On Monday, September 20, 2004, at 08:15 , Chris Bates wrote:

> Philippe Caquant wrote:
>> - I don't think "maleness" can be an archetype for all
>> men, because it doesn't refer to mankind.

It depends what is meant by 'archetype'. I understood that it was reading
a section on Plato that set off Chris' chain of thoughts. In the Platonic
sense - i.e. what Plato termed _ideai_ which use to be somewhat
misleadingly translated "ideas" and is now more commonly translated "forms"
  - maleness is certainly _an_ archetype for all men & boys (that is 'male
humans'). Plato talks about the objects we see around us as "partaking"
(metekhein) in the Archetype or Form. Thus in the Platonic sense, all men
partake in the Archetypes of Maleness as well as of Human-ness. Woman also
partake in the Archetype of Human-ness but not, of course, Maleness. They
partake in the Archetype of Femaleness.

>> Animals and
>> plants can be male or female too.

Indeed, these partake in the Archetypes or Forms of Maleness & Femaleness
(according to Plato - not me  :)

So a male elephant partakes in the Archetypes of Maleness & Elephanthood
(among other things).

>> Perhaps
>> "male-mankind" ?
> I guess so.... :)

But "male-mankind' implies _two_ attributes or two sets in what in which a
male human participates.

>> - there is a difference between "the set of all men"
>> and "the characteristics common to all men".

In modern programming terms, the first is the set of all instances or
_objects_; the second is presumasbly the _class_ definition. Certainly in
Platonic terms they are distinct. The first is the set of all individuals
who participate in the various Forms (or Archetypes) that make up "the
characteristics common to all men". Also, in Platonic terms, many other
objects will also participate in some of those Archetypal Forms in the
second set.

>> Strangely, in French we use the same word,
>> "humanite'": "L'humanite' court a sa perte" = mankind
>> is running toward its ruin", vs: "Il n'y avait pas
>> trace d'humanite' dans son regard" = there was nothing
>> human in his gaze"
> Surely this difference is reflected in the list I gave? Or perhaps
> not... I was considering the architype itself to be a list of the
> necessary and sufficient criteria for any object to be said to belong to
> that architype: for instance "the characteristics common to men" =
> "human-maleness". Maybe not? I don't know....

Whether it is or not depends IMO on how you define "archetype". In the
Platonic sense, nothing _belongs_ to an Archetype. The things of this
world (which to Plato were less than real - shadows of shadows)
'participate' in or share in an Archetype and, indeed, will share in more
than one Archetype.

>> - a group can be considered as an entity, for ex an
>> army is composed of soldiers, officers, horses etc,
>> but it is also a thing on its own; so is a forest. In
>> French, there is an hesitation in some cases, one may
>> say "une foule de gens se rassembla" or "une foule de
>> gens se rassemblerent" (a crowd [of people] gathered).
>>> From a purely syntactic standpoint one should say "se
>> rassembla", but both are admitted.

English is also hesitant. This side of the Pond we tend treat collective
nouns as plural while the American tend to use the singular. We would say
"The committee are all agreed" the Americans, I believe, would say
something like "the committee is entirely agreed".

> If I ever designed a logical language, I guess I would need a way to
> effectively make a set into an entity itself....

Ah - that's something that never AFAIK exercised Plato's mind. I'm not
even that the idea of sets fits too well with his ideas. Again I suppose
it depends on how one defines _entity_. The set of all conlangers is a
different sort of entity from the enitity that is Philippe Caquant or the
one that is Chris Bates or Ray Brown etc.


>> (BTW, another interesting question: when I say: "The
>> Americans elected a President named Bush", "The
>> Americans walked on the Moon", and "The Americans
>> fought against each other during Secession War"), what
>> does "the Americans" mean in each case ? Seems they
>> are different sets, or subsets).

Yes, they are certainly different sets. The set of Americans that walked
on the moon has two members only. The set of Americans that fought one
another in the Civil War is most (tho all - Quakers, for example, took no
part in the fighting) of the total set of adult male Americans. The set of
those who elected Bush is, I suppose strictly speaking, just a subset of
the set of members of the Electoral College. But even if we take the
election to refer to the popular election the set is still rather less
than half the adult population. All indeed different sets.

> The problem of plurality seems more difficult than I thought at first.

Yep  :)

> The more I think about this, the more I realize that things I take for
> granted in language (that every language I've ever studied treats in
> roughly similar ways... I haven't just learned Indo-European languages,
> and I'm working on learning Basque at the moment, but I've never learned
> Hopi ;) ) don't need to work that way. *sigh* I'm going to go away now
> and create some looney language, or just go quietly insane myself lol....

Keep your sanity - at least till after you've created the looney language

BTW I should make it clear that I don't agree with Plato, so don't you
guys out there start telling _me_ that the idea of a human participating
in different Archetypes is foolish. I'm merely reporting what I remember
from reading Plato.

[log in to unmask]
"They are evidently confusing science with technology."
UMBERTO ECO				September, 2004