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

To: Ingvar Johansson <ingvar.johansson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2007 22:41:32 -0700
Message-id: <p0623091bc2862eccbc0c@[]>
>Waclaw Kusnierczyk schrieb:
>>  If this does not make sense to you (which I believe is quite possible),
>>  I won't come, I am afraid, with a much better version.
>Everything makes sense, very much sense; and I have no further questions
>>  I think your 'sentence meaning' and 'used sentence meaning' could be
>>  somehow attached here, but I am not sure how (and if), and I am not very
>>  much convinced it is necessary.
>It can, whether or not it is necessary I am not the man to tell.
>According to Pat, it is definitely not necessary in relation to IKL. He
>says in one of his mails: "any discussion of propositions in English is
>really beside the point for IKL".    (01)

That sounds rather like fighting words, but all I 
meant to imply was that IKL talks about 
propositions expressed by IKL sentences rather 
than English sentences; and since the main issues 
on this thread concerned aspects of English which 
did not arise in IKL, such as its inherently 
tensed and indexical usage, the two topics should 
not be identified.    (02)

>My distinction - whose background
>question is "how to individuate propositions in e.g. English?" - can
>easily be applied to your example. It means that the sentence 'no roses
>are blue now' cannot be used to individuate a proposition in ordinary
>English. Nonetheless, all utterances of the sentence have something in
>common, call this its 'sentence meaning'. When such a sentence meaning
>is used to assert something, the 'used sentence meaning' expresses a
>As far as I am concerned, I am pretty  happy with what my question "what
>is a proposition?" has led to. Here comes a new question, one that I
>guess different logicians have different answers to. But I would be
>happy merely to get an overview of some possible positions. Here comes
>the question (X is meant to be a variable for constructions such as FOL):
>"For which parts (X) of formal logic does it hold true: 'any discussion
>of propositions in English is really beside the point for X'?    (03)

I would say, in the sense I intended that phrase, all of them.    (04)

Of course it is true that all of formal logic is 
inspired by aspects of natural language. We give 
the logical 'and' the truth-table that we do 
because this is closest in meaning to the English 
word "and", and so on. But even this simple 
connection makes the logic only a pale shadow of 
the full English usage. Even a word like "and" 
has meanings which go beyond the purely 
truth-functional. For example, one can conjoin 
two of almost any similar structures in English 
("Joe is tall and heavy") , but the logical form 
of this is meaningless in most formal versions of 
FOL:  ((Tall and Heavy) Joe)  ?? My point is that 
being too free with English examples can lead one 
very quickly into areas of English meaning - such 
as how to express indexicals - which are well 
outside the purview of ontological formalisms.    (05)

Pat    (06)

>all the best,
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