A series of responses to recent posts of James, Gavin, Steven, Stan, Pedro, 
zyx, Joe, and koichiro. 
FIS response March 14, 2011

v547. ? Gavin:


"Modern chemistry fell out of alchemy."

As far as I am aware, modern chemistry developed its own semantics, grammar and 
logical symbol system virtually independent of alchemy. The authors were 
Priestly, Lavoisier, Dalton, Volta, Bezerlious, and others, mainly in the late 
17 th and early 18 th Century. The ostensive and demonstrative basis of alchemy 
was re-interpreted in terms of the properties of invisible and indivisible 
gases. From these origins, the alchemical ostensions were re-symbolized to 
become mathematical extensions of identity, volume, weight of.. , and other 
properties. These observations became the basis of the "ideal gas laws" and 
later, thermodynamics and eventually, quantum mechanics.

Gavin continues:
"Language still doesn’t have a good definition (or even what it may be). And we 
build our entire knowledge system on it."

I disagree.
The knowledge systems of science are based on observations and the 
correspondence relations between measurements and mathematical calculations. 
I recently published a long discussion of these relations under the title of 
"Algebraic Biology" in Roberto Poli's journal, Axiomathes.

Gavin continues: 
Language has only three types of logic
Declarative statements (like the one below) be either True or False
Imperative statements (commands) can be structure or process.
Interrogative Statements (questions), can be yes or no, and True or false
To me, this assertion is simply false. 
Numerous logics are studied.
Particularly interesting is the recent development of 'para-consistent" logics. 
For the past decade, I have been constructing a logic for the chemical sciences 
and medicine, closely related to some of the ideas of C S Peirce and category 
theory. It is called synductive logic and is classified as an inductive logic 
operating on labelled bipartite graphs. The grammar of this logic is an 
abstraction from the calculus of chemistry and electricity.

Gavin continues:
Is Mathematical Category Theory and Topoi Logic together the foundation of all 
My simplistic view of mathematics is that reality is vastly more perplex than 
anything to do with mathematics.
The great beauty and power of mathematics emerges from those rare cases where 
the mathematical symbol systems can be shown to be in correspondence with 

v. 547.5 by James Hannam:

First, let us clear up a deep mis-understanding.
My usage of the term calculus is in the traditional sense of "to calculate". 
That is, exact logic that is reproducible by others. Newtonian calculations are 
a sub-set of the more general term. The term comes from Latin, meaning a small 
pebble, referring to the use of an abacus.

Jim, you write:

"So, while I can clearly see you disagree with me, I am afraid that I do not 
really follow why."

I provided you with a short summary of the basic ideas of modern science - 
roughly thirty concepts that were developed in Aristotle's writings roughly 
2300 years ago.  The extension of each of these concepts from Aristotle to 
today is a study of the history of a critical term of modern science.

It is the sort of study of the history of science that I wish you had done 
before you boldly asserted your "contentious postulate."

If you elect to undertake such a multi-year study, then you may find that 
modern science, much like modern mathematics, is a tightly interwoven network 
of both semantic and syntactical terms, glued together with mathematics and 
arcane beliefs about nature. The level of coherence within this network of 
terms is robust. 

v547.6  Joe Brenner writes:

"It would be most interesting if synergies were to appear. For example, how 
might the logic of situations be related to the dynamic logic of processes of 
Logic in Reality, etc.?"

Joe, your messages remain outside the scope of my comprehension.
May I request that you give the list three or four concrete scientific examples 
of your "Logic of Reality"?
In particular, is your usage of the term "reality" either ostensive or 
I am of the persuasion that "A rose by any other name is a rose"
or, in this case, phenomenology by any other name is phenomenology.   :-) :-) 

v547.7 Stan

Your conceptualization of the concept of properties as a way of knowing appears 
to be grossly deficient with respect to the chemical sciences. Metaphorically 
consistent with category theory, the chemical way of knowing emerges from the 
commutativity of the grammar of chemistry as derived from Dalton's "ratio of 
small whole numbers." 

The critical notion is the the commutativity among the nominative case, the 
properties as "universals" and the arrangement of parts of the whole. This 
commutativity creates a mathematical and logical intimacy among ostension, 
extension and intention. (While this a triadic argument, it differs 
substantially from the icon / index / symbol triadicity of C S Peirce.) 

Your writings appear to me to be a personal metaphysics which cannot support 
this intimacy of commutativity and therefore your are left to reject the role 
of properties in the study of nature.

Or, do I mis-read the intent of your communication and metaphysics?

v.547.8  Steven writes:

"However, that does not avoid the fact that the universe is profoundly
uniform and it is that uniformity upon which we rely."

I disagree.
for reasoning see comment to v547.12

v547.9 Pedro

"At the stake are the limitations of the cognizing individual: the auxiliary 
"memories" that have been central along the knowledge accumulation enterprise: 
numbers, writing, tablets & papyri, codices, printed books, computers... 
without them, no knowledge accumulation possibilities."

Is it your intent to submerge the role of human sign readings and other 
non-verbal and non-symbolic forms of knowing?
Would it be your intent to submerge the knowledge within life itself (for 
example, the encoding of genetic cycles) to the mere grammar of sentences?

v547.10 Y. X. Zhong

The thought of extension from information to knowledge to wisdom is comforting 
within the concepts of frames. Can this extension of semantics be made 
realizable in various symbol systems used to send messages among individuals? 

v547.11 Koichiro

The events of the past few days in your homeland remind us of the role of man 
within nature. 

My confidence in the enduring and endearing activities of Japanese culture 
remains strong. 

Personally, I wish you and your family fair winds and smooth seas as your 
country sails through these troubled times.

v547.12 Steven writes: 
The universe, independent of any conception, is profoundly uniform and it is 
this uniformity that is the basis of perceived universals. Our conceptions can 
have no intrinsic uniformity unless they are founded upon this profound feature 
of the world. 

I find Steven's statement of principle to be exact. 
Of, course, this line of reasoning explains virtually nothing.
With the conceptualization of "mass", nature is striped of her identities.
In my view, the only intrinsic uniformity is of space and time. 
The twisting of the remainder of reality to fit into the uniformity prison, 
distorts  the truth of matter and the truth of matters.
This line of reasoning perfectly excluded the mental, bilogical and chemical 
sciences because of the necessity for irregular extension. The essence of the 
distortion of universality begins with the effort to strip  the atomic numbers 
of their individuality. The other consequences follow from this antecedent. 

V547.13 (Pedro)

Pedro makes a valuable contribution to the discussion in this post by seeking 
to place our present situation in a wider historical context. All such efforts 
are to be applauded, IMHO.

The creation of new knowledge is, I believe, rather different than painted by 
the simple notion of "recombination" invoked from the hypothesis of Scott. 
Without doubt, many little steps of progress are simple recombinants of parts 
within wholes. Combinatorics is a rich branch of mathematics that offers 
unbounded potential for constructing new wholes from an assortment of parts. 

But, in the semantic domain, the question of whether a particular new sentence 
is actually a progressive step or is merely a re-arrangement of pre-existing 
knowledge is a difficult and often questionable decision because of the large 
open neighborhood of interpretation about non-numerical terms. The premier 
example of this is the discourse in philosophy where arguments are iterated 
over centuries, century after century, with little if any basic difference in 
meaning or ostension. 

The principle basis of construction of new knowledge is, I suggest, new 
interpretations of signs from nature. It is the construction of new methods of 
communicating knowledge that generates the rich informative structures of 
modern communication. The development of new sign systems, new logical and 
ostensive terms, is a slow process that evolves over decades and centuries. 
Prime examples of this are the sign systems for mathematics, for music, for 
chemistry, and for electricity. In particular, in the past two hundred years, 
the sign systems for chemistry (Dalton, Lavoisier, Berzelious) and for 
electricity (Coulomb, Volta, Kirchoff) have led to networks of quantitative 
relations of knowledge systems. I would hasten to add that both of these 
sciences arose from the synthesis of the Western European tongues with the 
classical Latin of Rome and equally important the genesis of new ostensive 
terms founded in Greek.  Of course, the crisp logic of mathematical sign 
systems was essential to distinguishing the mere internal mental images of 
belief from the demonstrative signs systems of electricity and chemistry and 

In short, the creation of new knowledge is an active process of interpreting 
signs from nature in coherent numerical contexts. The history of human symbolic 
communication as a record of thought, started with the number system of the 
Sumerians and continues to develop, after 5000 years, with the construction of 
new signs and symbol systems. The works of C S Peirce continue to provide 
guidance in straddling the abyss.

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