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Re: [ontolog-forum] Fw: Triadic Sign Relations

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2010 21:00:00 -0400
Message-id: <4C6B3090.1010008@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 8/17/2010 1:28 AM, FERENC KOVACS wrote:
> Further to that you write: “a type is a pattern for classifying marks”.
> In my view type is just a name for a number of similar objects grouped
> as a set, hence an object of multiple incidences.    (01)

That is the extensional view, which treats sets as fundamental and
types as derivative.  But the extensional view runs into trouble when
we want to talk about things that don't exist, don't yet exist, or
exist in sets that are far too big or too difficult to see.    (02)

 > Therefore "a token is the result of classifying a mark according
 > to some type" means to me that they are specific or individual
 > members of the former sets.    (03)

That distinction is unworkable as a criterion for practice.  For
example, we can define the type 'cow', but we can never deal with
the set of all cows.  We can define the type 'unicorn' and state
very clearly that no unicorn could ever by a cow, independently
of whether or not it exists.    (04)

I realize that some logicians try to reduce all of mathematics to
set theory, but that is a very recent (and unfinished and perhaps
even unfinishable) effort.  When we're dealing with ordinary language
and thought, types are fundamental and sets are derivative.    (05)

 > I should add, that all of the above items are a product of
 > convention, not just your symbols. A symbol is a man made object
 > to stand in for a not man made object, a “surrogate”. But it is
 > not just man made objects that are used that way. Think of a
 > rainbow, etc.    (06)

Every semiotician since Aristotle distinguished natural signs
from conventional signs.  Natural signs, for example, would
include symptoms of a disease, a rainbow as a sign of a passing
shower, smoke as a sign of fire, etc.    (07)

Conventional signs are agreed by some "minds or quasi-minds"
as Peirce would say.  Examples include words and letters of
human languages, but they also include conventions between
humans and their pets.    (08)

That also includes conventional signs between non-human animals,
such as warning calls or mating displays.  Most such signs
are innate, but some of the higher animals create conventions
among members of the same group. And for that matter, the only
difference between innate and newly created conventions is
whether they are encoded in genes or neurons -- either way,
they are conventional signs.    (09)

John    (010)

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