Ultimately, Leibniz argued, there are only two absolutely simple concepts, God and Nothingness. From these, all other concepts may be constructed, the world, and everything within it, arising from some primordial argument between the deity and nothing whatsoever. And then, by some inscrutable incandescent insight, Leibniz came to see that what is crucial in what he had written is the alternation between God and Nothingness. And for this, the numbers 0 and 1 suffice.
Validity is the touchstone of inference, and truth of judgment: the fact that vichyssoise is cold ratifies the judgment that vichyssoise is, indeed, cold, and the judgment that vichyssoise is cold expresses the fact that vichyssoise is cold.
Darwin's theory of evolution is the last of the great nineteenth-century mystery religions. And as we speak it is now following Freudians and Marxism into the Nether regions, and I'm quite sure that Freud, Marx and Darwin are commiserating one with the other in the dark dungeon where discarded gods gather.
Every computer divides itself into its hardware and its software, the machine host to its algorithm, the human being to his mind. It is hardly surprising that men and women have done what computers now do long before computers could do anything at all. The dissociation between mind and matter in men and machines is very striking; it suggests that almost any stable and reliable organization of material objects can execute an algorithm and so come to command some form of intelligence.
For the most part, it is true, ordinary men and women regard mathematics with energetic distaste, counting its concepts as rhapsodic as cauliflower. This is a mistake-there is no other word. Where else can the restless human mind find means to tie the infinite in a finite bow?
If moral statements are about something, then the universe is not quite as science suggests it is, since physical theories, having said nothing about God, say nothing about right or wrong, good or bad. To admit this would force philosophers to confront the possibility that the physical sciences offer a grossly inadequate view of reality. And since philosophers very much wish to think of themselves as scientists, this would offer them an unattractive choice between changing their allegiances or accepting their irrelevance.