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Re: [ontolog-forum] Cause and chemical reactions

To: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Cc: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007 12:11:18 -0400
Message-id: <467951A6.5080808@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat,    (01)

As I said in my previous note, Aristotle's four aitia are
more closely related to the thematic roles in linguistics
than to either Hume's version of causality or the equations
of modern physics.    (02)

Having said that, I would agree that there are unclear
choices for the application of those categories in exactly
the same way that there are unclear choices for mapping
the words and syntax of natural languages to logic.    (03)

 > Now what about mixing baking soda with vinegar? No spark
 > is required. The efficient cause is, well, just the
 > materials together doing their stuff.    (04)

Note the word "mixing".  The efficient cause in that case
(or the 'agent' in a language-oriented ontology) is the person
or machine that did the mixing.    (05)

 > Why are doing this taxonomizing exercise, again?    (06)

Because I've been working on mapping NLs to logic and other
computable representations, and issues such as these arise
again and again.  (Remember the HALO project for mapping
a chemistry textbook to various kn. reps.  The participants
didn't even attempt to do the mapping automatically, but it
would be a big help if we could do that.)    (07)

John    (08)

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