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Re: [ontolog-forum] Representing mental & emotional states

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2007 13:32:22 -0500
Message-id: <45FC3436.7090802@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat and Kathy,    (01)

I used the term "harder than", not "impossible",
and I certainly recognize the importance of
research in these areas.    (02)

JFS>> ...what about stuff like happiness?
 >> "Happiness" seems to be a mass noun like "water",
 >> but it's even harder to measure or refer to.    (03)

PH> 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".    (04)

KBL> Social scientists have developed both quantitative
 > and qualitative measures of mental/emotional states
 > and/or dispositions -- such as happiness, anger,
 > aggressiveness, etc.
 > Decision theory has very well developed quantitative
 > methods for measuring preferences.    (05)

All that work constitutes a very important body of ongoing
research.  But that merely confirms my claims:    (06)

  1. The existential and universal quantifiers, which Frege
     defined in 1879 and Peirce independently defined in
     1880, have not changed in the past 128 years. The fact
     that they started from very different approaches, but
     converged on logically equivalent definitions is very
     significant.  Even more significant is that the newer
     versions of "generalized quantifiers" have assumed
     those two basic quantifiers as settled.    (07)

  2. But there have been many different research studies
     for representing continuous stuff during that same
     period of time, and new research publications for
     different variations are still continuing.    (08)

  3. There are many more differences in approaches, studies,
     theories, and strategies for handling mental and emotional
     states over that same period.  A lot of it is very good,
     but there is much less consensus about how to proceed
     than in #2.    (09)

I believe it's extremely important to include mental and
emotional states in our ontologies, but there's a lot more
variety in the foundations and what is built on top.    (010)

John    (011)

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