[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] History of the Atomic Hypothesis

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2008 12:25:53 -0500
Message-id: <p0623090bc4b25efd677d@[]>
At 9:28 AM -0400 7/27/08, John F. Sowa wrote:
>Your comments raise a lot of questions:    (01)

...    (02)

>M-W definition #3 is technically correct, but the person who wrote
>it should have avoided using the words 'particle' and 'element' in
>the same sentence -- because it could cause the reader to think
>'elementary particle'.
>I would suggest the word 'subdivision' instead of 'particle' in order
>to avoid that confusion.  My recommended definition:
>     the smallest subdivision of an element that retains the
>     defining characteristics of that element.    (03)

But you have to specify *chemical* 
characteristics, since for example a single atom 
of sodium lacks most of the defining 
characteristics of sodium in bulk: its not 
metallic, shiny, soft, inflammable, etc..  In 
some cases, eg carbon, a single atom has none of 
the bulk characteristics, since these depend on 
the crystalline structure (graphite, soot, fiber 
or diamond)    (04)

>In summary, this discussion illustrates the point I was tying to make:
>If we use words at a vague level (without detailed definitions and
>axioms), we can reach agreement.  But if we try to pin down the exact
>meanings to the level necessary for writing detailed axioms, we get
>into an endless series of analyses and disputes about different ways
>of doing the analysis.    (05)

Yes, indeedy :-)    (06)

Pat    (07)

>John Sowa
>1 : one of the minute indivisible particles of which according to
>ancient materialism the universe is composed
>2  : a tiny particle : bit
>3  : the smallest particle of an element that can exist either alone or
>in combination
>4  : the atom considered as a source of vast potential energy
>Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/ 
>Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/ 
>Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
>Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
>To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>    (08)

IHMC            (850)434 8903 or (650)494 3973   home
40 South Alcaniz St.    (850)202 4416   office
Pensacola                       (850)202 4440   fax
FL 32502                        (850)291 0667    cell
http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes      phayesAT-SIGNihmc.us
http://www.flickr.com/pathayes/collections    (09)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (010)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>