X-Message-Number: 21637
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2003 09:19:51 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #21393 - #21398

Yes, this is one more late reply.

For Mike Perry:

Well, Mike, you've explained what you mean by symbols in #21397.
If you want to call two different conditions of an object "symbols"
I can't prevent you from doing so --- that's one of the features
of symbols themselves. And yes, if we use that definition, then
even levers or ants work symbolically. 

However I can discuss whether or not forgetting the distinction
between how a word (now that you've appropriated the word "symbol")
"lever" works and how a lever works is really intellectually 
useful. It looks to me like a way to obscure some important 
differences between things in the world. If I need to somehow 
lift some real object, the symbolic real lever remains a lot more
useful than the symbolic word "lever".

Yes, your definition does have the advantage that it allows you
to say that our brains work symbolically and only symbolically
all the time and in every case. Whether that gives you any real
understanding or only symbolic understanding is only for you to

                 Best wishes and long long life for all,

                       Thomas Donaldson

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