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Re: [ontolog-forum] Two ontologies that are inconsistent but both needed

To: Ingvar Johansson <ingvar.johansson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Kathryn Blackmond Laskey <klaskey@xxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 14:58:09 -0400
Message-id: <p06110405c295d8e16ecd@[]>
>>[KL]... ontologists tell me it is a category error to put 
>>probability in the ontology, because probability is epistemic and 
>>not ontological.
>This is a widespread but wrong view. Start to read what Mario Bunge 
>has written about the probability calculus as a purely mathematical 
>calculus and what kind of interpretations it might fit - epistemic 
>as well as ontological.    (01)

There is a vigorous debate on the various viewpoints of probability. 
There are diehard proponents of ontological probability, and diehard 
proponents of the view that there is no such thing as ontological 
probabilities.  When push comes to shove, intelligent people of both 
camps build statistical models that draw essentially the same 
conclusions, when there are definitive conclusions to be drawn -- but 
they put a different metaphysical spin on the results.    (02)

I prefer not to get drawn into that debate.  When two people agree on 
the mathematical model, and there is no conceivable observable data 
that could distinguish between their theories, yet they spend hours 
debating with each other which of them is correct, I prefer to spend 
my time more productively.    (03)

I wasn't arguing that ontological probabilities don't exist.  I was 
arguing that there is a case to be made for augmenting at least some 
parts of some ontologies with probabilities, even if one doesn't 
regards these artifacts as the best achievable representation of the 
phenomenon, and not as faithful models of the way the phenomenon 
really is.    (04)

If it's very important not to call an artifact an ontology if the 
probabilities in it are not considered to be ontological 
probabilities, then I guess we can give it another name.  But I 
personally think it's an artificial distinction.  The important 
distinction is whether the relevant communities can reach agreement 
on probabilities that -- for the purpose -- are good enough for the 
purpose.    (05)

K    (06)

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