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Re: [ontolog-forum] A different approach to ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 07 May 2008 17:52:24 -0400
Message-id: <48222498.7030506@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ronald,    (01)

I strongly agree with many of the points you made.
But it's important to make solid points rather than
quibbles about terminology.  For example:    (02)

JS> I suggest that we avoid talking about different
 > realities.  It is better to say that each agent has
 > its own view of reality.    (03)

MW: Yes. But is that what Ronald means?    (04)

RSRS>> No! Each isolated agent has its own reality.
 > The expression "its own view of reality" presupposes
 > the existence of just one reality observable by whom,
 > we are not vouched safe unless by God as in Berkeley's
 > opinion.  I find it safer to assume that each organism
 > constructs its own directly experienced reality    (05)

As a general principle, words that create endless and
unresolvable debate should be replaced by other terms
that avoid creating confusion.  I admit that using
the term 'reality' in the phrase 'each agent's view
of reality' presupposes some agreement on what the
term 'reality' without qualifications might mean.    (06)

That is an interesting question in itself, but to avoid it
for now, I suggest that we adopt terminology originally
proposed by the biologist Jakob Johann von Uexküll.    (07)

The German word 'Umwelt', usually translated 'environment',
originally meant a common objective environment for everyone.
Uexküll, however, observed that animals of different species
have widely different sensory abilities.  He therefore adopted
the words Umgebung, Umwelt, and Innenwelt:    (08)

   Umwelt -- the view of the environment as perceived by
     individuals of a given species.    (09)

   Umgebung -- what exists independent of any particular
     species.    (010)

   Innenwelt -- the interpretation of the Umwelt by a
     particular individual.    (011)

John Deely observed further distinctions, see    (012)

http://web.archive.org/web/20060221134707/http://www.ut.ee/SOSE/deely.htm    (013)

John    (014)

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