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Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2008 01:58:16 -0500
Message-id: <47A95A88.1090601@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ed, Randall, and Rob,    (01)

The mathematics of catastrophe theory has many relationships to
chaotic phenomena.  It depends heavily on nonlinear mathematics,
and it can be studied quite well with digital computers without
extraordinary degrees of precision.    (02)

René Thom, who founded catastrophe theory and received the Fields
Medal for his efforts, was firmly convinced that all areas of human
perception and cognition -- language, in particular -- depend on
features that are closely related to catastrophe theory.    (03)

Wolfgang Wildgen is a linguist who developed Thom's ideas on
catastrophe theory applied to of semantics.  For various papers
and PowerPoint slides (in English, German, and French) see
the list on his website:    (04)

    http://www.fb10.uni-bremen.de/lehrpersonal/wildgen.aspx    (05)

Wildgen also published several books in English that present
Thom's ideas and Wildgen's extensions in some detail.    (06)

I won't say that I am 100% convinced of the Thom-Wildgen approach
to semantics, but I will say that I have more faith in it than I
have for many other things that have been discussed in this forum.
(Of course, one might say that is not a strong claim.)    (07)

John    (08)

Footnote:  For anyone who is not familiar with the Fields Medal,
mathematicians regard it as the equivalent of a Nobel Prize.
Of course, there are many people who have been awarded a Nobel
Prize in one field and then made fools of themselves in other
fields.  But I think that Thom was on the right track in his
ideas about cognition.    (09)

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