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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: Wed, 02 May 2007 09:09:09 -0400
Message-id: <46388D75.1060906@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Patrick and everybody else who has questions about logic,    (01)

I strongly endorse the following point by Pat Hayes:    (02)

 > To give [Topic Maps or any other notation] such a semantics
 > is not to 'logify' it, or rule out its use by humans (in fact,
 > despite the dark reputation of logic, we found that giving
 > RDF a precise formal semantics actually helped many real live
 > people, including developers, not least by providing quick
 > ways of resolving otherwise interminable debates.)    (03)

Yes, indeed.  And C. S. Peirce, the inventor of the usual
algebraic notation for logic, wrote the following    (04)

    How to Make Our Ideas Clear    (05)

He published this paper in the _Popular Science Monthly_
in 1878, and the title emphasizes his main point.  Following
is a quotation from it:    (06)

    The very first lesson that we have a right to demand that
    logic shall teach us is, how to make our ideas clear; and a
    most important one it is, depreciated only by minds who stand
    in need of it. To know what we think, to be masters of our
    own meaning, will make a solid foundation for great and
    weighty thought. It is most easily learned by those whose
    ideas are meagre and restricted; and far happier they than
    such as wallow helplessly in a rich mud of conceptions.    (07)

I like the phrase "rich mud of conceptions" -- that is an
excellent description of all the discussions in this forum
that are "wallowing helplessly" in some vague notion that
we need a notation that is not logical.    (08)

John    (09)

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