nick and John 2003-02-03

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These are basic notes from Nick and John's meeting. Further expansions will be forthcoming when I have a chance, but I wanted to get as much as possible recorded.

  • Ontology of Lojban types:
    • mass: chippable and not fully demerged (substances per definitionem plus some collectives)
      • Lojban masses have the property that if you take a piece away, it remains the same mass (cut off my arm, I'm still John), and that some of the properties of the components are also properties of the mass. All substances (e.g. rice, water) are like this, by the definition of a substance, and some kinds of collectives (e.g. a committee, which is still a committee even if someone quits).
        • Is a committee of seven people a mass? If one member quits it ceases being a committee of seven people, so maybe it is not a mass, but if you cut off the arm of one member it is still a comittee of seven people... I'm not sure where all this is going, but it seems to be an approach from the wrong angle. We don't really want to classify objects as masses or non-masses, or at least that classification is not relevant from the point of view of Lojban gadri. If John is a mass, and I can refer to John as la djan, le prenu or lei prenu pagbu, how does it help knowing that John is a mass? What we need to know is why one would use le with prenu but lei with prenu pagbu. Why do we use a mass-gadri in one case but not the other case, if the referent is always a mass? In fact the referent is not a mass, it is described with lei in terms of pagbu or with le in terms of prenu. "Mass" should be used to talk about types of description, not about types of entities. --mi'e xorxes
        • Like I said, I want any discussion of this on jboske, not here; but masses and sets as far as I'm concerned are in fact 'counting types', not ontological types --- so they are indeed types of description, not entities. The crucial distinction was that until I talked with John, I had no distinction in place for sets vs masses. -- nitcion.
    • set: collectives that are unchippable, no demergent properties
      • Lojban sets aren't just mathematical sets. They also include collectives that don't meet the definition of mass: specifically, if you remove one member of a set, it's a different set altogether, and sets don't have any of the properties of their members except by accident (e.g. the set of stars in the galaxy is large, and so is each star, but the set doesn't actually inherit that property from the stars). When the sumti list tags a place "(set)", it indicates that all the members are relevant.
    • kind: singularized, no emergent properties
      • Lojban kinds (a new sort of thing; the byfy must decide how to talk about them in Lojban) are "myopic singularizations". When I eat fish and chips, and so do you, we don't eat the same lot (aka avatar) of fish and chips, but we both eat the same kind. A kind has the properties that any of its avatars have, and no properties of its own. A given copy of the New York Times is an avatar of that edition of the Times, and each edition is in turn an avatar of the Times as a kind.
  • demerged? demergent? -Robin Lee Powell
    • Emergent properties are those possessed by an aggregate but not by its components (water is wet but oxygen and hydrogen are not). Demergent properties, then, are those possessed by the components but not the aggregate.

  • kind aka myopic singular needed even w/o intensions: e.g. NY Times (edition, instance)
  • depict = simlu, an extensional wrapper around intensional lo ka depictum
  • propositionalism works, because intensions are not world hopping but reified properties with prenex, used in intensional contexts
  • truth of predications, like avatars vs. kind, is culturally determined but not random
    • social and temporal distinctness blocks conflation; otherwise conflation is cultural at the margin
  • possible worlds are not fictional worlds
  • kinds can't be intensional because simple sumti are all equal and all extensional
  • sets are extensional; "intensional sets" still unresolved question
  • lo ka gives the extension of an intension and is safe

Am I the only one who finds this unreadable? -Robin Lee Powell

  • It wasn't meant to be intelligible to anyone but Nick and me in this form. I'm starting to expand it above. I hope that helps.
  • It'll need a lot more than that to help  :-) , but this is building on the Great gadri Discussion of November 2002 - January 2003 in jboske . The underlying politics of this meeting is that Nick, weasel as always, has fled from And's way of doing things back to John's way, on the grounds that it is more consistent with the spirit of Lojban, and will continue to try and offer And the ability to say what he wants, albeit kludgily. One crucial change to prior positions: the Unique becomes disjoint from Intension, and the Intension is approached via the reified proposition qua extension of intension --- if you're looking for a hobbit, you do say something like {le se ka prenrxobiti}, rather than {lo prenrxobiti}. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can trawl through Oct-Jan jboske, or wait a few months till I write up my proposal.) Further discussion of this, though, belongs on jboske. -- nitcion.