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

To: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>, Ontolog Forum <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Waclaw Kusnierczyk <Waclaw.Marcin.Kusnierczyk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 08 Jun 2007 19:10:09 +0200
Message-id: <46698D71.4040801@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat Hayes wrote:
>>> Better, for sure. But still, I would say that this is strictly false. 
>>> That sentence never *means* that. It might be used to convey that in 
>>> a speech act, but that is a more complex matter. If we allow such 
>>> things as sarcasm or irony into the mix, then "yes" can mean no, and 
>>> silence can be extraordinarily expressive.
>> Obviously;  anything wrong with it?
> Well, it seems to pose a difficulty if one claims that any of these is 
> the, or even a, linguistic meaning of silence. How many meanings does 
> silence have? Is silence well-formed? How many natural languages assign 
> a syntactic role to silence (or perhaps, silences)?
> It seems to me that this way of looking at language casts the net of 
> meaning too widely.     (01)

perhaps, yes.    (02)

> True, human behavior in general can be viewed as 
> potentially meaningful, and includes eye contact, facial expressions, 
> gestures, dimensions of interpersonal space and host of other matters 
> which anthropologists and ethnomethodologists study. But language     (03)

i.e., spoken/written language    (04)

> is a
> small part of all this, and can (thank goodness) be studied in relative 
> isolation from the larger picture. And whether you agree or not with 
> this claim (and I concede that it might be false, in fact, and if so 
> then most of modern linguistics is hopelessly beside the point)    (05)

not necessarily -- they study just part of language, understood in the 
broader sense;  in what they are intended to do they may be perfectly at 
the point    (06)

> the 
> fact remains that for the purposes of ontological engineering, we *must* 
> consider our formal languages to be used independently of all this 
> anthropological soup of social interaction, since inhuman dumb-as-dirt 
> inference engines are supposed to be able to manipulate them without 
> loss of meaning.    (07)

true, but the opposition human vs. dumb-as-dirt may become obsolete as 
soon as inference engines become embedded in bodies that can communicate 
with the real world -- perceive and act -- otherwise than by means of 
printing out formulas.  which may happen sooner than we think.  on the 
other hand, demystifying the workings of the human brain may bring us 
down to the dirt -- as with the AI:  whatever intelligence we come to 
have a complete algorithmic understanding of, ceases to be seen as 
intelligence.  so we may become, in our own eyes, dumb-as-dirt machines, 
while our machines may become so complicated that we may come to see 
them intelligent.  (yes, this has little to do with the context of our 
original discussion.)    (08)

you can, though, express non-lingustic (in the narrower sense) elements 
with words:  "that's great!", he sighed.    (09)

vQ    (010)

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