Saturday, November 27, 2010

Simplex Sigillum Veri

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:20 AM

An Adamantine View of "The [Philosophers'] Stone"

The New York Times  column "The Stone" on Sunday, Nov. 21 had this—

"Wittgenstein was formally presenting his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , an already well-known work he had written in 1921, as his doctoral thesis. Russell and Moore were respectfully suggesting that they didn’t quite understand proposition 5.4541 when they were abruptly cut off by the irritable Wittgenstein. 'I don’t expect you to understand!' (I am relying on local legend here….)"

Proposition 5.4541*—


Related material, found during a further search—

A commentary on "simplex sigillum veri" leads to the phrase "adamantine crystalline structure of logic"—


For related metaphors, see The Diamond Cube, Design Cube 2x2x2, and A Simple Reflection Group of Order 168.

Here Ɓukasiewicz's phrase "the hardest of materials" apparently suggested the commentators' adjective "adamantine." The word "diamond" in the links above refers of course not to a material, but to a geometric form, the equiangular rhombus. For a connection of this sort of geometry with logic, see The Diamond Theorem and The Geometry of Logic.

For more about God, a Stone, logic, and cubes, see Tale  (Nov. 23).

* 5.4541 in the German original—

  Die Lösungen der logischen Probleme müssen einfach sein,
  denn sie setzen den Standard der Einfachheit.
  Die Menschen haben immer geahnt, dass es
  ein Gebiet von Fragen geben müsse, deren Antworten—
  a priori—symmetrisch, und zu einem abgeschlossenen,
  regelmäßigen Gebilde vereint liegen.
  Ein Gebiet, in dem der Satz gilt: simplex sigillum veri.

  Here "einfach" means "simple," not "neat," and "Gebiet" means
  "area, region, field, realm," not (except metaphorically) "sphere."

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