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Re: [ontolog-forum] Two ontologiesthat areinconsistent but bothneeded

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2007 10:16:22 -0400
Message-id: <4673F0B6.2060409@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Chris,    (01)

I certainly agree.    (02)

CP> However, one reason I would suggest for being aware of the name,
 > if not actually using it, is that so much work has been done in
 > (blue-sky, impractical) philosophy in rigorously laying out the
 > choices - and the name 'metaphysics' (or 'metaphysical choices')
 > points to this work. It would be a pity if people were not aware
 > of it.    (03)

Following is one of my favorite quotations by Peirce (CP 1.129):    (04)

    Find a scientific man who proposes to get along without any
    metaphysics -- not by any means every man who holds the
    ordinary reasonings of metaphysicians in scorn -- and you have
    found one whose doctrines are thoroughly vitiated by the crude
    and uncriticized metaphysics with which they are packed.  We
    must philosophize, said the great naturalist Aristotle -- if only
    to avoid philosophizing.  Every man of us has a metaphysics, and
    has to have one; and it will influence his life greatly.  Far
    better, then, that that metaphysics should be criticized and
    not be allowed to run loose.    (05)

    A man may say "I will content myself with common sense."  I, for
    one, am with him there, in the main.  I shall show why I do not
    think there can be any direct profit in going behind common sense
    -- meaning by common sense those ideas and beliefs that man's
    situation absolutely forces upon him.  We shall later see more
    definitely what is meant.  I agree, for example, that it is better
    to recognize that some things are red and some others blue, in
    the teeth of what optical philosophers say, that it is merely
    that some things are resonant to shorter ether waves and some
    to longer ones.  But the difficulty is to determine what really
    is and what is not the authoritative decision of common sense
    and what is merely obiter dictum.  In short, there is no escape
    from the need of a critical examination of "first principles."    (06)

John    (07)

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