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  • Great point - Godfrey -- we discussed some of this in the podcast that we released today, and I definitely think you are on to something. (Quote from Godfrey)And I agree with this too. It seems very obvious that what DL wrote about forming a concept of an ox from having seen previous oxen would be very parallel (or contradictory) to the view that concepts are born with us at birth, carried from a previous life. So from that point of view, it is possible that at least this aspect of prolepsis co…
  • Godrey also, if I recall what DeWitt had to say before going back and checking it, Dewitt drew what I think is an important distinction between abstract vs concrete concepts. A concept of a concrete thing like an ox is not necessarily the same thing as an abstraction such as "beauty" or "greatness" or "smallness." DL seems to focus on the concrete part, using the ox horse, cow, or man, as a reference -- concrete things. Here's the section: (Quote) So that would lead us to question that he might…
  • I can't imagine these being anything but closely related. Part of the trick will be separating the type of pattern match reasoning that a computer could do from the kind of inborn intuition or instinct that animals have at birth, which i also think related to the issue of "programming " of pleasure and pain. There is almost certainly some kind of mechanism at work which does not require prior experience for it to come into play. And yet there is also almost certainly a pattern match process whic…
  • Godfrey I agree with most all of that. I can't yet cite the location in the texts (that was the purpose of my earlier comment on Aristotle) but it is my impression that the commentators are pretty uniform in associating the word "essence" with Aristotle vs use of the word "ideal" or "idea" or "form" with Plato. Definitely this is something that would be good to track down the cites - we may now have the best one for Plato, in Phaedo, but perhaps it appears other places too. I have not yet had t…
  • Thanks Godfrey! This from thewikipedia page for "essence" is what I am remembering: Ontological status In his dialogues Plato suggests that concrete beings acquire their essence through their relations to "Forms"—abstract universals logically or ontologically separate from the objects of sense perception. These Forms are often put forth as the models or paradigms of which sensible things are "copies". When used in this sense, the word form is often capitalized.[5] Sensible bodies are in constan…