Re: Atomism = Holism ?

Ian Goddard (
Sat, 20 Jun 1998 00:23:40 -0400

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At 07:46 PM 6/19/98 -0400, Daniel Fabulich wrote:

>On Fri, 19 Jun 1998, Alex Future Bokov wrote:
>> Pardon me for my usual ignorance, I haven't been keeping up with this
>> debate during the various times it has surfaced over the last couple of
>> years, but...
>> Since I am not Ian
>> Alex = !Ian
>> ...does Ian believe that it somehow follows that we are in fact the same
>> person? Or can only the sum of everyone and everything in the universe
>> that is also not Ian add up to an Ian equivalent?
>> Given that the universe can be defined in terms of its
>> non-Ian-ness, in what way should this change my beliefs, behavior, or the
>> manner in which I predict events that have yet to happen?
>I'm sure Ian will send back a rather lengthy reply, but the long and the
>short of it is this: If I ask who Alex is, and I get back the answer
>"Alex is Alex," I will not really have learned anything. If I get the
>response "Alex is like Ian, only with the following differences:" then I
>get a far more complete answer. What we conclude is that we have to know
>something about what you are not in order to have any idea as to what you
>are. If you and Ian were the only two entities in the universe, then on
>some level you would have an identity only by virtue of the fact that you
>differed from Ian.
>This is clearest when used in terms of color. If everything in the whole
>universe were red, then you couldn't really define red in any meaningful
>way. However, you could do so if there were OTHER colors, in which case
>you might get an idea of what red is by examining the ways in which it is
>different from the other colors.

IAN: Very well elucidated! 100%!
I couldn't have said it better.

>nb, Ian is also somewhat liberal with his use of the logical operators.
>When he says "=", he probably doesn't mean the "=" to which you're

IAN: That I disagree with. The use of "="
means that what appears on the left is the
"same as" what appears on the right. So "A = A"
is the same as (=) saying "A is the same as A."

(A = A) = (A is the same as A)

"Not same as" is the same as "does not equal,"
or ascii-wise =/=, which means "different than."

The "A = A" identity axiom really only serves
to inform use by example of what the "=" means
by telling us in the most obvious fashion, "What
appears on the left side is the same as what appears
on the right side of this symbol, wherever this symbol
is used." It's a symbolic instruction, not a blueprint
of the structure of identity, which would include -A.

As to my use of the "=" symbol, I have defined its
logical application pertaining to the answer to the
inquiry, "What is the degree to which the indentity
of A requires A and what is the degree to which it
requires -A," and the answer is that the degree to
which A requires A is equal to -- i.e., is the
same as (=) -- the degree to which A requires -A.

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