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Re: [ontolog-forum] Data Models v. Ontologies (again)

To: "Barker, Sean (UK)" <sean.barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2008 09:09:45 -0400
Message-id: <4843F119.3070001@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sean,    (01)

If you want to show people a basic summary of set theory,
modern logic, and related topics in about 30 pages, see my
tutorial, which has had 81,268 downloads as of this morning:    (02)

    http://www.jfsowa.com/logic/math.htm    (03)

This is the kind of material that most people who have had
a course on modern math and logic are supposed to know.    (04)

 > ... a basic textbook of traditional logic, as at least
 > exemplified by the basic texts of Port Royale school, takes
 > several hours to read, but can be re-written as statements
 > in set theory that take only a few minutes to understand.    (05)

My objection is to the last word "understand".  People who have
mastered every topic that I summarize in my 30-page tutorial
have some useful background.  But they still do not understand
how to use it to analyze statements in ordinary language and
map them to logic.    (06)

I had a bit of discussion with Chris M. and Pat H. about the
so-called professor mentioned by Doug Lenat.  Since that is a
summary of what I heard from somebody else, I cannot vouch for
all the details.  However, I have met people who took courses
in modern logic at prestigious universities who cannot translate
a few sentences (nothing tricky) from English to FOL.    (07)

I taught a course a while ago, which had the prerequisites
"knowledge of first-order logic and natural language syntax".
Following is the course description:    (08)

    Course 309a:  Conceptual Structures    (09)

For the first homework exercise, I assigned ten English sentences
to be translated to FOL.  Only one person got all ten correct.
He was a post-doc who was just auditing the course.  The best
score by any student who was taking it for credit was 7 out of 10.    (010)

 > Also, in Terry Eagleton's "Literary Criticism" from the 1980's,
 > a plea is made to return the focus of university courses in English
 > to rhetoric.  My suspicion is that in practice this plea has been
 > usurped by "Media Studies", now one of the most derided qualifications
 > in the UK.    (011)

Any course with the title "Media Studies" is guaranteed to be fluff,
one step beneath basket weaving (which at least has some technical
content).    (012)

Sister Miriam's course was not fluff, and I would recommend her book
to anybody who has taken a course in modern predicate calculus.    (013)

John    (014)

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