Comments on “Fixation and denial”
Comments are for the page: Fixation and denial
A New Kind of Science
That was fascinating and ironic. Thanx for the personal element. Very interesting.
I have always wanted to study discrete mathematics more after reading Wolfram’s
“A New Kind of Science”.
Isn't mathematics an example of successful fixation?
Or are mathematical truths outofcontext somehow in the discussion of “meaningness”?
I suppose another way of putting my question is, is meaningness always grounded in the concrete and so not relevant to (abstract) mathematics?
the relationship between math and meaningness
I think that find both responses interesting. I wasn’t really thinking about the question from one perspective or the other, but rather as a question of relationship. If that makes any sense.
What does "negation" mean in the context of the last section?
I found most of this section really interesting and useful, but I’m not sure I quite follow “Each fixation denies the negation of what it fixates.” since I’m not sure what negation means in this context. Maybe “complement” would get at the meaning better than
“negation”?
“Negation” might be misleading in that it suggests only two possibilities (which then seems to be directly contradicted by the proceeding claim that ethical eternalism denies both its twovalued negation “ethical ambiguity” and the rest of its complement “freedom”).
Symbols of fixation and denial in Christianity
I couldn’t resist to point two things:

According the Bible, Jesus proclaimed himself as “the truth” and he ended up “fixated” in the cross and at the same time “denied” even by his Apostles. One of our most solid believe systems, with 2000 years of antiquity and still 2000 million believers is based in fixation and denial as basic mechanism.

Peter, the first of the Apostles, who “denies” Jesus 3 times, and his Church are depicted as a ship. The ship became one of the earliest Christian symbols and means the Church tossed on the sea of disbelief, worldliness, and persecution. I found interesting that you also chose the analogy of the ship: “In fixation, you cling to relatively solid fragments of meaningness and try to lash them together into a raft.”
Love and meaningness
Hi David,
How does love play into meaningless?
Thanks.
… or sorry meaningness.
… or sorry meaningness. Meaning that love is the distribution of power. So how does distribution of power play with meaningness?
Laws of Thought in classical logic
Hello, David. What do you think about Laws of Thought in classical logic? It seems that they’re not doing good for understanding meaningness, at least in an unconditional manner of their use.
For example, the Law of identity states that every time you should think of precisely the same thing as being denoted by a certain symbol, which seems like a struggle to get rid of nebulosity and fluency of meaning. Probably that is another reason why certain rationalists I talked to were insisting on a certain, defined meaning of words  it looks like a fixation of meaning accompanied by denial (but here I use the word in a sense a bit different from yours: I mean denial of meaning I try to convey them. I think the denial of certain meaning is connected to the denial of nebulosity and consequently meaning at large).
The Law of excluded middle seems to be also entangled with the observations above. By itself, it seems like fixating the way of thinking about the thing forcing one into interpretation when “either A is X, or A is not X”. In other words, I suppose it makes sense to say that “the meaning of A to us is fixated, thus the way of interpretation is fixated”. It is interesting, that logicians have already known it at least since 1925. Citing A. Kolmogorov in a paper “On ‘tertium non datum’ principle”:
“However, the basis of the formalistic point of view in mathematical logic lies in the negation of the real meaning of mathematical propositions. Indeed, no one would suggest applying to reality formulas of the logic of no real meaning. <…> Thus this separation between mathematical logic and general logic, since the latter is concerned with the applicability of propositions to reality. <…>
But here we do not separate some special “mathematical logic” from general logic, but only admit that specificity of mathematics as science creates problems for [general] logic which are to be solved by special “logic of mathematics” science. Only there occur doubts about the unconditional application of ‘tertium non datum’ principle.”
Math and meaningness
I’ve reread some comments above and noticed that the relationship between mathematics and meaningness was touched already. Thus I decided to clarify the point of view behind my previous comment: I’m not separating mathematical thought from other kinds of thought entirely, that is I think mathematics is also nebulous. Thus mathematical logic is not clearly separable from standard (general) logic. And probably trends from standard logic also influenced the general public.
I observed some mathematicians, one of them talked about, say, metric spaces as being a part of ‘hard mathematics’, groups as being a part of ‘soft mathematics’, and this way he separated mathematics into hardhard, hardsoft, softhard, and softsoft parts. He said it is ‘intuitively understandable’ if you can deformate space or another mathematical object as much as you want, depending on certain restrictions. So he seemed to associate nebulous concepts (vague image of what is hard or soft) with properties of mathematical concepts and doing so helped him to reason. I don’t think that such an act can be separated from his mathematical reasoning completely.
It seems to me like there is a whole spectrum of intensity of nebulosity across areas of thought, and mathematics excels at lowering this intensity, not being able to obliterate it completely. More than that, I’d think that complete obliteration, if possible at all, would make mathematics inapplicable to the real world.
We all are engaged in many
We all are engaged in many activities:
 Building an addition to your house
 Raising animals
 Working as a chemist
 Raising children
 Nurturing friendships
 Playing in a band
The above abstract post is global. So it is tempting, at any given moment, to think of a different activity when reading your post with its analogies to apply them to a particular activity. And as you can see by the list, they invite, I think different judgments. For me, it has always been hard listening to someones abstractions of deeply personal insights – they aren’t my abstractions, they aren’t how I feel and experience them. I see pitfalls uncovered when applied to the particulars of my life. It is difficult to talk about these things. Grounding philosophy with particulars helps me a great deal.