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Re: [ontolog-forum] Illusions in Ontologies

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Gary Berg-Cross" <gary.berg-cross@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 09:31:47 -0400
Message-id: <330E3C69AFABAE45BD91B28F80BE32C9019078D1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
FERENC , Rich    (01)

Illusion is a historically broad metaphor to use with our understanding of the 
world.  Cognitive bias is still a broad term but useful to understand 
distortions in human judgment that causes them to spontaneously (outside of 
consciousness) and systematically deviate from "reality".  The broad 
explanation is evidence for dual processing in human reasoning.   That is two 
systems integrated by an overall reasoner.     (02)

The basic distinction is  between processes that are:    (03)

unconscious, rapid, automatic and high capacity, and those that are    (04)

conscious, slow and deliberative.    (05)

This characterizes human reasoning as an interplay between an automatic 
belief-based system and a cognitively demanding logic-based reasoning system, 
the kind that we think of as featured in scientific endeavors.      (06)

Psychologists and other cognitive scientists including behavioral economists 
study some of the phenomena that comes from the interplay of the two systems 
and particularly how the rapid, automatic process seems to dominate the more 
deliberate process in many circumstances.  There are now long lists of 
"cognitive bias" where we seem to make errors from reality for this reason.    (07)

One them "anchoring" (aka the law of prior entry) is the phenomena of using the 
earliest pieces of evidence and then giving disproportional weight to them 
largely at the expense of (treating lightly) later evidence. I guess a possible 
example of this was the earlier discussion about the evidence that  
polymorphism itself is a bad idea or whether early implementations were at 
fault.  Framing is another blinding bias and one which can compound with others 
like  "congruence bias" which is  the tendency to test hypotheses exclusively 
through direct testing, in contrast to tests of possible alternative hypotheses 
lying outside of a frame.     (08)

Of course there are many others and some that work at the group level such as 
Status Quo Bias which keeps an old paradigm in place for a while.    (09)

Gary Berg-Cross. Ph.D.    (010)

SOCoP Secretary    (011)

________________________________    (012)

From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on behalf of FERENC KOVACS
Sent: Tue 7/29/2008 4:34 PM
To: [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Illusions in Ontologies    (013)

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)    (014)

 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)    (015)

Take for instance translation - it is an activity, a product and a quality 
contrasted with an original. there are many similar morphological compounds.     (016)

>From a new paradigm point of view objects and properties are data, relations 
>are instructions to mainpulate those data.    (017)

The most obvious mental operations are isolation, abstraction, specification, 
formulation and interpretation.    (018)

All our concepts are derived/generated through these operations.    (019)

Ferenc/Frank    (020)

----- 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    (021)

John Sowa wrote:    (022)

...    (023)

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.    (024)

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.    (025)

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.    (026)

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.    (027)

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.      (028)

I believe that many of the conflicting views that intelligent people hold arise 
from a process of seeing one side an illusion.    (029)

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.    (030)

It is even possible that whole societies may believe in the illusion for years 
or even centuries.    (031)

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.      (032)

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".    (033)

Following is Priestley's report of his attempt to understand what happens in 
his experiments with different kinds of "airs":    (034)

    http://web.lemoyne.edu/~giunta/priestley.html    (035)

 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.    (036)

Things burn more brightly in "dephlogisticated air" because it is a "purer" 
kind of air that can absorb more phlogiston.    (037)

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.    (038)

John    (039)

================  ==================  ==================  =================    (040)

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.      (041)

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.      (042)

-Rich    (043)

Sincerely,    (044)

Rich Cooper    (045)

EnglishLogicKernel.com    (046)


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