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Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Re: OWL and lack of identifiers

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 08:28:18 -0400
Message-id: <46348F62.9080707@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Wacek,    (01)

Literally, a statement is subjective iff no one other than
the speaker can determine its truth or falsity.    (02)

A statement is objective iff there are publicly available
means for determining its truth or falsity.    (03)

Those criteria leave some statements undecidable, such
as statements about a situation that was only observed
by one person and no physical evidence remains.    (04)

The fields of science and law have addressed those issues
in depth, and experts in those fields will readily admit
that absolute certainty is difficult or impossible to achieve.
Yet there are reasonable grounds, for many important cases,
to make decisions that are reliable to a high degree.    (05)

One major question is how to determine the degree.  A very
strong criterion is to ask whether you would be willing
to bet your life on the truth of some statement.    (06)

For example, when you drive (or ride in) a car, you are
betting your life on a large number of assumptions:    (07)

  1. The laws of physics. (Newtonian mechanics is sufficient.)    (08)

  2. The engineering principles that support the design of
     the car, especially the brakes, tires, steering, etc.    (09)

  3. The value that other drivers place upon their own lives
     and their unwillingness to risk them by doing something
     that will place yours at risk.    (010)

The third type of assumption is the most controversial, but
I would claim that it can be objectively determined by looking
at evidence about how people drive, the accident rates, the
suicide rates, etc.  Because of such evidence, there are some
places where I would be more willing to drive than others.    (011)

John    (012)

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