[OPE-L:1369] Short anti-confusion response

Alan Freeman (100042.617@compuserve.com)
Fri, 8 Mar 1996 00:14:36 -0800

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Riccardo in a post I liked a lot said

"By the way: just now there was a letter by Alan F. showing how some
conclusions must be drawn - how something *must* happen - from what we
*know*... "

I may have caused confusion. I always try to base conclusions
on what I assume to be a general basis of agreement between
myself and other disputants, where I know such agreement exists.

In this specific post I was relying on the fact that (I think)
Paul and myself both agree on the conservation of value. So
all the 'musts' in this post flow, only if you are party to this
agreement. I was using a kind of short-hand by stating at the
outset 'because of the conservation of value' and (unfairly)
assuming other OPE members to be familiar with the fact
that we seem to have the same view on this question.

I should have made it more clear: of course, if you don't accept
the conservation of value, none of the above arguments follow.
This is why for me the whole debate around Chapter 5 is so

Incidentally [I just found out] the common practice of the
old Greeks was to divide assumptions into axioms and
postulates, the distinction being as follows: axioms were
unproved assertions drawn from common experience but 'postulates'
('postulare') were statements 'for the sake of argument' that
were assumed to be agreed only between the disputants.

Thus a Greek dialectician would say 'allow me that the earth is
round. Then I can prove it is 250,000 stades in circumference'.

So, on this basis, the conservation of value is a *postulate*.

I should therefore rephrase my letter as:

"Allow me that there is conservation of value, then we must
both accept that moral depreciation is a transfer of value..."