On Oct 9, 2008, at 6:59 AM, Rob Freeman wrote:
> Pat,
> ...
> You say for the case of "cardinality in logical interpretations", at
> least, the question has been looked into, and the answer was that
> "the number of possible relations over a universe is a much larger
> cardinality than the universe ..., but this doesn't matter because
> the logic isn't obliged to consider all of these relations, only
> enough to provide denotations for all the relationnaming terms in
> the language."
>
> That argument strikes me as completely circular. (01)
Nonetheless, it is not. (02)
> Who says how many relations are "enough to provide denotations for
> all the relationnaming terms in the language"? (03)
How many are enough is clearly and precisely determined by the
language in question together with its semantics. At a minimum, in a
classical semantics, a denotation must be assigned to every relation
naming term in the language. Depending on the language/semantics in
question, this could require as little as just one relation  absent
any further constraints, every relationnaming term could denote that
one relation. More typically, however, the language+semantics
together require more than this. Notably, in the language L2 of
secondorder logic with abstraction terms, for every formula
A(x1,...,xn) of the language there is a relationdenoting expression
[\lambda x1...xn A(x1,...,xn)] whose extension comprises exactly those
ntuples that satisfy A(x1,...,xn). Given the presence of the usual
array of boolean operators in the language  notably, negation,
conjunction, and disjunction  this means that the class of relations
(viewed extensionally) has at least to be closed under complementation
and finite unions and intersections. In standard secondorder
semantics this constraint is satisfied by the fact that the class of
(nplace) relations is required to be the entire power set of the
class of ntuples of elements of the domain. So in every classical
interpretation I of L2, the number of nplace relations, for a given
n, is exactly 2^(m*n), where m is the number of individuals in the
domain of I. If, however, we interpret a secondorder language by the
socalled "general semantics" of Henkin, this constraint can be
satisfied by the minimal closure under the above operations, relative
to some initial assignment to the primitive predicates of the
language. And for a countable domain, that is still countable. (04)
More generally, then, the answer to your question "who [better: what]
sez how many relations are enough to provide denotations for all the
relationnaming terms in the language?" is: "The language and its
semantics." And how many relations are needed, for a given language
+semantics, can be determined quite precisely. (05)
> The number of relations we need is exactly the question at issue. (06)
Vide above. (07)
> This is again the question when I ask "whether you can ignore sets and
> work only with categories." (08)
That looks like a very different question indeed. (09)
> The distinction at the end you "completely fail to follow" is yet
> another a restatement of this question whether all these possible
> sets "matter"/"are distinct in meaningful ways". (010)
I fail to follow as well if, as it seems, this is supposed to be a
Deep Question. For surely, say, the set of men and the set of women
are meaningfully distinct, no? And surely the union and intersection
of those sets are meaningfully distinct, aren't they? (011)
Chris Menzel (012)
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