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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology, Information Models and the 'Real World': C

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: KCliffer@xxxxxxx
Date: Mon, 28 May 2007 14:24:39 EDT
Message-id: <c74.d63e60c.338c7867@xxxxxxx>
My response to your inquiry is below.
Waclaw.Marcin.Kusnierczyk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
> ... My purpose here is to
> point out another kind of example that systems must take into account
> when dealing with categorizing or handling propositions - their meaning
> may vary or be uncertain for many reasons, including simple error in
> composition, as well as differences in perspectives, perceptions,
> experience, etc.

perhaps it would be worth to specify what 'the meaning of a proposition
may vary' means.  do you mean that a proposition may have different
meanings, or that *the* meaning of a proposition -- whatever it is --
may undergo changes?  clearly, a proposition may be true or false on
different occasions, but the truth or falsity of a proposition is not
its meaning (it seems).
Here, I simply meant that the meaning the proposition had by virtue of its actual (erroneous) words was different (varied) from the intended meaning it would have had without the error. Variation, as we already discussed, can be also due to a difference between the meaning a receiver of a proposition "reads" in a proposition" and the meaning the proposer intended - the same proposition in words might have different meanings for the various players in proposing and receiving it.
I agree that the truth or falsity is not its meaning, but is rather a degree of correspondence between its meaning and the reality to which its meaning refers. In that sense, its meaning (and also its truth or falsity) also would not actually change over time, if one includes a temporal referent as part of the (implicit, at least) meaning of the proposition - but the meaning interpreted by perceivers over time might change as the context of their interpretation changes, just as the meaning interpreted by different interpreters (including the proposer) might vary at the same time.
If one allows the actual temporal referent to change with time (e.g. an explicit or implicit "now" is always the time at which the proposition is interpreted), then the meaning implicitly changes with time, as can the truth or falsity.
It's hard for me to imagine a case in which the truth or falsity of a proposition that has a clear implicit or explicit time referent in its meaning can change without its meaning changing, since its correspondence with reality (including a time referent) should not change. Reality should not change, except with time, which would be covered by the time referent in the meaning of the proposition.
Kenneth Cliffer, Ph.D.

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