Synthetic a priori, mathematics, and not-self

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Re: Synthetic a priori, mathematics, and not-self

Postby alan » Sun May 23, 2010 4:58 am

Then pull the plug!
Or...Put in the plug!
Or, oh hell, just stop the damn thing!
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Re: Synthetic a priori, mathematics, and not-self

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 23, 2010 5:22 am

Hi Alan,
alan wrote:Then pull the plug!
Or...Put in the plug!
Or, oh hell, just stop the damn thing!

While my opinion of this enterprise (rabbits out implies rabbits snuck in if the subject matter is not explicitly rabbits) is similar to yours, if you don't find the discussion useful it might be best to learn to ignore it. Since this is the Lounge there is no real restriction on topic of discussion as long as it is polite...

Metta
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Re: Synthetic a priori, mathematics, and not-self

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 23, 2010 5:36 am

I don't mean to start a meta-discussion about the discussion. Not much new has happened in this thread and being a moderator and all I have to read through these things (and try to stay awake all the while). Maybe you guys can try for a break through here or simply wrap it up.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Synthetic a priori, mathematics, and not-self

Postby alan » Sun May 23, 2010 5:37 am

Learning to ignore things that annoy you--good advice. Hard to follow.
I'll do my best!
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Re: Synthetic a priori, mathematics, and not-self

Postby chownah » Mon May 24, 2010 1:54 pm

chownah wrote:
Pannapetar wrote: Here is why: A simple equation, such as C/2r=pi expression a relation of entities or -if you want- interdependence. Among other things, it implies that we know what the symbol "2" means; the symbol "2" implies natural numbers and for natural numbers we need the Zermelo-Fränkel set theory. Thus we find interdependence on a larger scale. Does this somehow constitute a deficiency? Does mathematics depend on conditions in any other way than the Buddhadhamma depends on conditions? That is to say, does the Buddhadhamma not depend on ideas, postulates, and theorems, some of which are simple, some of which complex, many of which are interdependent, all of which are expressed in symbolic language? Is the Buddhadhamma therefore deficient?


I think you are treating alot of ideas as if they had "self". The equation above is an idea...it is not a relationship...it is an idea about other ideas...it does not apply to anything except ideas. There are no circles except within the mind....quantum science has pretty much shown that measurement is not an absolute....things can not actually be measured....straight lines can not be shown to exist much less circles....in mathematics a circle is usually defined as a locus of points and a point is defined as being dimensionless......these are neat ideas but they are ideas only. You can spin ideas in whatever way you want but you will only end up with ideas which is fine....I think the Buddha taught that one must become disillusioned with ideas in progressing towards the end of dukkha but I'm not sure. It seems like you think this idea is going to help you find the way out but I'm not sure.

Mathematics is an idea and indeed in that sense it depends on condition just like all other ideas but there is nothing about mathematics that makes it particularly exceptional as an idea (in terms of the Buddha's teachings) other than perhaps its usefulness in the modern world.

chownah

to add just a bit.....the equation you present (C/2r=pi) is in and of itself ambiguous.....among the possible interpretations it can be taken as a statement that the circumference of any imaginary locus of points equidistant from a point called the center (a circle) when intersected by a line passing through that same center and the length of the line subtended by the imaginary locus of points and this length is divided into the length of the circumference then the answer will always be the same and we will call that constant "pi". This doesn't actually calculate pi or tell us what it is....it only tells us that given an imaginary shape called a circle then the circumference of the circle divided by the diameter will be the same for every circle and we will name that ratio "pi" which is constant for all circles. This fact is not difficult to see if one realises that all circles are mathematically "similar" so ratios of corresponding parts will be constant as they are for all similar shapes.

Not really very much like a "law" or something that has great implications....except within the idea realm we call mathematics....which is a pretty neat imaginary realm indeed.

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Re: Synthetic a priori, mathematics, and not-self

Postby Son » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:57 pm

Pannapetar wrote:The not-self (anatta) doctrine of Buddhism takes two forms: a special form and a generalised form...
...
1. Are phenomena themselves manifestations of atta/atman as far as these laws are concerned?
2. Are there classes of mathematical laws that are subject to some kind of impermanence?
3. Are there physical laws that are subject to some kind of impermanence?
4. Does our mind/thoughts somehow experience atta/atman to the extent to which we can understand these laws?
5. What part of ourselves understands these laws? ...


The Buddha taught that all things in samsara are impermanent, that they never remain the same for even one moment. This means that by the time you think you've seen or touched something, it has changed from what you think it is. It is the notion that the world recreates itself thousands of times per moment. He never said that a concept such as E=mc [to the] 2 would disappear at some point, he simply meant that the sensation of it, the idea, the perception has no substance because it is anatta, although an objective function this equation represents may be contingent.
This is "the line". It is said that there is an objective, impersonal, absolute nature to the universe, a Law governing it from eternity to eternity, even as all things fluctuate and nothing remains the same, all things occur due to the contingency of this Law. It is possible to break down some orders of this Law into mathematical terms, but that is just a representation of what is happening. It's a question of language and mental perceptions. The perceptions are impermanent, but in order for them to be impermanent there must be some nature that allows them to be and this nature must be constant.

6. An argument favoured by theologians (rejected by Buddhists): is it our atman/brahman nature that discovers and understands these laws?
...

I think it's our amorphous clump of aggregates that witnesses and is confused about these "laws".
A seed sleeps in soil.
It's cold and alone, hopeless.
Until it blooms above.
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