Sunday, 15 January 2017

Illogical world?

An interesting argument from Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus 3.031
It used to be said that God could create anything, except what would be contrary to laws of logic. - The truth is we could not say what an illogical world would look like. 
The following is from an article by Jonathan Lear titled 'Leaving the World Alone' The Journal of Philosophy, 79 (7), p. 384.
What had looked like constraints upon God imposed by logic turn out, upon reflection, to be constraints imposed by us.  The truth contained in this insight, of course, falls foul of the bounds of sense. In its literal sense, it is simply false that we have imposed constraints upon God. However, we have not thought through to a proper appreciation of our situation if we think of God as bound by Laws over which even He has no control. What makes itself manifest is that an "illogical" world is not, for us, a world at all. Thus the possibility of God creating a world according to different logical laws cannot be a genuine possibility. 
Here one can see an illusion of possibility... The illusion is engendered by considering our world as one world among others, as only one of the various choices available to God. One then entertains the idea of God making other choices. One recognizes the illusion when one sees that all genuine possibilities must occur within the world. The world forms the context within which different possibilities make sense. 

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