[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [lojban] Re: [jboske] RE: Anything but tautologies

In a message dated 2/15/2002 5:32:59 PM Central Standard Time, jjllambias@hotmail.com writes:

>Definitions are, by definition, of words.

Are functions words? Or are functions not really defined,
only their names?

No, functions are things (relations with cooccurence restrictions, say).

<Can we define a function?>

No.  We can call attention to a function that already exists, by naming it or otherwise pointing it out.  If we name it, we can define what the name (refers to) by describing the function involved.  This is also how we call attention it, usually.

<What we normally mean by defining a function does not necessarily
involve giving it a name. For example, we can define a function by
saying that it maps each natural number n to the natural number n+1.
There, it's defined. Now we can give it a name if we want to, but
there is no need to. It seems odd that in Lojban we can only talk
of functions with names, never of nameless functions! Well, we can
do {zi'o fancu} I suppose>

You've described a function (often called "successor') but you haven't defined it (it is not a word -- unless, of course, you want to get into just what "n+1" is).  If you want to use it often, you probably won't want to use that description every time, so you will name it eventually.  Why not at the beginning?  We can, of course describe nameless functions, using {zi'o} if necessary -- or just leaving them with nebulous names.  And then we can talk about the functions describe (but in the process the description is liable to turn into a name "the so and so" {le du'u makau broda ce'u}).

My copy of the gismu list does not actually insist that the fancu1 be a name or a bit of text, but it is probably out of date.  I agree that that requirement is a mistake, for all sorts of reasons.