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Date: Wed, 6 Sep 89 21:24 EDT
From: pan@Athena.Pangaro.Dialnet.Symbolics.Com (Paul Pangaro)
Neat domain name!
From: An anonymous user-in-need
"A user in need is a user indeed! :-)"
Subject: Question/answer-pair desired
Anywhere in your philosophy, is there a name for the question/answer
1pair0 --- namely, that complementary pair whose one constrains the other?
2[Note well that in modern times the "one" of the pair has been relieved of the obligation to
constrain the "other" of the pair. Here is a commonly accepted "question/answer pair":
Q: "Mayor xyz, what measures have you taken to fight the traffic problem in your city?"
A: "In the past year we have added 400 beds to the hospitals, cut the taxes and immunized
everybody against polio."]
0In my 3personal0 philosophy, questions outnumber answers by many orders of
magnitude, so question answer/pairs are too few to deserve an
appellation of their own! In philosophy in general, it appears that if
ever an answer is found, a given question/answer pair leaves the
limelight of the mind in favor of more questions. Nonetheless, if
memory serves right, the following terms come to mind as approaching the
concept you mention, albeit at times obliquely:
* 3Entailment0 has been used to implicitly denote a pair: "4a0 3entails4 b0"
means that 4b0 is validly deducible from 4a0. "4a0" could be a question
while "4b0" is its answer.
* What could be wrong with 3dialogue0 [4dialogoj0], which Plato used so often?
3We0 happen to assume that a dialogue consists of many exchanges, but only
one question/answer pair could also qualify as a dialogue.
* Formal, truth-functional logic, say, a la Quine, Russel and Whitehead,
is more concerned with statements, quantification and logical variables
that aid in accomplishing the purposes of proof theory. As such,
questions of the form "Is X true or false?" rather than "How are you?"
are given the bulk of the attention, and the t/nil answer to the former
class of questions renders the notion of a "question/answer pair"
vacuous and uninteresting, unless one draws an analogy between the
"question/answer pair" and3 theorem/proof0. The first class of questions
(e.g. the "How are you" class) is the realm of the theory of meaning,
according to Quine, whereas the "Is X true or false?" class belongs to
the theory of reference. [Cf. Quine's "From a Logical Point of View", I
* In stating that we ask four kinds of questions, Aristotle refers to
the "question/answer pair" as a 3connexion0 (4Sumplokh0, 3sumploke0), which
has a "middle", the middle being what takes you from the question to the
* 4Qewria0 [3theoria0] is OK too, as it embodies postulates, questions and
answers, all in one package. It has become overloaded by modern usage,
though, with the [inessential] assumption that it must harbor numerous
and complicated questions, answers and statements.
* Last but not least, is the "question/answer pair" phrase, which is
descriptive, and was proposed by the Renaissance man and scholarly saint
of roman origin, Santa 4Pauloj Pangaroj0, brother of 4Toni0. :-)
Finally, were there more time and less press of work here, this 3ad hoc
0reply would have been shorter, better thought out and more timely.
Voltaire's note when he sent a commissioned novel to a patroness is
"Madam, enclosed please find the novel you commissioned. I have written
it in two volumes. If I had more time, I could have written it in one."
With warm, ontological and philosophical regards,
This is urgency .
"Thank you (in advance) for your support" --- 3from the Bartles and James
- From: Paul Pangaro <pan%athena.pangaro.dialnet.symbolics.com@RELAY.CS.NET>