|To:||"[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>|
|From:||Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>|
|Date:||Thu, 6 Mar 2008 15:14:59 -0600|
At 8:00 AM -0500 3/6/08, Patrick Cassidy wrote:
In the discussion on "orthogonal", Ed Barkmeyer pointed out:
There is quite convincing evidence that this is NOT the case. In particular, human beings seem to communicate adequately even while the terms they use in the communication are based on different mental ontologies. This happens so often that it seems to be the norm rather than the exception; it is part of what makes it so hard for reasonable people to come to agreement on basic ontological questions (such as whether time is a dimension or not).
The reasoning is something like this: if the
There is no evidence whatever that the brain is capable of this. In fact, there near-conclusive evidence that the human brain is incapable of quite simple logical inferences without external support (such as drawing a diagram or writing a formula). In particular, people - even with logical training - consistently make systematic errors when given simple modus tollens reasoning tasks, with confidences in the 90% range.
Look, this HAS to be nonsensical. If this really were true, how could human beings EVER succeed in communicating? There is no way you and I could come to a logically secure agreement on 1000 axioms even if we had months to do it in and had nothing else to do. But children learn natural language at a rate of around 20 new words per day around the ages of 4-6 years old, pretty much all by themselves.
But, as I said at the start, this is an issue that needs investigation.
Because the assumptions and beliefs themselves are irrelevant to the communication: all that matters is that we come to agreement on the beliefs we EXPRESS to one another.
Well, it happens probably because we **know** that we have different
certain fundamental set of knowledge in common, and only rely on that basic
No, that doesn't work. First, people don't know this. Second, how is agreement on this vital common 'core' achieved?
If we 'misunderestimate' what our fellow conversant knows,
Define "define". If you mean logically define, then the number of defining terms is going to be comparable to the total number of terms. All 'natural kind' terms, for example, are definitionally primitive.
Most ontology languages don't even support definitions. Why are you so focused on definitions which usually don't, and often can't, exist? And which if they did exist would be largely functionally irrelevant in any case?
Any other guesses?
See above. My guess is that most terms we use, both the communicate with and to speak with, have no definitions and do not need them. We eliminated definitions from KIF because they caused only harm and provided no functionality.
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