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Re: Comparison of philosophical languages

From:Bryan Maloney <> <slimehoo@...>
Date:Thursday, January 23, 2003, 15:23
--- In, Eamon Graham <robertg@A...> wrote:

> Why is "Koran" minadi = "proper noun political religious > publication." While some of the Koran does, in fact, deal with the > political situations of the Prophet's time and gives certain rules > for the political and civil order, I could argue that it is less > political in nature than the Bible "proper noun wet religious > publication."
Because these "categories" are really just one person's individual prejudices put forth as some sort of "universals". I'm reminded of my forays into 18th-century proto-biological writings or early 20th- century eugenics tracts.
> Perhaps "Koran" should be something like "proper noun |Koran| > religious publication" with "Koran" being borrowed into the
If one wants to do that, what would be the most neutral would be something like this: Human: <leave axiomatic for the purpose of this example> Major Figure: fn(Human) unique "remembered" Abraham: (proper noun) fn(major figure) (list of attributes) Mohammed the Prophet: (proper noun) fn(major figure) (list of attributes) Hussein:(proper noun) fn(major figure) (list of attributes) Ali:(proper noun) fn(major figure) (list of attributes) Islam: (proper noun) (fn(human) societal group) religious (adjective fn(Abraham)) (adjective fn(Mohammed)) Sunni: fn(Islam) (adjective (fn(Ali)) Shia: fn(Islam) (adjective (fn(Hussein)) fn, of course, being a function call to the previously defined parameter. What? Why are you looking at me like that? Come on, people! Any language that really exercises strict object definition logic will not be able to get by without function calls or their equivalent. Otherwise you'll have to repeat things over and over and over and over. Adding function calls gives another dimension to the semantic space. Tring to make everything a unique string of "atomic" syllables is akin to making a graph in one dimension. It had better be a pretty darn simple graph. Logical expression, on the other hand, is actually an n-dimensional problem, where "n" is currently unknown (or at least unknown to me). One way of getting around this unknown quality is to permit function calls, with each call adding a new dimension to the graph that is a word. What can be very intesting is when one starts nesting these functions. One soon sees that even to map conceptual space, a simple (I daresay "boneheaded") syllable-per-semanteme approach may very well be foredoomed to failure because the system being modeled has more dimensions and inherent non-trivial complexity than the approach permits. Some background to my bias: I'm a molecular biologist. The history of molecular biology is an excellent example of the realization of a multidimensional problem, said realization brought about by complete and utter failure of "rational" and "logical" _a priori_ models. Now, such models are still used, but they are restricted to very small questions and their limits are generally well-recognized. The simple fact may be that even conceptual space may be non-
> I think "noun opposite religious person" for atheist might not be > exact enough either.
Not to mention the fact that this ignores the continuum of atheism. Some screaming twits actively "oppose" religion, but for others it is simply irrelevant.
> Buddhism, for example, is "proper noun philosophical religious > organization" but in my experience Buddhism is not organized in the > way that, for example, Catholicism is, being much more individual
Likwise, the majority of Buddhism as practiced is no more philosophical than is Christianity as practiced. What has happened is that a very narrow subset of Buddhism became popularized in the West by intellectuals and rich dilletantes, and it is this form that is generally presumed to be "Buddhism" as a whole by the ignorant.