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

To: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2007 15:21:25 -0400
Message-id: <466314B5.4080101@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat,    (01)

I think we agree on this point:    (02)

JFS>> I agree with Pat that it's important to recognize that formal
 >> languages are not natural languages, but anything expressed in
 >> any formal language can always be paraphrased in a natural language    (03)

PH> Well, yes:  but there are grave dangers. It is very very hard to
 > do this paraphrase without also introducing some non-logical nuance
 > of meaning, which often leads into a rat-hole (as witness this
 > thread itself). There is no way to avoid this kind of NL rendering
 > when teaching logic, but it is also important to guard against
 > complacency, so to speak.    (04)

I agree that it is very hard.  In fact, I believe it is *easier*
to make precise statements in a formal language and *later* translate
them to a natural language than to write them directly in the NL.    (05)

That reminds me of a comment by a Protestant minister who said that
when he has to compose a new prayer for some occasion, he first writes
it in Latin.  Then he translates the Latin version into English.    (06)

The lack of modern words and locutions in Latin makes the result sound
more "prayerful" than anything he could write directly in English.    (07)

John    (08)

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