April 30th, 2006


nothing can be said truly about that, which does not exist

Terms express concepts in their ordinary use. They denote concepts in the contexts of propositional attitudes. This analysis agrees with Frege and the Stoics, whereby, in the words of Alonzo Church, nothing can be said truly about that, which does not exist. As the Eleatic Stranger taunts Theaetetus, ὅτι μάλιστα δύνασαι συντείνας πειράθητι, μήτε οὐσίαν μήτε τὸ ἓν μήτε πλῆθος ἀριθμοῦ προστιθεὶς τῷ μὴ ὄντι, κατὰ τὸ ὀρθὸν φθέγξασθαί τι περὶ αὐτοῦ, try with might and main to say something correctly about not-being, without attributing to it either existence or unity or plurality. (Plato, Sophist, 239b)

yak or tiff

The way of the warrior is the complement of rhetoric in the practice of persuasion. Humans being rule-bound animals, as with discursive eristic, the knack of empty hand combat is to determine the main rule that constrains your adversary, and embarrass him into submission by breaking it. And since more training redounds to more rules, he who broadcasts his practice, does so to his own strategic disadvantage. Which is to say that there can be no such thing as a martial art.
    ObBook: Gorgias
    Monday, 3 July 2000, 12:00 am