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

To: Kathryn Blackmond Laskey <klaskey@xxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ingvar Johansson <ingvar.johansson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 21:08:13 +0200
Message-id: <4670409D.8080202@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Kathryn Blackmond Laskey schrieb:
>>> [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.
> 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.    (01)

Therefore, it should be good for them to realize that the statements in 
the calculus of probability are as purely mathematical as each statement 
in the multiplication table is.    (02)

Ingvar    (03)

> 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.
> 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.
> 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.
> K    (04)

Ingvar Johansson
IFOMIS, Saarland University
     home site: http://ifomis.org/
     personal home site:
     http://hem.passagen.se/ijohansson/index.html      (05)

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