Re: Definitions

Joe E. Dees (
Sun, 14 Jun 1998 08:19:49 +0000

> Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 04:28:56 -0400
> To:
> From: Ian Goddard <>
> Subject: Re: Definitions
> Reply-to:

> 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.
> Actually there should be four laws of thought, each reducible to perception
(and convertible into each other).
If A, then A (If something's there, it's there)
If not A, then not A (If something's not there, it ain't there)
A or not A (It's either there or it's not)
Not both A and not A (It can't be both there and not there in/at the
same spacetime)
This forms the same type of square we see in Aristotelian or
sentential logic (All A is B, No A is B, Some A is B, Some A is not
B )and in the Greimassian Semiotic Square of semantic structure (S
and P {for instance, knowing-how-to-be}, S and Not-P {for instance,
knowing-how-not-to-be}, Not-S and P { for instance,
not-knowing-how-to-be}, and Not-S and Not-P {for instance,
not-knowing-how-not-to-be}), where S = Subject and P = Predicate.
In addition, all these are amenable to translation into Symbolic or
predicate logic (with its Universal and Existential Quantifiers [For
all X, There is at least one X]). Clearly there is a deep or
ur-structure here underlying these various manifestations of logical
and linguistic form.
> **************************************************************
> ______________________________________________________________
> "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