[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Illusions in Ontologies

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: FERENC KOVACS <f.kovacs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2008 20:34:06 +0000 (GMT)
Message-id: <228544.4018.qm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
This is why we need to go beyond using descriptive knowledge of the image/illusion type - that is without showing how our knowledge emerges via relations of various kind (each represented by a verb).
(Sideliene:There are problems with causality, but I can come back to that later. What matters is the result or the outcome of activities or acts to be used in a core ontology language)
 In this view a concept has the inherent features of denoting three different aspects at the same time: an activity (relation), the outcome (an object) and a quality of that object (a property)
Take for instance translation - it is an activity, a product and a quality contrasted with an original. there are many similar morphological compounds.
From a new paradigm point of view objects and properties are data, relations are instructions to mainpulate those data.
The most obvious mental operations are isolation, abstraction, specification, formulation and interpretation.


All our concepts are derived/generated through these operations.


----- Original Message ----
From: Rich Cooper <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: [ontolog-forum] <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, 29 July, 2008 10:07:57 PM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Illusions in Ontologies

John Sowa wrote:


But I'd like to clarify the point.  I believe that Peirce's theory of signs provides a unifying methodology for viewing the many different perspectives that one can have on anything.  But some of those perspectives may be incompatible, and therefore, it might not be possible to believe all of them at the same time.


As an example, consider the various kinds of "optical illusions", which can be interpreted in different, mutually exclusive ways, but not at the same time.


If we all think about the same illusion (I suggest the pretty young woman / old worn woman) we can more precisely discuss illusions – a very interesting topic in terms of ontologies.



But for any of those illusions, there is a consistent way of interpreting and describing the underlying figure that creates those illusions.  That description, which explains how the illusion arises, subsumes both, but in a way that destroys both illusions -- i.e., from that point of view, it is not possible to "see" either illusion, although it enables one to see how other observers could "see" one or another of the illusory views.


In the Young/Old illusion, I can choose to see either one at a given time, and can focus on that one alone to preserve its interpretation in my mind.  I assume everyone else has the same ability to choose either one, but not both at the same time.  So there are at least some illusions where you can consciously choose to perceive a specific point of view.  I think this is a human capability which allows us to communicate by understanding each other’s point of view at least some of the time. 



I believe that many of the conflicting views that intelligent people hold arise from a process of seeing one side an illusion.

But it's not always possible to know that one is seeing the world through an illusion.  Sometimes the illusion has a large grain of truth in it, and many people may agree that it is true.

It is even possible that whole societies may believe in the illusion for years or even centuries.


Agreed – the Greeks and Romans had their many gods and assistant gods; each major religion has some widely believed set of assertions; scientists have a politically correct set of beliefs.  I mostly agree with you on that, except for the “not always possible to know”.  I think that everything we see is an illusion.  To go a step further, I think the only thing we can see is illusory, as created actively by our own construction of reality as we experience it.  In other words, we create our own illusions, as in the parable of the cave (Aristotle? Plato?) for EVERYTHING we experience.  So it is always possible to know that we are experiencing reality only indirectly, through our illusions. 




For example, from our current knowledge of chemistry, we can view the theory of phlogiston as a kind of illusion that had considerable predictive power.  Joseph Priestley, who was the first or one of the first chemists to discover oxygen, called it "dephlogisticated air".

Following is Priestley's report of his attempt to understand what happens in his experiments with different kinds of "airs":




 From our perspective, we can think of Priestley as an intelligent person who is struggling to rid himself of an illusion.  He realized that his earlier view that air is a single substance was wrong.  But he still retained the view that burning is a process of releasing phlogiston into the air and that burning stops when the air can no longer absorb any more phlogiston.

Things burn more brightly in "dephlogisticated air" because it is a "purer" kind of air that can absorb more phlogiston.


The scientific method enables scientists to rid themselves of various illusions over time, but we have no idea how many more illusions remain (or will be invented) as time goes on.



================  ==================  ==================  =================


If I’m right in my own illusions, there is a nearly infinite number of illusions, all composed of combinations of our previously formed illusions.  As long as we keep in mind that we see illusions from a consistent frame of mind, and that we can change our frame of mind at the cost of some deeper illusions, we can practice science. 


Recently, (I don’t remember where I read it) there was a web article on how mice can learn a new behavior more efficiently if they have already been trained in the component behaviors of the new one.  So the illusions can be compounded without any limit known at this time.  Sort of like software developed bottom up. 






Rich Cooper



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    (01)

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