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Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rob Freeman" <lists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2008 20:55:51 +0800
Message-id: <7616afbc0809120555gd3ad865r843257321f0423ce@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
John,    (01)

I don't know how much time I want to spend on this. In particular with
you John, I've been talking about it for years. Typically you fight
like the devil, but agree in the end (without seemingly changing the
way you deal with categories in practice: no googling for you.)    (02)

I don't have the time to continually repeat old arguments.    (03)

But you may genuinely think nothing new can be said because words are
old, so I'll just quickly mention, in a very practical way directly
relevant to language, why using old words need not limit you to old
generalizations.    (04)

On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 9:54 PM, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> ...
> The words of language are labels attached to those generalizations
> that people consider important.  Some of them, like 'cat' and 'tree'
> refer to frequently observed patterns, and others like 'zodiac'
> refer to theory-laden generalizations of generalizations.
> So when you compress data on the WWW by statistics or search it
> without compression, you are always using the labels that were
> derived by millennia of human beings from generalizations that
> were important to their lives.  Even if you store all the raw
> data on the WWW and go back to it for every use, you will never
> avoid generalizations.  The so called "raw" data cannot be
> purged of the generalizations by which they were derived.    (05)

Simply put, you can escape the old generalizations implicit in words,
by using new combinations of words.    (06)

This is true of syntax in language. It is also true of combinations of
search keys in indexed search.    (07)

Of course as you and I both know, Wittgenstein, for one, has written
lovely stuff about indeterminacy of word meaning (e.g. "natural
families": http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/node/7.) So by modern
philosophical dogma the meaning of even isolated words should be seen
as indeterminate, even if it is not new. Age does not lend
definiteness. But that's indeterminacy, not novelty. So just to point
out that novelty is possible too (by new combinations.)    (08)

Ed Barkmeyer: If I understand you correctly the point you raise is
about the reliability of data. The issues Anderson's is talking about,
even more so those of Chaitin, Laughlin, Pines, have nothing to do
with reliability, not in the simple sense of "error" anyway. They are
also not issues which can be resolved by "proving" or "disproving" a
hypothesis.    (09)

If I'm slow replying forgive me. It is difficult for me to get on-line
reliably where I am.    (010)

-Rob    (011)

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