Terry Atkinson and Michael Baldwin
22 Sentences: The French Army
(Coventry: Precinct Publications, 1968)
[composed October, 1967]
FA -French Army
CMM -Collection of Men and Machines
GR -Group of Regiments
The context of identity statements in which collection of men and machines appears as a covering concept is a relativistic one. Identity is not simply built into that concept. The "sense" of identity is contrasted with the constitutive one.
The FA is regarded as the same CMM as the GR and the GR is the same CMM as (e.g.) "a new order" FA (e.g., morphologically a member of another class of objects): by transitivity the FA is the same CMM as the "new Shape/Order one." It's all in the support of the constitutive sense that the FA is the same CMM as the GR. The interference is that the FA and the CMM have the same life history (both the FA and the CMM are decimated) and in which case CMM fails as a covering concept. If the CMM isn't decimated (no identity) the predicate fails. The "constitutive" concept stays. And its durability doesn't come from a distorted construction of "Collection."
The concept of collection or manifold is one for which there can be no empty or null collection. The manifold FA; a domain, a regiment; it's all one whether the elements are specified as the battalions, the companies or single soldiers. (This doesn't work for classes).
The elements are intended to define and exhaust the "whole." If the CMM is to be regarded as no more and no less tolerant of damage and replacement of parts as FA, then the right persistence-conditions and configuration of CMM can be ensured only by grafting on the concept FA, and this is to "decognize" thing-matter equations.
The rest is not equivocation. "Concrete" and "steel" are not, in this framework, the sortals with classificatory purport (and in the terminological context, the sense does not emanate from them). And the same for all the constituents which may be specified at different dates for the FA.
Terry Atkinson in UbuWeb Historical