Dear John, (01)
> Just a few clarifications:
> [MW] I prefer not to use modal logic.
> Since I am working on computational linguistics, I need some
> way of translating the words "can" and "must" into some
> logical representation. But to do the reasoning, I prefer
> to work with the explicit laws (constraints) and facts (data)
> using some version of first-order logic. (02)
[MW] We each have our crosses to bear :-)
> JFS>> Most AI work with "possible worlds" is actually based on
> >> metalevel reasoning about sets of propositions that describe
> >> those worlds, not with the worlds themselves.
> [MW] Actually, I am more interested in populating those worlds with
> actual plans, than I am with reasoning, and then tracking how well
> they match to reality.
> Most of the plans we develop or use aren't in those worlds. They're
> in the world we live in (or in our computers, which are also in our
> world), but they refer to hypothetical things in those worlds. (03)
[MW] I have a different take. The plan is for a world like ours but not
the same one, and they refer to real things (not hypothetical) in those
> JFS>> Nobody actually implements "possible worlds".
> [MW] What do you mean by this? For example, I expect to have an
> object that represents a particular possible world (well more properly
> a universe) for all the time that it exists, and then to have objects
> in the world as spatio-temporal parts of it. How does this fit with
> what you mean?
> What I meant is that we don't build physical replicas. We might
> have physical signs, such as a marks on paper or in a computer,
> that refer to those worlds and hypothetical things in them. (04)
[MW] OK. I agree with that of course. (05)
> Our reasoning and computation manipulate those marks in order
> to draw conclusions about what could, would, or should happen
> in those hypothetical worlds.
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