NOMINALISM AND THE INFINITE KNOWLEDGE IT IMPLIES

Abstract

Being able to apply grue-like predicates would allow one to instantly solve an infinite number of mysteries (historical, scientific, etc.). In this paper I’ll give a couple of examples. It is still a mystery whether George Mallory and Andrew Irvine managed to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1924. The predicate “greverest” applies to an object if either the object is green and Mount Everest was scaled in 1924, or the object is not green and Mount Everest was not scaled in 1924. The predicate “greverest” is interdefinable with the predicate “green”: the predicate "green" applies to an object if either the object is greverest and Mount Everest was scaled in 1924, or the object is not greverest and Mount Everest was not scaled in 1924. The predicate "non-greverest" applies to an object if either the object is non-green and Mount Everest was scaled in 1924, or the object is green and Mount Everest was not scaled in 1924. The predicate "non-green" applies to an object if either the object is non-greverest and Mount Everest was scaled in 1924, or the object is greverest and Mount Everest was not scaled in 1924. We know that the famous diamond called Golden Jubilee is not green. If someone (a greverest-speaker) informed us that the Golden Jubilee diamond is greverest, we would automatically come to know Mount Everest was not scaled in 1924. According to the definitions, a greverest object can only be either 1) green (in case Mount Everest was scaled in 1924), or 2) non-green (in case Mount Everest was not scaled in 1924). Since we know that the Golden Jubilee diamond is not green, if we come to know that the Golden Jubilee diamond is also greverest, we would automatically know from the definition of “greverest” that we are faced with case 2, the case in which the object is both non-green and greverest, and Mount Everest was not scaled in 1924. Vice versa, if someone informed us that the Golden Jubilee diamond is not greverest, we would automatically come to know that Mount Everest was scaled in 1924. According to the definitions, a non-greverest object can only be either 1) non-green (in case Mount Everest was scaled in 1924), or 2) green (in the case Mount Everest was not scaled in 1924). Since we know that the Golden Jubilee diamond is not green, if we come to know that the Golden Jubilee diamond is also non-greverest, we would automatically know from the definition of “non-greverest” that we are faced with case 1, the case in which the object is both non-green and non-greverest, and Mount Everest was scaled in 1924. At the moment no one has yet been able to convince the scientific community that he can correctly determine whether the Golden Jubilee diamond is greverest. I am skeptical that anyone will demonstrate to the scientific community that he can correctly determine whether a specific object is greverest; but I would be happy if someone could demonstrate to the scientific community that he can correctly determine whether an object is greverest: that would be a good news for historical studies. The paper continues with a second example.

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