I really appreciate your website, which I just discovered!
I'd like to make one comment regarding the recent questions about infinite sets on March 7 and March 14. In your responses (Allen Stairs and Richard Heck on March 14), you write that you do not know of any professional mathematicians who deny the existence of infinite sets. However, such mathematicians do indeed exist (although marginally). They are sometimes referred to as "ultrafinitists". One well-known living proponent of this view is Princeton mathematician Edward Nelson, also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Nelson and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultrafinitism
Specifically, one argument an ultrafinitist might use is that formal proofs are finite. Thus, although we might use the concept of infinite sets in our reasoning, there is no need to assume that infinite sets actually exist, because any mathematical statement could be preceded by the phrase "There is a finite proof of the statement that ..."
I hope this...
I have read that subjectivity means something which is unique to a person's perspective. An example of something subjective might be color, but is that really something unique to a perspective? If a person is aware of a color isn't the "perspective" the awareness of that color, and isn't the awareness of the color separate from color proper? If that is the case isn't there a sense in which colors are just as external to our being and as objective as primary properties? The attitude of a child is to not distinguish between the secondary and primary properties so that colors are real features of the world but isn't this seeming mistake a product of the fact that awareness is in a sense fundamentally distinct from that which it is aware of? Of course on the other hand it seems hard to imagine colors not existing without a perceiver so I don't know, I'm guessing that philosophers have discussed this issue.
A lecturer I met a few weeks ago said to me (among other things) that up to this point no-one has managed to disprove Kant's famous claim that 'we should always treat others as ends in themselves and never as mere means'. While I agree that this is a noble maxim by which to live our lives, is it true that it has not been disproved? It seems slightly hasty to claim this about anything.
When I look at the room I'm sitting in, I am consciously aware of it as existing outside my body and head. So, for example, I can walk towards the opposite wall and I appear to get closer to it until I reach out and touch it. Now I understand that light is being reflected off a wall, travelling across a room, entering my eyes and this process creates nervous impulses. (In fact a physics would correctly point out that the photons that hit my retina are not even the same as the photons 'reflected' by any object). I understand that these impulses are processed in various parts of my brain, some unconsciously but eventually a mental "schema" representing the room is created. I also understand that there are other processes going on in my brain that create my awareness of different types of "self"s, that continually shift my awareness and that attempt to always produce a self-consistent view of myself and the world. However, my question is not about these (well not directly!).
My question is simply how does...
Is it wrong to fall in love and have a relationship with your first cousin even if you did not grow up together and met as adults? There are many taboos about this kind of relationships and some cultures see it as a very bad thing and others don't. I am very curious to know what philosophers have to say about this.