Tuesday, September 21, 2021

941: Nature or Nurture....?

 We are investigating the history of knowledge. It is an amazing process. Of course, homo sapiens has known things from the moment he became a self-conscious being.


How that happened we don't know, but from that moment on he began to collect knowledge The problem is, 


that knowledge is an abstract concept without any reference to the tangible world. It is a very powerful concept, yet it has no clear definition so far. 


From the Greek philosophers up to present experts in knowledge management, people tried to define knowledge but the results are still very fuzzy.


For our convenience we have assumed that recognizing patterns and converging them into principles with which we can predict new situations, is our way of knowing the world around us.


Systematic recording of this started when the hunter-gatherer settled down and began to live in settlements.


And the first thing he had to know was how many sheep and goats he had, which brought the idea of numbers and counting to his mind.


We have seen how. the human brain developed far more than counting. Abstract thinking developed, geometry and mathematics.


In the previous lecture we saw that also the process of reasoning was analyzed in its patterns and thus the principles of logic and correct reasoning were formulated.


Most of the time, when we look at history regarding these subjects we find our starting point in the early history of the Greek: Pythagoras, Archimedes, Euclides, Aristotle, to name a few.


You can easily be inclined to assume that this development of knowledge is a cultural thing, but I don't think so. 


I even think that it is a biological thing, that it is based on the way we are physically constructed, in other words based on the way our brain works.


To some extend it is influenced by the environment we live in, but if you look at complex themes like mathematics and logic, you see something else.


In other parts of the world, in our case in India and China, we see a similar development of logic and mathematics as in Greece.


A most striking example we find in China in Mohism or Moism  was an ancient Chinese philosophy of logic, rational thought and science developed by the academic scholars who studied under the ancient Chinese philosopher Mozi (c. 470 BC – c. 391 BC) 


The interaction between mathematics and logic was less strong in China than in Greece. Mohism saw logic as the basis of all other disciplines, such as mathematics, astronomy, ethics. 


According to the Mohists, proper reasoning and argumentation require general principles. 


As a first principle, they stated that of two contradictory statements, one must be false. 


In addition, it was proposed as the second principle that contradictory statements cannot both be false, one of the two must be true. 


Surprisingly, these principles are similar to Aristotle's general principles of reasoning: the law of non-contradiction and the law of the excluded third, respectively. 


There was no intellectual contact between the Greeks and Chinese in ancient times, although it is possible that this was exchanged through trade contacts.


This example that the primary source and tool for gathering knowledge is, independent of any cultural situation, our brain, which functions in the same way in all healthy human beings.


Thank you for your attention again....


MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rens Bod: "Een Wereld vol Patronen".  2019

The Discussion

[13:11] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:11] herman Bergson: In other words...all men are equal :-)

[13:11] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok

[13:11] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): questions that

[13:12] herman Bergson: In this case I mean biologically

[13:12] Jane Fossett: doesn't human genetics argue for a very similar brain structure? But doesn't Quantum Mechanics violate common experience logic?

[13:12] herman Bergson: Indeed Jane

[13:12] Jane Fossett: phew thought so

[13:13] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thinks some more recent investigation is finding subtle difference in some structures

[13:13] herman Bergson: QM is a strange duck in the pont....

[13:13] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Inside we are same and our surroundings ect probably forms the cunture for a specific region, what we are exposed to in that particular environment

[13:14] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): 'and then we build on it and voila, African culture, Asian culture ect

[13:14] herman Bergson: Of course there are differences caused by our environment

[13:14] Jane Fossett: strange cat in shroedinge'rs box

[13:14] herman Bergson: dead or alive :-))

[13:14] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:14] Jane Fossett: :-)

[13:14] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): oh dear

[13:15] herman Bergson: oops

[13:15] herman Bergson: lol

[13:15] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Herman is drunk?

[13:15] herman Bergson: seems I activated some gesture

[13:15] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he do the whisky culture!

[13:15] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): denk aan je rug:)

[13:15] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:15] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats a nice one

[13:15] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or having a brain attack

[13:16] herman Bergson: Well, it didn't hurt that much :-)

[13:16] CONNIE Eichel is online.

[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its not my scripts this time at least, havent touched any editor for now

[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): looked funny though

[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:17] herman Bergson: But what amazes me is that in a period of 500 BC till 350 AD several cultures independently developed mathematics and logic

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a fun culture is a good culture also

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes thats true

[13:17] herman Bergson: For some reason it seems that our brain ticks that way

[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): did something happen at that time that triggered this development?

[13:18] herman Bergson: All cultures have to count.....

[13:18] herman Bergson: I think so yes.....private property

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its a common thing yes

[13:18] herman Bergson: you had to count your cattle and measure your land

[13:19] Jane Fossett: isnt logic based on our common experience?

[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): good question beertje

[13:19] herman Bergson: the hunter-gatherer had hardly any private property....he didn't own land for instance

[13:19] Jane Fossett: QM is 'irrational' in contrast

[13:20] herman Bergson: It has to be based oon our experience Jane...

[13:20] herman Bergson: We have a deep sense for binary thinking....

[13:21] herman Bergson: it is warm or cold, painfull or pleasant dark or light etc etc

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:21] herman Bergson: I think it is a basic mechanism of our brain

[13:21] Jane Fossett: yes

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): seems probable

[13:21] herman Bergson: dangerous or safe...a primary one, I guess

[13:22] herman Bergson: It is mine or not mine....cant be both

[13:22] herman Bergson: We think binary

[13:22] herman Bergson: or love to do so, in fact

[13:23] herman Bergson: people don't like nuance

[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true

[13:23] herman Bergson: The binary thinking gives us a feeling of security....

[13:24] herman Bergson: you are with me or against me....

[13:24] herman Bergson: there is no third option

[13:24] herman Bergson: we get nervous if someone says...I am impartial

[13:24] Jane Fossett: but we live in three dimensional space

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and think analog

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): computers think binary

[13:25] Jane Fossett: :-)

[13:25] herman Bergson: of four if you add time too

[13:25] herman Bergson: We invented them Bejiita :-)))

[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): some say, time and space is the same

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes but we need DAC circuits to interpret what they tell us

[13:26] herman Bergson: We love to believe that computers emulate our brain

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cause we are analog = infinite values

[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we invented time too  i guess

[13:26] herman Bergson: oh dear......:-)

[13:26] Jane Fossett: :-)

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): first name of computers , like Eniac and similar were actually Electron brains

[13:26] herman Bergson: If we start a discussion about time.........

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but not even close to a brain, a pocket calculator is 100s of times more powerful then ENIAC

[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I'm Sorry!

[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I sorry..

[13:27] herman Bergson: it is fascinating, time and to think about it, if you have the time to do so :-)

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we invented the concept time at least

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but its not a thing or force

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just the fact that things dont happen simultaneously

[13:28] herman Bergson: Well, time is such a thing like principles of logic....

[13:28] herman Bergson: all human beings are aware of time

[13:28] Jane Fossett: its a property-- a dimension-- of the universe. It 'exists' in that frame

[13:29] herman Bergson: That doesn't tell us much, Jane..... a property?

[13:29] Jane Fossett: 'spacetime'

[13:29] herman Bergson: We have a past....time that is gone by

[13:30] herman Bergson: a future....time that still has to com...

[13:30] Jane Fossett: it defines the nature of things and their relationship

[13:30] herman Bergson: but do we have a NOW?

[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it is already passed

[13:30] herman Bergson: The moment I say 'NOW' it is already in the past.....

[13:30] herman Bergson: Right Gemma :-)

[13:30] Jane Fossett: we can see the Cosmic Background-- which is over 13 billion years ago

[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): new space camera going up soon

[13:31] Jane Fossett: its as real for us now as them

[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we can't live in the past onor the future, so it's always a 'now'

[13:31] herman Bergson: Oh that is one of my favorites...the Big Bang theory :-))

[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): will be een better

[13:31] Jane Fossett: :-)

[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): than hubble

[13:31] herman Bergson: We live nowhere in time Beertje :-)

[13:32] herman Bergson: the moment you think NOW I LIVE, you're already in the past :-))

[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no, still in the now

[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i can't live in the past

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:32] herman Bergson: It is the time that passes...

[13:33] herman Bergson: Well, time is fun....

[13:33] herman Bergson: but more important....it is our brain that creates the awareness of duration

[13:33] Jane Fossett: dimensional fun

[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): never should have mentioned it

[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): :-)

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): esp if u can make a time machine (in sure CERN have something up their sleeves when the LHC roars to life again)

[13:33] herman Bergson smiles

[13:34] herman Bergson: remorse after the sin Gemma :-)

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): however not even a particle accelerator can go over lightspeed wich is what is needed to go backwards in time

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): still many now say a warp drive might be possible

[13:35] herman Bergson: What fascinates me in this matter is how our brain functions

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and we tend to over think stuff until head spins

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol

[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): for future reference

[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/

[13:35] herman Bergson: Indeed Bejiita

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa a new teelscope

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cool

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes!

[13:36] herman Bergson: So...unless you still have time, I could say...our time of today is up :-))

[13:36] Jane Fossett: :-)

[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): nice

[13:36] herman Bergson: Unwind your brain and relax :-)

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:37] herman Bergson: Have a nice weekend....

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): brain is strained

[13:37] herman Bergson: Class dismissed :-))

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :))

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice again

[13:37] bergfrau Apfelbaum: I live in the now, now, now, now, now............... and it was interesting again

[13:37] Jane Fossett: xxx

[13:37] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ty Herman and class:-)

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok bergie

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): :-)

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is already over

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we sure have made many different concepts

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): * PLUPP *

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): shall we in the future?

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): go and

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): * PLUPP *

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in a soon future

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): * PLUPP *

[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): shall we in the future?

[13:38] herman Bergson: My goodness, Jane :-)

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