GOOWDAY

Einstein and zhuangzi

Recommended Posts

And in this case Hui tsu was right: the claim of Chuang tse to know doesn't prove he did know. It was just an educated guess. But Taoists usually think they don't need logic to sharpen their power of reasoning, because they already know better. That's why Chuang tse in their eyes appeared to have won this battle.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This story is written at the end of Autumn Floods, and its original meaning should be combined with the original text. Zhuangzi's relative Theory of space-time shows some strange ideas and knowledges,They are hard to be accepted ,or made people feel very mysterious. Some people,as Huizi did, just used their logic to prove that kind of knowledge should not be exist. Huizi is a logician and Prime Minister of Wei state, Wei state was once the strongest state at that time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Read the longer version of the story. Chuang has an original glib answer , then Hui entrenches his reasoning,( that Chuang has no basis to say he understands the fishes ), then Chuang goes back to the original question , and shows Hui that he can indeed know the happiness of fishes because he in fact does have a basis to do so.

Chuang is messin around with Hui , like the fishes in the river, he enjoys the goofing around aimlessly , this is his argument that he has a basis to know that the fishes are happy since they appear to be doing the same thing( but in their element )  

Rephrased,, How do I know they enjoy mucking around ? because I am mucking around with you and enjoy it. ;)

Edited by Stosh
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 24-5-2018 at 2:08 PM, GOOWDAY said:

a logic story:


Zhuangzi and Huizi had strolled on to the bridge over the river Hao,Huizi is a logician.

Zhaungzi said, " The white minnows swim leisurely, That is the pleasure of fishes." 

" You are not the fishes ," said Huizi, " how do you know the pleasure of fishes ? " 

" You are not me," retorted Zhaungzi, " how do you know that I do not know the pleasure of fishes? " 

" I'm not you, of course I cannot know what you know," urged Huizi, " You are not a fish  either,so  you cannt know the pleasure of fishes,the reasons are complete." 

" Let us go back to your original question." said Zhuangzi, "When You said, ' how do you know  the pleasure of fishes.’ That means you already knew I knew it then you asked me.  I knew it on the bridge." 

 

38 minutes ago, Stosh said:

Read the longer version of the story. Chuang has an original glib answer , then Hui entrenches his reasoning,( that Chuang has no basis to say he understands the fishes ), then Chuang goes back to the original question , and shows Hui that he can indeed know the happiness of fishes because he in fact does have a basis to do so.

Chuang is messin around with Hui , like the fishes in the river, he enjoys the goofing around aimlessly , this is his argument that he has a basis to know that the fishes are happy since they appear to be doing the same thing( but in their element )  

Rephrased,, How do I know they enjoy mucking around ? because I am mucking around with you and enjoy it. ;)

 

Here is a more explicit version:

Quote

Zhuangzi and Huizi were walking on the dam over the Hao, when the former said, 'These thryssas come out, and play about at their ease - that is the enjoyment of fishes.' The other said, 'You are not a fish; how do you know what constitutes the enjoyment of fishes?' Zhuangzi rejoined, 'You are not I. How do you know that I do not know what constitutes the enjoyment of fishes?' Huizi said, 'I am not you; and though indeed I do not fully know you, you certainly are not a fish, and (the argument) is complete against your knowing what constitutes the happiness of fishes.' Zhuangzi replied, 'Let us keep to your original question. You said to me, "How do you know what constitutes the enjoyment of fishes?" You knew that I knew it, and yet you put your question to me - well, I know it (from our enjoying ourselves together) over the Hao.'

Source: https://ctext.org/zhuangzi/floods-of-autumn/ens

 

Indeed Stosh, that makes a lot more sense! Thanks for the tip.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
惠子相梁,庄子往见之。或谓惠子曰:“庄子来,欲代子相。”于是惠子恐,搜于国中三日三夜。庄子往见之,曰:“南方有鸟,其名为鹓鶵,子知之乎?夫鹓鶵发于南海而飞于北海,非梧桐不止,非练实不食,非醴泉不饮。于是鸱得腐鼠,鹓鶵过之,仰而视之曰:‘吓!’今子欲以子之梁国而吓我邪?”
庄子曰:“鯈鱼出游从容,是鱼之乐也。”
惠子曰∶“子非鱼,安知鱼之乐?”
庄子曰:“子非我,安知我不知鱼之乐?”
惠子曰:“我非子,固不知子矣;子固非鱼也,子之不知鱼之乐全矣!”
庄子曰:“请循其本。子曰‘汝安知鱼乐’云者,既已知吾知之而问我。我知之濠上也。”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The present translation technology can be close to the original translation, but word for word translation is necessary because there are too many Laozi and Chuang-tzu.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/19/2018 at 9:39 AM, GOOWDAY said:

For example,时无止 is important concept in Zhuangzi's  relativity theory,It is no easy to understand and translate.James Legge's translation is "time never stops".Zhuangzi didn't talk about"time never stops

,时无止= 'seasons of the year do not stop'

 

which is quite different from our linear time.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Therefore it is not surprising that Albert Einstein and Chuangtse agree, as agree they must, on the relativity of all standards. The only difference is that Einstein takes on the more difficult and, to a Chinese, more stupid work of mathematical proof, while Chuangtse furnishes the philosophic import of this theory of relativity, which must be sooner or later developed by Western philosophers in the next decades. 
 

 

Lin Yutang  1942

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be of interest to take a brief look at the collection of proto-Daoist texts that has come to be known as Guan Zi, published recently by Dan G. Reid as The Thread of the Dao. The following excerpt sounds a lot like a description of what has been a fundamental concept in the Western world for millenias, from ancient Greece to the dawn of modern physics, namely the so-called ether (aether):

 

107 夫或者何? 若然者也。 

What is this constant thing?  It is present at all times.

108 視則不見,

Looking for it with the eyes, it will not be seen;

109 聽則不聞。

Listening for it with the ears, it will not be heard.

110 灑乎天下滿,

Scattered throughout, it fills all under Heaven.

111 不見其塞。

Though not seen on the surface,

112 集於顏色,

It is collected in the harmonious shape of the face;

113 知於肌膚。

It is known in the muscles and the skin.

114 責其往來,

Dutifully, it comes and goes,

115 莫知其時。

Yet no one knows its timing.

116 薄乎其方也,

So small, it is (within) the square (of Earth);

117 駼乎其圜 也,

So expansive, it (exceeds) the circle (of Heaven).

118 駼駼乎莫得其門。

Expanding and expanding, no one can reach its gate.

 

Similarly, we read in DDJ, chapter 14:

 

By looking, it is not seen. It is known as Clear

By listening, it is not heard. It is known as Inaudible

What cannot be obtained when seized is known as Infinitesimal These three things cannot be inspected

And are merged into one

 

Above, it is not bright

Below, it is not dark

Immeasurable and unnameable

It is again nothing

This is called “having no form or appearance”

 

Without a materialized image

This is called “absent-minded”

Greet it and you do not see its front

Follow it and you do not see its rear

Hold to the ancient Dao and ride it until you possess the present Then you will have the power to know the ancient beginning

This is called “the thread of Dao”

 

Now what has this got to do with Einstein? Didn't the Theory of Special Relativity discard the necessity of the ether concept?

 

Not really. Einstein indeed at first denied the existence of this ether, but later changed his position. In “Ether and the Theory of Relativity” (1922), he wrote:

 

"Recapitulating, we may say that according to the general theory of relativity, space is endowed with physical qualities; in this sense, therefore, there exists an ether. According to the general theory of relativity, space without ether is unthinkable; for in such space there not only would be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time (measuring-rods and clocks), nor therefore any space-time intervals in the physical sense. But this ether may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of ponderable media, as consisting of parts which may be tracked through time. The idea of motion may not be applied to it."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, GOOWDAY said:

Therefore it is not surprising that Albert Einstein and Chuangtse agree, as agree they must, on the relativity of all standards. The only difference is that Einstein takes on the more difficult and, to a Chinese, more stupid work of mathematical proof, while Chuangtse furnishes the philosophic import of this theory of relativity, which must be sooner or later developed by Western philosophers in the next decades. 
 

 

Lin Yutang  1942

 

And this is simply wrong, Relativity Theory doesn't mean "the relativity of all standards". There are important absolutes even in Einstein's two Relativity Theories. 

Edited by wandelaar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Michael Sternbach said:

It may be of interest to take a brief look at the collection of proto-Daoist texts that has come to be known as Guan Zi, published recently by Dan G. Reid as The Thread of the Dao. The following excerpt sounds a lot like a description of what has been a fundamental concept in the Western world for millenias, from ancient Greece to the dawn of modern physics, namely the so-called ether (aether):

 

107 夫或者何? 若然者也。 

What is this constant thing?  It is present at all times.

.......

Not really. Einstein indeed at first denied the existence of this ether, but later changed his position. In “Ether and the Theory of Relativity” (1922), he wrote:

 

"Recapitulating, we may say that according to the general theory of relativity, space is endowed with physical qualities; in this sense, therefore, there exists an ether. According to the general theory of relativity, space without ether is unthinkable; for in such space there not only would be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time (measuring-rods and clocks), nor therefore any space-time intervals in the physical sense. But this ether may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of ponderable media, as consisting of parts which may be tracked through time. The idea of motion may not be applied to it."

 

 


《庄子·齐物论》:“六合之外,圣人存而不论。”

 


 

 

 

 

Edited by GOOWDAY
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@GOOWDAY

 

Well - another clear case of a believer who is immune to criticism. Added you to my ignore list. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

Well - another clear case of a believer who is immune to criticism. Added you to my ignore list. B)

I tried ignoring myself once but it didn't work out well because I kept interrupting myself.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

I tried ignoring myself once but it didn't work out well because I kept interrupting myself.

 

There are opponents you can have an interesting discussion with, and there are also opponents you cannot have an interesting discussion with. Chuang tzu knew the difference when he walked past the grave of Hui tzu:

 

Quote

Master Chuang was accompanying a funeral when he passed by the grave of Master Hui. Turning around, he said to his attendants, "There was a man from Ying who sent for carpenter Shih to slice off a speck of plaster like a fly's wing that had splattered the tip of his nose. Carpenter Shih whirled his ax so fast that it produced a wind. Letting the ax fall instinctively, he sliced off every last bit of the plaster but left the nose unharmed, while the man from Ying stood there without flinching. When Lord Yuan of Sung heard about this, he summoned carpenter Shih and said, 'Try to do the same thing for me.' 'Your servant used to be able to slice off plaster like that,' said carpenter Shih, 'but my "chopping block" died long ago.' Since your death, Master Hui, I have had no one who can be my `chopping block.' I have had no one with whom to talk."

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, wandelaar said:

 

And this is simply wrong, Relativity Theory doesn't mean "the relativity of all standards". There are important absolutes even in Einstein's two Relativity Theories. 

 

Only the speed of light comes to mind.

 

Or are you talking about the Lorentzian interpretation of SRT?! Then that's a whole different game.

 

Anyhow, I think it's fair to ask about the philosophical implications of Einstein's theories.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Michael Sternbach said:

Only the speed of light comes to mind.

 

There is more. The spacetime interval, charge, rest mass, the laws of physics.

 

Quote

Or are you talking about the Lorentzian interpretation of SRT?! Then that's a whole different game.

 

No - I am not talking about that. That's an interesting game to play, but it's not Einstein's game.

 

Quote

Anyhow, I think it's fair to ask about the philosophical implications of Einstein's theories.

 

As if that were something about which western scientists and philosophers forgot to think about?! :wacko:

Edited by wandelaar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites