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Re: [ontolog-forum] Universal Basic Semantic Structures

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "doug foxvog" <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2012 17:32:56 -0400
Message-id: <29d44cdd4e4475f9cfba38f1f4a7ac07.squirrel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Thu, September 27, 2012 06:21, William Frank wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 12:13 AM, doug foxvog <doug@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> On Wed, September 26, 2012 17:03, John F Sowa wrote:
>> > ...
>> > AS
>> >> Rom Harre:Behind the mereological
>> >> fallacy. Philosophy, 87(341):329¬Ė352, 2012.
>> >>
>> >> According to Harre p 351-2, mereologyís lack of the ability to model
>> >> contexts has led to mereological fallacies, where contexts are
>> >> confusingly mixed:
>> >
>> > RM
>> >> ďthe brain is not a part of a person in the way that a grain of sand
>> >> is part of a beach. It is part of a personís body and a personís body
>> >> is not a part of that person in the relevant sense.    (01)

>> I would consider this philosophical game playing.  I'm guessing that RM
>> is discussing a person as a "soul", a "life force" or event. I'm not
>> sure if he considers a person not to be an animal,
>> or an animal not to have a body as a part.    (02)

> If a body is a *part* of an animal, what is the other part???    (03)

Note that i am responding to the RM quote that says that "a personís body
is not a part of that person in the relevant sense."  His statement was
part of an argument based on the transitivity of parthood:
  * A brain is part of a body;
  * A part of a body would be part of a person IFF the body were part of
    the person;
  * A body is not part of a person;
  * Ergo, a brain is not part of a person.    (04)

Note that in many systems, parthood is reflexive.  I mentioned that
elsewhere.  If we accept this reflexive meaning of parthood, there
need not be any other part.  The whole is the maximal part of an
object under this meaning of parthood.    (05)

But back to your question: "what is the other part?"    (06)

The body would be THE physical part of the animal.  A non-physical part
of the animal would be its "life force" -- or whatever you want to call it.
When the animal dies, its "life force" ceases to exist, although its body
may still exist.    (07)

With such a model you can say that the animal ceases to exist when it
dies, even if the physical part of the animal -- its body -- continues to
exist.    (08)

>  If you want to use "part" differently from English,    (09)

There are hundreds of meanings of "part" in English -- dozens many
large dictionaries.    (010)

> in which language, a car is *not* a part of the car,
> nor is a beach a part of that same beach, that is fine, too.    (011)

Here, you are referring to "proper part".    (012)

> *A physical animal that lives and has a body as its complete physical
> part is a useful concept.    (013)

> ??? So, one part of an animal is its complete physical part, and there is
> some other part, that is not part of its complete physical part????    (014)

This allows for an animal to have a non-physical part, but does not
require it.  It allows for both sort of contexts to use the more general
concept.    (015)

> Also, to explore this ramble a bit, what in the world is philosophical
> game playing?    (016)

I was referring to:
   ďthe brain is not a part of a person in the way that a grain of sand
    is part of a beach. It is part of a personís body and a personís body
    is not a part of that person in the relevant sense."    (017)

>  I guess it must not include statements like *, so, by contrast,
> maybe it is thinking and expressing oneself very carefully.    (018)

You do not consider * to have been expressed very carefully?
I intentionally did not preclude animals (including humans) from
having a soul as a part -- not wanting to step on religious toes.    (019)

An animal that is purely physical is also a useful concept.  But
you will run into problems with people who will not accept that
Human is a subtype of Animal, using such a definition.    (020)

A general context can remain silent on this issue (which is crucial
to many people).  Narrower contexts can accept or reject non-physical
parts of animals.    (021)

Also if you posit that an animal is only its body, you
would need to consider there being two objects: the animal and
the animal's body, which are co-extensive while the animal is
alive, but when one of the co-extensive objects ceases to exist,
the other continues to exist.  This can also lead to ontological
knots.    (022)

>  And, why are you guessing what else someone might believe    (023)

I am guessing what he means in his statement, not what he believes.
I will not attempt to guess if he believes what he says.  8)#    (024)

All language understanding relies on guessing what someone means.
In this case, the author is being argumentative (stating a person's
brain is not part of the person), so that the exact intended meaning
of the words is especially important to understand the thesis.    (025)

> (and I am guessing your guess is incorrect)
> and arguing about *that* in an email to this forum,    (026)

I am guessing what RM meant when i read only a snippet of
what could well be a multi-page argument.    (027)

How would you interpret the "the brain is not a part of a person"
claim?    (028)

>> -- doug foxvog    (029)

> as you do for some many more rambles?    (030)

> --
> William Frank
> 413/376-8167
>    (031)

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