RE: virus: Re: Social Metaphysics

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Mon, 29 Sep 1997 17:12:45 -0700 (PDT)

David McF. attempts to further consensus about truth by presenting us
with the following:

>Are true isosemantic statements about objective reality non-contradictory?
Yes or no?

This formulation was in response to Richard's objections to the previous
version, which was a positive statement. Tad responds to the
reformulation with the following:

>Let me guess an MS Flip answer:
>(1) Only within logic which has nothing to do with reality.
>(2) This is not a Yes/No question.
>(3) Everything is a metaphore.
>(4) David, I want to get you out of Level-2 thinking.
>(5) I can't really respond to this, since it's all based on a world view
>that I don't share with you.

I do not disagree that these are possible Level-3 (or, as Tad has recently
taken to calling it, "MS Flip") responses to this question. One and five
are the most to-the-point in this case, and I'd particularly like to
address point five.

First of all, let's look at the requirements for "isosemanticity". For
two statements to be "isosemantic", they must share sufficient background
assumptions for definitions of the terms they share to be identical
within the limited context of the two statements. If the background
assumptions are different enough to make the same term mean something
different in the two statements, then they are not isosemantic, by David
McF.'s previous definition of the term.

Now, let's suppose that David's worldview, grid, level, perspective, or
what-have-you is not isosemantic with Richard's when it comes to the
assumptions behind the terms in David's question. Might it not be
reasonable, under those circumstances, to say, "We're not using the same
assumptions, and I can't meaningfully assign that sentence a truth value
under my system"? Not that Richard has actually responded as Tad
suggests he might.

who, by the way, does not find the question meaningful because isosemanticity
is sufficiently demanding to make the statement nearly if not actually
tautological....and thus, is in fact inclined to respond with number five.