RE: MD A metaphysics - Bootstrapping

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Sun Aug 17 2003 - 21:50:43 BST

  • Next message: Ian Glendinning: "RE: MD What comes first?"

    Glenn and all:

    I'd asked for an explanation of the term "bootstrapping".

    Glenn told dmb to:
    Go to
    And enter the word "bootstrapping".
    You'll find 15 or 20 alternative dictionary defintions of bootstrapping,
    none of them much different from what Pirsig (or I) meant by it. (I still
    don't do long posts)

    dmb says:
    I found definitions that work in the context of business, computers, science
    and boots, but nothing at all about what such a thing means in the context
    of philosophy. Sigh. Just forget it, Ian. I'll just assume that you don't

    Ian said:
    I actually don't buy the "we must define and agree our terms before we can
    have a valid (but long) dialectical argument" bit.
    That is actually the Catch-22 from which I wish to free us.
    (And incidentally the one from which I thought the pragmatist Pirsig had
    freed us.)

    dmb says:
    Huh? Are you saying its not important to understand the meaning of the terms
    we use? In any case, what does Joseph Heller have to do with anything? What
    is the catch 22 you refer to here? This makes no sense to me.

    Ian said:
    I personally believe in many short exchanges where we each share our own
    half-meanings, until concensus is discovered. One man's "valuable shortcut"
    is another man's "jargon" until this happens.

    dmb says:
    Short exhanges to share half-meanings? What the heck is a half-meaning? You
    speak in riddles, brown eyes. I'm not impressed.

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