Ken, Lacan, and group theory

Chuck Grimes cgrimes at
Wed Nov 3 20:36:01 PST 1999

What makes you think that a guy (i.e. Lacan) who didn't know the difference between an irrational number and an imanginary number would know anything about symbolic logic?

Jim Farmelant -------------------


Absolutely nothing. But I got fascinated by the idea that the structuralists in the early sixties were using groups as the underlying form to their theories. Piaget was probably the only one who knew what he was doing, since he had started off with a degree in the philosophy of science and probably had to take the courses. Ecco also might.

In any event, I started off a post on quark theory to show that this theory is developed from a combination of elementary groups and partitions, built up by direct product and sum operators (SU(2), SU(3)). I have to wonder how much of that Sokal knows or cares about. And, even if he does at least know these forms, does he understand how artifical they are? I mean, does he realise that given some arbitrary collection of elements, you can construct a group out them? That this construction will have symmetries as built-in features and that these will seem to be a discovered 'sense' to this arbitrary collection?

Any way, it was fun to do.

Chuck Grimes

(PS. There was at least one mistake in that other post. If you make the triangle and label the vertices and center (00) (10) (11) (01), you have to count the points twice to complete all sixteen. For example the center with one path out is (00 01). But the center itself has to be counted by itself (00 00) also.)

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