Sunday, June 04, 2006

The mandatory pre-exam whinge

Note: I was inspired to write this post as a consequence of the philosopher Bertrand Russell (and I'm really not happy about it).

So there I am in my room, Monster Magnet playing as I attempt to dechiper the seemingly incomprehensible and abstract world of Logic. And then, as if I hadn't been punished enough already, I gaze across the page to find Exercise {12.2}, which says

Translate away the definite description connectives in your answers to the previous question, using Russell's analysis of definite descriptions.

At first I'm thinking that sounds okay... I'm not thinking that once I get to question 7, 8, 9 or 10. Oh, no. For instance question 7 ('The flying horse is swifter than the horse that does not fly') translates into the shorthand form of:

(Ix)(Fx & Hx, (Iy)(Hy & ~Fy, Sxy))

Notice how that's nice and succint? Now see what happens when you apply Russell's analysis to it:

(∃x)(Fx & Hx & (∀y)((Fy & Hy) > x=y) & ((∃y)(Hy & ~Fy & (∀z)((Hz & ~Fz) > y=z) & Sxy)))

Omygod! How tedious and complex! And they both say the same thing! This opens up so many opportunities for the kind of silly mistakes I am endlessly prone to making under pressurised exam conditions! Damn you Russell!

3 Comments:

At June 04, 2006 8:38 pm, Blogger tonch said...

You'll be right son, just remember to breathe in the exam... breathe SO loudly and SO guttorally you distract everyone else in the exam room.

 
At June 07, 2006 8:17 pm, Anonymous Sarah Bear said...

Isnt he the silly fellow who said its logical to think that the world could have come into existance 5 mins ago with everyone remembering an un-real past? he's a nutcase Moo, when you meet a nutcase you should indulge them for a bit then move on swiftly.

*licks your ears clean* =D

 
At June 08, 2006 12:31 am, Blogger Sukrit Sabhlok said...

Hmm... he's may be a nutcase but he's also really smart dammit! I think he is anyway. We wouldn't be forced to study Russell's stuff in a first year philosophy subject if he wasn't... right.. right?

 

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