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Author Topic: Is dinosaur a bird?  (Read 2174 times)

Offline coberst

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Is dinosaur a bird?
« on: 06/02/2009 11:09:07 »
Is dinosaur a bird?

“Fossil evidence and intensive biological analyses have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that birds are theropod dinosaurs.”—Wiki

When is a politician lying?  Is the Pope a bachelor?  It all depends upon what is is!

Category is the staff of knowledge.  What are categories and who gives a #@*&?

The word “bachelor” is a noun for those individuals defined as being an unmarried adult male.  Most people would not say that the Pope is a bachelor even though he is an unmarried adult male. 

Let us examine the process that is called “framing the issue”.  We see an example of this when one side calls it self ‘pro-life’ and the other side calls it self ‘pro-choice’.  The pro-choice individual is framing the issue about that beautiful concept ‘freedom’.  The pro-life individual is framing the issue about that beautiful concept ‘life’.

Framing the issue is about choosing categories based upon often ideological and self-serving purposes.  However, we do also frame the issue by categorization with or without ideological or self-serving motivations.  Frames are one type, among many, of cognitive models. 

What day is this, it’s Monday, the worst day of the week!  Monday can only be defined in reference to what might be called an ICM (Idealized Cognitive Model).  The concept ‘week’ is an ICM.  The week is a whole that has seven parts.  The model of the week is idealized, meaning that the seven-day week has no concrete existence, it is an abstract idea that we humans have created.  It belongs to our culture; other cultures may have all kinds of different ICM for dividing up their cycles of the sun.

Back to the category of “bachelor” and the question ‘is the Pope a bachelor?’  There is generally a social context when using this word.  We do not consider a gay male couple to be a set of bachelors.  Catholic priests are not generally considered to be bachelors.  I suspect that we do not think of Tarzan as being a bachelor.

Bachelor is an ICM like ‘week’ and in this case it does not fit even our culture in a complete and exact manner.  “An idealized cognitive model may fit one’s understanding of the world either perfectly, very well, pretty well, somewhat well, badly, or not at all.  If the ICM in which bachelor is defined fits a situation perfectly and the person referred to by the term is unrequitedly an unmarried adult, then he qualifies as a member of the category bachelor.”

When is a politician lying?

The category ‘lie’ can be a very important category especially when perjury is a question; perhaps it is even more important when citizen confidence is at stake.   When is a lie, a lie, and when is it something more innocuous and can we know the difference?

There are a number of conditions that classical categorization of ‘necessary and sufficient’ place upon a statement before we catalogue it as being a lie: falsity of belief, intended deception, and factual falsity.  A good example of a lie wherein there is little or nothing in which we might quibble is ‘when I steal something and then deny doing it’. 

Empirical research has turned up a surprising conclusion about this matter of lies and liars.  Most people consider that Fred is lying when Fred says something that Fred considers to be false, regardless of its factual falsity.

Bachelor, bird, and lie are example of prototypes.  While some cognitive models are classical; that is to say, that they share rigid boundaries and are characterized by necessary and sufficient conditions, many are not. 

Often there are is a prototype of the category by which we judge whether something belongs to a category.  In the case of the three categories mentioned we use prototypical characteristics to judge whether a man is ‘really’ a bachelor or a liar.  In the case of dinosaur I suspect most of us recognize that for zoological science the dinosaur is a bird but we would ordinarily not consider that a dinosaur is much like a sparrow or robin, which for many of us is a prototypical bird.

This business of categorization is what President Clinton was talking about when he replied “It all depends on what is is!”

Quotes from A Clearing in the Forest: Law, Life, and Mind by Steven L. Winter professor of Law.


 

Offline _Stefan_

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Is dinosaur a bird?
« Reply #1 on: 06/02/2009 12:11:30 »
... Dinosaurs are not birds. Birds are dinosaurs.

Most of your posts don't make sense to me.
 

Offline coberst

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Is dinosaur a bird?
« Reply #2 on: 06/02/2009 21:40:15 »
... Dinosaurs are not birds. Birds are dinosaurs.

Most of your posts don't make sense to me.

What is important here is that SGCS (Second Generation Cognitive Science) has empirical evidence to support theories that show us that our tradition mode of categorization is completely inadequate.  Categorization is very important aspect of our comprehension of our self and of our world.  Few people recognize this fact and it will take generations before this level of knowledge filters down to Tom and Jane.

Our world is changing rapidly and if we do not find a means to change our comprehension of the human sciences we as a species will be unable to adapt to our changing world sufficiently to survive.
 

Offline _Stefan_

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Is dinosaur a bird?
« Reply #3 on: 06/02/2009 23:13:28 »
Where is the issue in seeing that birds are dinosaurs but not the other way around? It's not just the way scientists have "catergorised" this. Birds evolved directly from a lineage of dinosaurs. The fossil evidence confirms this. Scientific classification simply reflects this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_evolution
 

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Is dinosaur a bird?
« Reply #3 on: 06/02/2009 23:13:28 »

 

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