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Re: [ontolog-forum] Visual Complexity

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 00:23:41 -0600
Message-id: <DAB485FE-1A0A-469D-9896-1E3673AD8135@xxxxxxxx>
On 6 Feb, at 7:58 , Patrick Durusau wrote:    (01)

> I am *not* arguing for infinite regress but I am arguing that one  
> should
> acknowledge that every formal language or model makes claims which it
> does not justify because that would lead to the very infinite regress
> that you point out.    (02)

You appear to be using "language" and "model" in ways that differ  
from how Pat is using them.  By a language he means a formal  
language, like the language for OWL or a dialect of Common Logic.  A  
language in this sense is a formal artifact.  It does not "make  
claims", though, given an interpretation of the language, it can be  
*used* by an agent to make claims by asserting certain sentences of  
the language.  A language determines a basic lexicon and a set of  
expressions (character sequences) deemed well-formed by the grammar  
of the language.  Similarly, a model in Pat's sense is a mathematical  
structure that interprets the well-formed expressions of the language  
and in particular makes some set of sentences true (according to well- 
defined semantical rules).  Models also do not "make claims".    (03)

> As I said above, the point may have been too minor to be noticed. My
> point was that no matter how formal or labored over a formal  
> language or
> model may be, it remains *a* view and has no greater claim to being  
> free
> from unstated assumptions than any other.    (04)

Perhaps what you have in mind are *theories*, i.e., sets of sentences  
in a given language.  Relative to some interpretation, the sentences  
might well express a "view" -- a particular take on the nature of  
time, or human physiology, or whatever -- a.k.a, an ontology.  Your  
comments about claims and assumptions and the like have to do with  
sentences, not formal languages and models.    (05)

Chris Menzel    (06)

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