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Friday, November 28, 2014

Defining what a name is

So last time I put the ideas of two sets of thinkers / philosophers together to explain why things - objects that we name - don't exist. I applied Buddhism's understanding of existence to Wittgenstein's Tractatus.

Here is our problem with the common understanding of what a name is.  It is childish.  It oversimplifies the meaning of the thing that we now know is more complicated than one might suppose. But it is very easy to fix.

Wittgenstein was right, we should be really really pedantic about the definitions of what we talk about to make sure the essence of what we point at is understood properly.   Now, ironically, as the tortured soul he was, he later wrote and rejected his initial ideas, because he saw that people didn't get his understanding nor did it fully describe the feeling, the experience, and so on.  If his explanations couldn't encompass all of the human experience, then he rejected them completely.  One might call Wittgenstein an absolutist, but that wouldn't go far enough. 

Frankly, in his later work he was whining like a little bitch.  Humans never fully aspire to what potential they could reach. I drink wine and lay on the couch and piss a night away.  But that doesn't mean ideas must be slave to humanity. And a model - what Wittgenstein called a logical picture -  is always an approximation of reality. Until we understand everything fully, we are always estimating.  But it is your job if you are hired as a professor at Cambridge - as he was - to inspire people to move closer to the ideal.  Not wallow in the now.

What Wittgenstein built in Tractatus was an algebra.  A set of symbols that form sets and operators / operations on those elements. I'm not going to sit here and argue how complete it is.  Or if it is a group or a ring or a monoid. I suppose someone has written a Ph.D on explaining Wittgenstein's algebra.  Most of you wouldn't care about that and it's not important for my redefinition of a name.   He explained language, the world, and ideas like the math that models the tick of a clock hand or flies an airplane.  He does state rightly that philosophy exists outside the natural sciences and outside the world.  But if you spoke in Wittgenstein's language you are mathematically correct in general.

Back to the problem.  It is not that things don't exist.  It is not that names don't point at things. What we need is a better approximation for the idea of a name. 

Let W represent an instance of a Wittgenstein logical space.


As I stated previously, a name is a pointer to an object - agreed to by Buddhism and Wittgenstein.  It exists inside W space. The object it points to exists inside the World space (physical 4-space i.e. the Universe). He referred to the world but he means the universe.  So I say a lot of world to strictly translate Wittgenstein, but I am taking for granted you understand it would apply on Mars too.

The "object" in real space is actually an amalgamation sub-objects, which contain sub-sub-objects....ad infinitum.

Let container name be a name inside W logical space.  A container name points at a set of names inside W logical space.  Those names point to objects in the real world (the universe).  A container name is a logical picture AND a name. The names held within the container name - the set membership - is time-varying.

The logical picture changes in lock-step with time change in the world (universe).

So what I am saying, I think, is this:

I am Dave. Dave is a container name.  Dave points at a set of member names inside a logical picture.  When I say Dave I am referring specifically to me the amalgamation or set of names in W Logical Space including "more or less" my lungs, heart, liver,.....,ribosome23424356564, atom9342345535345,  photon2343432342,... and so on of an uncountable set of names that point at real objects  Dave's lungs, Dave's liver, Dave's heart,... Dave's ribosome23424356564, Dave's atom9342345535345, Dave's photon2343432342 and so on back here in the universe.

Check back on me one femtosecond later, look at the Dave set membership inside the logical picture and you see that photon2343432342 no longer belongs to the set of names. And photon2343432342 has left Dave's body in the universe.

Proof:  All physical phenomena exist in the universe. Every object can be named. Every object can change names. I spit in your mouth it becomes your spit.  There is a one to one correspondence / mapping to an equal sized set of names in the W Logical Space.  There are an infinite number of names inside W logical space.  If matter changes form inside reality/ the universe then there exists a different name inside W Logical Space.  There are an infinite number of container names inside W Logical Space. Container names may be set members of other container names.  There exists a one to n mapping  from container names to names inside W Logical Space. There exists a one to n mapping from a container name to container names. There is one operator inside W Logical Space, the "not" operator (applied thusly: not-name) that operates on sets to define membership. Both mappings of names and mappings of container names are carried out by the not operator. When not- is applied to a name or container name in W Logical Space it removes it from set membership in a container name logical picture. I.E. photon2343432342 exists in the logical picture / container name Dave and then later not-photon2343432342 does not.   To count the set membership inside any logical picture, review all names and container names in W Logical Space and count only those that are not-not-names or names.  Set membership is time-varying. Set membership only refers to one container name at a time and must be applied to all names and container names inside W Logical Space before inspection.  QED.

(OOPS: forgot one proposition - a name can only be true if it points at a  real object in the universe. A container name can only be true if it points at a container name, or a name and that name eventually points at a real object in the universe. Otherwise it is logically false.  Now QED.)

So from now on, when you name something, you are referring to a container name unless you are talking about a single physical object like a soliton or a photon.  You will almost never, not mathematically correct but stick with me, use a name.  You will in general mean a container name. 

When you use a container name, you are not referring to the set members inside name. That is the general understanding.   But that also means you are not referring to the uncountable set of objects underneath - nor the set membership inside W Logical Space.

A container name is a logical picture.  When you refer to me you are talking about your understanding of what Dave is. Dave is a dad.  Dave is a container name, dad is another container name for the same thing because you are pointing it at me.

You inspect them by looking at all names in W logical space and adding up set members.  You apply it to Dave.  You apply it to dad.  They are both true so the proposition is true.

Apply it to a non-existent object.  Phil is a unicorn.  You look in W Logical Space, you look in the universe.  There is no unicorn.  The name pointer is aiming at nothing.  Phil is a unicorn is a false proposition, a false logical picture.  You can prove it so.  

You are talking in Wittgenstein English. You are using a Wittgenstein name. 

Now I'm going to go play some Xbox, maybe later I will write a paper about this.