Re: the two questions

From: Brian Selzer <>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 13:07:37 GMT
Message-ID: <tKd3j.66011$>

"JOG" <> wrote in message
> On Nov 27, 3:49 pm, "Brian Selzer" <> wrote:
>> "JOG" <> wrote in message
>> Each individual that existed, exists, or can exist has a property that
>> distinguishes it from all other individuals that existed, exist or can
>> exist; so, yes, there is a property that the caterpillar and butterfly
>> share.
> Great, we have agreement :)
>> The problem is: I don't think haecceity can be observed directly.
> This time I agree with you (although I did have to look up what
> 'haeccity' meant) - it is often the case that the identifier we need
> isn't available to us (I mean we can't often check a butterflies dna
> right...).
> But we have to find a solution to this in the real world right - If I
> have a butterfly, how do I know it came from the caterpillar from
> earlier? Would you agree there are two options?
> 1) Check an identifier that we can manage to observe (dna if we're
> lucky, more likely the jar number we've kept it in, etc.)
> 2) If we couldn't access that identifier (or it was just too much of a
> pain to do so), we'd have needed to invent a new identifier as a
> replacement, that was trackable (a representative identifer for the
> insect's 'haeccity' - similar to what biologists do when they 'tag'
> birds).
> Again, all in the real world, before we get to a database.

There is a third option: continuous observation. If you never take eyes (or the camera) off of the individual, there is no need to reidentify it, and therefore no need for a constant identifier.

>> If one were able to examine the history of the butterfly, one should be
>> able
>> to determine that it coincides with the history of the caterpillar--up to
>> the point of the initial snapshot. The problem is: I don't think history
>> can appear in a snapshot.
> I get your gist here but hope we can come back to it after you've
> looked at the above question. Regards, J.
Received on Wed Nov 28 2007 - 14:07:37 CET

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