Re: RM formalism supporting partial information

From: Bob Badour <>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2007 14:13:45 -0400
Message-ID: <473c8c00$0$5284$>

Marshall wrote:

> On Nov 14, 9:12 pm, David BL <> wrote:

>>On Nov 15, 10:01 am, Marshall <> wrote:
>>>On Nov 14, 2:21 pm, David BL <> wrote:
>>>>On Nov 15, 1:20 am, Bob Badour <> wrote:
>>>>>paul c wrote:
>>>>>>David BL wrote:
>>>>>>>This is still a work in progress.
>>>>>>>I welcome any comments.
>>>>>By the second paragraph, the document entered into the realm of
>>>>>nonsense, and I stopped reading.
>>>>An attribute has a name and a domain. How is that nonsense?
>>>You didn't say an attribute *has* a name and a domain. You said
>>>an attribute *is* a name and a domain. So you can have two
>>>different attributes with the same name.
>>I said an attribute *consists* of a name and a domain. That is
>>compatible with saying an attribute has (and only has) a name and a
>>domain. I assume you're not making some philosophical point about
>>the sum being greater than the parts; IMO distinguishing between
>>"has" and "is" is splitting hairs. In natural language at that!
>>Seeing as you're likely to try to interpret mathematical structures in
>>terms of words like "has" and "is", I must point out that
>>mathematical structures do not exclusively own their "parts". For
>>example the point (10,15) in R^2 doesn't exclusively own the integers
>>10,15 (ie they can be used for other things!). Similarly an attribute
>>doesn't exclusively own it name or its domain. In keeping with the
>>spirit of mathematical formalism I didn't say that an attribute has a
>>domain-name - instead it has a domain. Formally that only means
>>there exists a mapping D from attribute x to domain D(x).
>>You cannot state that all attributes have different names. That would
>>be nonsensical because universal quantification is only meaningful
>>with respect to some defined set over which it quantifies. At the
>>point of definition of "attribute" there is no such set to quantify
>>over. I find it curious that you appear to allow a mathematical
>>realism philosophy to invade mathematical definitions.
>>In the document I (correctly) said nothing about unique names until
>>defining a relation.
> You attribute a bunch of positions here to me, but none of them
> are things that I actually think or things that I actually said.

While I have used the term many times in the past, and I am sure I will use it many times in the future, seeing this discussion has impressed upon me how unimportant "attribute" is as a concept.

The important concepts are tuples, propositions, predicates etc. Received on Thu Nov 15 2007 - 19:13:45 CET

Original text of this message