What "is not there" can be just as important as what is there. (01)
What mathematical system works without zeros and placeholders? (02)
"Nothing" merits a catagory. (03)
Deborah MacPherson (04)
On 7/25/07, Waclaw Kusnierczyk <Waclaw.Marcin.Kusnierczyk@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> John F. Sowa wrote:
> > Wacek,
> >
> > The question of how to or whether to represent a null value of
> > some kind is a contextdependent issue about how to regularize
> > the operators of some mathematical system.
> >
> > vQ> If you and me are just you and me, then nothing is nothing,
> > > no entity at all, and not the empty set. You can well
> > > interpret 'nothing' as a sheet of paper on which there is
> > > no drawing, though there is the sheet  how do such
> > > interpretations help?
> >
> > The number 0, for example, simplifies the statements of many
> > arithmetic principles. Similarly, the empty set simplifies
> > many of the axioms of set theory. In lattices, the bottom
> > symbol simplifies many axioms. In a Boolean lattice, the
> > bottom corresponds to a proposition that is always false;
> > such a proposition doesn't say anything useful, but it makes
> > it possible to formulate the axioms more systematically.
> >
> > For some mathematical structures, a null value has no useful
> > role. In most versions of mereology, for example, there is
> > no empty part. An atom in mereology is defined to be something
> > that has no part other than itself. In such systems, the word
> > 'nothing' is just a way of saying 'no thing'. Unlike the empty
> > set, which is assumed to exist in set theory, the word 'nothing'
> > (or a formal symbol that represents it) would be a way of saying
> > "It is false that there exists an x such that..."
> >
> > In short, the concept of 'nothing' or a 'null value' depends
> > on the operations needed to regularize some system.
>
> No doubt here. I thought we were talking about ontology there, and
> interpreting 'nothing' as denoting the empty set (an entity in itself)
> does not seem correct to me. Of course, you may build a mathematical
> model of reality in which nothing is modelled as the empty set (and the
> empty set is modelled as the set composed of the empty set), and such a
> model may be used to interpret sentences containing the word 'nothing'.
>
> But I do not see how "''nothing'', or
> ''nonentity'' or ''nonbeing'', interpreted as the empty set, is another
> ontological category."
>
>
> vQ
>
> _________________________________________________________________
> Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontologforum/
> Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontologforum/
> Unsubscribe: mailto:ontologforumleave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
> Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
> To Post: mailto:ontologforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>
> (05)
_________________________________________________________________
Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontologforum/
Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontologforum/
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontologforumleave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
To Post: mailto:ontologforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (06)
