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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontological Assumptions of FOL

To: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 01:22:31 +0700
Message-id: <c09b00eb0703181122q5ff34d81pd0cd663b526b6262@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
John    (01)

> Thanks for the pointer to the paper on "Language and Logic
> in Ancient China".    (02)

Thanks a lot to you for your careful analysis that supports your
anticipated conclusions.
I have nothing to add to your extensive post, except for a couple of
points (before I get on the plane)    (03)

if your analysis is right, then there will be no problem in using CLCE
in chinese, which is what triggered this inquiry in the first place
I think we may want to start to work on some experiments using CLCE
with different languages, this should provide some proof that logic is
logic in any language    (04)

Let me clarify that by 'chinese logic' I intend traditional, classic
chinese logic as contained in original texts, and not communist or
westernised logic, In fact, by chinese logic
Im fact,  I really mean any non western logic, or any logical paradigm
that does not conform
to Aristotles principles (for the little I know )    (05)

also, I am fully aware of the virtues of chinese people, which are remarkeble
I am still not convinced that their intelligence, skills and resoning
abilities  on the same logic
as the westerners.    (06)

I have a few questions that are bugging me now, and I am not even
sure if my reasoning is sound - so help me a bit more here with any
pointers that you may have    (07)

1. is chinese, and other non western logic, differnt from Aristotle's logic
2. if so, in what way (substance, form? axioms?)
3, if so, what could be the consequences for knowledge representation
and exchange
using different type of formalisms (narural language, or formal
notations, etc) when shifting the paradign - this is the  core of the
question that pertains to this discourse
4. to meet the globalisation challenge, should we aim to bridge such
differences in logic -IF ANY -  by looking for complementarity, or are
we going to stick with the fact aht aristotles/ logic is superior and
more fit for knowledge representation and exchange    (08)

so many questions there, probably a few more in between    (09)

I have started thinking that if non western logic is different from
western logic in any
quantifiable sense, then such differences could be modelled by
different inference patterns even when using english language. This in
fact what we do when we translate into english
I am thinking of my richard wilhelm's translation of 'I ching'
(chinese, to german, to english) and how I understand the semantics
after the translation, still the logic of the meaning escapes me
despite years of reading the thing    (010)

with these thoughts, I make my first trip to China.    (011)

thanks a lot for your explanations and links
cheers    (012)

PDM    (013)

 That's an interesting analysis of some
> classical Chinese texts, but Hansen makes points that are
> similar to what I said:
>   1. The Chinese language does not have the option of making
>      subjunctive ("would have") statements.
>   2. It also lacks the option of using word endings (e.g., -ness
>      in English or -itas in Latin) to create abstractions such
>      as whiteness from white or humanitas from humanus.
> Those two differences make ordinary Chinese speech more concrete
> (less abstract) than ordinary English.  But that actually makes
> Chinese closer to first-order logic than English.
> Hansen also said "Chinese philosophy, because of this special
> emphasis upon analogy, is rarely written in the form of logically
> developed essays, but usually consists of a series of picturesque
> metaphors, parables, and anecdotes strung together to illustrate
> certain main ideas."
> That's an excellent point, and it emphasizes my point that analogy
> is the *foundation* for logic.  Every version of reasoning by
> induction, deduction, or abduction is a special case of reasoning
> by analogy.  I explain that in more detail in the following paper:
>     http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/analog.htm
>     Analogical Reasoning
> I strongly endorse Hansen's conclusion:  "There is no factual
> basis for any associated "Chinese logic" hypothesis.  The features
> of Chinese thought usually associated with the antirational slogans
> just cannot prove that a radically different (inconsistency-
> justifying) implicit logic is at work.  And for similar reasons,
> the attempts by modern formally sophisticated philosophers to
> prove the opposite also fail."
> I realize that both Buddhism and Taoism make many statements that
> seem difficult to reconcile with ordinary logic.  But what the
> authors were trying to do is to get the ordinary people (in India
> or China) to break out of the common ways of thinking. They made
> statements that sound illogical in order to break the common
> habit of thinking "logically" within a rigid conceptual scheme.
> If anything, modern Chinese students are better able to deal with
> logic, mathematics, and computer science than typical students
> in English-speaking countries.  Their language is certainly not
> a limitation on their ability to reason logically.
> John
>    (014)

Paola Di Maio
School of IT, MFU.ac.th
--------------------------------------------    (015)

"For as long as space and time endures
may I too abide to dispel misery and ignorance"    (016)

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