Skip to comments.Has David Birnbaum solved the mystery of existence?
Posted on 10/19/2013 2:08:00 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
In the summer of 2012, a number of philosophers at British and American universities received a bulky, unmarked package in the post. It contained a 560-page book, written in English but with the Latin title Summa Metaphysica, by an amateur whose name they didn't recognise: David Birnbaum. It isn't unusual for philosophy departments to get mail from cranks, convinced they have solved the riddle of existence, but they usually send stapled print-outs, or handwritten letters; Summa Metaphysica stood out "for its size and its glossiness", says Tim Crane, a professor of philosophy at Cambridge. The book was professionally typeset. It even included endorsements from Claude Lévi-Strauss, the legendary French anthropologist, who described it as "remarkable and profound", and from the Princeton physicist John Wheeler, who once collaborated with Einstein. It would later transpire that 40,000 copies were in circulation, a print run any academic philosopher might kill for. The book claimed to have sliced through countless fundamental problems in philosophy, physics and theology, and there on the spine, where the publisher's name appears, was one deeply reassuring word: "Harvard".
Then the story grew stranger. In May this year, the US-based Chronicle of Higher Education reported that prominent scholars scientists, philosophers and theologians had been persuaded to attend an expenses-paid "international academic conference" at Bard College, a respected institution in upstate New York, devoted to Birnbaum's work.
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
That has a distinct lack of potential.
Trouble with articles like this is you always want to read about what the individual actually said, but have to scroll down to piece together that they thought of this inference.
The problem is how do you get to say non-reality has potential to be reality? Can we speak of the non-reality of the universe having the potential to become a universe in reality. Can we even say that of non-reality itself with it possessing in itself the potentiality for reality.
Metaphysics gets goofy and complex the more basic and fundamental you go.
I will NEVER hail or even acknowledge the win.
It is nice that Birnbaum has a hobby, but he shows all the well-known signs of being a crank and a phony.
I think, therefore I am.
Establishment: Of course you are
My bright little star,
Pretty files of your forefather's fruit
And now to suit our
You're magnetic ink.
First Man: I'm more than that, I know I am, at least, I think I must be.
Inner Man: There you go man,
Keep as cool as you can.
It riles them to believe
That you perceive
The web they weave
And keep on thinking free.
Someone told me at work today Obama is now working behind the scenes to get rid of term limits for POTUS. How about that? A third term and a fourth term and a fifth and a sixth! Dictator for life! I told him if Obama ever did a third term then Civil War 2 would break out with me leading the charge. lol
Free food, drinks and lodging and one can get Scientists to agree on anything.
They are never wrong.
They simply say: "That's what we knew, based on the then current body of knowledge and technologies available."
When I attended school in the 60's , Neanderthal man was in the human chain of evolution.
And we only had a few years to live, see The Population Bomb by Stanford University Professor Paul R. Ehrlich
DNA and new advances in farming has since shown those , at the time indisputable Scientific conclusions to be wrong.
These cranks have been around for a while:
"We were just discussing a most interesting subject," said the earnest matron. "Dr. Pritchett was telling us that nothing is anything."
"He should, undoubtedly, know more than anyone else about that," Francisco answered gravely.
"I wouldn't have supposed that you knew Dr. Pritchett so well, Senor d'Anconia," she said, and wondered why the professor looked displeased by her remark.
"I am an alumnus of the great school that employs Dr. Pritchett at present, the Patrick Henry University. But I studied under one of his predecessors - Hugh Akston."
A young man said, astonished, "I thought Hugh Akston was one of those classics that nobody studied any more, except in histories of philosophy. I read an article recently which referred to him as the last of the great advocates of reason."
"Just what did Hugh Akston teach?" asked the earnest matron.
Francisco answered, "He taught that everything is something."
-- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
And the article shows all the well-known signs of being about a rank and a phony.
Well, he has solved the mystery of how to get academic respect for crap.
Although the various “studies” department (black, feminist, queer, etc.) beat him to that by decades.
Heck yes. Saved that one.
I freep therefore I post.