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Re: [meanings]

Feb 09, 1997 08:22 PM
by Tom Robertson

Ben wrote:

>Tom Wrote:
>>Someone responded and said that jdfhghk was the opposite of wjrkfhk, >>and vice versa,and that now I could now know what jdfhghk and wjrkfhk.

>To say that they are simply opposites tells you nothing about the
>characteristics or defining qualities of two ideas nor does the word opposite
>"mean" anything at all.

I find its meaning to be rather clear.  If you were standing at one
end of a hall, if I was standing at the other end, and if you said "we
are standing at opposite ends of the hall," I would be confident that
I knew what you meant.

>The word opposite tells you nothing of their
>relationship either to themselves or, potentially, to other ideas.For
>example, I might say that Moon is "opposite" Venus in a horoscope but >unless I knew that I was talking in terms of degrees of a circle such a >statement wouldn't mean anything to me.

That words can have more than one meaning does not mean they have no
meaning.  If a word has no meaning, it shouldn't, wouldn't, and
probably couldn't, be used.

>Could you also define "meaning".

The meaning of a word is either the object to which it refers or its

>I might intuively dream about certain
>ideas, and possibly relations to other ideas but that doesn't necessarily
>imply that those ideas have any "meaning" - in fact many have no meaning >for me at all!!

If you could put it into words, every word you used would have

>>Masculinity and femininity can both be observed, distinctly from each
>>other,and defined as the opposites of each other.

>In order for them to be observed they must have some quality(s). I do not
>believe that definition of these words is possible -

I go about knowing what they mean and/or defining them by observing
the general differences there are between men and women, believing
that men are generally predominantly masculine and that women are
generally predominantly feminine, and believing that those qualities
which are observed more in men are masculine and those qualities which
are observed more in women are feminine.

>and if one can ,then it
>is almost certainly from a personal/subjective point of view.

The definitions and meanings of all words involves subjectivity.

>IMHO the "boundary conditons" ,to use mathematical terminology, are not >universal and as such lead to variations in the "observations";thus we are >led to a chaotic "meaning" of the terms so expressed, and therefore have >no meaning at all.

That no two individuals' understanding of any word is identical does
not mean that there is not sufficient common understanding of them to
have a language.

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