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Re: [ontolog-forum] new logic

To: paoladimaio10@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 09:34:24 -0500
Message-id: <4B5865F0.6030908@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Paola and Ferenc,    (01)

PDM> I do believe that there are certain cultural archetypes that
 > were more predominant  in China, before the revolution at least
 > - you can breath it in the air...    (02)

I certainly agree that cultural differences are extremely important,
but I would immediately add that *individual* differences are just
as important.  You can find two people in the same culture who
violently disagree with each other on everything, but they can be
much more compatible with people in very different cultures.    (03)

PDM> ... so perhaps with some approximation there is an analogy
 > with what is called 'left' and 'right' brain thinking corresponding
 > to what could be considered more intuitive,holistic (yin) vs more
 > rational , aka 'logical' (yang)...    (04)

There is something to that, but the relationships are far more complex
than just two-way left-right, yin-yang, rational-holistic.    (05)

It's also important to remember that cultures change over time.  I
recommend the following book, which talks about new ways of thinking
in Europe during the 13th century, which led to the rapid development
of science and technology:    (06)

    _The Measure of Reality:  Quantification and Western Society,
    1250-1600_, by Alfred W. Crosby, Cambridge University Press, 1997.    (07)

Just one symptom is the invention of the mechanical clock.  Nobody
knows who built the first one sometime in the late 13th century.
But by 1300, towns and cities all over Europe began to invest
a lot of money to build large, expensive clocks.  Crosby documents
many parallel developments that completely transformed European
society, culture, and ways of thinking in just a few centuries.    (08)

Western Europe before 1200 was a backward, barbarian culture
compared to the much wealthier and far more advanced societies
of the Muslim and Byzantine Christian worlds.  But something
happened in the next couple of centuries that changed world
history, and Crosby has a well-documented analysis of the
effects of measuring time, money, geography, etc.    (09)

If you want one feature that summarizes the difference between
western and eastern cultures, the emphasis on precise measurement
is crucial.  But it's not derived from the ancient Greeks, who
did very little measurement.  It suddenly sprang up in the 13th
century, and the reasons why are very complex.    (010)

FK> Please note, that human language was probably invented to share
 > experience and give an account of experience...    (011)

That's one of the effects, but look at the development of child
language.  The first thing a child learns are questions and commands.
"Gimme" comes long before any kind of shared narrative.    (012)

FK> For example, it is not possible for us to understand the particle
 > and wave nature of radiation, like light...    (013)

That's an interesting principle of complementarity, which could also
be applied to the analysis of complementary ways of thinking.    (014)

FK> and it is also difficult to conceive maths beyond algebra...    (015)

Most of the people who hate math got hung up in 9th grade algebra.
If they get beyond that stage, they can go quite a bit farther.    (016)

FK> when we know that maths was invented for a similar real requirement,
 > to give an account of livestock for instance.
http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/116691/ancient_mesopotamian_accounting_and_human_cognitive_evolution/index.html    (017)

That's a good reference, which is complementary to Crosby's.
A major question that Crosby tries to address is why Europe
suddenly went far beyond counting livestock.    (018)

John    (019)

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