fast
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 10:10 am
What does it mean for something to be instantiated? What kinds of things can be instantiated? For example, can things be instantiated, or is the case that words and terms can be instantiated? Or could it be that both words (and terms) and things can be instantiated?

I'm trying to make sure that I'm not making a category error when I talk of something being instantiated.
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Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 10:15 am
@fast,
The way I understand the word is that it'd be the opposite of grouping, generalization or abstraction. For example, if I say that the latest survey in the midwest U.S. showed that most men with beards frequent the Philosophy Forum, I might instantiate that by talking about Khethil, and how he fits the pattern previously mentioned (e.g., bringing the general back down to the specific).

If I've got this wrong, after laughing, someone please correct. Thanks
0 Replies
 
Wisdom Seeker
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 10:18 am
@fast,
What does it mean for something to be instantiated?
-to explain things cannot be explain or hard to explain

i think all things can be initiated
0 Replies
 
Twirlip
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 10:20 am
@fast,
This might help (or it might usefully confuse and puzzle):
Types and Tokens (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
5. The Relation between Types and their Tokens
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jgweed
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 10:23 am
@fast,
The Stanford Encyclopedia explains its use when discussing properties:

"Properties can be Instantiated

Properties are most naturally contrasted with particulars, i.e., with individual things. The fundamental difference between properties and individuals is that properties can be instantiated or exemplified, whereas individuals cannot. Furthermore, at least many properties are general; they can be instantiated by more than one thing.
The things that exemplify a property are called instances of it (the instances of a relation are the things, taken in the relevant order, that stand in that relation). It is a matter of controversy whether properties can exist without actually being exemplified and whether some properties can be exemplified by other properties (in the way, perhaps, that redness exemplifies the property of being a color). Some philosophers even hold that there are unexemplifiable properties, e.g., being red and not red, but even they typically believe that such properties are intimately related to other properties (here being red and not being red) that can be exemplified."

Properties (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
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fast
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 10:26 am
@fast,
I thought the presence of a unicorn would instantiate the existence of a unicorn. I thought the presence of a pencil would instantiate the existence of a pencil.

By the same token, I suppose the use of a word would instantiate the existence of a word. However, the mere use of a word doesn't instantiate the object that the word would refer to if it did.

So, what is it to instantiate? If I asked you to instantiate something, I suppose I'm asking you to provide some proof that something exists. For example, you can show me some gold to instantiate the existence of gold. Or, you could provide an argument that shows that gold exists to instantiate the fact that gold exists.

---------- Post added 04-19-2010 at 12:28 PM ----------

jgweed;154011 wrote:
The Stanford Encyclopedia explains its use when discussing properties:
That does seem to be when it's most often used.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 10:34 am
@fast,
fast;154002 wrote:
What does it mean for something to be instantiated? What kinds of things can be instantiated? For example, can things be instantiated, or is the case that words and terms can be instantiated? Or could it be that both words (and terms) and things can be instantiated?

I'm trying to make sure that I'm not making a category error when I talk of something being instantiated.


If X is instantiated by Y, then Y is an instance of X. Thus, the description, "The first man on the Moon" is instantiated by Neil Armstrong. And nothing instantiates, "The first man on Mars" (at least, so far). "Instantiated" means, "is an instance of" (or example of, and, "exemplified" is a synonym of "instantiated"). Can there be an instance of a dog? Yes, Fido.
fast
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 10:42 am
@fast,
The description is being instantiated? The description itself?
Twirlip
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 10:46 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;154017 wrote:
Can there be an instance of a dog? Yes, Fido.

Moreover, that pattern of dots on your computer screen there - that "Fido" - is an instance of the abstract universal word, "Fido".

As Russell put it, in a footnote on page 34 of [my instance of the Pelican edition of] An Enquiry into Meaning and Truth (1940):
Quote:
[...] the status of a word, as opposed to its instances, is the same as that of Dog as opposed to various particular dogs.
(I wonder if Plato had a pet Form of a Dog, named Phaedo?)

(c) 2010 Confuse-a-Cat Ltd.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 10:49 am
@fast,
fast;154018 wrote:
The description is being instantiated? The description itself?


What do you mean by "the description itself?" If I understand you, then a description could be instantiated only by itself. By saying that a description is instantiated, I understand that something answers to that description. Something is described by that description. So, to say that a description is instantiated should not be taken as literally as you seem to be taking it.
fast
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 11:20 am
@kennethamy,
[QUOTE=kennethamy;154026]What do you mean by "the description itself?" If I understand you, then a description could be instantiated only by itself. By saying that a description is instantiated, I understand that something answers to that description. Something is described by that description. So, to say that a description is instantiated should not be taken as literally as you seem to be taking it.[/QUOTE]I understand, but I wanted to make sure you weren't being literal. It can be tricky sometimes when trying to figure out when one should be taken literally.

For example, you know well the difference between a referring term (that successfully refers) and the referent of such a term, so if you were to profess that you were talking about a term, I would take it literally that you were not talking about the object of a term but instead talking about the referring term itself. [use versus mention]

In this case, you didn't say, "term." Instead, you said, "description," so I had to wonder what you meant. Interestingly enough, I wonder what you would have been talking about had you said, "term". It seems that it would have been yet another instance where I shouldn't have taken you literally!
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 11:48 am
@fast,
fast;154042 wrote:
I understand, but I wanted to make sure you weren't being literal. It can be tricky sometimes when trying to figure out when one should be taken literally.

For example, you know well the difference between a referring term (that successfully refers) and the referent of such a term, so if you were to profess that you were talking about a term, I would take it literally that you were not talking about the object of a term but instead talking about the referring term itself. [use versus mention]

In this case, you didn't say, "term." Instead, you said, "description," so I had to wonder what you meant. Interestingly enough, I wonder what you would have been talking about had you said, "term". It seems that it would have been yet another instance where I shouldn't have taken you literally!


I said, "too literally". I wasn't being metaphorical. I meant by "instantiates" a description just, "answers that description" or is described by that description. That's fairly literal, I think. And, by the way, "the first man on the moon" is a term (at least in logic). "Term" is not the same thing as, "word". In logic, the terms of an argument are the subject or predicate terms of the argument, and so can be noun phrases like, "All individuals who lack money and power, are individuals who will be unhappy when they are married". The terms of that sentence are, "individuals who lack money and power", and, "individuals who will be unhappy when they are married".
fast
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 12:20 pm
@kennethamy,
[QUOTE=kennethamy;154052]I said, "too literally". I wasn't being metaphorical. I meant by "instantiates" a description just, "answers that description" or is described by that description. That's fairly literal, I think. And, by the way, "the first man on the moon" is a term (at least in logic). "Term" is not the same thing as, "word". In logic, the terms of an argument are the subject or predicate terms of the argument, and so can be noun phrases like, "All individuals who lack money and power, are individuals who will be unhappy when they are married". The terms of that sentence are, "individuals who lack money and power", and, "individuals who will be unhappy when they are married".[/QUOTE]

So, what's being instantiated is the term, "the first man on the moon," and what instantiates that term is the fact there was a first man [in this case, Neil Armstrong] on the moon.

Again, it is the term (the term itself) that is being instantiated. Right? If so, then I don't understand what was wrong with saying that the description (the description itself) is being instantiated. If the description is not being instantiated, then I suppose the term isn't being instantiated, and if something is being instantiated, I suppose it's the referent of the term that is. I don't care which it is just so long as I know which it is.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 12:35 pm
@fast,
fast;154060 wrote:


So, what's being instantiated is the term, "the first man on the moon," and what instantiates that term is the fact there was a first man [in this case, Neil Armstrong] on the moon.

Again, it is the term (the term itself) that is being instantiated. Right? If so, then I don't understand what was wrong with saying that the description (the description itself) is being instantiated. If the description is not being instantiated, then I suppose the term isn't being instantiated, and if something is being instantiated, I suppose it's the referent of the term that is. I don't care which it is just so long as I know which it is.


Not the fact. Just Neil Armstrong. The description is being instantiated. The referent of the term is the instantiation of the term, and the term is being instantiated by its referent.
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