[hist-analytic] 'Wobbly'

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Sun Dec 19 19:24:22 EST 2010

Before I could agree or disagree with your initial take on 'wobbly', I'd have to know more precisely what you mean by 'emergent'. So I'm leaving that alone, for now. 

I do have a couple of more or less casual remarks on you Sally case. I think Sally can fail a test without having any disposition to fail a test. I believe the dispositional analysis of, e.g., psychological predicates has gained us very little since Ryle. In addition, there are problems with how to analyse many dispositions; e.g. "finkish" dispositions; problems with counterfactual analyses, etc. 

You remark: 

'"A mental property is a property that depends on the there being minds" - What do you mean by that?' 

I mean, merely, that mental properties do not exist in mindless worlds. 

Emergence is an interesting topic in itself; much to involved for this note; but if you care to an expansion on what you take this to mean and what you would do with it would be interesting to know. 



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Landspeedrecord" <landspeedrecord at gmail.com> 
To: "steve bayne" <baynesrb at yahoo.com> 
Cc: hist-analytic at simplelists.com 
Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2010 1:25:22 AM 
Subject: Re: 'Wobbly' 

To me, 'wobble' is not the same as 'wobbly'. Beyond the fact that the former is a verb and the latter is an adjective, of course. The former is an event and the latter is a property of an object for the propensity of an event to occur given that object and a specific context - it is a conditional emergent property. One could ask the same questions about other conditional emergent properties, we just don't usually have specific words for them. Any object that undergoes the emergent behavior can be described using the verb, form while only objects with the propensity to exhibit the behavior can have the adjectival property. For instance, I could say that 'Sally failed the test', but there is no adjective for having the propensity to fail tests, being 'fail-y' as in 'Sally is sooooo fail-y'. Perhaps I am being a dumbass and overlooking an obvious adjective though, but I don't think so. 

Here is a fun list, with nothing that even comes close to "fail-y": 

short , abortive, addle, aground, all up with, at fault, bankrupt, befooled, bootless, borne down, broken , broken down, capsized, cast away, crossed, dashed, dead beat, defeated , deficient , destroyed , disconcerted , dished, done for, done up, downtrodden, failing , flambe, foiled, foundered, fruitless , frustrated , grounded, hobbling, hoist on with one's own petard, in a sorry plight, ineffective , ineffectual , inefficacious, inefficient , insufficient , knocked on the head, lame , left in the lurch, lost , minus, nonsuited, oligophrenic, out of depth, out of one's reckoning, overborne, overwhelmed , perfunctory , played out, ruined , ruined root and branch, sacrificed, shipwrecked, short of, still , struck down, stultified, successless, swamped, thrown away, thrown off one's balance, thrown on one's back, thrown on one's beam ends, tripping, unattained, unavailing, uncompleted, undone, unfortunate , unhinged, unhorsed, unreached, unsuccessful , victimized, wide of the mark, wrecked. 

What is interesting and surprising to me is, given our society's love of neologisms, that more words like 'wobbly' are not coined on a regular basis - especially in light of the fact that so much of our socially mediated reality includes so many emergent properties. 

I should add that objects with a propensity to do something don't have to be the source of that propensity. People with their heads in guillotines have a propensity for having their heads chopped off but they are not the causal source of the beheading. Likewise a table need not be wobbly to wobble (as when the floor is uneven). If only 'beheading-y' was a word, I could make a joke about the French now. 

One of my current fascinations is wondering if there is a logic to why some concepts are recursive (meta) and others are not (the ontology of recursion?) and this is a good example... is it possible to have a conditionally emergent conditional emergent property? Off-hand I am guessing no although I can't give any logical reason why this should be so. 

Lastly, "A mental property is a property that depends on the there being minds" - What do you mean by that? Or rather, are you speaking of qualia or are you raising the "mind-invoking" vs. "mind-involving" distinction? Also, do you really take "good" to be a property? For me things that are "good" are merely things that I personally judge to be so, and as such the "property" is not in them, but in my propensity to use the words to describe various objects - not that I am saying I am an emotivist. 

Pentabarf #5: A Discordian is Prohibited from Believing What he reads. 
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