Author Topic: how empty words may become mortal  (Read 4568 times)

Offline Daniel

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Re: how empty words may become mortal
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2015, 10:25:15 AM »
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And DANIEL, not all concepts have a lexical entry: For instance, "that pain in the knee that attacks me when taking a nap at 3 in the afternoon" is a concept which doesn't have a pointer-word. Therefore, I need a whole sentence to point to it.
"My knee hurts again"? -- not just some vague general pain.
Though I think I agree with you that there are (many?) exceptions.

Also, I think I may be explaining it badly: I think the idea is about categories. The category of "pain" for example is a lexical item. The specific pain you experience in your knee is on instance. So in a type-token distinction, it's the types that we must have names for, not the tokens. (It's not, for example, impossible to identify/know someone without knowing their name. But we do know the word "person" etc.)

I'm still not sure I agree with that position, but it's not quite so easy to disagree with.



jkpate, why the Civil War? It wasn't really about ideologies. It was about economics. Slavery wasn't an ideology (except that it was acceptable) as much as a means to industry. That's why it took so long to abolish, and why it wasn't really Lincoln's goal in the war. It was just another thing to do along the way. The post-hoc analysis is that the war was about ideologies, but it wasn't really. It was about economics and politics/sovereignty, with some major side effects like the elimination of slavery.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 10:29:10 AM by djr33 »
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Offline Guijarro

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Re: how empty words may become mortal
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2015, 11:02:06 AM »
I don't know whether this is an off-topic link. in any case it's poignant!

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/09/opinion/charlie-hebdo-before-the-massacre.html?ref=opinion&_r=1

Offline jkpate

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Re: how empty words may become mortal
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2015, 01:51:18 PM »
 
jkpate, why the Civil War? It wasn't really about ideologies. It was about economics. Slavery wasn't an ideology (except that it was acceptable) as much as a means to industry. That's why it took so long to abolish, and why it wasn't really Lincoln's goal in the war. It was just another thing to do along the way. The post-hoc analysis is that the war was about ideologies, but it wasn't really. It was about economics and politics/sovereignty, with some major side effects like the elimination of slavery.

 
It absolutely was about ideological differences over who had power to maintain or abolish slavery. You are right that Lincoln and the northern states did not intend at the beginning to abolish slavery in one fell swoop in the south. Instead, the strategy was one of containment: prevent slavery from spreading, and prevent a further influx of slaves, and eventually slavery would go extinct. However, the slaveholding states were explicit that they were seceding because they considered even this gradual strategy to be an unacceptable abuse of power.

 
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Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world....


 
[Northern hostility towards slavery] has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction.
It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion.
...
-- Mississippi justification of secession

 
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...
But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution...

 
These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

 
We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States.
...
-- South Carolina justification of secession

 
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...
The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretences and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slaveholding States.
...
-- Texas justification of secession

 
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...
The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees it its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers.

 
With these principles on their banners and these utterances on their lips the majority of the people of the North demand that we shall receive them as our rulers.

 
The prohibition of slavery in the Territories is the cardinal principle of this organization.
...
-- Georgia justification of secession

 
The American civil war was "about economics" only insofar as slavery is an economic issue -- disagreement over slavery was the primary cause of rising tensions through the 1850's, the secession documents fixate on slavery and the view that northern states were overreaching, while they don't mention any other economic issue. Claims that the civil war was "about economics" in the abstract are revisionist attempts to whitewash the motivations of the seceding states.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 01:54:24 PM by jkpate »
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Offline Daniel

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Re: how empty words may become mortal
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2015, 03:08:01 PM »
But the motivation was economic, and perhaps stubbornness, that they wanted to keep their "right" to owning slaves.

What I'm saying is that there's a practical motivation (along with the ideology).

(Admittedly this is now getting farther off topic.)
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