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Posted by Aurino Souza on September 18, 2002 15:53:57 UTC

Hi Harv,

Are you referring to conceptual schemes that have been communicated via language? For example, in 1905 Einstein certainly had a conceptual scheme in mind when he wrote the paper on Special Theory of Relativity, but he only provided a small glimpse of that scheme when he jotted down on paper SR.

That is exactly what I'm talking about. Would you agree with me that Language is often not sufficient when it comes to communicating Conceptual Schemes? Would you also agree that that issue has a tremendous impact on everything we think we know, as most of it is acquired through Language?

A: ***Can we use Conceptual Scheme instead of theories so that we don't get confused? When I talk about Theories, I'm referring to my definition. What I'm trying to discuss is the role that Theories (symbols) play in our attempts to build Conceptual Schemes.***
H: Sure, just confirm that my understanding of your definition is correct.

It seems so. If it's not correct, eventually we'll find out.

A: ***What I have discovered is that such conflicts are more trivial than they seem, as they can't possibly exist in Reality and therefore only betray deficiencies in our Theories.***
H: I don't know that to be the case. It sounds reasonable, but I don't know it to be the case.

It's good you think it sounds reasonable. I think it's more than reasonable, that it in fact happens to be the case, but I need someone else to look at this. Convincing yourself of the truth of your own ideas is too easy and for the most part worthless.

***In essence all problems boil down to the fact that some Languages (not all!) allow particular kinds of statements to be made.***
Can you think of any examples?

I left this vague on purpose, let me try and clarify it now. First we need to agree on some new definitions:

Token: a symbol that is part of a Language
Statement: a set of Tokens
Semantics: a set of rules which determine the arrangement of Tokens into valid Statements


Tokens: 'a', 'abbey', '1876', '+', '?', and so on
Statements: '2 + 3', 'the abbey is closed', 'x = ?', ...
Semantics: '2 + 3 = 5' is a valid statement in mathematical Language, '2 + 3 = 4' is invalid

I'm not sure those definitions are clear, I hope they are, but I certainly welcome criticism. In any case, the "particular kinds of statements" I was talking about are ones that are allowed by the Semantics of a language but are not "true". Essentially, in some Languages "lies" are perfectly valid statements.

Now of course it starts to get complicated, but that is exactly where it starts to get interesting! What I think I found is no more no less than a way to understand "truth" by means of understanding the relationship between Statements in a Language and what those Statements refer to. It made it clear to me why people often disagree on what is true and what we can do about it.

Cool stuff as far as I can see!

Let's move to another sub-forum. What do ya say?

Sure, this place is very active and this discussion is not limited to God and Science. How about the general (Misc.) forum? I don't want to litter Dick's forum with "bull", but if you want to go there that's fine too. Let me know here and post your reply there.

Thanks for helping me with this,


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