Re: Thoughts and Perceptions

From: John Wilkins (
Date: Fri Apr 19 2002 - 03:25:34 BST

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    Subject: Re: Thoughts and Perceptions
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    On Friday, April 19, 2002, at 08:46 AM, Dace wrote:

    > Hi Wade,
    > You're absolutely justified in standing up for the distinction between
    > concept and reality.  Even if Bill S. is right that the concept of
    > gravity will one day be dismissed by physics, this doesn't change the
    > fact that our current concept refers to something real.  But factuality i
    > sn't identical to actuality.  A fact is a concept that happens to be true,
    > at least in the context of our general conceptual schema, which is
    > always subject to revision. 
    There is a classical error that I have called the Abstraction Fallacy
    before - I found a beautiful quote in Boethius (5thC):

            "It is clear... that this happened to him [Epicurus], and to
            others, because they thought, through inexperience in logical
            argument, that everything they comprehended in reasoning
            occurred also in things themselves. " [_Second
            Commentary of Porphyry's Isagoge_, Bk I, sect 2]

    > Looks like the same semantic blind-spot that tripped you up last summer
    > on "belief."
    > Ted
    > On Thursday, April 18, 2002, at 11:08 , Grant Callaghan wrote:
    > > What actually happened was fact at every stage of the experiment.  The
    > > concept just guided the experiment.
    > You betcha.
    > > What the word "fact" means is the same as with any other word: it
    > > depends on what it is being used to mean.
    > "Yes, that is what the _word_ for fact does," said the White Knight.
    > - - Wade

    John S Wilkins
    Head, Communication Services
    The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
    Parkville, Victoria, Australia

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