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Re: [jboske] Opacity and belief

And Rosta scripsit:

> Agnosticism isn't possible with synonymy. Either you believe two
> words have the same sense, or you don't. In this instance, they 
> didn't. But I do.

I'm not sure whether "you don't" means "you believe they have different
senses" or merely "you ~ believe they have the same sense".

> That's right. (it so happens that one of the few things I know about
> these two words is that they denote the same thing.) You can conclude
> that for you they are synonymous, unless there is strong evidence 
> from the rest of usage that they aren't generally recognized as
> such, in which case you may create a superconcept that covers
> them both, but continue to think of a woodchuck as a M. monax that
> would chuck wood and of a groundhog as a M. monax that appears on my
> birthday to foretell the coming weather.

So synonymy is really a 3-place relationship between two terms and a
believer, x1 is synonymous with x2 in the usage of x3?

> As you recognize, cases like "square of 2" and, if it is understood
> compositionally, "H2O" are not candidates for synonymy because they
> have a compositional meaning. And it is clearly possible to believe
> that 4 is not the square of 2.

How is this fundamentally different from believing that furze is not gorse,
or that "not" is not a mark of negation?

> * Synonymy exists: we can have the knowledge "word X and word Y have
> the same sense (whatever the sense is)".

But this seems to be true iff we believe it, or more operationally, terms
are synonymous for me iff I use them interchangeably. This makes hash of
the distinction between de dicto and de re belief.

Deshil Holles eamus. Deshil Holles eamus. Deshil Holles eamus.
Send us, bright one, light one, Horhorn, quickening, and wombfruit. (3x)
Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa! Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa! Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa!
-- Joyce, _Ulysses_, "Oxen of the Sun" jcowan@reutershealth.com