I’m mostly just a skeptic

Though I’ve tried very hard, I am unable to arrive at sufficient reasons for any philosophy.
I can see failure in any philosophical position I have tried to adopt.
This, however, is not a justification for any other (especially religious) position.
Religion (faith that is) is irrational.
I seek to be rational and learn from experience.
I think irrational belief, overall, does harm.
Practically, one must make great simplifications to get through life.
Some of the simplifications may be called “fictions”.
I think almost every word must be fictitious.
So there is not a simple “correspondence” theory of truth that is adequate.
But I still believe truth is based on correspondence.
It is discovered mostly practically – by what works.
Also it is dependent on psychological facts.
There is no truth without intelligence.
And the existence of intelligence is not necessary.
I have separate parts of a philosophy – all of which are simplifications – & which involve fictions. But they work in their separate areas – & are based on reason & experience.
I am unable to fit them all together.
It may be that they don’t fit together because they are simplifications.
Each only valid is some domains.
The whole truth is just too complex for human (or at least my) comprehension.

Knowledge necessarily uses fictions!

I’m about on third of the way through Hans Vaihinger’s Philosophy of As If. I believe he is overall correct. I may differ on some details. E.g. even in Principia Mathematica classes are logical fictions. I suspect beyond even that Predicates (including relations) are also fictions. As is anything that can be named or described! Mind & Matter are both fictions. Only instances of immediate experience are real – but they cannot be named or described!


OBJECTS — Solid — Liquid — Gas — Abstract

SENSES — Visual — Auditory — Touch — Smell — Taste

OBJECT REPRESENTATIONS — Mental (differ between people – often called ‘images’ or ‘ideas’)

INTERNAL SYMBOLS – Non-Verbal — Verbal (Usually (for me) internal speech)

EXTERNAL SYMBOLS (Input) Visual Words — Hearing (Output) Writing — Speech

My philosophy and the computer language wild life

I’ve ironed out some installation issues with Wild Life – a language similar to prolog – which apparently I am responsible for preserving. See My port. I have found it sometimes crashes with if there are syntax errors in the wild life source code being interpreted.

I have gotten back to working on my philosophy as represented in it. My philosophy is a simplification – but more sophisticated than any philosophy I have studied. I found syntax errors where I had left off on it a few years ago and fixed them – there is a lot more to do – but I have had much time to think about how to go about it. I think this sort of representation the best way to explain my ideas though it may limit the audience. Also, I plan to use Libre Office to find spelling & syntax errors. (Mostly in the comments – which will be very important.)

Chocolate & exercise

I find that I do better mentally if I have a minimum of about 3 ounces of chocolate a day. (caffeine? – which I otherwise avoid!)
It seems I still keep my glucose under control if I do enough exercise – I’m doing about 64 minutes on exercise bike. (not all at once).
Also 13 minutes of stretches and 3 minutes of neck exercises.


My logic reading is not going well – cannot find enough time.
Lay in bed listening to Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart
I thought I was rested – but I kept falling in and out of consciousness.
But unlike last time I ended up feeling OK.
Anyway I only remembered parts so I re-read most of it after I got up.

I have doubts about my logic reading plans.
I think the 1st part I still want to attempt – but it will be slower going.
I need time for reading groups I am in.
I also want to do some programming – e.g. conversion of “Russell” language.
Also I want to be able to watch fiction TV shows.
I should read some fiction – but doubt I can find the energy.
I am not as interested in the proofs of negative results of logic as what positive results there are.


I am having troubles.
I feel sick – exhausted.
I have been reading more.
Besides logic, I am reading other things.
Lately mostly Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart.
I was enjoying it – I like it very much.
But I got only 3 hours (approx) during the night.
I did not think I could sleep much more, but lay down, with book on text-to-speech, instead of my usual music (e.g. Liquid Mind).
Anyway I was in and out of consciousness.
I was in bed about another 3.5 hours – got through the book – but don’t remember it well – will have to go through again.
Feel worse than if I had not gone back to bed.
I think it has nothing to do with content of book.
I just need gentle music in order to sleep well.
And I cannot stress self with too much reading.

Logic Reading Plan

Reading plan in order to read:
I hope to get through 10 pages/day average.
The 1st seven books are 1849 pages. They may take 185 days, or about 6 months and 5 days.

Progress Record

Of course, some pages will be blank, etc. But I think 10 pages/day is still a good goal, considering I also have other reading to do.
(3/13/2016 – revised order)

  1. The Blackwell Guide to Philosophical Logic, edited by Lou Goble — Chapters 1-6 (135 pages) – this is a re-read – I’ve read the complete book before.
  2. Methods of Logic: Fourth Edition, by W. V. Quine (303 pages) I saw him speak at the University of Iowa (probably 1975-1976) and also in Toronto in 1984. I nominated him for Honorary Membership in the BRS which was approved. I have studied several of his other books.
  3. Set Theory and its Logic by W. V Quine (329 pages)
  4. Computability and Logic: Third Edition by George S. Boolos and Richard C. Jeffrey. (300 pages) I’ve studied this book before, however my understanding diminished as I got further into it. However I think it a good choice, because it relates to Computer Science, and thus I have a background, and also because I have studied it before.
  5. The Philosophy of Set Theory: An Historical Introduction to Cantor’s Paradise by Mary Tiles. (223 pages) I’ve read this before & found it not difficult, but it would be good to review it.
  6. The Infinite by A. W. Moore. (233 pages) I’ve also read this before, but could profit by reviewing it.
  7. Mathematical Logic by Joseph R. Shoenfield (336 pages) I’ve started this book before, but had difficulty.

Other books to possibly study – Alphabetic Order by Author – Will plan reading order later. I do not see how I can get through it all, but this inventory will help selecting. Also I may choose to read only some articles in books that are collections. Most of these books I have only acquired recently. I also have all the volumes of the collected papers of Bertrand Russell published so far. Also a Paperback reprint of all the volumes of the 1st edition of Principia Mathamatica and hardback copies of all the volumes of the 2nd edition and the abridged to *56 edition.
The items below comprise 12991 pages excluding PM. About 1299 days or 3 years, 7 months and 9 days. (At 10 pages/day)

  • Modal Logic by Patrick Blackburn, Maarten de Rijke and Yde Venema (523 pages)
  • Model Theory by C. C. Chang and H. Jerome Keisler (622 pages)
  • Introduction to Algorithms by Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson and Ronald L. Rivest (985 pages) I had this book in a class in graduate school.
  • Introduction to Mathematical Logic by Alonzo Church. (356 pages)
  • Set Theory and the Continuum Hypothesis by Paul J. Cohen (151 pages)
  • The Search for Mathematical Roots 1870-1940: Logics, Set Theories and the Foundations of Mathematics from Cantor through Russell to Goedel by I. Grattan Guinnessn (593 pages)
  • The Blackwell Guide to Philosophical Logic, edited by Lou Goble — Chapters 7-20 (348 pages) – this is a re-read – I’ve read the complete book before.
  • Russell vs. Meinong: The Legacy of “On Denoting” edited by Nicholas Griffin and Dale Jacquette (363 pages)
  • After “On Denoting”: Themes from Russell and Meinong (Russell: the Journal of the Bertrand Russell Archives Vol 27 no. 1) edited by Nicholas Griffin, Dale Jacquette and Kenneth Blackwell (183 pages)
  • Principia Mathematica at 100 (Russell: the Journal of the Bertrand Russell Archives Vol 31 no. 1) edited by Nicholas Griffin, Bernard Linsky and Kenneth Blackwell (160 pages)
  • The Palgrave Centenary Companion to Principia Mathematica edited by Nicholas Griffin and Bernard Linsky (434 pages)
  • The Cambridge Companion to Bertrand Russell edited by Nicholas Griffin (506 pages)
  • Introduction to Automa Theory, Languages and Computation (395 pages) by John E. Hopcroft and Jeffrey D. Ullman. (395 pages) I had this book in a class in graduate school.
  • Propositions, Functions and Analysis: Selected Essays on Russell’s Philosophy by Peter Hylton (215 pages)
  • A Companion to Philosophical Logic edited by Dale Jacquette (775 pages)
  • Mathematical Logic by Stephen Cole Kleene (369 pages)
  • Introduction to Meta-Mathematics by Stephen Cole Kleene (515 pages)
  • Set Theory by Kenneth Kunen (388 pages)
  • Wittgenstein’s Apprenticeship with Russell by Gregory Landini (284 pages) I’ve read it before.
  • Russell by Gregory Landini (416 pages) I’ve read it before.
  • Russell’s Hidden Substitutional Theory by Gregory Landini 323 pages) I’ve read it before.
  • One Hundred Years of Russell’s Paradox edited by Godehard Link (644 pages)
  • The Evolution of Principia Mathematica: Bertrand Russell’s Manuscripts and Notes for the Second Edition by Bernard Linsky (395 pages)
  • Zermelo’s Axiom of Choice: Its Origins, Development & Influence by Gregory H. Moore (334 pages)
  • Set Theory and its Philosophy by Michael Potter (316 pages)
  • Theory of Recursive Functions and Effective Computability by Hartley Rogers, Jr. (457 pages)
  • Goedel’s Theorem in Focus edited by S. G. Shanker (256 pages)
  • Set Theory and the Continuum Problem by Raymond M. Smullyan and Melvin Fitting (303 pages)
  • Proof Theory: Second Edition by Gaisi Takeuti (481 pages)
  • From Frege to Goedel edited by Jean van Heijenoort (655 pages) I’ve spent a lot of time on Goedel in this book but never got all the way through all his proofs though I have some understanding.
  • Principia Mathematica by Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell – Will focus on introductory material. I’ve spent a lot of time on this through the years.
  • Antinomies & Paradoxes: Studies in Russell’s Early Philosophy (Russell: the Journal of the Bertrand Russell Archives Vol 8 nos. 1-2) edited by Ian Winchester and Kenneth Blackwell (246 pages)