--- Ray Brown <[log in to unmask]> skrev:

> To be quite frank, _ordinary people_ consider things
> differently even now!
>   Most people, for example, would say that a horse
> is real and a unicorn is
> not.

Hmmm again... Consider how many people believe in
astrology, horoscopes, homeopathy, religions... and in
the politicians they vote for. (BTW, when I was young,
I worked in a factory for some time, and I once had a
heartily discussion with a worker from Algeria - a
very nice and friendly guy, about 40 years old. I
tried to persuade him that the Earth was a sphere
(Allah knows why we came upon that topic) and he
absolutely refused to believe it. He said that if it
was so, people on the other side of the Earth would
walk with their feet up and their head down, which is
impossible. That was around 1975).

> Plato's conceptions might be more apt. It will be
> found that no single
> coherent system can be constructed from his
> writings.

What strikes me when reading Ancient Greeks, and even
philosophical literature up to, say, XVIIIth century,
is the terrible lack for methodology. Has it gone
better now ? Well, by now, philosophical works are so
hermetical that you cannot give any more judgement.

BTW, I had an idea (of course, many people will prove
me that somebody else had the same one a long time
ago). One of the main problems when writing about
philosophy, and probably even more about linguistics,
is the confusion between language and meta-language,
and the real meaning the words used by the author are
suppose to carry. But the concept of domain names (is
this the term ? I mean "espaces de noms", like in XML)
has arosen already, so why not, when writing such a
book, prefix all specific words that are supposed to
be clearly defined somewhere by a special character
representing the names domain ? For ex, all terms
prefixed by $ would be defined on some particular URL,
all prefixed by #, on some other URL, etc, the list of
the definition URLs being given at the head of the
book. And all words used in their current, common
meaning would not be prefixed. Imagine how much time
we would spare instead of arguing about what the
author really meant !


Philippe Caquant

Ceterum censeo *vi* esse oblitterandum (Me).