Total Posts:9|Showing Posts:1-9
Jump to topic:

Is it A Horse?

emospongebob527
Posts: 790
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/20/2012 8:21:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Can it be that a white horse is not a horse?
Advocate: It can.
Objector: How?
Advocate: "Horse" is that by means of which one names the shape. "White" is that by means of which one names the color. What names the color is not what names the shape. Hence, I say that a white horse is not a horse.
Objector: If there are white horses, one cannot say that there are no horses. If one cannot say that there are no horses, doesn't that mean that there are horses? For there to be white horses is for there to be horses. How could it be that the white ones are not horses?
Advocate: If one wants a horse, that extends to a yellow or black horse. But if one wants a white horse, that does not extend to a yellow or black horse. Suppose that a white horse were a horse. Then what one wants [in the two cases] would be the same. If what one wants were the same, then a white [horse] would not differ from a horse. If what one wants does not differ, then how is it that a yellow or black horse is sometimes acceptable and sometimes unacceptable? It is clear that acceptable and unacceptable are mutually contrary. Hence, yellow and black horses are the same [in that, if there are yellow or black horses], one can respond that there are horses, but one cannot respond that there are white horses. Thus, it is evident that a white horse is not a horse.
"not to toot my own horn (it aint need no tooin if u know what im saying), but my writings on "viciousness: the one true viture (fancy spelling for virtue)" and my poem "A poem I wrote about DDO" put me in a class of my damn own. im just an UNRECONGIZED geniuse" -bananafana
Koopin
Posts: 12,090
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/20/2012 9:03:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Horse meat, horse meat.
Tender flesh oh so sweet.
Chew it's leg, taste the tart.
The yummiest meat is horsey heart.
kfc
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/20/2012 9:19:16 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I have to admit--the elliptical and fairly straightforward style of the dialogue often belittles what appears to be a complicated meaning only hidden under a simple pretense.

To be honest, I can see some snapshots of linguistic theories, corresponding with existences, units formed from words, denotations, etc in the dialogue.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/20/2012 9:29:52 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I also find it very interesting that the writer/advocate seems to be using what is actually a fundamental component of current linguistic theory; he seems to differentiate between the contexts of using a word (and appending some sort of function) and mentioning it, especially when discussing about a thing of the world) when he says, for example, " 'Horse' is that by means of which one names the shape. 'White' is that by means of which one names the color." That helps him to strengthen his own proposition--I believe--in the general statement--since he views the white horse and a horse as being both different linguistic units that can be equated "in mention." (In context, on the other hand...)
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/20/2012 9:36:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
(My interpretation, which is derived from another one of it, relies on what's known as the use-mention distinction. I suppose it does clarify it since context immediately overrides whatever meaning of the preposition there is, though mention--when the expressions are not invested with meaning in a scenario or proposition, they function objectively in a sense.

Another interpretation of the paradox relies on a different distinction that could be of interest to you:

"Strictly speaking, names or terms are divided into those that are abstract and those that are concrete. The abstract term denotes the universal, the concrete term the particular. The particular is the denotation, and the universal the connotation, of the term. In western inflected languages there is no difficulty in distinguishing between the particular ('white' or 'horse') and the abstract ('whiteness' or 'horseness'). In Chinese, however, owing to the fact that the written characters are ideographic and pictorial and lack all inflection, there is no possible way, as far as the form of individual words is concerned, of distinguishing between abstract and concrete terms. Thus in Chinese the word designating a particular horse and that designating the universal, 'horseness,' are written and pronounced in the same way. Similarly with other terms, so that such words as 'horse' and 'white', being used to designate both the concrete particular and the abstract universal, thus hold two values"
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/20/2012 9:42:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Apparently, many interpretations rely on the linguistic element and thus either tend to provoke a concept associated with the generic or specific to the Chinese language; I suppose that's a tenable position, though the plurality of interpretations might hint of a compromise between the linguistic and the ethical/political.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/24/2012 11:13:33 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Advocate: "Horse" is that by means of which one names the shape. "White" is that by means of which one names the color.What names the color is not what names the shape. Hence, I say that a white horse is not a horse.

The bold is irrelevant, we named horse anyway. That we added white does not deny this. I'm not sure what fallacy "It doesn't follow from this premise alone so it must not be true" when the premise it follows from is right next to that is, but I'm sure it is one.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/24/2012 11:14:12 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Now, if "White horse" were a term of art, a la "Koala bear," that would be different.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/24/2012 1:45:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The flaw in Advocate's argument is in his initial premise ""Horse" is that by means of which one names the shape", that is not how the category "horse" is defined, it is only one aspect attributed to the category referenced by the word horse.

The logic falls apart from there, just as there are no two horses colored exactly the same, there are no two horses shaped exactly the same either, the word horse, is noit defined by any single aspect, nor is it any aspect so rigidly defined. No two horses are alike, the word horse, represents an agreed upon category which has a variety of aspects. The differences within the category of horse do not eliminate any particular subcategory from the horse set. You could say a white horse is not a brown horse, but it does not follow from this logical parlor game that a white horse is not a horse.

Linguistically, words are only pointers, and they point to a category that is represented by the word. The application of deductive logic in the example is meaningless, it just doesn't apply to linguistics in that manner.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater