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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 10:07:38 -0600
Message-id: <49F4ADFC-F95F-428D-8148-483A9D84B1F9@xxxxxxxx>
> In short, model theory makes no claims about reality.
> All the hard work lies in determining how well any
> particular model describes reality.    (01)

Well, I don't know about *all* the hard work -- constructing a good  
model can be very difficult!    (02)

> And as Patrick D. said and I agreed, no model has an exact match to  
> reality.    (03)

I think this is a very misleading statement; indeed, I believe it is  
flat out false if not qualified further (though I know you do not  
intend it this way).  Granted, typically, like any model, a formal  
model that is intended to reflect some part of the physical world  
selectively avoids representing certain features of the world that  
are deemed to be inessential "noise".  Thus, if I want to construct a  
formal model of, say, the faculty and administrative structure at  
Texas A&M University -- professorial and administrative ranks,  
departments, salaries, who answers to whom, etc -- my model will  
contain a representation of each faculty member and administrator,  
but will  presumably not contain representations of, say, his or her  
arms and legs.  So, yes, there are *details* of the concrete reality  
in question that my model omits.  But, relative to the intended  
*granularity*, there is no reason whatever that the model cannot be  
EXACTLY right.    (04)

It is important to stress *both* of these points -- the sense in  
which a formal model can be an exact match and the sense in which it  
might not be -- when describing the relationship between formal  
models and reality.  The statement above, at the least, leaves out a  
critical part of the picture.    (05)

Chris Menzel    (06)

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