Re: electric meme bombs

Date: Sun 27 Oct 2002 - 17:58:30 GMT

  • Next message: Philip Jonkers: "Re: Standard definition"

    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: <>
    > > My problem is not with the individual existence of each tree, but
    > > with the impossibility of talking about trees in general. For every
    > > individual
    > tree
    > > would have to have an individual name if the type/token distinction,
    > > under which each tree is a token of the type 'tree', is denied.
    > > Wade was actually doing this concerning actions, but you cannot pick
    > > and choose where the type/token structure of language applies. And
    > > when one eliminates that distinction, one eliminates the grounds of
    > > shared meaning from which meaningful communication and discourse may
    > > emerge.
    > In Wade's scheme you have to have each time a different language to
    > talk about any tree individualistic, that is what you' re saying here,
    > no !?
    You would have to have a different word to describe every tree, and you could not describe them in aggregate as 'trees', since their tree- typeness, and their status as tokens of a tree-type, would be denied.
    > But is that, in the real sense of the word, a problem !?
    > Talking about the rain forest doesn 't mean we deny the existence of
    > other forest in the world !? Each forest has its name, place and
    > function in the total picture of what we see as nature, and IMO if I
    > talk about the trees which are standing in the neighbourhood where I
    > live I talk about specific trees, not about those trees of the
    > Amazone. So in that sense am I not talking about those in the
    > individualistic type/ token distinction !?
    You could not use words like 'tree' or 'forest'; they are type-words. True, you could use words like 'amazon' and 'tongass' to describe forests, and you might be able to remember all the different terms, since there are not a plethora of forests (although it would then not be possible to use the word 'amazon' to describe the river); the major problem comes when you talk about individual trees. Imagine seven trees, each sprung from the same parent, growing in a grove. Each would have to have its own name, nonrelational to the others (eng, thran, volub, etc., etc.), and in fact, every tree on the planet would have to be designated in such a nonrelational manner. Besides the problem of memorizing billions of words just to describe the trees, we would have the additional problem of having to view every tree (or a portrayal of it) in order to apply the proper name to each entity. To call such a linguistic system impossibly unwieldy is a massive understatement.
    > In the way Wade applied this to actions I can understand his
    > motivation because I think I am on his side on this one.
    > My stance is, and has always been, that within society/ culture
    > we have to look at the individual and his actions to understand
    > society/ culture in its whole.
    Under Wade's scheme, couldn't even call them actions, because
    'action' is a type of which the individual actions are tokens. They would all have to have countless individual names. Get it?
    > The fact that you or I behave in a specific way, than collective
    > way doesn 't mean we haven 't individualistic aspect/ affects towards
    > it_ our genetic/ memetic isomorphism makes that possible. The main
    > point of my discourse is that within society/ culture everything is
    > biased upon a collective way of seeing things, where IMO the basis has
    > always been individualistic, groupsbounding_ in any way, like Gould
    > mentioned is just another step in evolution. Goulds Full House idea
    > implies that individualism was the norm to beat, individual selection
    > was overrun by the space groupse- lection needed, and what counted for
    > groupsize, is now still the norm for any other social- mutation,...
    > including language.
    There is a dialectic between identity and difference that is resolved into similarity, which allows for individual differences while still allowing similars to be included as tokens of a type. This type-token set grouping is a grounding pillar of the possibility of meaningful discourse. Wade's scheme would excise the identity pole completely, killing the dialectic and not permitting the comparison or common grouping of similars, since similars would no longer be possible; all individual things would be considered to be absolutely different from and nonrelational to all others. Thus adoping Wade's scheme would render the applicability of common descriptive terms impossible and destroy the possibility of meaningful discourse.
    > Regards,
    > Kenneth
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