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Old 30-04-2012, 19:54
Pretinama
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I think you're talking bunkum. Topologically a circle and a square are identical as they are both "closed loops".
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Old 30-04-2012, 20:05
Richard46
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I kind of hesitate to answer this, because out of any context, it reads to me very much like a loaded question - I'm not actually claiming myself that there is a difference between statements of "exists" and "there is", but the reason I was asking here - and the reason I put forth that in certain contexts, the statement "a square that is also a circle does not exist" can be potentially contentious - relates to material I'm reading about the relation of existence, abstract ideas and impossible abstract ideas. Bertrand Russell and Alexius Meinong are the two main philosophers whose thoughts are relevant to what I'm reading about (and writing something about, which is not relevant to this forum) at the moment, but I just want to be clear - I'm not claiming that either of those two people held that there is a necessary and fundamental difference between statements of "is" and "exists".
Then why did you accredit the idea to them?

,,,,

If I cannot conceive of a circular square, what position am I in to make statements about whether it does or does not exist? And what does this say about the perceived equivalency of "there is" against "exists"?

This is a problem I was reading about last night from eminent philosophers' points of view and considering the problem myself.

,,,
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Old 30-04-2012, 20:16
John259
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A bit of maths:

Plotting the graph of x^k+y^k=r^k for various values of k gives some interesting shapes.

k=2 is a circle, which is consistent with Pythagoras.

k=1 gives a straight-sided diamond shape.

k<1 gives asteroid pointed star-like shapes.

k=3 gives a rather nice rounded shape roughly half way between a circle and a square, which might be what you're looking for.

As k approaches infinity the shape becomes closer to being a square.

I tried Googling for some pictures to illustrate these shapes but unfortunately failed. Perhaps someone else might be more successful.

- - -

A bit of technical drawing:

A solid circular cylinder has diameter equal to its length, and is positioned with its circular base on a flat plane. Its plan view is a circle, but its front and side elevations are squares.
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Old 30-04-2012, 20:18
bleuh111
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Then why did you accredit the idea to them?
"Exists" vs "is" is one of the matters pertinent to some of the views of Russell and Meinong in relation to what I was reading about, I did not mean to give the impression that I was asserting either one of them had a fixed view on that, as what I am currently reading and thinking about is not a book or essay by either of those philosophers, but an essay by someone else in relation to abstract existence that references Russell and Meinong. My wording didn't make that distinction, so sorry about that, but as I wasn't looking to actually debate anything in this thread, I didn't think it was that important. All I wanted to know was whether or not anyone here would be inclined to distinguish the two under any circumstances and to confirm, as I suspected, that the vast majority of people would not posit any difference and see both phrasings as holding precisely the same meaning, regardless of whether we're talking about a real thing, an abstract idea or an impossible idea.
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Old 30-04-2012, 20:22
Empirical
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I must be being thick, but what the square equivalent of circular? It's not squarecular, and it's not rectangular, either
It's square.

Square is both the noun and the adjective
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Old 30-04-2012, 20:26
Richard46
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,,, but as I wasn't looking to actually debate anything in this thread, ,,,
Then why are you? Feel free to ignore my posts.
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Old 30-04-2012, 20:29
Richard46
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"Exists" vs "is" is one of the matters pertinent to some of the views of Russell and Meinong in relation to what I was reading about, I did not mean to give the impression that I was asserting either one of them had a fixed view on that, as what I am currently reading and thinking about is not a book or essay by either of those philosophers, but an essay by someone else in relation to abstract existence that references Russell and Meinong.,,.
Who is that essay by?
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Old 30-04-2012, 20:46
alan29
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There are sentences that make perfect grammatical sense, but they have no relation to reality and therefore no meaning outside the sentence. The square circle thing is an example of this.
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Old 30-04-2012, 20:51
KJ44
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"The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point however is to change it."
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Old 30-04-2012, 20:54
KJ44
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<deleted>

I fell for word games. See my previous post.
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Old 30-04-2012, 21:22
solarflare
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Is this a bit like square sweets which look round?
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Old 30-04-2012, 21:27
smudges dad
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This whole thread demonstrates 2 dimensional thinking. If you consider the problem from a 3 dimensional viewpoint then it all becomes very easy. The more dimensions you add, the more irrelevant the problem becomes.
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Old 30-04-2012, 21:48
Richard46
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This whole thread demonstrates 2 dimensional thinking. If you consider the problem from a 3 dimensional viewpoint then it all becomes very easy. The more dimensions you add, the more irrelevant the problem becomes.
Of course. It is obvious. A spherical cube makes so much more sense than a circular square.
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Old 30-04-2012, 21:52
smudges dad
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Of course. It is obvious. A spherical cube makes so much more sense than a circular square.
Get with it! A spherical cube can only be comprehended in 4 dimensions

Think of it like trying to appreciate a line in only one dimension, when you can't know it's a line unless you have at least 2 dimensions in you plane of thought.
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Old 30-04-2012, 21:53
Richard46
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Get with it! A spherical cube can only be comprehended in 4 dimensions
I know silly me
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Old 30-04-2012, 21:54
bugloss
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It's square.

Square is both the noun and the adjective
**** me so it is. That's me stuffed for getting a job at GCHQ, if they're listening already

Carry on!
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Old 30-04-2012, 22:01
Empirical
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**** me so it is. That's me stuffed for getting a job at GCHQ, if they're listening already

Carry on!
Pffft, like i didn't look it up lol, so dont feel bad.
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Old 30-04-2012, 22:06
Richard46
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There are sentences that make perfect grammatical sense, but they have no relation to reality and therefore no meaning outside the sentence. The square circle thing is an example of this.
Which pretty much sums up much of the cod philosophy on here. Actually it sums up much of what is accepted as real philosophy.
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Old 30-04-2012, 22:13
Richard46
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Get with it! A spherical cube can only be comprehended in 4 dimensions

Think of it like trying to appreciate a line in only one dimension, when you can't know it's a line unless you have at least 2 dimensions in you plane of thought.
If you really can conceive of more than three spatial dimensions in your mind then you will of course have no problem in conceiving of almost anything.

I sadly lack such spatial awareness.
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Old 30-04-2012, 22:19
simmons_5251
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Firstly neither a square nor a circle could exist as an instance, only a concept.

No 2D shape could exist in a 3D world surely? As a concept you could logically have a square circle, providing an omnipotent being could break the laws of logic and create such a concept. However, does omnipotence mean to be able to defy logic?d

Firstly I would refute the idea that 2D shapes could exist at all, and I think that gap needs to be bridged first.

EDIT: Could a 2D shape exist as a concept? I cant concieve of a purely 2D shape.
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Old 30-04-2012, 22:25
smudges dad
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If you really can conceive of more than three spatial dimensions in your mind then you will of course have no problem in conceiving of almost anything.

I sadly lack such spatial awareness.
Unfortunately geologists have to think in 5 dimensions - xyz, time and facies. It's why they drink so much and can't socialise It's also why they have beards and wear check shirts (even the women geologists, but they hide their beards in a sixth dimension).
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Old 30-04-2012, 22:36
Richard46
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Firstly neither a square nor a circle could exist as an instance, only a concept.

No 2D shape could exist in a 3D world surely? As a concept you could logically have a square circle, providing an omnipotent being could break the laws of logic and create such a concept. However, does omnipotence mean to be able to defy logic?d

Firstly I would refute the idea that 2D shapes could exist at all, and I think that gap needs to be bridged first.

EDIT: Could a 2D shape exist as a concept? I cant concieve of a purely 2D shape.
OK but to be fair you have problems with the existence of any kind of reality; right?
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Old 30-04-2012, 22:38
Richard46
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Unfortunately geologists have to think in 5 dimensions - xyz, time and facies. It's why they drink so much and can't socialise It's also why they have beards and wear check shirts (even the women geologists, but they hide their beards in a sixth dimension).
OK as I thought originally you where joking.
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Old 30-04-2012, 22:45
ishina
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The parameters of a logical system determine what is possible and what is not within that system.
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Old 30-04-2012, 22:45
bleuh111
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Firstly neither a square nor a circle could exist as an instance, only a concept.

No 2D shape could exist in a 3D world surely? As a concept you could logically have a square circle, providing an omnipotent being could break the laws of logic and create such a concept. However, does omnipotence mean to be able to defy logic?d

Firstly I would refute the idea that 2D shapes could exist at all, and I think that gap needs to be bridged first.

EDIT: Could a 2D shape exist as a concept? I cant concieve of a purely 2D shape.
We do think quite alike, it seems. I did (and do) hold a view that is virtually identical to what you've said - that things like abstract shapes can be said to exist as concepts, but not actualised instances. The "did" part is in that I'm currently trying to re-evaluate my position on that. But this is a tangent and not why I created the thread. I'd be curious in your answer, actually, Simmons - would you say you can imagine a circumstance in which there can be a claimed difference between a statement of "is" and "exists"? This is puzzling me at the moment.

EDIT: For example, "there is a difference between a square and a circle" - now I'd think that would mean I can truthfully say "a difference between a square and a circle exists", but how can a difference exist? Can a difference be said to exist? After all, I rested my claim that certain models of God fail because they mean God cannot claim to have created the difference between existence and non-existence, yet such a difference clearly exists (God can't take credit because at any point there was no difference, God ceases to exist or not exist and thus can no longer be said to have a will or consciousness to have created anything, was the gist of my arguement there). If a difference can be said to exist, what implications does that have for what we mean by exists and does it change the equivalence of statements of "there is" against "exists"?
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