richard.hills at immi.gov.au richard.hills at immi.gov.au
Mon Nov 5 23:49:10 CET 2012

Alain Gottcheiner:

>AG : well, Herman at least asks the right question.
>A game creates its specific rules, which might differ
>from common behavior rules. (re-read Huizinga and
>Levi-Strauss if needed)

Johan Huizinga (1872 - 1945), Homo Ludens page 77:

The judge's wig, however, is more than a mere relic
of antiquated professional dress. Functionally it has
close connections with the dancing masks of savages.
It transforms the wearer into another ″being″. And it is
by no means the only very ancient feature which the
strong sense of tradition so peculiar to the British has
preserved in law. The sporting element and the
humour so much in evidence in British legal practice
is one of the basic features of law in archaic society.

Alain Gottcheiner:

>But can it escape the rules of logic ?
>I think it may not, because in particular the syllogism
>is the basis of applying any law. Whenever a player
>commits infraction X, the penalty will be Y. This
>player has committed infraction X, whence the
>penalty will be Y for this player.
>If two rules were contradictory, without any way to
>decide which one has priority, then there would be
>a logical problem, and I don't think that any Authority
>would solve the logical problem by giving their
>personal interpretation. There would simply be no
>way to rule correctly. But this we know only because
>we accept the laws of logic.

Richard Hills:

Herman De Wael astutely observed that the 1997
Law 75C and the 1997 Law 75D2 were apparently
contradictory. And their 2007 replacements, Law
40B6 and Law 20F5 Herman again astutely
observed had the same apparent contradiction.

Alain Gottcheiner:

>That the laws of logic supersede other laws, or
>rather are necessary to allow other laws to work,
>is difficult to avoid.
>And the flaws which are still present in
>propositional logic, as showed in Asimov's work
>and some others, arise from situations which do
>NOT happen at the bridge table, and fair enough.

Richard Hills:

But the central point of Isaac Asimov's "Reason" is
that a syllogism may be logically perfect, but ...

Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992):

"You can prove anything you want by coldly logical
reason - if you pick the proper postulates."

Richard Hills:

In 2008 the Authority of the WBF Drafting
Committee, with the concurrence of the Authority
of the WBF Laws Committee, and ratified by the
Supreme Authority of the WBF Executive cut the
logical Gordian Knot of the De Wael School by
creating a new Proper Postulate.

2008 WBF Laws Committee minutes, Law 20:

There is no infraction when a correct explanation
discloses that partner’s prior explanation was
mistaken. The words “nor may he indicate in any
manner that a mistake has been made” (in Law
20F5(a)) do not refer to compliance with the over-
riding requirement of the laws always to respond
to enquiries under Law 20F with correct
explanations of the partnership understandings.

Best wishes,

R.J.B. Hills
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