If a equals a (A=A) and a equals b (A=B), how come A=A ≠ A=B. What informs A through B which A doesn't inform itself?

Picked from: Conversations with History - John Perry on YouTube. (Link button does not work)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61-Txd9dFv0&feature=relmfu

Tags: conundrum

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> I'm sitting back, just nodding my head in agreement. I don't know that I'd say that philosophy is completely useless, but > mostly out of politeness.

Yeah, this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, so I guess I can get a bit too "ranty" over it.
I said I would have chosen Bertrand Russel as a better example because he was a much more important figure in history. Descartes did some great things in mathematics, but his main claim to fame is as the loonie who tried to prove God.

The "astronomers" who pointed up at the sky were doing something pointless, they were doing astrology. Astronomy is a *very* new science.

But no, I'm not missing the point of philosophy, I am saying that since it is not based in reality, it is utterly devoid of meaning. There is relevant philosophy done today, it is called theoretical physics. But they are striving towards finding ways of determining what is actually true. To a philosopher that must seem a hideous waste of time. So much more fun then, to just argue about something in a vacuum, why bother actually testing things.

And no, you don't get to claim early day scientists as your own just because they didn't have a separate term to describe what they were doing. They cared about how nature worked, not just about wasting oxygen. I fundamentally disagree that they saw something useful in philosophy. They merely hadn't thought of a new name for themselves yet. Their idea of philosophy is much like theoretical physics is today: what could it be and how can we test it. Not merely "what could it be and how can I argue for it"

"Astronomy is a *very* new science."

The field of Archaeoastronomy and Stonehenge disagrees:

"The field of Archaeoastronomy and Stonehenge disagrees:"

Not really. It was astrology. Just as science arose out of philosophy, so astronomy arose out of astrology. I don't know what stonehenge was used for, but I'm pretty sure if it is a lunar calendar, or a solstice calculator or some such, the druids (or whoever it was who put it there), did not do it for a love of science, they wanted to figure out what their gods were telling them

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