Re: Definitions

Ian Goddard (
Sun, 14 Jun 1998 04:28:56 -0400

At 10:18 PM 6/12/98 -0400, Daniel Fabulich wrote:

>As for why my definition is better than your three laws? I posit that
>THESE are the three laws of atomism:
>1) A is A.
>2) A is not both A and not-A with respect to 0.
>3) A is either A or not-A with respect to 0.
>Here I use "with respect to 0" to mean that the partial difference between
>A and 0 is either A or not-A and not both. Ask anybody who claims to be
>an atomist and they will agree with the laws as posited.

IAN: Why not add "with respect to 0" to 1?
2 and 3 are holist in nature since they say
that what A is depends upon something that
A is not, and thus they are not atomist.

I agree that half of the difference is
half of the difference, and half defines
the whole by default. If I give you $50
and say this is half of the fee, the
identity of the whole fee is revealed,
so the ID of the whole is in the half.

The area just outside the letter A defines
it as much as the area inside the letter.
Its identity contains both areas.

>Why is my definition better? My definition is better because it is the
>one most people use. "Atomism" means whatever people use it to mean, and
>they happen to use it to mean that A is either A or not-A and not both
>with respect to 0. The omission of "with respect to 0" from your statement
>of the laws is trivial:

IAN: It's really not true to say that I omitted
the portion that you added to the Three Laws since
they've never been published your way. Your version
is holistic, since adding "with respect to" includes
a relation. It's clear that you've changed the defin-
tion of atomism to a holistic definition, but kept the
"atomist" label on it, for what reason I know not, ex-
cept to be able to say you've evidenced atomism.

Isn't that proving how effective product A is in a
demonstration using product H with an A label on it,
or more exactly, by using a mix of 2/3 H and 1/3 A?

You said I was confusing definitions, but your changing
the definitions of atomism is the only confusion I see.

>it is implicit in everything that we do or say that we are
>always referring to the partial difference, and never the
>"whole" difference, when we talk about difference.

IAN: When I refer to the high, I refer to
the low by default; when I refer to the
good, I refer to the bad by default...

How is it that I don't refer to the whole?

>No one defines "difference" the way you define
>difference, Ian, and that's all there is to it.

IAN: Not true. "Net difference" is not a
violation of the definition of difference.
I say that the difference between 4 and
5 is expressed as 4 - 5 = -1. That's the
standard definition. So saying that the
net difference is -1 & 1, is not unique;
observing that it is the holisitc struc-
ture of identity is unique.

What seems to be demolished in your
analysis is any difference between
atomism and holism, for to sustain
atomism you've changed it to holism.


"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its
opponents and making them see the light, but rather because
its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows
up that is familiar with the idea from the beginning."

Max Plank - Nobel physicist

"The smallest minority on earth is the individual.
Those who deny individual rights cannot claim
to be defenders of minorities." Ayn Rand