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I have tried here to explain Kinds, but I don't feel I've been very successful, and I haven't made any attempt to summarize what has been said elsewhere. I tried to get down the essentials succinctly. --And Rosta


First, we make the following distinction:

(A) 'Kinds': ideational/noematic entities, that 'exist' iff they are defined. A Kind is a noematic individual that embodies a definition.

(B) Arbitrarily delimited chunks of energy-matter/spacetime.

Metaphysics 1. We describe/conceptualize the energeticomaterial/spatiotemporal world around us as part of the noematic realm, as if our experience is located within some all-encompassing imaginary story. Thus, if I see a chunk of spacetime that happens to be a bird, I can conceptualize this as a fact about the noematic realm of definitions and so say that I see Mr Bird (the Kind that embodies birdhood) or a subkind of Mr Bird (a Kind that embodies a subvariety of birdhood).

Metaphysics 2a. We describe/conceptualize the energeticomaterial/spatiotemporal world around us as a realm separate from the noematic realm, but which can be 'visited' by noematic entities (Kinds) that take earthly form ('avatars'). The avatar is not the Kind, but is the vehicle through which the Kind can participate in the spatiotemporal realm; the avatar is thus a sort of ambassador or proxy of the Kind. If the Kind is like a demon or spirit, then the avatar is what is possessed by the demon or spirit. So, if I see a bird I can conceptualize this as a fact about the spatiotemporal realm, and say that I see an avatar of Mr Bird.

Metaphysics 2b. We conceptualize the noematic realm as containing only abstract definitions, mere checklists of properties. We describe chunks of spacetime on the basis of the extent to which they satisfy these checklists of properties. A chunk of spacetime that satisfies the checklist for 'Bird', we describe as a bird.

(2a) and (2b) are truthconditional equivalents, and are not equivalents of (1). To someone who admits (1) as a valid metaphysics, (2a) is a more natural counterpart to it than is (2b), while to someone who doesn't admit (1), (2b) will be far simpler and more straightforward.

CLL Lojban deals only in (2b). The school of lojbo thought culminating in XS admits (1).

Mind writing that in Lojban?

Hell, English would be nice. I can't find "noematic" in any dictionary I have access to and no explanation is given here (?"pertaining to distinctive units of mental preoduction"?). CLL, being based on logic, admits only objects as real. This does not seem to me to mean something like "(contains) only abstract definitions." I suspect that a convenient device for getting everything in has been confused with what is in, but I am not sure.

  • Some googling for "noematic" returned his article. It seems that the term was introduced by Husserl.
    • These things happen. But this helps scarcely at all for the above, since noemata are individuals, not kinds at all, and are not manifested in physical objects at all. But this does get rid of the slices analogy at least.
  • Would "noetic" be better? I'm afraid I used "noematic" without bothering to check whether it was in the dictionary! I considered "ideal", but the term is too polysemous. The essence is that Kinds exist in a realm in which everything that can be conceived of exists. Regarding the point about logic, as you know, I always seek a language-driven 'folk logic' -- a formalized version of ordinary thought. I don't see that as detrimental to Lojban, since what's important to Lojban is the formalization, not the underlying metaphysics, and indeed, metaphysical neutrality (in the form of pluralism) is (rightly, imo) held to be a primary desideratum for Lojban.