Conversation In Thin Air Continues
“So what are you saying,” I interrupted, “How exactly did Cassirer rescue us?”
“I’m saying,” said Noel, “that the conceptual symbolic form, the one that reduces everything to the lowest possible denominator, is a preeminent success; except its meaning is only one of the many meanings that are generated by the multi-functional meanings of symbolic form. Success, when measured on the level of the conceptual symbolic form, reduces, to the simplest possible ‘ideal meaning.’ That success, along with every other meaningful success, has contributed to the survival of our species. In the evolutionary scheme of things, the innovations of sensed space and time, and mathematical space and time have been absolutely essential to the survival of our species.”
“Space and time are an invention; that contradicts everything,” exclaimed Tony.
“Everybody listen up. No more whiskey for Noel. He’s cut off, as of right now.”
“Very funny,” replied Noel, “but if you think about it, the theory of relativity gives a clear indication of what Cassirer was talking about, that the meaning of space and time is found in its use value, not in the so called ‘objective world’. Think about it. In relativity theory ordinary methods of space and time measurement fall short. We no longer can use rigid bodies and ordinary clocks as measures of space and time. In Einstein’s calculations, space and time are reduced to mere effects.”