kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 02:11 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;126970 wrote:


Are then predicates definitions? Well I would say that all predicates are at least partial definitions.

Example

1) A sphere is a three-dimensional surface, all points of which are equidistant from a fixed point.

2) The sphere is red.

1) is a universal statement by "a sphere" we mean "all spheres"
2) is a particular statement by "the sphere" we mean "that particular sphere".

So there are universal definitions and there are definitions of particulars just as predicates can be predicated of in the universal or the particular. (Did I say this last part right?)


What is "the sphere is red" a definition of?
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 04:54 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127111 wrote:
What is "the sphere is red" a definition of?


"The sphere is red" further defines a particular sphere to be a red sphere. It limits that sphere's color to the color red.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 05:48 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;127154 wrote:
"The sphere is red" further defines a particular sphere to be a red sphere. It limits that sphere's color to the color red.


You cannot define things or objects. You can define only words. "The sphere is red" is not a definition of anything. It states a proposition, and predicates red or some particular sphere. What you find in a dictionary is a definition of the word, "sphere". There are no spheres in the dictionary. (Maybe pictures of spheres).
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 07:54 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127160 wrote:
You cannot define things or objects. You can define only words. "The sphere is red" is not a definition of anything. It states a proposition, and predicates red or some particular sphere. What you find in a dictionary is a definition of the word, "sphere". There are no spheres in the dictionary. (Maybe pictures of spheres).


What if the sphere has a name? Then we would have a word to define.

"The sphere" or "this type of sphere" is a sort of name denoting some particular sphere in the first case and a particular type of sphere in the second case. These phrases serve as names or at least have an anaphorical relationship to names of particular things i.e. terms one would find in a dictionary.

For example, "Sun", "Jupiter" and "Mars" are in the dictionary and could each be referred to as "the sphere" within a sentence.

This sphere is called "Mars". The sphere is red.

"The sphere is red" further defines a particular sphere, namely Mars.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 08:03 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;127211 wrote:
What if the sphere has a name? Then we would have a word to define.

"The sphere" or "this type of sphere" is a sort of name denoting some particular sphere in the first case and a particular type of sphere in the second case. These phrases serve as names or at least have an anaphorical relationship to names of particular things i.e. terms one would find in a dictionary.

For example, "Sun", "Jupiter" and "Mars" are in the dictionary and could each be referred to as "the sphere" within a sentence.

This sphere is called "Mars". The sphere is red.

"The sphere is red" further defines a particular sphere, namely Mars.


Suppose the sphere were named, "Herman". Do you think that "Herman is red" is a definition of Herman? What if we made a mistake, and it turned out that Herman was not red. Would that mean that Herman was not Herman? Anyway, I didn't know that proper names had definitions. What is the definition of "Deckard".

I agree that Mars is red. But I don't agree that red is part of the definition of Mars. In fact, we can say that Mars is the fourth planet. But that does not define "Mars. It just tells us what the planet Mars is. And the planet Mars is not a word. It is a planet. If part of the definition of "Mars" was that it was the fourth planet, then that would mean that Mars was the fourth planet by definition. But that is not true. Suppose we discover that Mars is actually the fifth planet, by suddenly discovering a planet between Earth and Mars. Mars would still be Mars even if Mars turned out to be the fifth planet. It would still be the same planet, wouldn't it be?
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 08:33 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127214 wrote:
Suppose the sphere were named, "Herman". Do you think that "Herman is red" is a definition of Herman? Anyway, I didn't know that proper names had definitions. What is the definition of "Deckard".

I agree that Mars is red. But I don't agree that red is part of the definition of Mars. In fact, we can say that Mars is the fourth planet. But that does not define "Mars. It just tells us what the planet Mars is. And the planet Mars is not a word. It is a planet. If part of the definition of "Mars" was that it was the fourth planet, then that would mean that Mars was the fourth planet by definition. But that is not true. Suppose we discover that Mars is actually the fifth planet, by suddenly discovering a planet between Earth and Mars. Mars would still be Mars even if Mars turned out to be the fifth planet. It would still be the same planet, wouldn't it be?


I'm going to take a step back here.
I kind of jumped into the idea of all predication being definition. This is probably the wrong direction to go in. i over applied the idea before really addressing the main question:

Is definition a type of predication?
or
Within the context of defining terms, is a term the subject and a definition the predicate.

I say Yes. When we give a definition there is usually a copula or an implied copula linking the term to be defined with its definition.

This does not mean that all predication is definition. That would be fallacious reasoning. Which fallacy is that Affirming the Consequent? Anyway, I'm going back to before I jumped into that. Maybe that's a hedgehog tendency. I was trying to make definition into a bigger thing that it is. Predication is the big thing and definition smaller by comparison. Is definition a type of predication?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 08:40 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;127230 wrote:
I'm going to take a step back here.
I kind of jumped into the idea of all predication being definition. This is probably the wrong direction to go in. i over applied the idea before really addressing the main question:

Is definition a type of predication?
or
Within the context of defining terms, is a term the subject and a definition the predicate.

I say Yes. When we give a definition there is usually a copula or an implied copula linking the term to be defined with its definition.

This does not mean that all predication is definition. That would be fallacious reasoning. Which fallacy is that Affirming the Consequent? Anyway, I'm going back to before I jumped into that. Maybe that's a hedgehog tendency. I was trying to make definition into a bigger thing that it is. Predication is the big thing and definition smaller by comparison. Is definition a type of predication?


Suppose I define "bachelor" as "unmarried male". That is not a kind of predication. I am not saying that all bachelors are unmarried males (although that is true). I am saying that in English, the term, "bachelor" means "umarried male" that is not a predication. I am saying that is most contexts, the two terms can be substituted for each other.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 08:56 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127235 wrote:
Suppose I define "bachelor" as "unmarried male". That is not a kind of predication. I am not saying that all bachelors are unmarried males (although that is true). I am saying that in English, the term, "bachelor" means "umarried male" that is not a predication. I am saying that is most contexts, the two terms can be substituted for each other.


The definition 'bachelor' = 'unmarried male' seems remarkably similar to the predication "All bachelors are unmarried males".

It is just a difference between talking about the word 'bachelor' and actual bachelors.

A definition can be rephrased as a predication provided we insert a phrase like 'the word':

The word 'bachelor' is interchangeable with 'unmarried male'.

With these stipulations we can say that a definition is a predicate that has a word as its subject.

Do you agree?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 09:03 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;127248 wrote:
The definition 'bachelor' = 'unmarried male' seems remarkably similar to the predication "All bachelors are unmarried males".

It is just a difference between talking about the word 'bachelor' and actual bachelors.

A definition can be rephrased as a predication provided we insert a phrase like 'the word':

The word 'bachelor' is interchangeable with 'unmarried male'.

With these stipulations we can say that a definition is a predicate that has a word as its subject.

Do you agree?


If you insist. But it seems to me like scratching the left part of the back of my head with my right hand. A pointless circumlocution.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 09:12 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127255 wrote:
If you insist. But it seems to me like scratching the left part of the back of my head with my right hand. A pointless circumlocution.


How would one scratch that same itch with the left hand?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 09:16 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;127261 wrote:
How would one scratch that same itch with the left hand?


By simply reaching to scratch it. But it would be an easier way of doing it. No contortion to do the same thing.
0 Replies
 
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 09:23 pm
@Deckard,
kennethamy;127265 wrote:
By simply reaching to scratch it. But it would be an easier way of doing it. No contortion to do the same thing.


Hey it's your metaphor

You describe the following as scratching the left part of the back of your head with your right hand:

Deckard;127248 wrote:

With these stipulations we can say that a definition is a predicate that has a word as its subject.


How do I say the same thing with "no contortion"?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 09:28 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;127270 wrote:
Hey it's your metaphor

You describe the following as scratching the left part of the back of your head with your right hand:



How do I say the same thing with "no contortion"?


I guess by saying that "unmarried man" is the definition of "bachelor" in English. How else?
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 09:33 pm
@kennethamy,
This thread is about definition. I thought it was valuable to identify definition as a type of predication. And by the way, it's really not that difficult to scratch the left side of your head with your right hand unless your head is extremely large.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 09:39 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;127279 wrote:
This thread is about definition. I thought it was valuable to identify definition as a type of predication. And by the way, it's really not that difficult to scratch the left side of your head with your right hand unless your head is extremely large.


I suppose that if you use the notion of predication loosely and widely enough you can do that. But what would be valuable about it I don't see.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 09:46 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127281 wrote:
I suppose that if you use the notion of predication loosely and widely enough you can do that. But what would be valuable about it I don't see.


Well, not everyone finds the same things valuable or interesting. That's fine. Good day sir.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 04:36 am
@kennethamy,
None of this suites me...Concepts define, and concepts redefined and refine their subjects...They tell truth as much as is possible, but it is an ongoing process which can never be considered as done, and yes, all words are concepts, or forrms, or idieas, or notions; all those words having that class of meaning for a certain being...
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 12:31 am
@Fido,
Fido;127418 wrote:
They tell truth as much as is possible, but it is an ongoing process which can never be considered as done


Yessir. So maybe there is something new beneath that old Sun of ours occasionally.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 12:36 am
@Reconstructo,
Interesting to note that "under the Sun" is a pre-Copernican figure of speech.
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 12:48 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;128367 wrote:
Interesting to note that "under the Sun" is a pre-Copernican figure of speech.


Excellent point. Took me 2.7 seconds to grasp what I think it is you're saying. Isn't that one of the oldest books in the Bible? I do think there's a wisdom in the statement, but only to a point. I've been harping on this quote lately but if "the real is revealed by discourse" and the discourse continues...the real is always being born.
 

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