> >> Aha! But unbeknownst to you the brain really works this way > >> mechanically. It works through tautological regression and not through > >> syllogistic inference as is commonly supposed. > > > > > >Thank you for the explanation, both here and above. > > Well I'm confident you're being ironic.
I'm being polite.
> But the fact is that > tautological mechanics are exactly what underlies the whole cerebral > process we describe in syllogistic terms. In any even I won't belabor > the point with those convinced otherwise.
> >> >> In other words > >> >> if Q is true (and it is) it isn't because it's a component of P. > >> > > >> > > >> >You're right, even though Q is a component of P. > >> > >> Where do you see Q in P? > > > > > >Don't you see it? Your previous sentence ("In other words if Q is > >true..." etc.) is ambiguous in that regard. > > Well the fact is that I don't see it. I see how it might be inferred > given collateral judgments. But I just don't see the actual Q you > describe anywhere literally in P. That's been the focus of my problem > with your contention all along.
Well, the terms "component" and "literally" are not rigorously defined, AFAIK, so it's possible we don't disagree.
Take the two sentences
1) Jones smokes. 2) Jones smokes.
Obviously, (1) and (2) are distinct occurrences of the same sentence. Are they "literally" the same? It could be argued that they differ, at least in their placement on the page (or screen), and so are not literally the same.
If we say that they _are_ literally the same, then in that sense Q ("Margaret Thatcher is a politician") does not literally occur in P ("Margaret Thatcher is a man, and all men are politicians"), nor does it occur in (if I may) P' = "Margaret Thatcher is a male politician". If we take "is a component of" to mean "occurs literally in" (in this sense) then Q is not a component of P.
If, on the other hand, we take "is a component of" in a somewhat looser sense, such as "is (logically) equivalent to a part (or subformula) of" then it can be shown that Q is a component of P and of P'.
E.g., "Margaret Thatcher is a male politician" is clearly equivalent, logically, to "Margaret Thatcher is a man, and Margaret Thatcher is a politician." In this formulation, Q ("Margaret Thatcher is a politician") is clearly a component, in this last sense, to a part of a sentence that is logically equivalent to P'.
'Even the crows on the roofs caw about the nature of conditionals.'