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The Meaning of Identity and the Bounds of Reason

The Meaning of Identity and the Bounds of Reason

by Thomas Tinnin


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This book is about philosophy and logic. It is also about politics and current events. Though the author has a graduate degree in economics and has been employed as a statistician for the last 30 years, he considers himself a layman, like so many others, and so is writing from the perspective of initial discovery. It should appeal to anyone with even a passing interest in these subjects, those who wonder about the meaning of words, or just likes crossword puzzles and finds limericks and logical anomalies amusing.

The author first introduces his work by taking the reader through a brief tour in opposing philosophical worldviews in the last few hundred years, and thereafter proceeds step by step to lay out what he describes as not only a personal progression in the course of our lives, but a collective progression in the course of recorded human history, both involving the game-changing emergence of self-awareness. He first demonstrates that 'meaning,' in both its literal as well as nonliteral sense, stems inexorably from the fundamental relation of identity and difference, codified into the natural languages as the ubiquitous subject-predicate form of sentence structure, but so also hidden behind the abstract logos of mathematics and formal logics, and even within computer or 'machine' language, now ushering in the digital age and the emergent world of Artificial Intelligence.

All throughout, he invites us to delve into the logic underlying these systems, the unsettling paradoxes that arise within them despite all efforts of the best minds to eradicate them, only to end in Gödel's famous and esoteric Incompleteness Theorem, and why that has such profound implications. He then turns to the question of whether the opposing existential or individualist ethos with their disquieting tendency toward the rejection of authority-particularly government and science-offer a viable alternative to the machine-like logic driving our digital age. His own personal vision of the future may surprise you, alarm you, or even give you solace. In any event, it will almost certainly be thought-provoking.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781977241030
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 07/27/2021
Pages: 334
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)

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