Re: Holism Tested!

Ian Goddard (
Fri, 29 May 1998 19:19:47 -0400

At 09:52 AM 5/29/98 CDT, Steve Massey wrote:

>>>...I suspect that most people would not include
>>>the location of an object as part of its identity - they would
>>>hold that the piano before and after movement was the same
>>>piano; that the coin one picks up, and the coin one slips into
>>>ones pocket are identical.
>> IAN: If location is not an attribute of identity,
>> then identity is non-local, if identity is non-
>> local, then A = -A, which is to say that the
>> identity of A exists equally in all locations.
>If location is not an attribute of identity, then objects in
>different locations can be identical. Identical objects in
>different locations have different values of 'not-the-object',
>so can not be defined by it.

IAN: If we want to exclude location from
the definition of A so we can say that A
does not change when its location changes,
we can. However, if we want to define the
nature of location, we will discover that
location is a product of holistic relation.

A is derived by holistic relation (A + -A)
just as the location (here) of A is derived
by holistic relation (here + -here). So the
argument that the location of A is not an
attribute of its identity did not free loca-
tion from the structure of holistic identity,
and as such no free identity has been shown.

Whenever we ask, "What is X?, where X is any-
thing you could imagine, we are asking a ques-
tion about identity, for which the exact answer
will always be: X is a product of the relation
of X and -X; and X does not exist outside that.

Where X is the whole, the whole is defined by
the relation of parts (-X) to the whole, X.
If there are no parts, there is no whole.

Find the thing not defined and surrounded by
a state or states of difference, and then
you will find evidence against holism.
Remember, the whole is not a thing.

>Additionally, defining 'not-the-object' begs the question of
>what set one is defining the 'not' operation on. If we are
>talking about the set { A B C }, then not-A is { B C }. If
>we are considering the latin alphabet, not-A is { B .. Z }.
>Yet A retains its identity with each definition: it is the
>same symbol. Indeed, the set { A B C } is a subset of the latin

IAN: The symbol A is defined by the external
area surrounding it. If you put it in a set
with 3 members or a set with 26 members, the
same inverse shape defines the shape of A.
So, observing that A is always defined by
-A is not evidence against holism, but for!

Shifting around members of -A and observing
that the shape of A is the same, is not an
example that A is not defined by -A, if
that applies to what you're arguing.

If we have change and not-change, the change
is defined by its difference from not-change.

>Thus A is defined, not solely by not-A, but by not-A and the
>set or universe under consideration.

IAN: I'm confused by your conclusion since
it seems at odds with the case you were mak-
ing before it, which seemed to be that A does
not change when the members of -A changed.

VISIT Ian Williams Goddard ---->