[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Two

To: Bill Andersen <andersen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 09:55:33 -0500
Message-id: <p06230900c29d9a6f87b9@[]>
>On Jun 18, 2007, at 16:57 , Pat Hayes wrote:
>>On the whole, I suggest, it is probably better to
>>re-do ones own metaphysics from scratch than to
>>try to read through the history of philosophy and
>>sort out the very small fraction that may be
>>relevant. Just be aware of a few common mental
>>traps, such as not making the use/mention
>>confusion, and you should do OK.
>Why recommend re-doing ones metaphysics from 
>scratch at all when you yourself have argued 
>that the whole enterprise of metaphysics is 
>flawed?    (01)

I was implicitly acknowledging the point often 
made that ANY ontology has SOME metaphysics 
incorporated into it, that metaphysics is 
unavoidable.    (02)

>  But let's say you want to go ahead and do that 
>anyway -- make up your own metaphysics.  You'd 
>do that perhaps because it would help you get 
>some work done.  But then you'd be in a position 
>where you'd have to acknowledge that some of 
>your entities or principles are bona fide and 
>some fiat -- introduced via the back door of 
>your metaphysics.    (03)

Hmm, not sure I follow, or maybe agree, with 
that. The entities you will be talking about are 
the ones that you need to say what you want to 
say. I don't see the division into bona and fiat 
that you do.    (04)

Take for example that old naive physics stuff I 
did. I started wanting to talk about how liquids 
can be contained in spaces, what it meant to be 
wet, and so on. In order to do that I had to 
introduce a lot of other things, like directed 
surfaces (the thin 'film' of free space on one 
side of a surface which is where the water is 
when the surface is wet) and two kinds of liquid 
object with different identity conditions, and a 
vertical falling piece of liquid, etc. etc.. Now, 
is this metaphysics? I'm presuming that this is 
the kind of thing that people mean when they 
claim that any ontology must incorporate a 
metaphysics. But I wouldn't say that any of these 
entities are 'fiat' and not bona fide. They are 
all things which I can say with a straight face 
exist in the actual world, although they might 
not be things that one immediately thinks of.    (05)

>  Now, which principles will you invoke to make 
>that distinction and how does this help the next 
>guy who wants to use your bona fide objects but 
>not the fiat ones.    (06)

I won't make the distinction (see above). Seems 
to me that if all that the metaphysics does is 
generate non-bona-fide objects, then I rest my 
case.    (07)

>Regarding use/mention, you and I have had 
>conversations where you have called that 
>distinction into doubt    (08)

as a research topic, yes. But straightforward 
muddle isn't research :-) This forum has lots of 
use/mention muddle in it already (e.g. a lot of 
the debate about concepts/things seems to be 
use/mention in a weak disguise)    (09)

>, so you shouldn't be recommending it as a 
>principle one should adopt to avoid "confusion". 
> Prolog, for example, purposely blurs 
>use/mention and quite successfully so.    (010)

Hmmm. I see what you mean and agree, but I also 
think this is why Prolog isn't a very good 
ontology language.    (011)

Pat    (012)

>       .bill
>Bill Andersen (<mailto:andersen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>andersen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)
>Chief Scientist
>Ontology Works, Inc. (<http://www.ontologyworks.com>www.ontologyworks.com)
>3600 O'Donnell Street, Suite 600
>Baltimore, MD 21224
>Office: 410-675-1201
>Cell: 443-858-6444
>Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/ 
>Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/ 
>Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
>Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
>To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>    (013)

IHMC            (850)434 8903 or (650)494 3973   home
40 South Alcaniz St.    (850)202 4416   office
Pensacola                       (850)202 4440   fax
FL 32502                        (850)291 0667    cell
phayesAT-SIGNihmc.us       http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes    (014)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (015)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>