The Existence of Ideal Entities — Guest Post by the Cranky Professor

The Existence of Ideal Entities — Guest Post by the Cranky Professor

In this essay, I shall argue that meanings, as expressed in language and thought, are timeless, immaterial and extra-mental entities. I will defend the views of Bernard Bolzano, Frege and some of the early phenomenologists, and argue for a rather Platonistic view of meaning.

We express a wide number of meanings in our everyday use of language and thoughts. We cannot describe the world around us without reference to meanings or contents. It is self-evident that meanings, as expressed by language, do indeed exist. Without the existence of these abstract or ideal entities, truth, logic (and even human language itself) would be non-existent or, at very least, meaningless. In order for truth to exist, there have to be truth bearers—entities that bear truth and falsity. In order for logic to exist, there have to exist syllogisms, that is, lines of meanings that bear logical validity or invalidity. Take for instance, the statements and syllogisms below:

     “2+2=4” is true
     “2+2=7” is false
     “3+3=6” is true

     All frogs are green colored
     Gus is a frog
     Therefore, Gus is green colored (Valid)

     All frogs are green colored
     Jim is green
     Therefore, Jim is a frog (Invalid)

What is it that is true or false about those mathematical statements? It is nothing physical that is true or false. Atoms out in space just “are,” there’s nothing true or false about them. It is not the written or spoken symbols that are true or false. The physical symbol itself just “is”. There is nothing magical about their physicality. It is rather the meanings or contents that are expressed by those mathematical statements that are true or false. The same is true of the syllogisms. What is logically valid or invalid about those statements is not the outward symbols or anything going on in our brain chemistry but rather it is the understood meaning or content that is logically valid or invalid.

Now the existence of these meanings that are expressed by our language are clearly immaterial objects and not material things. It makes sense to say that the meaning of “2+2=7” is false. But it makes no sense to say that the chair before my eyes is “false”. There are no false physical objects but there are meanings that are false. Similarly, there are logically valid and invalid meanings or syllogisms but there are no valid or invalid material objects. It may make sense to say that a coconut weighs three pounds but it makes no sense to say that the meaning of “2+2=4” weighs three pounds. So clearly the meanings that are perceived or understood by the mind exist and these meanings exist immaterially, in some form or another.

One of the problems with physicalism or any rigid materialism (which says that only material beings exist) is that it cannot account for ‘things’ like truth and logic. For truth and logic require that there be entities that bear truth and falsity and logical validity and invalidity. Physical objects cannot be those types of entities that bear truth and validity. Physical beings just exist; they are not about anything like the meaning of the statement “2+2=4”.

The problem of meaning or content puts the physicalist into a kind of dilemma. It’s easily illustrated by this simple question: does the concept of a physical being exist? If the physicalist says “yes” then he contradicts himself. Once it is admitted that the meaning of a material being exists then not everything is physical. If he says “no” and rejects the existence of concepts, including the concept of a physical being, then he undermines his view that only physical beings exist.

How can the physicalist assert that only material beings exist if he has no constant and unified concept or meaning of what a material entity is (as distinguished from something that would be immaterial)? Anyway, these are only some of the problems if one is a rigid materialist.

So it is evident that meanings or contents perceived by the mind and expressed by our language all exist. Now we have two possible interpretations of the existence of content. Either meanings are temporal, mental entities inside our minds or they are timeless, extra-mental entities that are simply discovered by our minds. I shall present some fairly common arguments for the view that understood meanings are a-temporal non-mental entities.

But let’s first take the idea that meanings are mental entities that are inside our minds. This idea would have several odd implications. For one, if meaning is mental, then there would be as many meanings as there are minds. For example, take the meaning of “2”. If there are, say, 20 people in a room that are thinking of the number 2, then by implication there would be up to 20 different meanings of the number 2. Or consider the situation where the people in the room are thinking about the proposition “2+2=4”. If that is the case, then likewise there would be up to 20 different meanings of the statement “2+2=4” that are possessed by the 20 minds in the room.

As one can see, if meaning or content is mental then there could be as many meanings as the number of minds that perceive the given “meanings”. But this cannot be the case, because if it is true, then language would be a failure in communicating the “same meanings”. When we perceive the meaning of the number “2”, we do not perceive a multitude of different meanings, we are only perceiving one distinct meaning of the number “2”. The case is the same when we think about the proposition “2+2=4”. There is only one unified meaning of “2+2=4” that is being understood, not several different meanings of the same statement. So, the meaning or content that is understood or perceived by our minds has to be extra-mental and not mental.

The other alternative is that meaning or content is extra-mental and timeless. This alternative enables there be singular, unified meanings that are equally perceived by everyone. On top of that, the Platonistic idea of meaning avoids violating Ockham’s razor in needlessly duplicating these abstract entities. Instead of needlessly duplicating the meaning of a “triangle” into multiple meanings that are possessed by multiple minds, it’s rather the case that there exists only one eternal meaning of a “triangle” that is equally understood by multiple and different minds. And the same holds true of every meaning expressed by various definitions, statements, stories and arguments in our language.

Moreover, the idea that meaning is mental does not account for the existence of an infinite number of concepts and truths in mathematics. The human mind cannot contain an infinite number of truths and concepts but we have good reason to believe that there are an infinite number of concepts and truths in mathematics. Take for example, truths of addition, where a person adds the number 1 onto 1, then adds 1 onto 2 and adds 1 onto 3, and this addition goes on ad infinitum.

If one accepts the traditional view, rooted in Aristotle, that judgments are truth bearers then it would be impossible for one account for an infinite number of truths in the addition of number 1 onto other numbers because it is impossible for a person to make an infinite number of judgments about mathematics.

So what accounts for there being an infinite number of truths in this simple addition table where one is added endlessly onto higher and higher numbers? The meanings of these mathematical truths cannot simply be mental entities, like judgments or thoughts in the human mind. The different meanings in mathematical statements have to be extra-mental, ideal entities. So, it is not judgments that are truth bearers but rather it is propositions or timeless meanings of declarative statements that are the bearers of truth and falsity. Judgments may be either correct or incorrect depending on the degree of knowledge in the person. But judgments are not the entities that bear timeless, changeless truths before us. And that’s the truth.

Finally, the idea that meaning or content is extra-mental and timeless is the only alternative that can account for the eternity and immutability of truth. Identifying content with the mental would automatically entail that the human mind automatically creates meanings shortly after it comes into being and matures in intelligence, which is absurd.

The human mind does not create content by understanding content; it does not create the meaning of “1+1=2′ or the meaning of a circle. The human mind rather discovers or arrives at these timeless contents in her understanding of things. Furthermore, if there are to be eternal, changeless truths – truths that have always remained true and always will remain true—then the different meanings of these eternal truths have to be eternal themselves. If, for instance, it’s always been true (and will be true) that “3+3=6” then the meaning of “3+3=6” also has to be eternal. Otherwise, if the meaning of “3+3=6” is not eternal then how can “3+3=6” be eternally true? We also know that meaning or content cannot change. The meaning of a circle cannot change; nor can the meaning of a unicorn change for that matter.

People can change the language in the sense that they can assign different meanings to the same words, or come up with different words for different meanings, but they cannot change the meanings themselves. The idea that meaning is extra-mental and eternal would explain why meanings are necessarily immutable. Many consider the mind to be changeable in contrast to understood content. So, if meaning were something mental then would that entail that meaning could change like the mind itself? The immutability of content is better supported by a Platonistic approach to meaning.

In addition, the notion that meaning is something mental also tends to create room for pyschologism—the idea that meaning and logical laws are simply descriptions of how the mind thinks and operates as such. Psychologism says that meaning and logical laws are not necessarily descriptions of reality. Hence, a mentalistic interpretation of meaning gives the psychologicalist ammunition to argue that meaning and logic are only descriptions about the structure of the mind and are not descriptions of the world. By denying that content is something mental, the Platonistic view of meaning avoids supplying the psychologicalist a basis for thinking that logical laws are only statements about how the mind works.

This is one of the major reasons why Bernard Bolzano advocated a kind of Platonic approach to meaning because of how it better avoids the problem of psychologism. It avoids the tendency to think that meaning and logic are only descriptions of the mind and not of external reality. Of course, it’s nonsense to argue against the basic principles of logic like the Law of Non-Contradiction. People that absurdly argue against the Principle of Non-Contradiction, as Aristotle points out, are only presupposing it in some form or another.

Nonetheless, the understanding that content is something timeless and outside the mind enables meanings to be part of the fabric of external reality. It is only in this external reality where everything can be described in terms of these intelligible concepts and propositions. Why? Because those contents are not something that are just trapped inside the individual mind.

In conclusion, the meaning or content that is expressed by our language and thoughts must be something timeless and extra-mental. If we are to make sense of things like concepts, truth and logic then the meanings of our words, statements and arguments must be timeless, extra-mental, immaterial entities. This all may sound like an admission of the Platonic theory of forms or some version or variation of it, but I do not see any way out of it.

It seems that the only way to account for the existence of meaning or content is that there be definite, indivisible meanings of things. Only this can allow for an infinite number of truths (like in mathematics), and that these truths are eternal and immutable. It is these meanings and logical principles that allow us to accurately describe the world, and to construct a society where men can gainfully interact. Thus, we must contend that meanings are intelligible, eternal, non-mental entities. Only these abstract entities can explain our use of language and provide a common understanding of the world.


  1. Sheri

    The author has not visited academia resently nor read the news. His idea of things that are immutable are crushed by political ideology, where 1+3=10 if that makes Johnny feel good about himself and a lie is true if it helps the media. The effect on society may turn out to be accurately described by the author, however.

    There was a Star Trek TNT that concerned language that was TOO tied to local physical entities and happenings, resulting in a culture that could not communicate with the outside worlds because only those who lived there knew what the stories used as language meant. It was a look at what happens if there is no universal physical contructs and meanings in language. Fictional, but thought-provoking.

  2. Joy

    Where is my comment? Did the spam filter “Go crazy”. again?

  3. Claude Boisson

    Here only logical and mathematical meanings are considered.

    What is the ontological status of the (non-mathematical) meaning of a sentence whose utterance is the first in the history of mankind? For instance I have invented a new contraption and I describe it publicly for the first time?

  4. Joy

    Shortened version:
    The first slight of hand is conflating truth with meaning:

    ” For one, if meaning is mental, then there would be as many meanings as there are minds. For example”

    It would have been more accurate, and therefore nearer true to have said:
    “But let’s first take the idea that meanings are “ONLY” mental entities that are inside our minds…”

    “For one, if meaning is “ONLY” mental, then there would be as many meanings as there are minds.

    This is either deliberate slight of hand or it is the eternal error of the dogmatic person who can’t help himself, evidently, or isn’t interested in doing so. To which I say, I’m not interested either. I’m as bored as you are about the entire affair.
    Depends what you mean by mean.

    The second deliberate lash out is to be found in the very lame argument against psychology. Starting with truth arguments, slipping into meaning, then saying hey presto aren’t psychologists rubbish? Why? Because they know that meaning is context and that there are in fact separate minds and separate meanings. There is ultimate truth, though. Which is what the clinician or the psychologist is aiming at. They also want a result. A good outcome, and you don’t start by slight of hand in feeding bad information in. There is room for slight of hand just as convincing a child to eat beans all tricks might be employed but that’s the difference between theory and practice. It’s what is called irony.

    For theories to be true they must work in the real world.
    Which is why Thomas aquinas is not the primary source material for anybody working in healthcare, nor should it be, ever. Unless the caveats are very clearly outlined and arguments are translated and stated rather less vaguely.

    Teaching, perhaps, but that’s a different animal. Teachers own truth, after all!

  5. Sander van der Wal

    If meaning can change, why doesn’t meaning of ‘2+2=4’ changes into ‘oranges are orange’?

    Mad people still know about false and true. Their problem is that they believe that certain true statements are false, or vice versa. They do not abandon the idea that there are true and false statements.

  6. Ken

    What would ever prompt one to perceive the need to express, much less ponder, this:

    “…meanings that are expressed by our language are clearly immaterial objects and not material things…”?

    “The human mind rather discovers or arrives at these timeless contents in her understanding of things.”

    The human mind is given individuality (“her”) separate from the human!?!?!

    What kind of personality finds need to ponder such things or perceive thing in this way???

  7. DAV

    The age-old question: if a tree falls but no one is around does it make a sound?
    That depends on whether sound is vibration or how we interpret vibration.

    The same with meaning: if no one is around to contemplate them do symbols have meaning?
    No if meanings are strictly in the mind.

    As one can see, if meaning or content is mental then there could be as many meanings as the number of minds that perceive the given “meanings”. But this cannot be the case, because if it is true, then language would be a failure in communicating the “same meanings”. When we perceive the meaning of the number “2”, we do not perceive a multitude of different meanings, we are only perceiving one distinct meaning of the number “2”.

    If I was unfamiliar with it, “2” would be meaningless. For instance, I have no idea what a Chinese numeral for “2” looks like. I have to be trained in its meaning.

    Just because a meaning is shared does not make it universal or extra-mental. People might be merely capable of duplicating (through training) some thought processes of others which result in a shared meaning of symbols. After all, we are pretty much built the same.

    How do you know there aren’t multiple meanings? For all you know, the person you are communicating with has simply memorized things like “2+2=4” and has no idea as to its meaning other than “4” is the expected response to “2+2=?”.

    Incidentally, “2+2=4” it is not universally true. In base 4 it is 10 and in base 3 it is 11.

    When it comes to meaning, know one really knows what understanding a meaning entails or — pun intended — means. Until then all of your post today is pure speculation.

  8. DAV

    Hmmm … “know one” in the penultimate sentence was supposed to be “no one” but then you surely know what I meant. What a mean pun.

  9. Oldavid

    Good ole Uncle Tom has proposed (rather undeniably) that the purpose of the intellect is to PERCEIVE truth (not to invent it). However, there is many a slip of ignorance or perversity, or circumstantial qualifiers that can come between the perception and the ultimate reality (as I believe has fairly recently been tackled in one of the Monday Thomistic lectures).

    For example; it may be really true that 2+2=4 but there are plenty of “creative accountants” and theoretical physicists who will simply ignore it and come up with another speciously reasoned result that better suits their purpose.

    Or it may be undeniably true that it is good for Red Riding Hood to cross the road to take a hamper to Grandma; but not in the path of a speeding bus.

    Of course, such considerations do not alter the truth of reality but are much loved by Relativists as a smoke screen in which to hide their absurd ideology.

    Reality (physical and metaphysical) is immutably real but nuanced. The nuances never change the reality but they establish priorities in perceptions much as the supposed “contradictions” in Scripture and Tradition do.

    I admit to being somewhat confused by Cranky’s use of the word “meaning”. In common usage meaning connotes something rather subjective but here he seems to imply that it is an expression of an ultimate reality.

  10. JH

    The meaning of “2+2=4”! I imagine that it would involve the meanings of the operation “ + “ and number objects “2” and “4”. Now, does the operation “+” or an exponent of “-1” have a unique meaning? Yes, I think so. It has one unique meaning under a certain mathematical system.

    Is it possible for someone to discover the operation, say, ^(-1), yet not understand the meaning(s) at all? Discover and Understand. Or is it impossible to discover it without first mentally understanding it, i.e., exiting in our mind?

    Just like how does Briggs know that science has reached its limit, how do you know there are an infinite number of mathematical truths? A countable or an uncountable infinite? How do you quantify our mind, though confined in our seemingly finite physical body, such that it is finite and and could accommodate only a finite number of meanings/truths? If an intellect or mind is not physical, then just as that there are infinite points between two finite limits, it seems to me that it is possible to accommodate infinite truths.

    Is it good or bad that a psychologicalist argues meaning and logic are only descriptions about the structure of the mind? It is a bad news but not an argument for your position, understanbly.

    Why? Because those contents are not something that are just trapped inside the individual mind.

    Isn’t this just begging the question?

    Why bother blogging or commenting if one as an expert cannot help others learn by giving feedback? This is not politics. Yes, I am writing in the hope of getting some feedback.

    Again, the meaning/truth may overtly stand in front of us, we will all judge it somehow from somewhere, correctly or not, justly or not.

  11. Joy

    are different. They have different definitions and value.
    Understanding is personal or interpersonal.
    Meaning has the quality of universal recognition as well as the more private contextual meanings or associations built up over time by the body.

  12. Joy

    “how do you know there are an infinite number of mathematical truths?”
    It doesn’t take a mathematician to know it.

  13. Joy

    Truth is not relative. There is no bad Truth. There is Not True. There are amounts of true. Truth doesn’t alter because of what it is.

    “Just like how does Briggs know that science has reached its limit…”

    Science certainly has A default limit.
    The methods and domain of science precludes metaphysics. Science is self limiting for methodological essential and practical reasons.

    “Ideal entities” exist outside of the remit of science even though mind is used in the endeavour of science.

    Science has a domain. It is therefore limited by definition.
    Other ways of knowing truth are not necessarily considered scientific.

    The mistake is saying things are not true because they are not proved or confirmed by science. Hence the contemporary trend of Wasting time and money in pretending to prove something which people know already as true or preposterous on it’s face….Under the even more arrogant guise of “it’s not what you don’t know it’s what you think you know…And we’re here to tell you.”

    The plain, to me, unprovable truth that science cannot ever discover full ultimate truth of reality or the universe because the tool used to know that the universe exists to start with must be fully examined from a position of higher knowledge, outside and by the system under examination. Two insurmountable problems.

  14. Joy

    Now comments are being removed as well as blocked!

  15. Joy

    17 line long. comment blocked.
    three or four line comment removed..
    “Hmm let me see what codes you are talking about and I can change”
    curiouser and curiouser.

  16. JH

    It doesn’t take a mathematician to know it.

    While this might be the case, it’s only natural for a mathematician to ask for a proof. So, Joy, can you prove that there is an infinite number of mathematical truths?

    How do you know? Is it based on your experience, or learned from someone who knows, or inferences of logic, or other means?

    Science has not reached its limit (a different kind of limit), and will continue to exist as long as human beings exits. I make this inference based on indcutive reasoning, which is different from proof by induction in mathematics.

  17. Joy

    Given that there are an infinite number of numbers of various types but just consider baby numbers on the number line. If must follow that there are an even greater number of combinations of simple sums that also exist before even considering more complex mathematical truths.

    Or, that infinity is existent or is assumed/implied by the question then it follows that the truths must fall within that infinity but have an in-exhaustive supply of different combinations.

    You don’t have to be able to see infinity stretched out to understand what it is.

    Induction isn’t necessary because the infinity was a given in the question.

  18. JH

    What is a mathematical truth? If a simple arithmetic “2+2=4” counts as one truth and “1.1+1=2.1” another, then I would say that my mind can accommodate an infinite number of mathematical truths. A great mind I have, as my Grandma always told me. And Cranky Professor is wrong.

  19. JH

    Joy, I really don’t know what infinity is or exists, though I have dealt with it through out my professional life. I simply assume the way it is defined and used accordingly so that all augments in my work are logical.

  20. swordfishtrombone

    If the laws of physics are mathematical, and mathematical objects exist eternally and immaterially, it doesn’t seem like much of a leap to conclude that our universe is nothing more than a mathematical object of which we are a small part.

  21. Joy

    I understand what you say but think that people are often arguing about meanings rather than what actually IS, or what exists. Futile Arguments ensue and become dysfunctional, *especially when there’s dishonesty, when one party or both insist on their definitions, go nowhere because thee can only ever be disagreement. The argument is rendered nonsense at the start.
    If people can agree on what a thing is first, not half way through, sing from the same hymn sheet, then there is little room for disagreement, let alone vitriol and cheating. We would all agree. So when you say you don’t know what infinity is, I want to say ‘yes you do’ but of course I know what you mean/intend and there’s nothing wrong with what you said.
    People lack understanding, deliberately, in philosophical arguments.
    Language is open to abuse by everybody by accident or on purpose.
    Also, in case it wasn’t clear, I’m not aiming any of the above at you at all. It’s frustrating to read commentary and discussion when people are arguing at cross purposes and even more frustrating to be forced into such a discussion by a sophist.

    I honestly think you are saying the same thing but using different words.

  22. Joy

    To know what something is might be to know how it is defined. It must be this way in mathematics. So most of the time definitions are like contracts prior to an expression, statement or argument. There is added confusion because a definition from a dictionary, for example may be accepted but what that means may still differ in an unexpected way.

    Same definition, different consequences resulting from this difference in what that definition means to a person.
    This is where the difference in philosophies comes from, I think.
    The temperament, the nature, of the individual effects how they view the world.

    There is something of a brittle unyielding attitude from dogmatic materialists as well as dogmatic fundamentalists of a political religious bent, who ignore this, deny it strongly, and want everybody to be a clone with disrespect to human nature and either say,
    ‘our spaces’ does X and is bad;
    ‘humans are inherently bad, fallen’
    We are all the same!
    No we are not.
    Like any set in nature, they are not exact visually, nor temperamentally. As always, it is even more complex than those with all the answers like to admit.

    All you can say is that all of nature is fallible if observed from an ideal perspective. Acknowledging the inherent values which humans all have.

    A materialist must say
    “it is what it is.” and ignore values! but they don’t.

  23. DG

    @ Claude Bosson,
    Even so with a new invention, the ideal entities, the meanings would still apply in the description of a new invention. There are timeless concepts of different types of human machinery like computers, automobiles, for instance just as there are numerous changeless concepts of numbers in mathematics. All this is the implications of the view that meaning is something a-temporal and non-mental.

  24. DG

    Ok so JH asks, “Is it good or bad that a psychologicalist argues [that] meaning and logic are only descriptions about the structure of the mind?”

    Now I interpret this just being a question and not being a definite acceptance of psychologism and so I’ll just give a few insights as to why psychologism is flawed.

    Now it’s possible to hold that meaning or content is something mental while not endorsing psychologism (Aristotle would be one example of this case). But nonetheless, the view that meaning is something that’s only in the mind tends to help the psychologicalist case or at least this is what the psychologicalist would want to argue for his case. Psychologism goes with the extra move in saying that logic is only a description of what people perceive to be valid or invalid reasoning and that logic is not necessarily a description of what is objectively valid or invalid reasoning.
    Now there are serious problems with this position.

    For one thing, logic cannot be reduce to a mere psychology or description of what people generally believe to valid or invalid reasoning, because this would diminish the discipline of logic itself. Logic is not about what people believe to be valid or invalid it’s rather about identifying what is objectively valid or invalid reasoning. People can have beliefs or judgments about sound reasoning or about anything but what is believed to be the case may not necessarily be the case. And so it would defeat the purpose of studying logic in the first place if were reduced to mere descriptions of what people believe to be valid reasoning. The real point behind studying logic is to be able to identify what is objectively valid and invalid reasoning, to be able to distinguish between correct and incorrect lines of inference so people can better access the evidence and truth out there. After all, this is the reason why philosophers, scientists, judges and so on study logic and the rules of valid reasoning.

    Moreover, the psychologicalist would say that universal principles in logic like the Laws of Identity (whatever is, is) and Non-Contradiction (nothing can both be and not be) are only descriptions what many people believe to be valid but are not necessarily descriptions of reality. This is simply false. Logical contradictions are not possible in reality. There’s no way something can both be and not at the same time in the same sense. Would it be possible for the theory of psychologism to be both true and false at the same time? If not, then I wouldn’t endorse psychologism. Besides all sound argument and reasoning depends on the Laws of Identity and Non-Contradiction so it’s nonsense as Aristotle points out to argue against these principles.

    As for the question of whether there’s infinite number mathematical truths, I would say yes there are as far as I am concerned. Of course, your question here may seem to be related to this question “can there be an infinite number of entities in existence – including abstract entities?” Now the answer to that question is open to debate and a lot can said about whether an infinite number of entities can exist or not. But even if only a finite number of entities can exist, including abstract entities like concepts, propositions, etc., the Platonistic view that meaning is something timeless, eternal and non-mental could still be true without a problem. It would just mean that only a finite number of truths along with a finite number of abstract entities that bear these truths in mathematics and other fields are there in existence. I don’t think that’s the case, but the Platonistic position on meaning from Frege and Bolzano and other thinkers is not absolutely dependent on the assumption that an infinite number of truths and abstract entities have to exist. It’s just that the Platonistic theory of meaning is often used to explain how an infinite number of truths like in mathematics can exist.

  25. Joy

    Now is the magic word, especially on Sundays.

    “Psychologism” is more fighting non existent monsters.
    They are in the same camp as LM”s, SJW’s and “leftists”.
    Strictly speaking in a proper discussion of philosophy there are well defined ‘ists’ and ‘isms’, modes of thought and perspective, where people decide which camp they are in.
    It is not for the other to make this distinction unless the intent is perhaps insult or some other assuming tactic of the scoundrel.

    Logic, like reason are vehicles of a functioning mind. Tools in mathematics and computing where information is manipulated, operated on, outside for public inspection.

    They are not more than that.
    Reason is just the verbal equivalent.
    Meaning is many things. The writer of the article oversimplifies because the purpose of the article is to say something about psychology.
    As to what people think and even make a living out of with respect to philosophy there have been all sorts of individuals with weird ideas who have thrived with their unusual and strange views, lectured others and done very well for themselves. These individuals are not necessarily insane.
    So all you are left with is not liking what or how other people think.

  26. Oldavid

    It is of the nature of Relativism to surreptitiously imply that logic, like reason, is relative. It is inescapable to blardy psychologists whose main business is making it seem right to be wrong.

    As DG (above) is explaining, and which I will try to summarise in blunt terms, reason is the mental (metaphysical) association, extrapolation, deduction or induction of ideas; which may be more or less right or wrong because reason does not contain, of itself, its own governor. The many popular superstitions that abound is adequate testimony to that.

    Logic, on the other hand, is nothing but the scientific rules that govern reason to be consistent, coherent, valid and effective. Logic demands that valid reason starts with sure and certain premises (usually self evident, commonsense assumptions) and proceeds by reason that does not involve any internal or external contradictions. The Scholastic Method, developed by Tom Aquinas, is a very good example that has, in turn, been adapted for particular application in what we know as the Scientific Method.

    This has been a considerable consternation for a heap of “philosophers” and “scientists” because it cannot be made to confirm their ideological prejudices. Some have tried to get around the problem by devising what they call “paraconsistent logic” which is just a fancy and intimidating term to disguise an elaborate and contorted version of “circular reasoning”.

    I will contend that “Ideal Entities” is a notion intended to confuse and dilute the real notion of “being” as a particular type or individual.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *