Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Philosophical Foundations of Law and Finance - 35th Weekly Meeting

Dear all

For the 35th session of the Philosophical Foundations of Law and Finance, on Friday 30 October 2009, from 6 to 8pm, in room 5.16, 309 Regent Street (University of Westminster), prepare to philosophy full blown.

I shall not disturb Joe’s eloquent – if not intuitive – formulation:

"Who's read the Timeus? How did the universe begin (cosmogony)? What is our best scientific explanation? Plato tried to give us his best shot but today we would say he failed. But did he? Unlike the standard physics of today which is at least 122 magnitudes off the mark, when it comes to conceited assurance, Plato had none. Plato would say no one knows ultimately why and only God knows. Much of the mystery we now feel before the details of scientific discoveries, no doubt Plato would welcome. He posited the ontology of absolute unknowability as the undifferentiated, the primordial or the sacredly unsayable, and provided us with the perfect forms of geometry which must, in his view, imbue the entire universe--for these perfect geometric forms were invariant to any place and time in the universe. And these perfect forms come about only because we think them. Where do they exist? How do they exist? And besides geometry, is it possible for there to be a perfect morality? Does truth exist only because we think it, or does truth require us to use the tools of perfect thought to move inside her realms? For legal theorists who have yet to read the Timeus, they are in for a big surprise because it is argued that the urge of all theories comes from the Demiurge. We need to explain away the darkness by seeing the stars as holes in the floor of heaven. And when Plato knows he cannot explain why, he seeds his ignorance with lapses of rhapsodic (highest of the high) mystic poetry. What more can you possibly want? Scientific explanation caught in the act of mad creation. We shall read the Timeus and take in its scientific and mystic charms."

We will be at Vapiano (19-21 Great Portland Street, W1W 8QB) at 8.00pm.

See you on Friday!

Joe and Laura

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