> <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>>Communication - human and in language, I suppose, depends on words we say,
>>understand and assign (some) meaning to. So here is a bit of nitpicking
>>about the words you used below: (please, Peter, don't take it personally -
>>Properties: Would you reduce them to green, hard, big, hot etc.? Isn't all
>>that jazz in the physics books about 'properties' in another sense?
> Properties are whatever distinguishes one thing from another. Whether
> green, hard, big etc are reducible to the properties of physics is
>>Roles to perform: you mean roles we 1.) know about, 2.) accept as 'roles',
>>or even does everything have to perform a role?
>>Instantiated: represented by a 'role' we acknowledge. And if we don't? is
>> subject to our approval (or even knowledge)?
>>Existence: what is it?
> A very tricky question. My take is that "..exists" is a meaningful
> of *concepts* rather than things. The thing must exist in some
> sense to be talked about ...in what sense ? Initially as a concept,
> and then we can say whether or not the concept has something
> to refer to. Thus "bigfoot exists" means "the concept 'bigfoot' has
> a referent".
As my physics prof, Jurgen Ehlers used to say, "Before we can say whether or
not a thing exists we must know some of it's properities." So to know
whether or not bigfoot exists we need to know enough properties of the
concept 'bigfoot', like "big", "hairy", "bipedal", "lives in woods of the
Pacific Northwest",... Given enough properties we may be able to test his
existence against empirical evidence and reach a provisional conclusion.
So epistemology precedes ontology.
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