On "Canonical Definitions"

Robert Owen (rowen@technologist.com)
Wed, 01 Dec 1999 15:31:02 -0500

Unless a "definition" is a postulate of a conceptual system, it must be rigorously derived (i.e. follow of strict logical necessity) from one or more axioms of a coherent axiomatic system such as a "philosophy" in order to be "canonical". I am aware no such system. Therefore:

".any doctrine which refuses to place human experience
outside nature, must find in descriptions of human experience factors which also enter into the descriptions of less specialized natural occurrences. If there can be no such factors, then the doctrine of human experience as a fact within nature is mere bluff, founded upon vague phrases whose sole merit is a comforting familiarity. We should either admit dualism, at least as a provisional doctrine, or we should point out the identical elements connecting human experience with physical science."

Otherwise, we will continue to observe a dreary procession of
"argumentum ad populum's" and "argumentum ad verecundiam's".

Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA