Said “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” which reminded me of Arthur C. Clarke’s 3 stages of reaction to technological breakthroughs: (a) It’s completely impossible. (b) OK, it’s possible, but it’s practically useless. (c) Well, I said it was a good idea all along.

Anyway I’m browsing the BBC In Our Time / History of Ideas “Greatest Philsopsopher” debate / vote.

2 thoughts on “Schopenhauer”

  1. And then there is Hegel “thesis, antithesis, synthesis” It seems that people like threes.

    Popper is the one who introduced falsifiability. I was aking a chemistry student if he was familiar with this term, but he wasn’t. His best guess was that in an experiment where you have a result, if you change one element and that changes the result, you have proven your first result. Is this correct?

  2. That’s an interesting triplet too.

    In fact “Analysis” the opposite of synthesis, has an interesting rule of three I keep quoting.

    “Everything comes in three layers, including layers”

    When classifying, making divisions between two things, being analytical, it looks like you are divind thing in two, into two layers or zones. But there is always a triplet.

    Layer A, the division, and Layer B. Very similar to the subject, experience, object triplet too. As soon as you start to talk about any of those entities, make any distinguishing statement (using words), you are introducing a fresh division somewhere – which is why Zen avoids it entirely … and why Wittgenstein was right second time around.

    Popper’s main claim to scientific fame – is indeed falsifiability, but in fact he was amongst other things pointing out that science was therefore defining only a very small patch of the whole of truth or reality – scientific truth, that which is lefta after you have tried your hardest to show as false – you cannot prove truth, scientifically. Popper was in fact much more interested in human scale truth and reality too.

    Not sure what to say to the chemistry student. “Proof” is an attractive but illusory concept, we naturally use logical induction to reach conclusions. Popper’s point is that the only conclusion that actually adds anything to scientific knowledge is one that shows a previous hypothesis of truth to be in fact false. (The Davoid Deutsch book Fabric of Reality elaborates a good deal on Popper and the idea of proof.)

    (BTW – note to self – an underlying aspect of my triplet view of the world is that it is really a “process” view .. things happening, dynamically. With that view everything is expresed in states and transitions between any two states. In a dynamic world “states” are meta-stable chunks of convenience, simply to be able to talk about them. Wrong place to expand any further.)

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