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Re: warm fuzzies


This was a good posting, very well considered.  As for being miffed at
people who "say we cannot do some of these things"... I think Lojban
certainly has the ability to express things in fuzzy logic, or any sort of
logic.  Is there anything a given language *cannot* express?  People
always find a way to express themselves, no matter what language they
speak.  However, my point about fuzzy logic has never been whether or not
Lojban can express it, but rather to explicate the inherent fallacies in
fuzzy thinking.

One fallacy is that by using numbers as adjectives, we enable mathematical
manipulation of those descriptions.  However, a person who is a "4" on a
scale of 1 to 10 is not twice as ugly as an "8", because beauty/ugliness
simply has no mathematical component and is not truly measured in this
way.  While the value of the numeral 4 *is* half of the value of the
numeral 8, when these numerals are assigned to things such as baldness,
beauty, truth, etc. they cease to function as numbers.

Another fallacy is the idea that a truth value of other than 0 or 1 has
any ultimate meaning.  I would concede that a statement *could* have an
intermediate truth-value, but such a result only indicates that the
statement must be further analyzed.  If fuzzy logic has any value, it is
that it can generate such intermediate truth values which, rather than
being taken as some sort of final answer, can instead demonstrate that a
statement is based on abstraction which needs to be further clarified.

On Fri, 24 Nov 1995, John E. Clifford wrote:

> I welcome various expositions about how
> Lojban might do these things with the tools at hand and tend to be a bit
> put out with those who say we cannot do some of these things or that we
> should do more of one, especially before the proclaimer gives it a good
> try.
> pc>|83

Peter Schuerman                                    plschuerman@ucdavis.edu
                        Co-editor, SPECTRA Online
          for back issues: http://www.well.com/user/phandaal/