Re: Definitions

Daniel Fabulich (
Sun, 14 Jun 1998 11:40:45 -0400 (EDT)

On Sun, 14 Jun 1998, Ian Goddard wrote:

> IAN: Why not add "with respect to 0" to 1?

Because it's true nonetheless. But sure, if you like.

> 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.

This is completely invalid. They are "not atomist" by YOUR definiton of
atomism, which is the very subject under debate!

> 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.

My point is that most people define the fee differently, such that if I
tell you that "this is only part of the fee" you STILL know the identity
of what I've given you.

> 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.

Argh. This is really frustrating. I'm really resisting the urge to use
all caps. I'm going to use asterisks instead, because you seem to be
mising this extremely simple point. *I have not changed the definition of
atomism, I have stated the correct one. That it agrees with holism does
not mean that it is wrong.*

> 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?

Don't you get it? What you think is A *IS NOT A*., I'm telling you what A
is and you keep telling me "Wait! It's got H in it! It must not be A!"
This is completely invalid because A and H only disagree under your
definition, which is PRECISELY what I am challenging. A really is H, H
really is A. No sleight of hand, no changing the label: I'm telling you,
honest to goodness, this product called H is also A. They're the same
product. That I can change the label and still be right should be
evidence of that.

I find this frustrating, I'm now realizing, because I keep trying to say
the same thing, and you're not actually responding, you're just falling
back to your previous definition and saying "See? Therefore your
definition is wrong." I do not accept your definition of atomism. I
challenge you to defend it. I do not accept your asertion that A and H
disagree by 100%. I agree that YOUR conception of atomism disagrees with
holism by 100%: I assert that your definition is wrong. I challenge you
to defend it using logical terms upon which we both agree.

> 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?

Simple: you have made the dualistic fallacy. Sure, in a universe
consisting of only two objects, by looking at both you observe the whole.
However, when you look at a universe with THREE objects, observing the
relationship between two is NOT looking at the whole, but is nonetheless
valid as a partial diffrerence. Our definitions disagree in that atomists
define that identity comes from the relationship between the object in
question and another object which is defined to have no identity called
"0." (Let me stop you before you start. 0 has no identity because there
is no difference between 0 and 0. Under your definition of identity, this
does not define the identity of 0. I'm aware of that. I'm CHALLENGING
your definition. Do not use it to defend your argument, use ANOTHER
definition to defend your DEFINITION.)

The identity of A is defined as the difference between itself and the 0;
while we could then go on to observe 0's relationship to B, and then draw
conclusions about the relationship between A and B (if we knew what B
was!), the relationship between B and A does not define the identity of
anything. Only the difference between A and 0 defines A's identity under
this definition.

> 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.

This not an observation, it is a definition. I could just as easily
define identity to be only the partial difference and make just as much
sense. I'm telling you that this is what atomists do, and that is why
holists and atomists are both right, by virtue of the fact that they agree

> 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.

I've not changed it, I'm telling you what it always has been. Atomism as
you believe it to be is completely wrong: it is wrong as a theory and it
is wrong as a definition. You don't know or understand what atomism is,
and so you prop up a straw man definition and proclaim it wrong.
Congratulations: you have deflated a theory which no one believes. In
reality, however, atomism is and has always been as I define it. I am
right because people use my definition and not yours. Drop your
definition of atomism and you'll understand the rest of the world by a far
greater degree.