RE: The dangers of genuine ignorance (was: Volitional Morality and Action Judgement)

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Fri May 28 2004 - 05:28:48 MDT


Indeed, Spencer-Brown's work is mostly mathematically simple, although
his treatment of "imaginary truth values" is innovative (and is
elaborated in more detail in Varela and Kauffmann's work on "Brownian
Algebras," presented for example in a later chapter of Varela's book
"Principles of Biological Autonomy").

I think it's very interesting as philosophy. If you don't grok it at
all that doesn't mean it went "over your head", it probably means it
went "past your head", in the sense that you may be attached to a
different philosophical viewpoint, in the context of which his
philosophical insights are beside the point.

In my view there's a point in reading the book and not just the Web
summaries. Understanding philosophical insights is partly about
understanding the frame of mind of the dude who created them, and that's
best done by reading the original.

-- Ben G

> On May 27, 2004, at 11:51 PM, Thomas Buckner wrote:
> > I've been meaning to read Spencer-Brown forever.
> > Better make a note.
> IMO, you won't get much from it.
> It is either sufficiently obvious (and arguably derivative) that I
> don't see what is so special about it, or it went completely over my
> head such that I don't grok how special it actually is. I'm
> betting on
> the former. Also, you don't have to buy the book; you can
> read quite a
> bit about it on the web.
> j. andrew rogers

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