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Re: [ontolog-forum] electric sheep

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Avril Styrman <Avril.Styrman@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2007 20:23:34 +0200
Message-id: <1194287014.472f5fa69d7fd@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
John,    (01)

> But a perfect philosophical ontology is even harder to find
> than a perfect physical theory, since it would include
> physics as a special case.
>  > We can very well reach a perfect philosophical ontology...
> Not in this century.    (02)

This is of course a hard question. One might argue that people
in year n+500 will always be great leaps ahead of the people 
in year n, and that people in year n will always be on a lower
level of development than people in year n+500. But this would 
mean that people will always be underdeveloped compared to the
people of the future. And this also feels very intuitive, at 
least when it comes to engineering, social systems, etc. But, 
I want to believe that there is a possibility to develop a 
perfect philosophical ontology, even in this century, that will 
remain unchanged thru the centuries. The connection with physics 
and philosophy is also very hard. What we can do, is to reach
perfection in that part of ontology which is independent of 
physics. Well, if there even is any.     (03)

The axiomatic method has not been so much applied in ontology. 
It has been more like taking one dicipline or one dichotomy at 
a time (such as idealism-realism or realism-nominalism) and 
doing vast investigations on that. By taking many diciplines 
as axioms, we can compare their combinations, and see which 
combinations are consistent, and which are overlapping and in 
what way. This is of course easy to say, but I consider this 
more moderate than taking just some one stand, and holding on 
to it no matter what the cost.     (04)

> In fact, everybody routinely uses different approximations for
> many different special cases in everyday life.  But we don't run
> into global contradictions because we never attempt to crystallize
> all our knowledge into one super theory of everything.
> What I have been trying to get people to recognize is that a
> super crystal might be beautiful, but it would shatter at the
> first contact with reality.    (05)

I wholeheartedly agree when we talk on the level of 
applications, and that's what cs ontologies are all about.    (06)

Avril     (07)

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