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[ontolog-forum] objects and processes

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Charles D Turnitsa <CTurnits@xxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2007 12:02:24 -0400
Message-id: <OF2D135D72.3FDE91A9-ON852572F7.005730E5-852572F7.005830A8@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

The ongoing discussion between continuant and occurrent is one that I
fought during the research and writing of my master's thesis.  I consider
myself to still be a babe in the woods concerning such things, so a few
years ago when doing this work, I was even more of a neophyte - however...    (01)

The distinction I came up with (that seems to work pretty well,
heuristically) is the distinction between an object and a process.  Both of
these, in my claims (weak though they are, they are backed up by quite a
bit of literature) are entities of an ontology, yet the difference is this
- an object is something that exists that has a continuing identity.  A
process is something that occurs that provides change to objects.    (02)

Someone mentioned recently (I think it may have been John Sowa, but not
sure) the three ways that Quine suggested of considering parts of a world -
(1) considering a things attributes, (2) was considering a things
relations, and (3) considering the thing as a relation enabler.  That is a
poor, off the cuff, paraphrase, but in those terms I use type (1) to
describe "objects", and type (2) to describe "process".    (03)

The problem that I see with this (my own) claim, as well as all of the
other apologetics for the separation of continuant from occurrent is when
does a continuant stop being what it is?  How much change can a continuant
undergo, in its own make up (whatever that may be), before its identity has
changed?    (04)

Chuck    (05)

Charles Turnitsa
Project Scientist
Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center
Old Dominion University Research Foundation
(757) 638-6315 (voice)
cturnits@xxxxxxx    (06)

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