Tom Rexton

More effective form of government?

35 posts in this topic

The founders of this country were no fools and deserve respect for not only fighting against a wrong system but for building a better one.We should do them the honor of continuing that proud tradition.They did Quite well within their context- so did Ayn Rand in her choice of supporting them- with a few amendments of their contradictions.

However , our context is constantly changing and technology is indeed allowing dreams once thought beyond reach to be possible.I will have to check on that book before I can say much more.

I'm sorry I wasn't clear enough that my statements about the founding fathers being foolish was SARCASTIC. I really thought the absurdly disdainful tone would show it but...

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I have seen more than one attempt over the years, but mostly from fringe groups that I would not care to publicize. I suppose writing such a constitution could be of interest to an Objectivist with a passion for politics and the law, but for practical purposes it is much too early.

As to the use of game theory and formal logic, I see no connection or value to introduce such notions into the philosophy of law and politics.

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By "fringe groups" here I meant the sort of group that modifies and re-interprets Objectivism, usually in some outrageous fashion, and they still refer to themselves as Objectivists. This does not mean, however, that any particular work from them cannot be of value. Rather, I choose not to publicize such groups by pointing to their work.

If you mean "formal logic" in the mathematical sense, then along with game theory neither reflects the traditional logic at the base of Objectivist epistemology.

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Any difficulty that computers have with natural language is a reflection on them, not on language. The reason for the difficulty is that the units of language are concepts, while the units of computers are bits. If a computer develops a volitional consciousness I am sure it will find language less troublesome.

Aristotelian logic provides sufficient rigor for the conceptual mind. Law is just a bunch of concepts; what is so special about law as to require symbolic logic? Does physics require it too?

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Huh? First, the discovery of the positron was totally experimental and completely without theoretical motivation. Carl Anderson, who discovered the particle at Caltech in 1932, was completely unaware of Dirac's electron theory. Read Anderson's Nobel Prize address in 1936, or his exposition in the scholarly reference The Birth of Particle Physics, edited by L. Brown and L. Hoddeson, Cambridge University Press, 1983. Second, what has any of this got to do with "symbolic logic?"

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The fundamental problem is that you cannot formally state any of the most fundamental legal concepts using such a symbolic language. By "cannot", of course, I mean that this is beyond our grasp presently, not that there is an insoluble problem of principle. The basic lacuna in the total formalization of propositions is the lack of a descriptive calculus for talking about concepts, and the problem of ostensive definitions is the centerpiece of this problem. Supposing, purely hypothetically, that a descriptive calculus were devised that would allow any concept to be formally defined in such a way that a machine could correctly identify the units that the concept refers to. Still, the point of law is to devise a code that governs the behavior of men, with respect to other men -- so it must be comprehended (I commend Lon Fuller's essay "Eight Ways Not to Make Law" as a good way to see the importance of law being comprehensible). it follows that even if a computer code could be constructed which states the propositions that we recognize to be the essence of objective law, it still must be related to what humans understand, namely real language. Without the benefit of invented computer languages, it is still possible to do vastly better in the drafting of laws, in terms of vagueness and, frankly, plain stupidity. The two primary causes of bad legal drafting are ignorance of technical facts of language, and hide-bounded tradition.

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William, I think you may be viewing computers as "superlative enforcers of rigor" because your project is to find an acontextual definition of law and ideal constitution -- one that cannot be misinterpreted and misunderstood, regardless of the readers (please correct me if I'm wrong here). That, if true, is an epistemological impossibility, I'm afraid. The search for the loophole-less constitution is is akin to the search for an eternal engine. The intention's there, but that's just not how things work. Nor can one arrive at a good constitution deductively, by reasoning out from abstract principles.

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Huh? First, the discovery of the positron was totally experimental and completely without theoretical motivation. Carl Anderson, who discovered the particle at Caltech in 1932, was completely unaware of Dirac's electron theory. Read Anderson's Nobel Prize address in 1936, or his exposition in the scholarly reference The Birth of Particle Physics, edited by L. Brown and L. Hoddeson, Cambridge University Press, 1983. Second, what has any of this got to do with "symbolic logic?"

No, none of this depends on what we mean by discovery. Let me remind of your claim, namely that "physics has benefited greatly from the application of symbolic logic." When challenged, you offered "Paul Dirac. He predicted the existence of Antimatter in 1928, based on 'strange' negatives solutions to certain equations." This fails for several reasons. 1) In 1928 Dirac interpreted his holes in a sea of negative energy electrons to be a proton, not a positron. 2) The specific theory on which Dirac later suggested an oppositely charged electron has been abandoned. 3) The positron was discovered experimentally independently of Dirac, and explained by a different theory. 4) All this has no connection to symbolic logic.

The case is "clear? There is not a single word on that page that directly connects symbolic logic to the theory that Dirac used.

Better you submit your unsupported assertions to a forum dedicated to symbolic logic. This forum is instead primarily concerned with the philosophy of Objectivism, not some symbolic logic jumble or contorted mathematical reinterpretation of its epistemology.

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