[FOM] Misuse of standard terminology
T.Forster at dpmms.cam.ac.uk
T.Forster at dpmms.cam.ac.uk
Fri Aug 30 17:54:42 EDT 2013
Well, yes. In these cases the real question is whether or not the new
gadget being proffered is actually the correct
elucidation/explication/what-have-you of the ``status quo paradigm''. This
question can be very hard to answer. Cases where the new gadget is
in-the-appropriate-sense continuous with the old are typically cases where
there has been gradual revision going on in step with the march of science:
my favourite example is the chemists' concept of *acid*. Dialethism, with
its invitation - after more than 2000 years of everyone being happy with
the law of noncontradiction - to consider a new polarity distinct from
true/false seems to me to be as clear an illustration of the other
situation as one could wish. Nothing wrong with that of course, - new
polarity might be a Jolly Good Thing - but there is nothing to be gained by
representing it as the correct unpacking of the old. Nothing beyond a sales
pitch, that is.
On Aug 30 2013, Carl Hewitt wrote:
> Defenders of a status quo paradigm have often accused proponents of new
> paradigms of â€œmisuse of standard terminology with fixed meanings going
> back decades or even centuries or even longer.â€ But proponents of the
> new paradigms often did not see any good reasons to invent difficult to
> understand circumlocutions simply because new usage made defenders of the
> old paradigms uncomfortable. For example, when physicists first wrote of
> â€œprobabilistic causalityâ€ some older very prominent physicists were
> outraged.
>
>From: Harvey Friedman
>Sent: Wednesday, August 28
>
> The misuse of standard terminology with fixed meanings going back decades
> or even centuries or even longer, is an interesting phenomena. â€¦
>
>A clear cut case is this:
>
> "Absorption (Pâˆ§(Qâˆ¨P) =P) is not considered to be a standard Boolean
> equivalence. And, of course, P does not in general infer Qâˆ¨P, which is
> used in C. I. Lewis' proof. See http://arxiv.org/abs/0812.4852 "
>
>
>
> Obviously (P and (Q or P)) implies P considered by everybody to be a
> standard Boolean equivalence, and obviously from P everybody can infer Q
> or P. These are the standard uses of the notions that go back for
> thousands of yearsâ€¦ What is completely illegitimate is to usurp the
> usual symbols and terminology. The symbols and terminology must be
> altered in order to avoid any possible confusion. E.g., one might use
> and*, or*, ifthen*, iff*, Boolean equivalence*, to avoid confusion.
>
>
>
> There is a great need and huge requirement to reason effectively about
> pervasively inconsistent large software systems. It is unlikely, that you
> will be able to persuade people to use circumlocutions like â€œor*â€ or
> â€œBoolean equivalence*â€ to avoid confusion with usage that is known
> only to a few mathematicians. The classical tail should not wag the
> Inconsistency Robust dog :-)
>
>
>
> Instead, the new Inconsistency Robust paradigm needs to be integrated
> with the classical paradigm. Absorption (Pâˆ§(Qâˆ¨P) =P) will be called a
> â€œclassical Boolean equivalenceâ€. And P|-Qâˆ¨P will be called a
> â€œclassical inferenceâ€ (which has been prima fasciae difficult to
> motivate). Of course, the classical paradigm will remain useful for
> mathematical theories. But these mathematical theories play a relatively
> small background role in the reasoning of practical pervasively
> inconsistent theories of large software systems.
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