Talk:Imprecise language

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Related to this are the scientific studies about the brain to show that human brains to not store definitions of words in terms of property-sets, boundaries, and the other tools of formal logic. The human brain stores prototypes, i.e., an image of some canonical thing, and labels things based on resemblance to the prototype, such resemblance being necessarily vague. --Lee Daniel Crocker

This was by no means settled: there are various theories about how human concept use and formation, of course. This article contains some useful information, but it absolutely is not an encyclopedia article at present. I'd like to go to work on this when I get a chance... --LMS

I think the empirical question is well settled among working scientists. There is resistance among theoreticians and philosophers, but the experiments are quite clear and you really have to strain to interpret them any other way. Cognitive science has made quite a bit of progress in determining how the human brain works. That isn't to say that such results imply anything about the metaphysical nature of the world--or even the abstract concepts of thought, reason, cognition, etc. But physical human brains do work in very specific ways, and many of those ways have been clearly demonstated and measured. --Lee Daniel Crocker

I didn't mean to deny the generalities you just stated, Lee. --LMS

Three words. Fuzzy logic.

That's two (2), this many: || words. 09:25, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I tried to clarify this article and remove first person, but I wasn't too clear on some of the arguments, and this really isn't my strong suit either, so someone who actually knows something about this topic might want to check this over. Also, I think it needs a really clear definition of what a Sorites argument is. --James

I have the teeniest bit of knowledge about science and logic and such, and I think Wikipedia articles should be written simply enough for someone with as little knowledge as me should understand them on these topics (as opposed to math, which I don't and will never understand) -- I haven't the foggiest idea what imprecise language is after reading this article. What is "The Argument" arguing? Is it for or against the existence of imprecise language? What the hell does "consensus" mean in the context? (if the section at the end is supposed to answer this, it shouldn't be at the end of the article, and should be more explicit) Is Sorites a person or what? The "attempt to clarify matters" is more confusing than what it is presumably attempting to clarify. Tuf-Kat

--- ===Case for a merger?=== There are four articles in Wikipedia dealing with essentially one and the same philosophical topic: Imprecise language, Paradox of the heap, Vagueness and Continuum fallacy. (Sorites paradox redirects to Paradox of the heap.) I have done a little editing of the Vagueness page, but really I think all four pages should be merged, or that at very least, they be rationalised to two pages, one a longer one on the philosophical problem of vagueness, and the other a quick summary of the sorites paradox with a link to the vagueness page for a more in-depth discussion. What do people think? Matt 9 Nov. 2005


Revised proposal for major change to the Imprecise language page[edit]

The Imprecise language page currently isn't doing much good as it is, judging from some of the above comments. Furthermore I think it is redundant, given the pages on vagueness and also ambiguity (and paradox of the heap and continuum fallacy), which I think are better quality articles. Therefore my proposal is that the Imprecise language page should simply read something like this:

== Imprecise language ==
Language might be said to imprecise because it exhibits one or more of the following features: vagueness; ambiguity. Please see the individual pages on vagueness and ambiguity for an in-depth discussion.


There is also discussion on this proposal at Talk: vagueness.

Matt, now Matt9090. 10 Nov. 2005

Lojban/ Loglan reference[edit]

I shifted the Loglan/ Lojban reference in slightly edited form from the Imprecise language page to the ambiguity page, since these languages do not seek to avoid Vagueness; they merely avoid ambiguity. (At the imprecise language page, the suggestion was that they avoid vagueness.) For example, Loglan users presumably do not have in mind, when they apply their predicate "X is tall" to "John" (asserting of John that he is tall), that there is a certain exact number of inches which John's height is thereby said to exceed. So their word for "tall" is still vague, and hence imprecise, in this respect. This is so even if vagueness is only one type of imprecision. Matt9090 10 Nov. 2005