Virgil wrote: > In article <email@example.com>, > firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: > > > Virgil wrote: > > > In article <email@example.com>, > > > firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: > > > [...] > > > > > > > > The statement "I am" is proven true the moment it is asserted, for it > > > > could not possibly be asserted if it wasn't true. As it asserts nothing > > > > less than the existence of whoever or whatever asserted. > > > > > > > > > In what sense is the claim of "I am" by a simple bot necessarily true? > > > > No statement has been made in anything I wrote about "what" I am or > > "who" I am. No such stement needs to be made. The statement "I am" > > asserts the existence of *whoever or whatever* formulated it. > > One must first prove that what one assumes is an assertion is actually > an assertion,
I'm sorry, but if it is your contention that the two-word sentence "I am" is NOT an assertion, then (a) I'd be curious to hear what the hell you imagine it to be and (b) the burden of proof for that claim is on you. In light of the below, I'm really curious.
> which would be quite difficult to prove for an object > without any evidence of any abililty to act for itself.
Nothing and nobody needs to "act for itself" for the statement "I am" to be an absolutely uncontrovertible certainty.
My computer acts exactly the way it is programmed. And if I (or somene else) programed it to generate the four-character string "I am" then that statement would most certainly be true since it couldn't exist if it wasn't. It doesn't even matter whether I take the word "I" in that sentence to refer to my computer (which certainly exists) my monitor (which certainly exists) the programmer (who certainly exists) or the algorithm (which certainly exists).
The claim "I am" asserts the existence of *whoever or whatever* generated it.
If there was a tiger born tomorrow whos stripes by sheer freak chance spelled the English sentence "I am", then that sentence would most certainly be true. The hair-follicles of the tiger do not need to have any grasp of English to produce a valid English assertion any more than they need to understand camouflage to produce stripes that camouflage the tiger in the savannah just fine. A purpose can be served without any*body* serving it. And the tiger certainly exists, the tigers fur exists, the cellular machinery that self-organized to bring you the stripes certainly exist.
The statement "I am" is neccessarily always true because it could not exist if it wasn't.
> If a robot produces the phrase "I am", how does one determine whether > the robot is asserting anything? Maybe it just needs oiling. > > First one would have to prove that the robot "knew" English, otherwise > "I am" might mean something quite different from its English meaning.
A robot that "just needs oiling" still exists. A robot that generates random strings still exists. A robot that asserts anything *other* than "I am" still exists.
The only way for the claim "I am" not to be true is for it to be nonexistent.
Really, do yourself the favor and DONT just reply what comes to your mind -- think it through. Because I already have a pretty good idea what you're going to reply and I already know what I'm going to respond to it. Do both of us the favor and surprise me by producing output that shows a little more than pure stimulus/response activity.