George Walford: From Hegal-San to NIAT

Kitaro Nishida’s An Inquiry into the Good has been re-issued in a new translation. [1] Reviewing this, [2] Hide Ishiguro remarks that it does not contain the two concepts, of absolute nothingness¬†and the self-identity of the absolutely contradictory, which account for its author’s fame as a Zen philosopher. Kitaro Nishida has doubtless earned his glory;… read more »

Letters to the Editor by Jim Addison and Donald Rooum

ON THE DEFINITION OF IDEOLOGY Sir: I would like to suggest an amendment to the s.i. definition. Ideology is false consciousness. Quoting Engels: “Ideology is a process accomplished by the so-called thinker consciously, it is true, but with a false consciousness. The real motive forces impelling him remain unknown to him; otherwise it simply would… read more »

Harold Walsby: Letter to Seton Pollock

Peter Shepherd, in a 1998 letter to Trevor Blake, describes this as “a letter from Harold Walsby to an Ipsden friend or aquaintance – not an Ipsden resident, as far as I know, but presumably a frequent participant in Braziers Park weekends.” Perhaps Seton Pollock the mathematician? My dear Seton, Many thanks for your most… read more »

George Walford, Eric Stockton, Jim Addison: NIAT and MetaNIAT

Letter from Jim Addison Sir, Whenever I read IC I am always baffled by this obsession with NIAT. It’s all over the place. Obviously the criticism of this made by Nicolas Walter has not been understood, so I would like to add mine as well. NIAT constitutes a paradox and as such cannot be used… read more »

George Walford: NIAT (63)

More than one correspondent has brought against NIAT the counter-example of the velocity of light, held to be not merely an absolute but a scientific one. IC has responded by pointing out that this uses ‘absolute’ in a different sense from NIAT, a more limited sense which amounts to hardly more than ‘invariant.’ It now… read more »

George Walford: Notes & Quotes (63)

NIAT: Is it not absolutely true that the earth moves round the sun? ‘There is no privileged position in space. In one sense it is therefore as true to say that the sun moves round the earth, as it is to say that the earth moves round the sun.’ (M. Payne, S&MN Newsletter 51) DEPRESSED… read more »

George Walford: Liveried Lackeys

One might have expected the various movements opposing hierarchy and exploitation – socialism, communism and anarchism – to work together against the common opponents. But most murders take place within families, and each of these movements reserves its bitterest venom for its close predecessors in the series. Here is Trotsky on reformist socialism: Together with… read more »

George Walford: NIAT (62)

IC stands committed to the proposition that Nothing Is Absolutely True (giving the acronym NIAT). The journal concerns itself with discussion, with propositions, and NIAT asserts that no one of these is completely true in every sense, at all times, without reservation and under all conditions. It is an instance of the only fully universal… read more »

George Walford: Notes & Quotes (62)

NIAT: ‘A reduction in road accidents is a good thing’ might seem to be an absolute truth, but no. Organs for transplants grow increasingly scarce, and surgeons blame the declining number of traffic victims. (Observer 19 Sept). NIAT: ‘Nothing ought to be compulsory reading.’ (Alan Ryan TLS May 21, 9) NIAT: Physical quantities like energy… read more »

George Walford: Ideology in the Reviews (61)

NOTING the absurdity of the belief ‘that it is a sign of economic and spiritual vitality to have lots of people digging for coal, even if it means digging deeper than anywhere else,’ Robert Skidelsky ascribes its persistence to the legacy of Soviet economics and idealization of the working class by left-wing academics. (Review of… read more »