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Re: [ontolog-forum] What words mean

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2008 00:05:16 -0500
Message-id: <47AFD78C.4010703@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Rob,    (01)

To keep the traffic down, I'll reply to both of your notes
in this thread.    (02)

RF> I don't think the term "continuous mathematical methods"
 > captures what is interesting about holograms at all.    (03)

I certainly agree.  The point, however, is that holograms,
catastrophe theory, and many related methods go beyond the
Boolean algebra to continuous methods that have not been
widely explored in AI and computational linguistics.    (04)

In general, there are many such methods that depend on
continuous fields.  For the purposes we have been discussing,
these methods are extremely powerful.  As the article by
Lenore Blum points out, they have the potential to
revolutionize how we do AI.  Holograms and catastrophe
theory are two examples, but there are others.    (05)

RF> In the "Axiomatic ontology" thread you accused me of the
 > "misuse" of words. Since "misuse" (to my mind) implies definitive
 > use, I would like to invite you to present your theory of
 > definitive word meaning.    (06)

I'm sorry that I used the word 'misuse'.  In principle, I agree
with Humpty Dumpty's theory that the speaker is the master.
Therefore, it is impossible for anyone to misuse any word.    (07)

On the other hand, it is helpful to adopt some conventions to
avoid misunderstandings.  Since the field of cognitive science
is highly interdisciplinary, technical terms from different
subfields are likely to be used beyond their original range
of application.  Therefore, it is good practice to avoid using
such terms in a metaphorical sense.    (08)

Examples are the technical terms 'random' and 'contradictory'.
Both words have precise definitions in the fields in which they
arose.  To avoid confusion, it's better to use common words in
metaphors, and reserve technical terms for use in their original
range of application with their original definitions.    (09)

John    (010)

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