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Re: [ontolog-forum] The Relation Between Logic and Ontology in Metaphysi

To: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 10:13:57 -0500
Message-id: <p06230902c220635ae63d@[]>
>I don't want to get involved with defending Heidegger.    (01)

I think Heidegger has had a bum rap, I have to 
say. I find his prose quite pellucid at times.    (02)

>On the other hand, the kind of logic one adopts does
>influence the kinds of ontological categories one might
>choose to represent by means of the symbols of that logic.
>For example, the quantifiers of predicate calculus
>(or any equivalent form, such as Peirce's graphs) are
>not well suited to dealing with continuous stuff,
>such as water.    (03)

I beg to differ. In a very old paper, whose title 
I believe may have been the first use of 
'ontology' in its modern sense in a refereed 
publication, I used classical first-order logic 
to describe liquids in some detail: water in 
particular.    (04)

>Even worse, what about stuff like happiness?
>"Happiness" seems to be a mass noun like "water",
>but it's even harder to measure or refer to.    (05)

Its hard to measure, but that doesn't make it 
hard to *refer to*. What it might make hard is to 
describe it quantitatively, but we now have a lot 
of experience in how to use purely qualitative 
descriptions to draw quite sophisticated 
conclusions, cf. "qualitative physics".    (06)

>makes it a prime category to be ignored.  But does
>that mean it doesn't exist?    (07)

Of course it doesn't mean that. But what in 
Chris' message makes you think that he is 
suggesting that happiness does not exist?    (08)

Pat    (09)

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