Re: tautology

From: Jacques M. Mallah <>
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 1999 17:32:47 -0400 (EDT)

On Tue, 7 Sep 1999, Russell Standish wrote:
> Anyway, back to our muttons - what you are saying is that ASSA is true
> by definition. This is wrong. It is an assumption, just as the SSA is
> an assumption (that's what the last A stands for, after all).

        That's your opinion. It is wrong.
[At this point we could obviously trade the above line ad nauseaum.]
        Note that it is not always obvious when something is logically
neccessary. The standard example is that a statement like "The
1234567th decimal digit of pi is a 7" is either true by definition, or
it is false by definition. But it is certainly possible to either not
know if it's true, or to be mistaken about it.
        (And, need I say, to assign Bayesian probabilities to its truth
value, which for me at the moment is a little less than 1 in 10, since I
just might have heard about such a coincidence if it was true.)
        In many cases (such as for noncomputable numbers) there is really
no way to find out. In many other cases our brains seem to have ideas.
        In the case of the ASSA it seems a good postulate to take it as
true. It's not so different from the case of "A or not A". There are,
indeed, people who reject classical logic such as this "law of the
excluded middle". They are generally not playing with a full deck, IMO.
So it is with those who reject the ASSA.
        As for the last A, that's how this discussion started, with me
saying I object to the term for that reason. Personally I call it the
Copernican anthropic principle (CAP).

                         - - - - - - -
              Jacques Mallah (
       Graduate Student / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
            My URL:
Received on Wed Sep 08 1999 - 14:50:43 PDT

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