Re: An All/Nothing multiverse model

From: Georges Quenot <>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 02:48:21 +0100

Hal Ruhl wrote:
> At 05:39 PM 11/16/2004, you wrote:
>> Hal Ruhl wrote:
>> > [...]
>>> The idea that defining a thing actually defines two things seems self
>>> evident [once you notice it].
>>> At least one case of unavoidable definition also seems self evident
>>> [once you notice it].
>> The problem with evidence is that on one side there is no other
>> known basis to build certainties and on the other it appears to
>> be very relative [once you notice it]. :-)
> Here I was not trying to support the idea that "Self-evident" is
> necessarily a positive characteristic of an idea but rather that Monday
> morning quarterbacking can make it appear so.

Do you mean that for the particular idea that "defining a thing
actually defines two things" ?

> This was in response to
> the comment I received. I suppose that many ideas originally considered
> to be "self evident" after near term reflection were ultimately rejected.

Do you consider that this could be the case for this particular
idea ?

>> Also, (self) evidence that seems so sounds like a pleonasm to me.
> To me "self evident" is a belief.

OK. Fine.

> The validity assigned to most
> mathematical proofs appears - as has been said by others - to be
> dependent on the belief of the majority who examine the proof. In most
> cases this belief is all that is available so it is not redundant but it
> is no more than majority opinion.

I agree here. And sometimes, even unanimity fails (there is
a famous example: Cauchy produced a false theorem about the
continuity of a series of continuous functions, he taught it
and it was in class books for years whithout anyone finding
any problem until some day someone noticed that it fails for
the Fourier series of f(x) = x; of course, he saved the theorem
by adding an additional premise but the false theorem had been
recognized/believed as true in the mean time).

Received on Tue Nov 16 2004 - 20:55:14 PST

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