Wednesday, 3 September 2008

MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM - A Post In Which Selena Plays Hostess To An Assembly Of Thinkers And Philosophers...

Jonathan: “Nothing is an ambiguous concept. Does nothing
mean no- thing, as in no particular thing and therefore rather potentially everything, or the 'all' (plenitude as the hidden face of void), or does nothing literally mean absence (of both subject and object, and anything else for that matter)?”

Crushed: The reality is, infinity is not a property
of the universe, but it must logically be a property of primary reality, where time and space do not exist, where are everything is both eternal and simultaneous, where everything is unbounded, yet takes place in zero dimensions.”

Gordon McCabe: “And then a third existential transition creeps upon us. The internal system begins to decay and fail. The reproductive drive shrivels. The layers of linguistic understanding erode, and eventually even the kernel of self-awareness becomes brittle. Thought
evaporates, and only feeling and experience remain. At the end, you are without
knowing that you are. Beyond, there is nothing.”

Poul Anderson: "Death! Nothingness! Not even the world can exist when one is dead. Not when you've no brain left to know about it. Just - nothing. As if you had never been! Haven't you ever been afraid of the thought?"

Nicholas of Cusa: “The absolute maximum is one
and it is all; all things are in it because it is the maximum. Moreover, it is
in all things for this reason that the minimum at once coincides with it, since
there is nothing that can be placed in opposition to it. By definition the
minimum is that which cannot be less than it is; and since that is also true of
the maximum, it is evident that the minimum is identified with the maximum.”

Very well argued!

In fact, it is impossible not to admire this comprehensive, truthful,
and indeed accomplished observation by Nicholas of Cusa. There can be no doubt,
that the point at which no further information can be added is the maximum and
that the concept most completely divested of meaning or content would have to be
the minimum. Applied to the ultimate synthesis - nothing can be placed in
opposition - both coincide. At any rate, de Cusa’s legacy has less to do with
the extent to which his line of reasoning is truthful or accomplished than with
the way in which it points directly to other far-reaching syntheses.

The minimum, essentially, is that which remains when every possible
qualification for meaning has been eliminated. We can, on the other hand, add
nothing to infinity. That is clearly impossible. Or take the concept of Space.
If the primary function of Space was to provide a fixed frame of reference, it
still required the reduction of content or meaning to the lowest possible level
consistent with nothing. Though it occupies a unique position in every
philosophical system, no one can see it, weigh it, or isolate any part of it.
Which eliminates at a stroke both definition and the measure that serves as a
basis for definition. Nor can we picture anything that has no boundary and no
definition. And yet, it is so fundamental a concept that it is impossible to
propose any scheme of nature from which it is entirely excluded.

This, however, is not a practical problem, only one of principle. The fallacy, in short, is to
mistake the ideal for the real. It has a serenity which is already beyond
comprehension. Hence it would seem that immortality is of two kinds: infinite
and incomprehensible. For in identifying the maximum with the minimum it also
emancipates non-being from the customary deception that the total absence of
comprehensibility should be a form of imperfection. The plenum and the vacuum
cannot possibly be distinguished.

Death has been robbed of its triumph!

It may seem odd to suggest this, but a brief indication of their
relative properties merely states that either must be infinite in substance and
total in extent. Nor can there by anything identifiable which limits it or
constitutes its boundary or origin. It simply does not answer to anything
recognizable. It owes nothing to human imagination. Not force, nor shape, or
measure. Nothing approaches consciousness. Time and place and plot and meaning
are all absent; yet none of this matters, by the measure invoked - Nothing is Everything!



Mu Tai Dong said...

ME FIRST!! As great thunker Mao Tse Dong - kinda relative said - "I am boss what I say is reality is reality!" He riight !! Maybe the possible ideas also can then?

Selena Dreamy said...

Indubitably, Mu Tai, you have a knack for stating the obvious...

percy stilton said...

you are so much more than a pretty pair of legs . Have a wonderful weekend Miss Dreamy....schools out.

Selena Dreamy said...

I guess there really aren't many men that talk to you while looking you in the eye are there...?

...thanks for that Percy, a hard man is good to find!

Anonymous said...

An interesting presumption that a pretty pair of legs wouldn't normally conceal so much more.

Jonathan said...

A disciple? Never been called that before. Thanks anyway.

I'm not sure whether to feel flattered or strangely misrepresented. I guess it's that whole implied idea of submissiveness, of blindly, uncritically following, that leaves me cold.

If you were God, wouldn't you want your creatures to be upstanding freethinkers; to argue if they didnt understand? Ok, within certain limits. If not, why bother creating them?

If it was ego massaging you wanted, as the deity, why not try a mirror?

Selena Dreamy said...

Disciple certainly ought to be a voluntary position. Forgive my presumption...

Jonathan said...

Oh of course, and no need for forgiveness, as I'm not upset!!:) I realise you meant well.

Its just wierd, and yet oddly commonsensical, how words have so many different connotations and ramifications than the user of them may intend or suggest.

I think this is what Wittgenstaein alludes to in his later philosophy. Language as a tool, not an essence, etc.

This, in any case, is why I am so wary of argumentation, especially that of a hostile, defensive ilk, until it's clear that people are not just fighting over the meanings of words, as opposed to what they point to.