On the battle between nominalism (ie, science) and realism (ie, cladistics and particle physics)

When humans invented speech, we partitioned reality into things (like organisms and cells) and classes (like humans and E. coli), thereby distinguishing both things and classes at the same time. The problem with this simultaneous dual partition is that “things” and “classes” actually are orthogonal, ie, diametrically opposed, classes, since also “things” is a class, by meaning that classes are fundamentally contradictory, actually paradoxically contradictory as Russell’s paradox shows, and thus that there isn’t any consistent classification (to be found). No matter how hard we try, we will still never find one. Speech is simply internally contradictory.

This fact gave rise to two fundamentally different lines of logical reasoning among us humans, called nominalism and realism, starting from the orthogonal axioms that things and classes, respectively, are real. These two lines of logical reasoning are thus opposite in the sense that the assumptions of one are the deductions of the other. Whereas nominalists allocate things into different classes by definition, realists, on the contrary, ask how the nominalists can “know” that the things “belong to” this class. Nominalists and realists thus circle (or dance) around the question whether classes are artificial (ie, something we decide) or “natural” (ie, something we find).

This question is thus, however, irrelevant, since classes are fundamentally contradictory. We actually can’t allocate all things consistently into classes. Classes simply aren’t neither artificial nor natural, but are instead paradoxically contradictory. We simply can’t decide whether they are artificial or natural, because they “aren’t” in the first place.

This problem does only concern a simple explanation of what reality is. If we accept the fact that classification is fundamentally contradictory, then we can invent models that imitate reality. Such imitation can’t, however, portray reality unambiguously, because the classes in it “aren’t”. If we thus accept that we can’t find a simple explanation of what reality is, then we can achieve the consistent understanding of reality that mathematics already has achieved. The question now is thus not whether realism, like cladistics and particle physics, is right or wrong, but whether we can understand mathematics.  Populism, like cladistics and particle physics, is just as wrong in science as it is outside of it.

Most important in discussions on reality is thus to understand that populistic simplifications like cladistics and particle physics are wrong. The fact that classification is inherently contradictory means that realism is contradictory, whereas nominalism is ambiguous. Nominalism is thus the closest we can come to reality.


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