Thursday, July 15, 2010

Foundations 4: Omnets and assets

The epistemological dependence (the contingency) of propositions upon the World-of-Seeming (the world as it seems to be to us) that grounds empiricism, disappears if one reformulates Leibniz’s Law in terms of global concepts, because the proposition then refers to all possible ontologies. These global concepts I capture with the terms ‘omnet’ and ‘asset’.

Omnet: Let an ‘omnet’ denote whatever there is, in its most liberal interpretation, in every world, without judgment as to what omnets there are or are not. Omnets might include houses, cats, people, and regular things, but also might include thoughts, nothingness, even things that the human mind has no capacity to have cognizance of, in the particular, such as high dimensionality. While these are all omnets, they must begin in the possible ontology. Only asset founded on indefeasibility can promote these to the actual ontology of the Meditator.

Asset: Let an ‘asset’ denote whatever an omnet has, in its most liberal interpretation. Assets might be parts, properties, attributes, thisness, universals, identity, the name or names we call what is, other omnets, or any specific that an omnet has.

In this work, the number of omnets or assets that are in the world is not assumed, either one or many. For the present, the number of omnets or assets should be left flexible, and the plural be given equal priority of meaning such that the use of either term is context sensitive. The concept of number will become evident as omnets are accepted into the actual ontology.

These terms begin wholly vague and assuming that assets is synonymous with properties is not valid for the Meditator until some correspondence of meaning derives naturally from the givens of the actual ontology. That is, any particular that might be assumed of them begins in the possible ontology and is initially dubious. Nothing may be validly presupposed of them other than that they stand in for items of the possible ontology.

On the choice of terms: Omnet and Asset.

Given the very rich language available to the writer, the reader is justified in asking why a new pair of terms is necessary. Why not ‘object’ or ‘entity’ in place of omnet, and ‘property and relation’ in place of ‘asset’? I am discomfited by having to introduce new terms, which asks so much of the reader. But I am more discomfited in the knowledge that a failure of the reader, due to my own lack of diligence with respect to terms, would lead to false mental constructs. For example, one must not try to think of assets as necessarily being just properties and (or) relations.

For the first part, objects or entities might suffice for some readers but not for others. Some readers may read objects to exclude, for example, properties and relations (Laycock 2005). Strictly speaking, if I accept Russell’s (1905) very general notions of objects and terms, I find that objects are not sufficient for the purpose to which I intend. In particular, Russell, in seeking to be general, includes whatever may be an object of thought, or may occur in any true or false proposition. This might suffice, but what if there are objects that can never be an object of thought, and as such never occur in any true or false proposition? This may be unnecessary, perhaps going too far, but I want to be sure that the term used is absolutely and resolutely global.

For the second part, I use the term ‘assets’ in place of properties and relations, because there may be properties, relations, tropes, parts, and any number of other ways of describing omnets. To quote Locke, ‘the boundaries of the species, whereby men sort them, are made by men...’ (in Robinson 2004, n.p.). Any choice of species may be a proper representation of the world, and I have no way of being sure which applies. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that assets may be perspective based. I am not saying they are, but the history of investigation is littered with the corpses of assumptions.

So I introduce these new terms (omnet and asset) only to, and with the specific intent of, removing preconceptions as to what there is, or is not, or the nature of what attends what there is or how we might have cognisance of such. Existing terms (for example things, objects, substance, being) are overloaded with meaning and presupposition of meaning (see Laycock's 2005 notes on Mill). Additionally these are subject to semantic vagueness (Quine 1960).

These new terms (omnet and asset) permit one to assign new mental symbols whose meaning is ontologically grounded by the global whatever, for omnets, and by what such omnets have, without World-of-Seeming specificity, for assets. In the context of this thesis, a presupposition of meaning, such as assigning similarity of terms to substances, attributes, things, entities, objects, properties, relations, beings, or anything else, beyond the global non-specific, is in error, and diminishes the path to a useable result. This is the world of the Cartesian meditator.

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