By Umberto Eco
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Extra resources for Kant and the Platypus: Essays on Language and Cognition
3rd speculation. The brain has extra components than the area. The brain possesses ten symbols (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J), and the area has simply 3 atoms (1, 2, and 3). and that's now not all: the brain can mix those ten symbols in duplets, triplets, quadruplets, and so forth. as though to assert that the cerebral constitution had extra neurons and extra attainable mixtures between them than the variety of the atoms and their mixtures identifiable on the planet. it really is transparent that this speculation might be instantly deserted, since it clashes with the preliminary assumption that the brain is additionally a part of the realm. If it have been a part of the area, any such advanced brain must also think about its personal ten symbols as worldly stoicheia. to allow the speculation, the brain must depart the area: it'd be one of those hugely rational divinity that has to account for an incredibly terrible international, which in addition it doesn't be aware of, as the international has been cobbled jointly via a Demiurge with out mind's eye. in spite of the fact that, shall we additionally contemplate an international that during a way secretes extra res cogitans than res extensa, that's, person who has produced a really small variety of fabric buildings, utilizing few atoms, preserving others in reserve to be used merely as symbols of the brain. at the least, it truly is worthy enjoyable this 3rd speculation, since it serves to throw a definite mild at the fourth. It follows from this that the brain could have an astronomical variety of mixtures of symbols to symbolize the worldly constitution 123 (or at so much its six attainable combinations), every one from a special perspective. The brain might for instance symbolize 123 via 3,628,800 decuplets, each one of which bills not just for 123 but in addition for the hour and the day on which 123 is represented, the inner kingdom of the brain itself in that second, the ends and intentions based on which the brain represents it (assuming brain as wealthy as this one additionally has ends and intentions). There will be an way over idea when it comes to the simplicity of the area, we might have an abundance of synonyms, otherwise the inventory of attainable representations might exceed the variety of the prospective latest constructions. and maybe this is often how it occurs, provided that we will be able to lie and build incredible worlds, think and foresee substitute states of items. The brain may well rather well symbolize even many of the ways that it truly is on this planet. any such brain may possibly write the Divine Comedy whether the infundibular constitution of the inferno didn't exist on the planet, or it might build geometries without counterpart within the fabric order of the realm. it may possibly even set itself the matter of the definition of being, reproduction entities and being, formulate the query why there's something instead of nothing—given that it might probably speak in lots of methods of this something—without ever being convinced it used to be asserting it the best approach. Fourth speculation. The brain has ten symbols, as many as there are atoms on this planet, and either brain and international can mix their components, as within the 3rd speculation, into duplets, triplets, quadruplets ...