RE: virus: maxims and ground rules and suppositions

TheHermit (
Sat, 15 May 1999 16:50:27 -0500

Wordsmythe English Dictionary


SYL:           u-ni-verse
PRO:           yu nih vuhrs
POS:     noun
DEF:       1. all matter and space in existence, including the earth and the
DEF:       2. the earth and all that exists on it.
SYC:           cosmos (1), space (n 1)
SIC:           plenum, macrocosm
XWN:          plenum1(1.00) macrocosm1(1.00) [Experimental WordNet links]
DEF:       3. a sphere in which something exists or occurs.
SYC:           world (2), cosmos (1), matter (1), nature (n 6)
SIC:           creation, macrocosm
XWN:          macrocosm1(1.00)

These are typed in by me. Any error's are no doubt mine.

The New Hamelyn:
Universe n, 1 all of space, and all the matter, energy and ideas which it contains, the cosmos. 2 the whole world; mankind generally; the whole universe knows it. 3 a world or sphere in which something exists or prevails. 4 a galaxy. 5 Logic. the collection of all the objects to which any discourse referse. [t. L: m. s. universum]

Cassels Latin Dictionary
Univerus -a -um, combined in one, whole, entire; plur. universi -ae -a, all together; n. as subst. universum -i, the whole; the world, the universe, all things seen and unseen; phrase, in universum, and adv. universe, generally, in general.

Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary Universe n. 1 The totality of known or supposed objects and phenomena throughout space; the cosmos; macrocosm. 2 The whole world, esp. with reference to humanity: a truth known throughout the universe. 3 A world or sphere in which something exists or prevails: his privat universe. 4 Also called universe of discourse. Logic. The aggregate of all the objects, attributes, and relations assumed or implied in a given discussion. 5 Also called universal set. Math. the set of all elements under discussion for a given problem. 6 Statistics. The entire population under study. [1325-75; ME <OF univers <L universum, n. use of neuter of universus entire, all, lit., turned into one, equiv. to uni- UNI- + versus (ptp. vertere to turn)]

I would say that WWWebsters did not reach at all. Universe as I used it has been the formal definition in Philosophy since Plato, in Science, Mathematics and Logics since the 1500s and in Set Theory since the beginning of this century. It is your limited definition which is incorrect. And Languages, Sets and Meta-Languages are certainly "real things" in every sense of the word. In other words, if you define a "set", that "set" then exists within the "universe" even if it is empty. Of course, any "word" in any language or meta language is also a "set". I recommend you to read any good introduction to predicate (aka Lamda) calculus and symbolic logic or any good introduction to set theory.

re dishonesty, or to be gentler, misdirection: I meant that calling something which may be false (or be meaningless), "a statement of truth" is at best a misdirection but more usually an effort to bamboozle. Note also that something meaningless need not have any context in which it has any "truth value". If we accept Wittgenstein's opinion, then any statement which has no utility has no "truth value" and cannot be meaningfully analysed.

If your circle is a continuum of points on a eucledian plane at a fixed distance from an imaginary locus, then we are visualising the same thing. And whether it exists apart (as an idea, a description or a set of {circles}) or only in our imaginations, the definition of a "thing" (a circle) with "attributes" (a continuum of points on a eucledian plane at a fixed distance from an imaginary locus) has instantiated a class of such "things" in the Universe as defined by every dictionary I have consulted.

I have to go now. I'll try to take it up again later.

Hermit < In Haste >

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf
> Of Eric Boyd
> Sent: Saturday, May 15, 1999 2:57 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: virus: maxims and ground rules and suppositions
> Hi,
> TheHermit <> writes:
> <<
> A "truth value" is a defined result, usually {0 or 1 in classical
> logic; values ranging between -1 and 1 in fuzzy logic} which can be
> obtained from the analysis of any statement including a non-absolute
> statement. A "statement of truth" is not a defined term (unless you
> have a go at it)
> >>
> Well, for all intents and purposes I can see, one could replace
> "statements of truth" with "statements", or "assertions" or
> "communications" or any number of other nouns which refer to *maps*.
> A false statement is *still* embedded in a frame of reference...
> <<
> Of course the "elegant" version smacks more of the intellectual
> dishonesty usually attendent on the founding of a church.
> >>
> Could you explain this further? What part of the maxim do you think
> is intellectually dishonest?
> <<
> Secondly, the idea of "embedding" does not imply "dependency"
> >>
> Really? And are we sure that "dependency" is actually needed? What
> about a statement of truth which can be expressed in two totally
> different "frames of reference". Since it's expression is possible
> without either, it is not "dependent" on either of them -- yet it must
> be embedded in one.
> <<
> >From the definition of Universe in the WWWebster "1 : the whole body
> of things and phenomena observed or postulated" What is a postulate
> other than an imaginary thing? "4 : a set that contains all elements
> relevant to a particular discussion or problem." I know you don't
> think that imaginary elements are not needed in these discussions, and
> to address these problems. Where do you imagine they come from? All
> right, how do you explain that I am not inside your head, yet I know
> what you are thinking :-)
> >>
> I think WWWebsters has gone to far, myself. I do not think the
> universe *contains* the postulated things and phenomena -- only the
> *postulates* themselves. i.e. the universe doesn't *contain* any
> circles -- but it does contain the *postulate* of (the idea of)
> circles: that idea "exists", but only via it's *instantiations* in
> numerous "frames of reference", one of which is my brain, and another
> of which is yours. The Idea itself is Platonic, and as such, purely
> fictious. (and I would further add that it is our langauge which
> creates these Platonic "essences" -- see E-Prime)
> <<
> How do other people understand you unless the body of information
> about definitions, classes, objects and methods is shared? By
> definition, they can only be shared if they exist within the universe
> as it is not possible to interact with something if it is not within
> the same universe as yourself.
> >>
> Other people work with the "same" *ideas* as I do -- and people debate
> the nature of the "sameness" all the time. Is information unique?[1]
> Is my instantiation of "circle" the same as yours? I contend no. It
> is the fact that different people have different instantiations of
> ideas (in different "frames of reference") that makes communication
> both difficult and rewarding.
> My universe contains only real things -- some of which *represent*
> imaginary ideas/things to entities with the proper "frame of
> reference".
> Which reminds me of a cute story about his whole issue -- I think it
> is something Douglas Adams wrote, but am not sure.
> It begins with a guy trying to solve a problem. He has no idea what
> the solution is, but he takes out a piece of paper and writes down a
> random assortment of symbols and *declares* it to be the answer in a
> language he does not know... Now, he has reduced the previously
> difficult problem to a mere linguistic one: all he has to do is find
> someone who knows the language in which the answer is writen!
> (BTW: the above can be taken as a proof of the non-existence of a
> "universal" translator -- since such a translaor would be omniscient,
> a clear impossibility)
> ERiC
> [1] It is this type of problem which leads to the Platonic Forms --
> your solution seems to be to include the Platonic Forms as *part* of
> the universe, which is non-sense in my opinion. Platonic Forms simply
> do not exist -- only instantiations of those Platonic Forms -- which
> sort of defeats the whole purpose of them, eh? There is no "perfect"
> understanding, which is another way of saying there is no "God".