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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology and methodology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 22:48:19 -0500
Message-id: <4600AB03.1080309@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Chris,    (01)

There are indeed many different kinds of roles.
The only point I was trying to make is that *none*
of them ever imply that any human being who plays
those roles bifurcates into multiple individuals,
no matter how many simultaneous roles there may be.    (02)

 > Margaret Gilbert makes this point very well in
 > On Social Facts. There comes a point where a role
 > acquires responsibilities.    (03)

Yes, of course.  The person who plays that role has
certain responsibilities.    (04)

 > and then the need to recognise it as an individual
 > becomes acute.    (05)

What need?  Car drivers have important responsibilities
as well.  But the *person* who has the driver's license
is the *person* who has that responsibility, not some
legal entity.  If that *person* drives while intoxicated,
it is the *person* who is fined or thrown in jail.  And
that *person* remains in jail despite losing the right
to be a car driver.    (06)

 > For Bishops the requirement for an individual is acute,    (07)

As you pointed out, there is a separate legal entity,
created by law, that maintains ownership of the bishop's
official possessions.  But that legal entity is not the
human being, and it does not perform the official duties
of the bishop.  The real flesh-and-blood bishop does.    (08)

If somebody assassinates the bishop, there is only one
human being who dies, even if the bishop is performing
some official duties at the moment.    (09)

 > What I wanted to point out is that the same luxury in
 > not available in the 3D scheme of things, where
 > CoffeeDrinkers can be roles of person, but Bishops
 > (and conversations?) need to be individuals.    (010)

What luxury?  Creating multiplicities of individuals
for every role creates confusion.  Wittgenstein pointed
out that this is a kind of disease that only philosophers
catch.  They find themselves "in the grip of a theory"
that leads them make nonsensical statements that ordinary
people would never dream of saying.    (011)

Of course a bishop is an individual -- exactly the
same individual as the human being before ordination.
You have given evidence that the bishop acquires more
responsibilities, but it is the human being who is
obligated to carry out those responsibilities.    (012)

I don't know why you mention conversations, because
nobody ever claimed that a conversation is a person
or a group of persons.  I certainly agree that a
conversation is an activity that is distinct from
the people who carry out that activity.    (013)

John    (014)

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