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   Re: [xml-dev] Generality of HTTP

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Miles Sabin wrote:

> Jonathan Borden wrote,
> > Actually, the "important" concept that Quine denied the existence
> > of, was precisely "a priori" truths, 2 + 2 = 4 being one that serves
> > as a classic example. So the meaning of the term depends on one's
> > perspective. You are assuming that 'Daniel Dennett' is the ultimate
> > authority on philosophy.
> Err ... nope, far from it.
> Dan Dennett _is_ however the editor of The Philosophers Lexicon, and
> has been since it's early days before it went public in the American
> Philosophers Association journal. That's where the verb "to quine"
> comes from, and the definition there is the one understood by all the
> professional philosophers I've ever met.

Miles, I am quining your definition of "quining" .... "So the meaning of the
term depends on one's perspective..."

You see how rapidly this discourse has degenerated into a "he said, she
said" exchange. All because _you think_ we disagree about a subtle semantics
of an obscure word. You asserted that I "missed the point". This _is_ the
point. I understand exactly what you are saying about the need for a
consensus regarding the semantics of words. I would not have selected the
Quine example, I assure you, if this were not the case.

You see, this exchange would be entirely useless except as an example, and
here you have correctly gone to an "authority". What I am saying, simply, is
that it is useful to have an authority to go to in order to resolve
conflicts regarding the meaning of words, especially as new words are
introduced into a vocabulary. The "http" protocol has the interesting
characteristic in that every such URI does have an authority -- the owner of
the DNS entry for the host. That interesting fact does not negate what you
correctly say about shared semantics. It does provide a valuable mechanism
for resolving disputes when semantics are not shared.



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