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Tom_Breton comments on Where to Draw the Boundary? - Less Wrong

36 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 21 February 2008 07:14PM

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Comment author: Tom_Breton 21 February 2008 10:52:34PM 4 points [-]

Just because there's a word "art" doesn't mean that it has a meaning, floating out there in the void, which you can discover by finding the right definition.

True, but it strongly suggests that people who use the term believe there is a referent for it. Sometimes there is none (eg "phlogiston" or "unicorn"). Sometimes the referent is so muddled or misunderstood that the term is has little use except to name the mistake (eg "free will", which seems to function as a means of grouping quite distinct concepts of subjective freedom together as if they were the same thing, or "qualia" whose referent is a subjective illusion)

But almost always it's worth asking what they think they mean by it.

@tcpkac, we sometimes call slightly-out-of-focus photos "blurries". Hope that helps with your important secret project. }:)