Re: Guessing?

From: Brian Selzer <>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 09:44:54 -0400
Message-ID: <Gvlhk.8778$>

"JOG" <> wrote in message [big snip]
>> I contend that there is a difference between a symbol that represents
>> something in the universe and a value. If that runs counter to your
>> particular brand of common-sense, then I sympathize but suggest you adopt
>> another.
> Yes, we know that. But you're value = object definition leads to the
> contradictions:

I think I should clarify this a bit. I'm probably going to botch this, so please bear with me. A value is not just an object, but rather the image of an object: within the picture of the universe that is under interpretation, the value /is/ the object, but not necessarily in every picture of the universe.

> * databases then have no values in them.

Isn't it simpler to say, "I stopped the car." instead of "I applied the brakes until the car stopped moving." even though you obviously didn't push your feet against the ground like Fred Flintstone?

Isn't it simpler in the same way to say, "Databases contain values." rather than "Databases contain symbols and combinations of symbols that under an interpretation map to objects in the universe." even though it is less precise?

> * to tell someone to enter a value into a spreadsheet cell becomes a
> nonsense.

see above.

> * a mathematical formalism contains no values at all, given it need
> not refer to anything in the real world.

What a symbol maps to need not be spatiotemporally located.

> * etc.
> This is all counter to everyday experience, and nothing to do with my
> common sense. It is just not good enough to ignore the actual use of a
> word.

I don't think it is. The context of this discussion demands a level of precision that is not required in the contexts you cited. A proposition is just a collection of symbols combined according to some grammar that can be assigned a truth value. Neither the proposition nor the symbols and combinations of symbols contained within convey meaning until under an interpretation a truth value has been assigned. A database is just a proposition that is supposed to be true, but supposing a particular truth value is not the same as assigning that truth value. As a consequence, a database is just a collection of symbols combined according to some grammar that can be assigned a truth value. It only becomes a collection of values under an interpretation as that truth value is assigned.

[snip] Received on Tue Jul 22 2008 - 15:44:54 CEST

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