unus cornu

Last Sunday in church, the minister’s youngest daughter approached me for the first time, carrying with her a plastic toy. She wanted to show it to me. Since this was the first time she had chosen to come directly to me, I thought it was interesting. She showed me her “horse with a horn”. I told her it was called a unicorn, pointing to the horn on the head. She again said, no it’s a “horse with a horn” and pointed to the horn, calling that a unicorn at that point. I said yes, technically the horn she pointed to is unus ‘one’cornu ‘horn’. This is a three-year old…but still. I then explained again, that the horse with a horn on it’s head is called a unicorn. The elderly neighbor I sit with said she didn’t think she got it, but a moment later she moved on to others with whom she is more familiar and said, “Look at my unicorn!” Yeah, she got it.

Me too. Today, while doing my comics collage, I noticed the word psychosemantic, in the Cow and Boy comic strip. Would you believe I can tie together what I just wrote about a horse with a horn and something about psychosemantics? You would’ve lost if you were betting.

I did a quick livesearch and found this link (On thinking of kinds: a neuroscientific perspective) which is about psychosemantics AND includes the horse with a horn quote (bolded in the paragraph below). A little too easy, ya think? Here’s the quote, for what it’s worth:

“What sort of intention would do the trick? Well, an intention to pick out a kind, of course. For instance, the representation of specific kinds could be accounted for by mental description. Just as one might say that unicorns are picked out in thought descriptionally (“a horse with a horn” – otherwise a puzzling case, especially for the naturalist, since unicorns do not exist), perhaps one could pick out a specific kind with “a φ that is a kind”, where “φ” denotes some complex property whose representation can be accommodated by your favourite reductive theory. It would remain to give some reductive account of the concept of kindhood; however, if concepts of particular kinds are difficult to account for with current reductive theories of intentionality, then the concept of kindhood seems even more difficult. Further, how would such a concept be acquired without prior concepts of specific kinds as examples?”


Here’s the day’s collage, sans anagram for now:


For those unaware, the giddiness thing in Agnes is a reminder that I was “diagnosed” with giddiness, which I wrote about a while back.



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