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sloth sloth is offline
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Old Dec 21st, 2007, 04:06 PM       
preechr, i'd be happy for you to dismiss the relevance of linguistics if you at least grasped the point I was trying to make, but when you talk about the 'constants' and 'the way things really work' you are implicitly appealing to an order that exists outside language. the problem is, light acts in a stable manner because we symbolise it, or find words for it, such that its behaviour can be described in laws. strictly speaking there is no light outside language: it exists in the same unbroken fabric of reality as everything else. its a prejudice of language that the word should precede the object, which you see throughout the bible - "and god said let there be light; and there was light" - and philosophy like Plato's forms.

it sounds like you read me as making a weak claim to the effect that (the) language (of physics) does not adequately explain the structure of the universe, but what i am trying to explain is that the very notion of structure is a sleight of hand introduced by language. it throws these ideas in front of itself and spends forever trying to reach them, which is why we may continue to refine the sciences, but a final, satisfactory scientific theory is necessarily impossible. hopefully this might explain why (imo) it a mistake to refer to the so-called hard sciences to demonstrate that there might be similar absolute truths in morality.
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Last edited by sloth : Dec 21st, 2007 at 04:08 PM. Reason: crappy wording
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