Just to pursue one part of this thread:
[PC]>> I believe that I understood every word
you said (955 of them
>> in the note, including the previous quotes) in exactly the sense
>> you intended it. And some of it was not just the basic
>> Is that hard to believe? How could I do it without a
>> very similar to yours?
[JS] > I am sure that you understood those words in one of the senses you
> might find in a good dictionary, say the OED or MW 3rd unabridged.
> But I doubt that you had resolved each one down to the detailed
> microsense (in Cruse's terminology) that I had intended.
Perhaps, but the concepts labeled by the basic linguistic vocabulary may well
be somewhat vague (at the level of ‘mammal’ rather than ‘Teacup
poodle’), but still will have a considerable number of relations to other
concepts. We don’t need to get to the microsenses (which is, I believe
part of your recommendation), but I think we do need a common basis of at least
a few thousand concepts. I think we differ only on the number of concepts
about which we can find a large body of agreement (which will not be not
universal, as PatH correctly asserts). My point is that it is an
important enough issue to warrant the effort required to discover that number –
a project adequately funded to support at least 50 people half time for a
couple of years.
What I can’t quite figure out is why anyone would
not want to know the number, unless they are under the illusion that they
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Pat Hayes
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 6:38 PM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology similarity and accurate
At 5:18 PM -0500 3/11/08, John F. Sowa wrote:
That is an excellent question:
PC> I believe that I understood every word you said (955 of them
> in the note, including the previous quotes) in exactly the sense
> you intended it. And some of it was not just the basic vocabulary.
> Is that hard to believe? How could I do it without a mental
> very similar to yours?
I am sure that you understood those words in one of the senses you
might find in a good dictionary, say the OED or MW 3rd unabridged.
But I doubt that you had resolved each one down to the detailed
microsense (in Cruse's terminology) that I had intended.
If you note, those dictionary entries (OED or MW) are not stated in
a formal language, and if you translated them to any version of logic,
you would get an extremely loose axiomatization. It would be neutral
on almost all the major issues we have been discussing in this forum,
including 3D vs. 4D representations, continuants vs. occurrents, etc.
That is a position I have been advocating for years: a very loosely
axiomatized terminology with very few details, and all the detailed
axioms in the specialized, task-dependent modules.
Look, guys, its important to get this clear. Ontological
differences like that between 4-d temporal ontologies and continuant/occurrent
temporal ontologies are NOT matters of detail. One CANNOT ignore or bypass
these differences by simply leaving them out and retreating to a weaker
ontology which can then be specialized to give the version one prefers. They
really are inherently, profoundly, INCOMPATIBLE. Each of them makes assertions
at the very basic level which are simple necessary truths in one view of the
world and are, at the same time, nonsensical and incoherent in the other view.
And each of them is held with some degree of passion to be OBVIOUSLY true (and
the other OBVIOUSLY false or incoherent) by many people.
I can only conclude, from your apparent failure to
understand this, that you have simply not had enough experience trying to
persuade people to agree about ontological matters. You are living in a dream
world in which all reasonable people will eventually agree, since they must all
be thinking the same way. Its just NOT TRUE. People DONT agree, and they
WONT agree. Please wake up and start living the real world, because we have
some real problems out here that are not going to be solved by pretending that
they don't exist.
As I have spent many, many hours documenting this stuff in
so many email archives stretching now over more years than I care to remember,
I won't keep on arguing the point. After all, a country that can waste 14
trillion dollars fighting a religious/civil war on the other side of the planet
can afford to spend a little money chasing an impossible dream. But I would
hate to see yet another promising ontological engineering initiative get lost
in the same swamp that has consumed so many others.
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