Sunday, 11 April 2010

Proceedings from the 48th meeting (9 April) of the Philiosophical Foundations of Law and Finance

Dear all

Follow the proceedings from Friday 9 April meeting of the Philosophical Foundations of Law and Finance: "Prescribing a Goal for Physical Science”.

1. At the 48th session of Philosophical Foundations of Law and Finance, we continued to read out loud and comment on Descartes' Discourse on Method.

2. The meetings are a rare opportunity to read together outstanding texts and have a jolly about wherever they take us.

3. 12 people attended, of which 7 PhD candidates and 4 Masters students.

4. We discussed how Descartes' introduction to the Discourse on Method could be seen in terms of a strategic marketing matrix where the essential four propositions are: (1) "I = You" Identification; (2) "Believe me" Authoritative; (3) "Participate in my image" Iconic; and (4) "Let's explore together" Adventure.

5. We agreed Descartes is substantively definitely not Iconic, but a bit of (1), (4) and then (2).

6. We also reviewed a recent metaphysical argument of what must be the goal of physical sciences. We don't have a name for this argument and, provisionally, Joe dubs it the "Uniqueness Theorem".

7. The Uniqueness Theorem (informally) goes like this: (1) Everywhere we observe around us things (a,b) combine to form other unique things (ab); (2) if (1) is assumed true then there is nothing to prevent us from imagining this state of affairs all the way back to the very beginning of any and all things; (3) similarly, nothing prevents us from imagining the same state of affairs to the very end of things; (4) note that (1) to (3) can be translated to say that each and every thing that ever was, is and will be have unique identification (eg, imagine each thing having a "bar code"); and (5) since (4) is entirely metaphysical (that is, non-physical and hypothetical), the goal of physical science is to prove the physicality of (4).

8. Not only does the Uniqueness Theorem tell us what science "must do" it also helps us understand the nature of value and money in the broadest metaphysical sense.

9. For example, Picasso was once asked by an art dealer, "Do you ever worry about money?" Picasso then took the art dealer's serviette (napkin), signed it and handed it back to the man, saying, "Now, get some money."

10. Joe also thinks the Uniqueness Theorem has applications in human rights and the development of cooking, but these matters will come in other notes or through the good works of students practicing their culinary arts on this most willing experimental subject.

See you next Friday!
Best, Joe and Laura

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