubt this will help clarify your ongoing misunderstanding of this OP—I’ll try to think of another way of saying what I’ve already said, for that—but it might take the salt out of your posts. Needless to say, I have nothing but respect for how JJ approaches what we already take to be obvious, and his entire approach to philosophy. You could learn from it. And you misunderstood my previous comments.

Whew, Thanks John Jones I now downgrade your Terrorist threat level to Blue.

But seriously your humility is refreshing here. Perhaps the enlightening can officially begin? Lets hope so.

that graph is chromatically incorrect. green is between blue and yellow.

Philosophy requires that we know what we take for granted. if we take nothing for granted, we cannot begin to do philosophy. We may not know this when we are in third grade, but eventually, we have to figure it out. It’s one of the differences between being childlike and being a child.

Your “third-grader” question are so laden with unquestioned assumptions that they are not worthy of my comment.

Cool DefCon chart, WWII. Where did you get that?

I gave Descartes as an example for a reason. —You don’t know what to take for granted until you’ve attempted to take nothing for granted. You can have Descartes as an example. I’ll add Plato, Kant, and Nietzsche to my list of examples. They all doubted what everyone believed. They all pursued topics that were idiot to the mass of common people. (It’s not for nothing that the Child is the highest development of a person in Thus Spoke Zarathustra). Just so you know, I’m adding JJ and myself to my list of Descartes, etc. …You really do approach philosophy like an accountant. Look at your last message. Weren’t you just saying: “show me the money before I invest in it”?

Much as i’d like to make this, and every thread, about me, I’ll leave you to your apologetics.

The website it is on the bottom right hand corner of the chart.

Children do this too.

The principal difference between children and great philosophers, I think, is that great philosophers take the time to address the technical issues in a thorough way, rather than just throwing it out there and waiting for an adult to come and clean up after them.

I agree that spending time with children can give valuable insights to an enquiring and openminded philosopher - I even made a thread about it a while back. On the other hand, that’s not to say that a philosophy forum ought to be either a kindergarten or an accountant’s office.

1. In my opinion, there is no less depth in this OP than in every one or two line reply to it. Especially in this particular thread. And furthermore,
2. What you said (almost exactly) is often said of the greatest philosophers (e.g., Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, for examples). And furthermore,
3. Thousands of years later, “adults” (–underpaid hords of them–) are still trying to clean up after Plato, and others. This is true for most real philosophers. It keeps mediocrity employed. And furthermore,
4. I’ve noticed that people tend to just assume obscurity is more valuable when it can be read in paperback or hardcover. And finally,
5. Let’s not talk anymore about posts like these ones. (I mean ours, not JJ’s—We should all feel free to leave a thread without having to announce in so many words that we’d rather not have read it).