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Re: [ontolog-forum] Two

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Bill Andersen <andersen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Kathryn Blackmond Laskey <klaskey@xxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 11:34:27 -0400
Message-id: <p0611040ec29da29264a4@[]>
>...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?    (01)

I would say so, if you are serious about ---    (02)

>... They are
>all things which I can say with a straight face
>exist in the actual world...    (03)

I agree with this only if we insert a "for all practical purposes 
(FAPP)" caveat.    (04)

To be very precise, though, I would have to say I believe there 
actually are observable effects in the real world that are described 
to excellent approximation by speaking as if things like directed 
surfaces and vertical falling pieces of liquid actually exist.    (05)

(Got that???)    (06)

Maybe that's what you mean when you say directed surfaces and falling 
pieces of liquid really exist.    (07)

The problem is, if you try to put together a logically consistent 
description of all the things you'd want to say really exist, you 
rapidly get into a tangle.  In fact, the attempt to do so drove 
physicists from naive physics to Newton's laws to quantum theory and 
general relativity, which still have not been reconciled with each 
other.  Nevertheless, for purposes of practical ontology-building, 
I'm all for declaring that these things exist (in the FAPP sense) and 
moving forward.    (08)

>...>Regarding use/mention.    (09)

I can't resist an amusing anecdote -- I remember my daughter Allison 
at age three telling me, "I start with 'A'".    (010)

K    (011)

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