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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2007 22:45:47 -0400
Message-id: <4643D8DB.6060309@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Kathy,    (01)

In my earlier not on this thread, I made the following
three statements together with the necessary qualifications:    (02)

JFS> My claim is that a vague statement and a precise statement
> about the same subject are *equally* true.  The following
> three statements are true:
>  1. The sun is 93 million miles from the earth with an
>     accuracy of about 1 or 2 percent.
>  2. At the aphelion, the sun is 152 million kilometers
>     from earth, and at the perihelion it is 147 million km
>     from earth.
>  3. The mean distance from the earth to the sun is
>     149.6 million kilometers.
> If anything, statement #1 is better qualified, since the
> expected error is stated explicitly.  However, in the
> absence of other qualification, the default error is
> one-half of the last significant digit (i.e., at most
> 500,000 miles for point #2 and 50,000 miles for #3).    (03)

With the qualifications stated above, they pass the
clarity test:    (04)

KBL> A statement satisfies the clarity test if someone in
 > possession of all actual facts, past present and future,
 > could unambiguously state whether or not the statement
 > was true.    (05)

I admit that in an earlier note I said "about 93 million miles",
but without stating the error bounds.    (06)

 > Perhaps you have a definition in mind for what it means,
 > precisely, for the sun to be "about" 93 million miles
 > from the Earth.    (07)

If I needed the value for any specific reason, I would ask
the person made the statement about the error bound.  If there
was no one to ask, I would assume the default value of one
half the last significant unit (in this case, that would be
500,000).  That would in fact be a correct assumption for
the mean value of the distance of the earth to the sun.    (08)

John    (09)

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