Proofs that P

Some "Proofs that p" that I find funny. I did not write these but I found them here and here


I can entertain an idea of the most perfect state of affairs inconsistent with not-p. If this state of affairs does not obtain then it is less than perfect, for an obtaining state of affairs is better than a non-obtaining one; so the state of affairs inconsistent with not-p obtains; therefore it is proved, etc.


The theory p, though "refuted" by the anomaly q and a thousand others, may nevertheless be adhered to by a scientist for any length of time; and "rationally" adhered to. For did not the most "absurd" of theories, heliocentrism, stage a come-back after two thousand years? And is not Voodoo now emerging from a long period of unmerited neglect?

Outline Of A Proof That P*:
Saul Kripke

Some philosophers have argued that not-p. But none of them seems to me to have made a convincing argument against the intuitive view that this is not the case. Therefore, p.

* - This outline was prepared hastily -- at the editor's insistence -- from a taped manuscript of a lecture. Since I was not even given the opportunity to revise the first draft before publication, I cannot be held responsible for any lacunae in the (published version of the) argument, or for any fallacious or garbled inferences resulting from faulty preparation of the typescript. Also, the argument now seems to me to have problems which I did not know when I wrote it, but which I can't discuss here, and which are completely unrelated to any criticisms that have appeared in the literature (or that I have seen in manuscript); all such criticisms misconstrue my argument. It will be noted that the present version of the argument seems to presuppose the (intuitionistically unacceptable) law of double negation. But the argument can easily be reformulated in a way that avoids employing such an inference rule. I hope to expand on these matters further in a separate monograph.

It is a model theorem that p -> p. Surely its possible that p must be true. Thus p. But it is a model theorem that p -> p. Therefore p.

SOCRATES: Is it not true that p?
GLAUCON: I agree.
CEPHALUS: It would seem so.
POLEMARCHUS: Necessarily.
THRASYMACHUS: Yes, Socrates.
ALCIBIADES: Certainly, Socrates.
PAUSANIAS: Quite so, if we are to be consistent.
ERYXIMACHUS: The argument certainly points that way.
PHAEDO: By all means.
PHAEDRUS: What you say is true, Socrates.


E. Spear said...

Dear Matthew,

That is a very nice looking pipe that you are shown smoking :)

I am wondering if that is a Boswell pipe?


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