Hi John and Chris,
I found this posting on the PsyArt list, and brought it here since it
addresses the subjectivity of interpretation. It sheds some light on the
issue of how people interpret situations in a deeply subjective and
experiential way, yet relates it to normal conversational material:
Naive liberalism, like paranoid conservatism, is
pathology, intolerance of difference, which has sought a political
disguise. The possible responses to the challenge to absorb and reconcile
divergent points of view are the issues. The narcissism rubric is a good
one for this purpose, as it encompasses both stereotyped poles - to what extent
do we guard against the intrusive idea by means of evoking gods, self-evident
principles, presumed authorities, and by demonizing the other? Passion
and argumentativeness have their place, but in carefully reading or hearing the
response of the pious or indignant Other, it can be easy to hear defenses
against thoughts that seem to threaten to undermine something the fabric of the
self is tightly woven upon.
Hands can get dirty, black eyes and wounded
self-esteem can result from righteous and even enjoyable conflict - but the
substance of the Other's point of view is often completely defended against,
either by rejecting everything passionate or polemical (can't we just all get
along, without raising our voices?), or by people who should know better simply
hurling flaming dogma at one another. Many of those in both camps are
still reeling from the absence of god, and can't yet have a decent debate in
which they hear something alien without freaking out or invoking some
substitute higher authority.
The religious impulse and the narcissistic need to
align oneself - identify, even - with the deities of master narratives and
reductive principles, are closely related, and epidemic, even among
well-educated and well-analyzed analysts.
Dan Sapen, Ph.D.
Dan's viewpoint is psychological in origin, in his background and
construal of normal existence. For NLP purposes, we should be able to
state that each individual perceives reality in a uniquely subjective way,
whether it is the religious, political, scientific or technological orientation
that is being used in a discussion.
With this kind of evidence from dedicated practitioners, mustn't we
conclude that Run, Put and Set are also interpreted subjectively, and
situationally, rather than lexically?
It is well known that there is a common, rather small vocabulary that
people use for most utterances, writings, and research. Why assume that
Run, Put and Set have different DEFINITIONS for each interpretation?
It seems more likely that each language user interprets each language
sample based on life experience at least as much, if not more, than the usual
simplistic statement of an abstract meaning for those frequent words.
Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F. Sowa
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 12:59 AM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Run, put, and set
On 5/30/2011 10:35 PM, Rich Cooper wrote:
> What interesting diversity of meanings for such a small kernel of
> verbs! But as a set of primitives, those would relate to
> only so distinguishable as to separate the classes of words to
> from the example, run, put and set.
I agree that the 645 senses of 'run' have some vague central core that
is different from whatever central core is common to the 400+ senses
of 'put' or the 200+ senses of 'set'.
However, that commonality is not something that anyone has been
able to express in any kind of definition, either in a natural
language or some artificial language.
I would pose that as a challenge to anybody who claims that such
definitions would be suitable primitives. For starters, just take
any reasonable dictionary, such as Merriam-Webster Collegiate.
the verb 'run' as an intransitive verb, M-W has 15 major senses,
each with 1 to 4 subsenses; as a transitive verb, it has another
15 major senses, each with 1 to 5 subsenses; and it has more senses
with various prepositions.
That's much less than 645 senses, but it's enough to pose a challenge:
state what is common to all those senses in English. Check
other English speakers can guess what word your proposed definition
is supposed to define. Then do the same for 'put' and 'set'.
> So perhaps the actual conclusion you could have reached is that
> primitive set is very, very small and there are lots of
> and refinements of each kernel concept.
To demonstrate that such words could be considered useful primitives
that are suitable for defining other terms, you would have to
1. Start by stating a definition of each so-called primitive,
as in the above challenge.
2. Then go to Longman's dictionary and select some definitions
that use those words to define other words.
3. Substitute the definitions you stated for step #1 into the
definitions for step #2. Make whatever
may be needed to make the definitions
4. Give the definitions derived by the above steps to somebody
else and ask whether they can guess what word
is being defined.
If you can demonstrate success with just English definitions and
human interpreters, then try to formalize the definitions in logic
and check whether the result can be used for computer reasoning.
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