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Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Azamat Abdoullaev" <abdoul@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 1 May 2007 16:15:11 +0300
Message-id: <002601c78bf2$bfdce5e0$030aa8c0@az00evbfog6nhh>
Kathryn, Pat, John, Paola, and other good realists,    (01)

This remarkable show of antirealists on the ontolog forum, repugning the 
real status of reality, is the product of derogating the primary meaning of 
ontology and its core fundamentals as reality,  existence, or the world.  To 
have properly defined ontology is a necessity to fight back all sorts of 
postmodern attempts to revise the conception of reality as:
1. personal reality (reality is a mental construct, perception is reality, 
different persons have different subjective worldviews, my world is the only 
real reality);
2. hyperreality (proxy, simulacrum reality as a media-created world; 
representation is reality, pornography, casinos, celebrities, human clones, 
3. socially constructed reality (reality is a product of social 
interractions and actions, social constructions and categories are not 
determined by the nature of things);
4. consensus reality (commonly accepted set of attitudes and beliefs and 
views, that is real what is agreed upon by some groups, communities, 
cultures, societies, etc).
The common feature here is the denial of objective, varifiable, observable, 
impersonal reality of entities recently promoted as anti-realism about the 
universe, the material world and its objects, the mental states, universals 
(as ontological classes, natural kinds, mathematical objects, or moral 
categories), other minds, truth, history and futurity, life, science, art, 
meaning, fact, etc.    (02)

As a matter of fact, reality, the world, existence, or the universe is all 
that exists, physically or mentally, materially or conceptually. And there 
is single underlying ontological dynamic reality existing in several forms 
and levels: physical space-time reality; personal reality (remember logical 
ontologies); phenomenological reality (remember dolce); commonsense world 
(remember cyc); semantic reality (remember sw); social reality.    (03)

To sum up:
Dealing with the categorical structure of reality as the ultimate objective 
entity, ontology addresses the world of reality, its nature, kinds, 
categories or classes, their interrelationships and representations. As an 
applied activity, it concerns how the ontological classes (realities) and 
relationships relate to:
the material entities and interactions in the physical universe (physical 
reality),    (04)

the constructs and associations in the mental world (mental 
reality&phenomenological reality&personal realities&common sense world),    (05)

the coded representations and structures in computing machines (cybernetic 
semantic reality),    (06)

the words and sentences in natural languages (linguistic reality),    (07)

the cultural objects, processes, and relationships in a social realm (social 
reality).    (08)

Congratulate all with the International Labor's Day!    (09)

Azamat Abdoullaev
EIS Encyclopedic Intelligent Systems LTD
Cyprus, Russia
http://www.eis.com.cy    (010)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kathryn Blackmond Laskey" <klaskey@xxxxxxx>
To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2007 11:59 PM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth    (011)

>>  >> [SN] Reality doesn't exist in the absence of perspective.  Reality is
>>  >> subjective, not objective.
>>>  [PH] Absolute nonsense. Reality existed for billions
>>>  of years before there was anything that could
>>  > form a subjective view of it...
>>  >
>>>>[SN]  When people speak, they speak the truth if
>>>>  they say what is real for them.
>>>  [PH] No. They speak the truth when what they say is in
>>>  fact the case, in the actual world.
>>>>  [SN] The *real* worlds are the worlds that
>>>>  are real *for persons*.
>>>  [PH] No, the real world is the one that persons
>>  > inhabit and are part of. There is only one of it.
>>[WK] haven't you just said that logical semantics is a theory of truth? 
>>about the semantics of modal logics?  isn't it a theory of truth which
>>consists of multiple, concurrent so-called 'possible worlds'?
> We have here an articulation of competing ontologies.
> Pat is an unapologetic realist.  He believes there is one real world
> that actually exists.  People have subjective opinions about that one
> real world.  Some of these opinions are wrong. For example, common
> wisdom used to be that the Earth is flat.  Some people still believe
> the world is flat.  The beliefs of those people are / were wrong.
> Steve is articulating a constructivist ontology (according to my
> reading).  In the constructivist ontology, there is no one actual,
> true, real world.  Rather, people construct reality through our
> social interactions.  There may be different constructed realities.
> On some aspects of reality, we agree pretty well, and on others there
> is a great deal of disagreement.
> Waclaw seems to be articulating a many-worlds ontology.  In a
> many-worlds ontology, there are multiple concurrent "possible
> worlds." For each of us, it seems as if there is one "actual world,"
> but it is because we cannot see the other "possible worlds".  There
> are quantum physicists who subscribe to such an ontology.  They don't
> think quantum events "actually happen." Rather, we experience the
> events that "seem to" happen in our local world, but all the possible
> events "actually happen" in some world.
> A realist would say Pat's ontology is correct and the others are
> mistaken.  A constructivist would say Pat is right for Pat, but Steve
> is right for Steve.
> I can't prove which of these ontologies is correct.  I don't think
> it's possible to prove which of these ontologies is correct.  The
> different ontologies are not falsifiable in the Popperian sense.
> However, there is a strong argument for acting as if the realist
> ontology is correct.  For example, it behooves me to believe that if
> I jump out of a 22-story building, I'm going to go splat and that
> will be the end of me.  I think it's dangerous to believe that my
> going splat is some kind of social construction.  Similarly for many
> other actionable consequences of the realist view.
> Even the staunchest advocates of non-realist ontologies find
> themselves falling into realist thinking when the rubber meets the
> road.  I think Nature evolved us that way, because those who acted on
> the belief that it was a matter of subjective opinion whether hungry
> predators would eat a straggler found themselves eaten more often,
> thereby failing to pass on their genes to the next generation.
> Kathy
> p.s. The realist ontology applies only to propositions that pass the
> "clarity test" -- i.e., propositions that can be stated sufficiently
> clearly that it is possible in principle to verify whether they are
> or are not true in Reality (of course, for future events, such
> verification must be postponed until the date of occurrence or
> non-occurrence).  There are meaningful natural language statements
> (e.g., that Rostropovich was a great musician, that Kathy's email was
> boring, that Pat is a friendly fellow) that do not have "correct"
> answers in the "true reality" -- unless or until we have defined our
> terms sufficiently precisely that a definitive answer results.    (012)

 Charles and all    (013)

I think my reply belongs both here, and to the other related thread (truth 
and reality), but I believe this is where the other thread originated,
A valuable point you make below (shall we attach a truth value to our 
ontological assertions, to gauge their validity to the purpose of the 
ontology? I, of course, believe yes)    (014)

Both reality and truth are of great personal interest to me    (015)

How can reality be measured? objective parameters, metrics, asking around 
what people see.
Think of a simple investigation work when something happens, you gather the 
evidence, analyse it, ask people what they see. But reality is not any 
single piece of evidence alone, only when we put the pieces together we get 
a glimpse of the picture. Reality is like a puzzle, except that while with a 
puzzle you can generally see if there is a piece missing,
with reality sometimes you assume you got all the pieces, so what you see is 
the final picture, but there is
no guarantee that some piece is not missing, because you have no clue as to 
what reality really look like, you only know what all the pieces that you 
have look like.    (016)

So the great presumption, and where some 'scientific thinkers' sometimes are 
mislead, is to think that they are looking at the complete picture, while 
they are only looking at the  the evidence in their possession.    (017)

think of this in terms of truthness and completeness, which is I believe 
accepted    (018)

There are a lot of other variables:
1.sensorial perception - we know the world through our physical senses and 
intellect, which are subjective
2. limitations of measurement - we measure the world through arbitrary 
parameters. maths itself is 'arbitrary' in the sense that we follow certain 
number systems for convenience, but for the little I know we could simply 
change the values and intervals between numbers and maths would look 
different (not that I would be able to tell)
3. context. You mention context below, which is important. For example, a 
fact is that someone has had an accident and died, but all the personal 
drama, the last moments of his life, what would have happened if he had 
taken another road, the motives around the incident dynamic, lots of other 
stuff concerning that event can be perceived subjectively, or based on your 
interest in the case. The insurance company surely only wants to know 
certain facts about an accident, maybe a newspaper reporter has entirley a 
different dimension he is working with, maybe a family member has another 
perceiption of reality. What is reality in this case?    (019)

My theory  (I need to learn how to put together a theorem) is that reality 
does not exist
objectively (following the first argument above),  but can be measured 
according to objective parameters, as well as subjective ones, and that only 
the objective parameters can be shared socially, the others belong to  a 
personal sphere    (020)

So reality is like a layered cake, of which some people chose to eat only 
the layer that they like and some layers are only apprecited by them, while 
the others see some big holes between layers, perhaps.    (021)

I standby my assertion that reality is the sum of everything that is true, 
and I am puzzled as to how should I demonstrate that? (giggle)
Somehow I feel there is more urgent work to be done    (022)

This is why we need to establish
 the relationship, I believe, reality and truth
For example, assume something is true (x murdered y), but x hides the 
evidence, and makes z look like he's done it    (023)

If we base our investigation on the evidence, which has been tampered with 
but we dont know it, then z looks guilty, and x innocent.  So reality is 
that x is guilty, but looks innocent, and viceversa for z, but the evidence 
says the contrary.
Realism might say, you must consider the evidence alone for your judgement, 
but you must acknowledge it might be wrong.    (024)

Being 'realistic' in this sense, we may make the mistake that reality that 
we are taking into account is both
true and complete, while we have no assurance from anywhere in the universe 
that what we are looking anywhere in the rworld  at is completely true and 
complete, other than in certain very defined observations (hence defining 
the contextual dimension is important, and being aware of the 'objective 
limitations' of reality is important)    (025)

Let me rephrase that
Reality can be defined only within the parameters that is being observed.    (026)

(maybe this is more acceptable)    (027)

Just a couple more things    (028)

1. people jumping from the building, are very likely to splat, but this is 
not always true
There are known events when people survived, even a parachuter from 10000 
feet in freefall    (029)

http://www.greenharbor.com/fffolder/ffresearch.html    (030)

How does realism explain that? More likely simply choses to ignore these 
Realism explain some things, but not everything.    (031)

2. A couple of years ago I bugged NIST about making the terms in controlled 
vocabularies be set to true/false values. I have lost my record of those 
exchanges, but the person who politely followed my argument (cant rememebr 
her name, it was a she) said that my point had been noted and would be taken 
up but the controlled vocabulary committee.
Is anyone on this list in that committee, I think its time I follow up on 
that issue.    (032)

Cheers    (033)

Paola Di Maio    (034)

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