On Fri, 21 Jul 2006 19:49:40 -0600, Virgil <email@example.com> wrote:
>In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, > Lester Zick <DontBother@nowhere.net> wrote: > >> On Fri, 21 Jul 2006 14:22:09 -0600, Virgil <email@example.com> wrote: >> >> >In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, >> > Lester Zick <DontBother@nowhere.net> wrote: >> > >> > >> >> I always have doubts about assumptions until >> >> they're demonstrable by regression to something other than further >> >> assumptions. >> > >> >As Zick provides o evidence that such 'regression' is possible, he must >> >be totally agnostic about everything. >> >> Don't know what you're getting on about here. Theorems always regress >> to axioms in math. Such a regression is obviously possible. > >But as axioms are always themselves assumptions, how is that "regression >to something other than further assumptions"?
>> >> >What do "absolute falseness" and "universally true" mean? >> >> >> >> They're tautological alternatives in that what is not absolutely false >> >> must perforce be universally and absolutely true. >> > >> >Why cannot what is not absolutely false be only conditionally true? >> >> If tautological alternatives exhaust the possibilities for truth as in >> "A, not A" the honest-to-god absolute truth must rest with one >> possibility or the other. > >But It need not be possible to tell *which* of a set of exhaustive >alternatives is the true one. In which case you are no wiser.
Aha! Of course that's always been the problem with tautologies: usually one can't tell which alternative is true and which false. However if one can tell which alternative is false one can in fact absolutely infer which alternative is true. And if one alternative is demonstrably self contradictory the other is inferentially true and universally so.
It's a quirk of intellectual history that the much maligned tautology really only has one utilitarian application and that just happens to be the determination of what is universally true in mechanical terms.