Dictionary definitions

General philosophy discussions. If you are not sure where to place your thread, please post it here. Share favorite quotes, discuss philosophers, and other topics.

Re: Dictionary definitions

Postby Sivad on July 10th, 2017, 8:51 pm 

Lomax » July 10th, 2017, 4:13 am wrote:
Again, you assume what we need to prove. Are the terms synonymous or not? How do we show that they are? In short, how do we find that the meaning is preserved?


It's not really necessary to prove analyticity, it's true by stipulation. I think Quine called it legislative postulation.


I don't follow. Would it be irrelevant if all and only bachelors could fly? Or would it mean we'd learned something about bachelors?


Bachelor isn't a natural category or kind out there in the world, it's just a definitional social classification. No empirical fact can change the definition.
User avatar
Sivad
Member
 
Posts: 130
Joined: 11 Jun 2017


Re: Dictionary definitions

Postby Sivad on July 10th, 2017, 9:20 pm 

NoShips » July 10th, 2017, 4:30 pm wrote: Not even sure if I'm a bachelor any more. Damn your Vulcan logic, Quine.


Quine never denied analyticity, he criticized its applicability to theoretical science in response to Carnap's claim that all mathematics and much of science is analytic, but he certainly accepted that some statements are true by virtue of their meaning.

In Conversation with W.V. Quine - The Boolos Panel

"It's out in the thicket of higher scientific theory that I just can't see how to extrapolate it[analyticity]"
User avatar
Sivad
Member
 
Posts: 130
Joined: 11 Jun 2017


Re: Dictionary definitions

Postby Lomax on July 10th, 2017, 10:04 pm 

Sivad » July 11th, 2017, 1:51 am wrote:
Lomax » July 10th, 2017, 4:13 am wrote:
Again, you assume what we need to prove. Are the terms synonymous or not? How do we show that they are? In short, how do we find that the meaning is preserved?


It's not really necessary to prove analyticity, it's true by stipulation. I think Quine called it legislative postulation.

As the old question goes: How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Assuming you know the answer, you'll see why (Quine and) I have to agree to disagree with you on this one.

And -

Sivad » July 11th, 2017, 1:51 am wrote:
Lomax » July 10th, 2017, 4:13 am wrote:
I don't follow. Would it be irrelevant if all and only bachelors could fly? Or would it mean we'd learned something about bachelors?


Bachelor isn't a natural category or kind out there in the world, it's just a definitional social classification. No empirical fact can change the definition.

- I didn't say anything to NoShips about empirical facts changing the definition, beside what you just repeated back to me. I said it would be possible to learn non-definitional facts.
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3427
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


Re: Dictionary definitions

Postby Sivad on July 11th, 2017, 2:01 am 

Lomax » July 10th, 2017, 7:04 pm wrote:As the old question goes: How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Assuming you know the answer, you'll see why (Quine and) I have to agree to disagree with you on this one.



I'm not sure we're actually disagreeing, we might just be talking past each other. I agree with you that we can learn new stuff about bachelors, I just don't think we can learn anything new about the concept because it's just a definition.
User avatar
Sivad
Member
 
Posts: 130
Joined: 11 Jun 2017


Re: Dictionary definitions

Postby Lomax on July 11th, 2017, 7:31 am 

Well then it's the latter part we disagree about. I think that whatever meaning is, it comes from usage - or as Donald Davidson put it: understanding gives rise to meaning, not the other way around. So we can't just make two words synonyms by calling them so; we need some empirical way of determining whether they, in fact, are. Do you know the answer to the question about the dog?
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3427
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


Re: Dictionary definitions

Postby dandelion on July 11th, 2017, 8:10 am 

NoShips » July 4th, 2017, 12:52 pm wrote:
I'm afraid I know almost nothing about it, Dandelion. Seems I didn't get that poetry gene.

But what kind of arguments did you have in mind?


Just a few thoughts about translation and Francoise Cheng’s work- no matter.

(This is by the by, but sorry my posts were such tangential musings, I’ve had some things on and not able to concentrate well, but my posts were partly because there had been mention of gravity as attractive, and correct me if I’m misleading, but I think, there is some possibility that at high densities gravity may not attract, and wondered about how, if desired, there might be a link if referred to for a sort of attribute that may involve change, like for a particular function, but a linking web may make this and other areas too, less problematic. And there is also curvature, which may involve these, and possibly other notions too which may involve events or change. And just maybe related to this and other suggestions, I thought the paper was also interesting for explanations about how event linked pluralities seem not easily or uniformly reduced.)

More topically I think, although Davidson’s notions may be different, Derrida wrote of a similar notion of iterability. I think this might involve change, stuff like requirement for terms to be in use to be accepted, used in different but similar ways so that meaning may be refined socially, etc., and with some similarity in different applications there may also be, even due to this,with different usages, different takes on what is meant at different times, places, situations, contexts, etc.
dandelion
Member
 
Posts: 276
Joined: 02 May 2014


Re: Dictionary definitions

Postby dandelion on July 11th, 2017, 11:40 am 

Just adding a link, "In 2006, Ashtekar and his colleagues reported7 a series of simulations that took advantage of that fact, using the loop quantum gravity version of Einstein's equations to run the clock backwards and visualize what happened before the Big Bang. The reversed cosmos contracted towards the Big Bang, as expected. But as it approached the fundamental size limit dictated by loop quantum gravity, a repulsive force kicked in and kept the singularity open, turning it into a tunnel to a cosmos that preceded our own."
http://www.nature.com/news/theoretical- ... me-1.13613
dandelion
Member
 
Posts: 276
Joined: 02 May 2014


Re: Dictionary definitions

Postby Sivad on July 12th, 2017, 3:45 am 

Lomax » July 11th, 2017, 4:31 am wrote:Well then it's the latter part we disagree about. I think that whatever meaning is, it comes from usage - or as Donald Davidson put it: understanding gives rise to meaning, not the other way around.


The definition is the usage, it is the meaning. I don't see the distinction?

So we can't just make two words synonyms by calling them so; we need some empirical way of determining whether they, in fact, are. Do you know the answer to the question about the dog?


That's how words are created, they mean whatever we intend them to mean. We can make leg and tail synonymous, they're just words. We created two separate words because the distinction has utility.
User avatar
Sivad
Member
 
Posts: 130
Joined: 11 Jun 2017


Re: Dictionary definitions

Postby dandelion on July 20th, 2017, 6:31 am 

Lomax hasn’t replied, so I’ll have an attempt at this- feel free to fix it.

I think for Davidson, although there seems acknowledgement that essence etc. is problematic, as maybe Quinean answers to the problem may also be, there is attempt to “go along” with notions of say, sentence truth, roughly, allowing for such things as metaphors, and adding notions of “understanding”. From this, I think Davidson allows for understood meanings to change which may involve some sort of rough overlap or encompassing other terms? So perhaps the above contrarily, e.g., might suggest that usage of terms as metaphors may give definitive meaning, or terms used while not understood, e.g. mistaken usage, or a sentence with no meaning that may be true but lack any meaning, may give definitive meaning.

Derrida also seems to acknowledge problems with intentionality, essence, etc., and differently from Davidson’s “going along” with such notions, holds these “under erasure” while in use, as if involved in such discourse from a more removed or external position, but perhaps allowing that even from such a position, use of such sort of logic may still disrupt or corrupt outcomes. (Incidentally, this is something I’ve wondered about in some arguments in various threads like this. Questioning the logic of arguments upholding notions or theories if from differing positions without alternative, may seem more or mostly about questioning or denying, the logic of the arguments against, themselves- although from a Derridean perspective, logic users including me may also be susceptible to some extent to own petard hoisting too, I think. I’m not sure how much if any immunity notions like “under erasure” allow.)

With iterability, Derrida adds citations and I think, an amount of alterity. This could include citing terms in new contexts with seemingly very different meaning, if any. Or an obvious example would be a married man playing the role of a bachelor in a performance. More realistically, much of the history of Christian marriage was vulnerable to a possibility of annulment, retrospective denial of life lived during marriage, yet, e.g., legitimacy of off-spring conceived in the non-marriage duration. Related meanings of bachelor and the now effectively obsolete spinster have changed a great deal from usage around the 1300s, changing with changing economic systems, class-ist, gender-ist, age-ist, nuclear family-ist, notions, etc. I think, from Derrida is a notion that each reception of terms brings some amount of different meaning, yet there seems to be some on-going similarity that is iterable despite differences. Iterability might involve some more subjective interpretation linking similarities, while differences may perhaps be less subjective, more external, distanced from essence and motivational notions- as some measure of meaning.

Regarding a question I had about function, I still haven’t thought it through and could be making quite a large mistake, and wonder about help doing so! It may be just an ad hoc measure, perhaps like Davidson’s understanding, or Derrida’s under erasure, perhaps also considered under erasure. Related to this, I think it is interesting that here there is talk of usage of language as though it is a functional artefact. Derrida suggests we are like texts, language emanating, experiences inscribed upon us, and perhaps more, inscribed memories, DNA, etc., may further this notion. I’ll list some reasons why I’m wondering about this. One is mereological concerns or about involving fewer assumptions, or at least, some restriction to a set of assumptions, so possibly easier to investigate. Others seem to consider these, e.g. from another link provided somewhere, Searle, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbthpbs6PJI from around 40:00 to 45:00 suggests similar concerns, but perhaps includes some presumptions. Along with this is reasoning that the paper I linked suggests that interpretations involving function may not be easily reduced. Another reason is that it may trace language linkage better and allow any notions of synthesis to be clearer. Another is a suggestion that functionality may be less problematic in terms of twin world scenarios (or otherwise more so, requiring inclusion of large system of functional relationships).

(Should have written Francois, before.)
dandelion
Member
 
Posts: 276
Joined: 02 May 2014


Previous

Return to Anything Philosophy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests