Gavin Doig on 29 Jan 2002 13:29:46 -0000

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Re: spoon-discuss: Re: spoon-business: CFJ -- Okay, but...

> First, I don't accept the existence of a 
> Nomiverse separate from our own 
> universe, so it is my opinion that there is 
> no separate "underlying logic 
> of the Nomiverse."
That's what the ruleset is...

> Nomic rules are not natural laws.
Well, quite. No one ever claimed they were. You can certainly draw a good analogy between the two, but analogy is (still) not identity. If that analogy is causing you confusion, try this one: nomic laws are like the code of Quake. You can hit fire as often as you like, or submit as many proosals as you like, but until the game says it's time to fire again, or it's the next nweek, your actions don't happen. And yes, nomic's unlike Quake in many ways; that's just a failure of the analogy, not of the Platonist view itself.

> Second, "force of law" is itself fairly 
> irrelevant. Since it's not defined 
> or referred to anyplace else in the rules, 
> the potential for either a 
> strict or liberal interpretation exists. On 
> the conservative side, one 
> could argue that in the Nomiverse there are 
> no "laws" anyway, only Rules; 
> since no "laws" exist in the Nomiverse, 
> the "force of law" has about as 
> much meaning as the "force of cheese."
That's one (perfectly valid) viewpoint, except that...

> (If I were one of the Nomic 
> Platonists, I'd be taking that stance.)
> was absolutely no connection with this. The criteria of whether "force of law" means anything within the rules has nothing to do with the Platonism / Pragmatism debate. You can argue for either a narrow or a broad interpretation of language within either viewpoint.

I think it would also be good to draw a clear line between pragmatism in the sense of "doing things because they're convenient", and Pragmatism in the sense of "thinking there's something wrong with the Platonist view". Having a statute of limitation is pragmatic, and I'm all for that; thinking that rule 10 did anything is Pragmatic, and I'm not for that.


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