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Re: [ontolog-forum] CL, CG, IKL and the relationship between symbols in

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Christopher Spottiswoode" <cms@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 25 Dec 2007 13:05:18 +0200
Message-id: <002c01c846e6$2b229c10$0100a8c0@Dev>
[John Black:]
>>This topic, the operational relationship between symbols in logic and
>>individuals in the world, happens to be my particular interest of
>>late.  Actually, come to think of it, I have been interested in this
>>for some time.
>[Pat Hayes:]
>Join the club :-)  Seriously, this is a very
>large and interesting topic. One has to
>recognize, however, that it goes beyond the scope
>of logic as usually construed: certainly beyond
>the scope of Tarskian logical semantics.    (01)

Yes!  That is, an emphatic "yes" from me to every point from each of you
as just quoted, where I strongly support all your general points, and
even ape and echo John's autobiographical point.    (02)

In fact (if I may indulge in some further self-reference), the only
difference is in the autobiographical point, where in my case the
history is probably somewhat longer:  As I recounted it on the web
nearly 10 years ago (at
http://jeffsutherland.com/oopsla98/SpottComplexity.html#agate2), I have
been guided (and probably misguided here and there...) since September
1966 by my own image for the matters of your "topic".  Though it must
initially seem unlikely if not implausible, the image supports a highly
elaborated interpretation.    (03)

If you have some time to spare, you can get some idea from that url how
in my own little conceptual world (and in the architectural and
programmed products fundamentally shaped by it which (perhaps
incredibly...) are still under development...) the greatest single
technical lesson from all epistemology and ontology could fall under the
rubric of what John in the quote above calls "the operational
relationship between symbols in logic and individuals in the world".    (04)

More precisely (from my point of view...), the problem and the lesson
become even vaster once one realizes that the very concept of those
"individuals in the world" hides an even greater opportunity for
semantic dissonance, or even greater misconception, namely in the
identification - and even the very conception - of those supposedly
realworld individuals.  As the cliche has it, the result cannot but be
theory-laden.  (Those individuals are, if I understand him correctly,
exactly those in the "set D called the 'domain'" in John Sowa's posting
later today, "[clarifying] one single issue:  a Tarski-style
model-theoretic semantics".)    (05)

There are many important consequences from that "lesson" I have just
preached, highly relevant to the application of ontologies in relevant
and useful ways.  But the above is enough from me for now.    (06)

Christopher Spottiswoode    (07)

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