Logic of the Language of [Alternate Root Predicates]

§0: situation

as indicated elsewhere, there are other candidates (besides 'reality' and cognate terms) for designation as the root predicate; for example, 'being', 'existence', 'actuality', 'entity' and 'member of the universal set' (in each case, together with their cognate terms).

§1: alternate substitution instances of Axiom 0

selecting, say, 'existence' as the root predicate would instantiate the logic of existence by creating an alternate substitution instance of Axiom 0. similarly, selecting 'being' would instantiate the logic of being.

having alternate root predicates will generate alternate taxonomies of all that is. this is not, by itself, a bad thing. any conclusion in the logic of reality should have an alternate in the logic of existence and the logic of being. if this is not, in fact, the case; then, there are one of two (or more) problems happening:

  1. the semantics or the etymologies of the words in question ('existence', 'reality' and 'being') are affecting the outcome.
  2. the topology of the taxonomies underlying the verbiage is different.

each of these phenomena is problematic.

given taxonomic topologies of the same structure, having different outcomes contradicts the possibility that a language can be mounted on the topology and be used as the platform to facilitate the science of psychophilosophy --- variously known as philosophy or mind or consciousness research. having an outcome or a conclusion dependent on the linguistic history of words makes the discipline culture bound which a science is not.

even given the same root predicate, having different taxonomic topologies will make translating from one logic to another problematic. for example, if two taxonomies have a different number of 'types'; then, translating from one to the other will result in a loss of information or a multiplicity of interpretations.

finally, if both problems are happening at once; then, we have the present situation: a quagmire of ambiguity in which academics crank out papers as if they were being paid by the pound.

§2: critique of alternate taxonomies

§2.1: Pierce - entity as a root object.

It may be observed that entity is so extremely general a name that it has no negative over against it. We may talk of a nonentity; but then, as we have given it a name, it is also an entity. [One, Two and Three]

Pierce is using 'entity' as his root object; and, correctly indicates that it has no negation. however, he is claiming that the word expressing the absence of a root object is 'itself' an object possessing the root predicate. I2 deny this latter claim.

§2.2: Possibilism vs Actualism

academic philosophers put a lot of stock in 'possible worlds' such as the parallel zombie universe, PZU, in which there are people that look, act and talk just like we do --- they are assumed to be molecule for molecule identical to us --- yet they have no subjective experience of any sort, whatsoever. speculations as to what might or might not be happening in that PZU is supposed to tell us something about the humans in this universe who do have subjective experiences.

opinions differ as to whether it is actually possible to learn something about humans by speculating about zombies; but, our purpose is to describe the taxonomies used by those who carry on one such dispute --- actualists vs possibilists.

according to commentator Christopher Menzel, actualism is the thesis that everything there is, in any sense, is actual. possibilism is just the denial of actualism.1

Menzel describes the differences between these two positions in linguistically monistic terms --- a root predicate and its types (or 'modes' as he puts it).

root predicate type predicate type predicate
possibilist being actuality contingent non-actuality
actualist actuality concreteness contingent non-concreteness

if Menzel's analysis is accurate, it would seem that the disputants share a taxonomy of each side the same linguistic structure. but the disputants differ to which words are to be used as the root predicate and the names of its types.


[1]: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/actualism/index.html and http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/actualism/actualist-problems.html [Back]