Things are defined by what they are, not what they are not.

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Wootah
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Things are defined by what they are, not what they are not.

Post by Wootah » Wed May 09, 2012 6:38 am

Things are defined by what they are, not what they are not.

True or False?
Any counter examples?

Impenitent
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are n

Post by Impenitent » Wed May 09, 2012 10:40 am

what they are or what they appear to be?

and what of non-empirical entities?

square and overhand are defined by what they are knot...

and holes are defined by what they are not...

-Imp

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Resha Caner
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are n

Post by Resha Caner » Fri May 11, 2012 1:49 pm

Defining what something is implicitly defines what it is not. So, why would it be wrong to make make the implicit explicit?

Maybe what the OP is trying to imply is that it would be impossible to completely define something by what it is not, as that would involve an infinite list ... and thereby a list of many irrelevant things that would only cloud the issue. However, I would offer up the challenge that it is likewise impossible to give a complete definition even by saying what something is.

I would further note that reduction ad absurdum is a powerful technique in mathematics.

chaz wyman
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are n

Post by chaz wyman » Fri May 11, 2012 7:37 pm

Things are defined by what they are, not what they are not

Were this to be true then all things would be the same thing; all things would be everything - with out the benefit of making a distinction.
A thing can only be understood by what is not and what it is like. - by making distinctions and similes.

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Notvacka
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are n

Post by Notvacka » Fri May 11, 2012 10:40 pm

Things are not defined.

Not in an absolute sense, and not by themselves.

Things may however be defined in relation to other things.

chaz wyman
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are n

Post by chaz wyman » Fri May 11, 2012 11:23 pm

Notvacka wrote:Things are not defined.

Not in an absolute sense, and not by themselves.

Things may however be defined in relation to other things.
You are contradicting yourself.

Things are defined.

Here is an example: And apples is a fruit, it is not like a banana but more like a pear.

QED your first statement is false.

No one made any claims about "an absolute sense".

Your third statement contradicts your first.

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Notvacka
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are n

Post by Notvacka » Fri May 11, 2012 11:36 pm

chaz wyman wrote:You are contradicting yourself.
Only for emphasis, my friend; in order to contrast my statement against Wootah's original statement. :)

Let me put it this way:

Things are defined by what they are in relation to other things. Without other things, they are not defined.

Wootah
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are n

Post by Wootah » Sat May 12, 2012 12:02 am

Impenitent wrote:what they are or what they appear to be?

and what of non-empirical entities?

square and overhand are defined by what they are knot...

and holes are defined by what they are not...

-Imp
If I give you credit for not misspelling knot can you explain the joke?

Holes and space might be a good counter example. A hole isn't a thing is it?

Resha Caner wrote:Defining what something is implicitly defines what it is not. So, why would it be wrong to make make the implicit explicit?

Maybe what the OP is trying to imply is that it would be impossible to completely define something by what it is not, as that would involve an infinite list ... and thereby a list of many irrelevant things that would only cloud the issue. However, I would offer up the challenge that it is likewise impossible to give a complete definition even by saying what something is.

I would further note that reduction ad absurdum is a powerful technique in mathematics.
Not sure of your point. I would reply that all we need is to know enough about each object to identify them.
chaz wyman wrote:Things are defined by what they are, not what they are not

Were this to be true then all things would be the same thing; all things would be everything - with out the benefit of making a distinction.
A thing can only be understood by what is not and what it is like. - by making distinctions and similes.
That doesn't seem to make sense to me. A shoe and a nail seem easy to define such that no one would confuse them. Can you explain further?
Notvacka wrote:Things are not defined.

Not in an absolute sense, and not by themselves.

Things may however be defined in relation to other things.
Chaz disagreed and I thought you and he said the same thing. More information is needed for me.

--

I would add that if you are searching for something then it is necessary to know what it is not.
If you don't know what you are looking for then knowing what not to look for helps a great deal. (If the set of things to choose from is small.)

Impenitent
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are n

Post by Impenitent » Sat May 12, 2012 4:01 am

Wootah wrote:
Impenitent wrote:what they are or what they appear to be?

and what of non-empirical entities?

square and overhand are defined by what they are knot...

and holes are defined by what they are not...

-Imp
If I give you credit for not misspelling knot can you explain the joke?

http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Knot (these knots are defined by what they are, knots)



Holes and space might be a good counter example. A hole isn't a thing is it?

a hole is a defined absence ... I suppose it would depend on your definition of thing...

-Imp

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LuvPimpinYou
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are n

Post by LuvPimpinYou » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:02 pm

Wootah wrote:Things are defined by what they are, not what they are not.

True or False?
Any counter examples?
False, here is a clear example.

By things, I assume we mean people as well, since they are things in this universe.

Lebron James in NOT a winner(in the ultimate since of the word as it refers, a champion). Plain and simple, definition by what he is NOT, rather that what he is. Which could be classified as a fantastic basketball player.

Thundril
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are n

Post by Thundril » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:27 pm

Wootah wrote:Things are defined by what they are, not what they are not.

True or False?
Any counter examples?
Atheist.
Bachelor.
Counter-example.
Doppelganger.
Ex-Catholic.
Foreigner.

chaz wyman
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are n

Post by chaz wyman » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:03 pm

Notvacka wrote:
chaz wyman wrote:You are contradicting yourself.
Only for emphasis, my friend; in order to contrast my statement against Wootah's original statement. :)

Let me put it this way:

Things are defined by what they are in relation to other things. Without other things, they are not defined.
In other words: Things are defined by what they are like and what they are not like. --- and by what they are the same as, actually.

pmecpa22
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are not.

Post by pmecpa22 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:55 pm

darkness is the absence of light
cold is the absence of heat
happiness is the absence of misery

bergie15
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are not.

Post by bergie15 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:21 pm

I think that things can be defined both by what they are and what they are not- like in that example. Those definitions are all true.

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Greta
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are not.

Post by Greta » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:31 pm

bergie15 wrote:I think that things can be defined both by what they are and what they are not- like in that example. Those definitions are all true.
Agree. Definitions are fraught and difficult enough so any data is helpful. Certainly scientific research involves excluding that which doesn't work. It's akin to sculpture, where the irrelevant material is removed, creating an ever clearer image. Sticking with the sculpture analogy, the final image will tend to be defined when enough irrelevant non-applicable material is removed to provide clarity.

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