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Text is Jottings Plus Procedure (JoPP)

Selmer Bringsjord
Dept. of Philosophy, Psychology & Cognitive Science
Department of Computer Science
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, NY 12180 USA


Allen Renear's excellent target paper describes a number of general positions on the question of what text is. I find none of them satisfying. By my (confessedly idiosyncratic) lights, text is ultimately composed of jottings plus procedures for unpacking these jottings. Such a view marks an attempt to take seriously, via formalisms in use in the field of Artificial Intelligence, an interesting thought-experiment given by Wittgensteinian (which, incidentally, W thought supported the idea that the mind can store more information than the brain). My view seems to be supported by most of the advantages and arguments Renear cites in favor of the ``Text is an OHCO" view, but seems to be a Platonic (in Renear's sense of the term) position unthreatened by the difficulties confronting the Platonic OHCO view.

Selmer Bringsjord
Tue Apr 2 13:34:44 EST 1996