Materialist Merry-Go-Round

Celsus: Why do you need to “account” for logic to be able to use it?

Chris: Nobody is saying you have to account for it to be able to use it. Who said that? Atheists practice that which they cannot account for in principle.

Celsus: They haven’t? I don’t think logic is any mystery to explain. It is based on the law of identity which is one of its axioms.

Chris: What is the nature of the law of identity? Is it material? Is it particular? Is it true? How do we come to know it? Is it relative to individuals? Societies? Why are we obligated to follow it?

Celsus: It is conceptual.

Chris: Are concepts material?

Celsus:  Material beings (us) are able to conceptualize. It is a function of our brains.

Chris: That doesn’t answer the question. At least not directly. Are functions of our brain material?

Celsus:  Yes.

Chris: So the law of identity is material?

Celsus:  No. It is conceptual.

Chris: You just said that concepts are functions of our brains. And that functions are material. It follows that concepts are material. Are you following your own thinking here, or just making stuff up as you go?

Celsus:  Is digestion material? Is running material? is drawing material? They are actions of what material things do.

Chris: Yes, digestion is, running is, drawing is. Are actions material? You’re dancing all over the place. Because you’re a Randian. And don’t think for yourself.

Celsus:  I am not a Randian.

Chris: Fair enough. I see no way to get around saying that concepts are material on your view. And hence so is the law of identity.

Celsus: No. You are committing category error.

Chris: Really? How so?

Celsus: They are conceptual. What the mind does.

Chris: I don’t think you know what you’re saying. Okay. And you said that concepts are functions of the brain? Correct?

Celsus:  Yes.

Chris: And then you answered that functions are material. It follows then that the law of identity, which is a concept, is material.

Celsus: It is a much material as running, digesting, drawing, etc.

Chris: Yeah. Those are material.

Celsus:  They are?

Chris: Unless you know how to run without legs.

Celsus:  Running is made of matter?

Chris: Oh I see. Well “running” is a particular expression of a non-material concept.

Celsus:  Running is something that legs do. Legs are material.

Chris: But that doesn’t really help anything. Are you okay with the analogy then and will say that logic is not material?

Celsus:  What don’t you understand about running?

Chris: Oh that’s funny. Chris is an idiot. He doesn’t get running. Let’s ignore that Celsus can’t give him a straight answer. Is the law of identity material Celsus? That’s a yes or no question. Because concepts would also be either material or not.

Celsus:  I did answer. It is conceptual.

Chris: So then, are concepts material? Yes or no?

Celsus:  False dichotomy.

Chris: “It’s a function.” Okay, is a function material or not?

Celsus: False dichotomy.

Chris: We’ve been here already. Are functions material Celsus?

Celsus:  It is what material things do.

Chris: Okay, we’re back at actions. Are actions material Celsus?

Celsus:  It is what material things do.

Chris: Right, you have no answer. Thanks.

Celsus:  Define “material.” Made of matter?

Chris: Something made of matter.

Celsus:  Then actions are not made of matter, but are functions of them.

Chris: Great. So non-material? If they are not made of matter, then they are non-material.

Celsus:  Non-material simply tells what something is not. Not what it is.

Chris: Yes thank you Celsus. You don’t have to quote particular Objectivists for my sake. I’ve read them. Now it seems to follow from what you’re saying that the law of identity is non-material.

Celsus:  Conceptual.

Chris: Yes, but concepts are not material. Are you following the conversation?

Celsus: And?

Chris: Okay. Great. So, how do we bring this non-material “concept” of A=A into contact with material reality? What does non-matter have to do with matter?

Celsus:  Simple. We apply the law of identity from what we perceive all around us. Chris, you don’t see the identity in material objects?

Chris: No, I see the law of identity applied to or exemplified in particular objects being the same as themselves.


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