From a.rosta@pmail.net Sat Jan 29 11:03:47 2000
X-Digest-Num: 348
Message-ID: <44114.348.1874.959273825@eGroups.com>
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 19:03:47 -0000
From: "And Rosta"
Subject: RE: Subjunctive?
Jorge:
> la and cusku di'e
>
> > For all possible worlds (that are relevantly similar to this one), w, in
> >w if I have a million dollars then I am rich.
> >
> > = For all possible worlds (that are relevantly similar to this one),
> >w, in w either I am rich or I don't have a million
> >dollars.
>
> But how do I determine which worlds are relevantly similar?
I have nothing to add to pc's answer to this.
> Obviously I have to admit some worlds where I have a million
> dollars, but I also have to exclude all worlds where most
> people have a million dollars. In other words, I have to
> admit only those worlds where my having a million dollars
> means I am rich. But then there is no content in the
> expression, all the content is in the selection of relevant
> worlds. Isn't it?
You are right, though your point is exaggerated by the example, which
means "Anyone with a million dollars is rich" [in nonlogical form]. Change
it to "If I have/had a million dollars then I would/might buy a yacht"
and your argument is less glaringly obvious, though still valid. Without
thinking about it deeply, I think that it is correct that the content
should be in the selection of relevant worlds.
> >"If I had a million dollars then I might be able to retire" (as opposed to
> >"then I *would* be able to retire"):
> >
> > For *some* possible worlds (that are relevantly similar to this one), w,
> >in w if I have a million dollars then I am able to retire.
> >
> > = For some possible worlds (that are relevantly similar to this one),
> >w, in w either I am able to retire or I don't have a million dollars.
>
> But this one fails even worse. Since I don't have a million
> dollars, "If I had a million dollars then I might buy Microsoft
> from Bill" is true, according to your expansion, because
> indeed in some worlds relevantly similar to this one
> (in all of those in which I don't have a million dollars
> in fact, including this one) "If I have a million dollars
> then I am able to buy Microsoft" is true.
>
> You have to restrict it to worlds where I do have a million
> dollars. Then you are just saying: "In some worlds where
> I have a million dollars, I am able retire."
You are again quite right. In fact, in the formula I started off with in
my head I had restricted quantification, but because, unlike pc, I have
not (yet?) been sold on restricted quantification, I rejigged it to
get rid of the r.q. & bollocksed it up.
If I insisted on avoiding r.q., would the following work?
For some possible worlds (that are relevantly similar to this one),
w, in w I am able to retire and I have a million dollars.
In other words, "if p then would q" is "Aw: in w, q or not p", and
"if p then might q" is "Ew, in w p and q". Admittedly, restricted
quantification looks nicer, in that it preserves formal parallelism:
"Aw such that p: in w, q"; "Ew such that p: in w, q". This, as I mentioned
in another message of today, is the one attraction of r.q. that I know of:
All swans are white. Some swans are white.
Ax: x is not white or x is a swan. Ex: x is white and x is a swan.
Ax, x a swan: x is white. Ex, x a swan: x is white.
> >Changing topic: English has indicative/subjunctive contrasts such as:
> >
> > I insist that he go. [= I order it to be the case that he goes]
> > I insist that he goes. [= I vigorously assert it to be true that he
> >goes]
> >
> >In Lojban both subordinate clauses would be translated with (I guess)
> >{le du'u}, but you'd have to use different main brivla. The semantics
> >of the brivla specifies whether or not "broda X" is true only if X is
> >true.
>
> If "I insist that he go" is something like "mi minde fi le du'u
> ko'a klama" then the truth value of "ko'a klama" doesn't really
> enter into it, does it?
It enters into it in the sense that "minde" (or the default for all brivla)
specifies that it is not the case that "minde fi da" is true only if da is
true.
--And.