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

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are not.

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

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

True or False?
Any counter examples?
It's both. Many thinks are indefinable or even meaningless with out their opposition.

If there was a world with no darkness, then lightness would not even be a thing.
A hole can only exist because the negative space is made by the positive space around it.
raw and cooked; left and right; up and down.
Ansiktsburk
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Location: Central Scandinavia

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

Post by Ansiktsburk »

Any reason to post the OP? Just a words game? Or does the question have some deeper implications?
kimmln
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are not.

Post by kimmln »

In mathematics, a great many things are defined by what they are not.
  • The set of irrational numbers defined as not rational.
  • A point defined as that which has no part.
  • any logic statement that uses not i.e p -> !q
  • and so on ...
In math, there are many mutually exclusive concepts, where one concept is well defined implying the other cannot be. This means the contrary concept can only be defined by what it is not.
commonsense
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are not.

Post by commonsense »

kimmln wrote: Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:36 pm In mathematics, a great many things are defined by what they are not.
  • The set of irrational numbers defined as not rational.
  • A point defined as that which has no part.
  • any logic statement that uses not i.e p -> !q
  • and so on ...
In math, there are many mutually exclusive concepts, where one concept is well defined implying the other cannot be. This means the contrary concept can only be defined by what it is not.
And not just for math:

A chair has 4 legs, it's something to sit on, and it is often found under a table.

A chair does not have more than 4 legs, does not allow a person to comfortably stand nor lie down and is not the same thing as a table. A chair does not consist of feathers, does not move under its own power, does not taste good, etc.

To define something is to delineate its boundaries.
11011
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Re: Things are defined by what they are, not what they are not.

Post by 11011 »

neither?

things are delineated according to their utility to humans, not as they really are

to understand this this, a point about language must be made

our language for some reason refers to 'things' as if these entities which we define exist as these things as we've defined them apart from us, but that is simply not true

there is no 'it', there is no 'they' - nouns, objects...this language wreaks havoc on philosophy and ascertaining the true nature of 'things'

BUT it is also necessary that we use a language to communicate our thoughts in order to do philosophy!

we cannot do philosophy without language!

so how do we overcome this problem? this problem between thought/perception of reality and communicating it in a way where it won't be misinterpreted as that the reality being conveyed gets distorted, the result being reality as we typically know it...deceptive

even if one of us had an idea in our head of the true nature of reality, and of objects, would it even be possible to communicate without distorting it?
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