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Re: [ontolog-forum] mKR (was Thing and Class)

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 11:36:51 -0500
Message-id: <48CE8F23.8060605@xxxxxxxx>
Rob Freeman wrote:
> Rick,
> I enjoyed the "Truth and Meaning" paper by Soames you referenced. I
> was interested to see how philosophers are trying to deal with the
> failure of analycity typified by Quine etc.    (01)

Just to note: few contemporary philosophers believe there are serious
problems with analyticity.  Quine's own views arose out of his general
skepticism about modality and intensionality, from which his thesis
about the failure of the analytic/synthetic distinction follows.  Most
contemporary philosophers of language and logic do not share Quine's
general skepticism about these notions.    (02)

> But basing "meaning" in "truth" seems cart about horse. I thought it
> was absolute values for "truth" which were most in question.    (03)

It is hard to make sense of this comment.  What is an "absolute value
for truth"?    (04)

> Are you familiar with the approach taken by Jeurgen Schmidhuber and
> Marcus Hutter? Schmidhuber resolves incompleteness    (05)

"Incompleteness" as in Gödelian incompleteness?  And "resolving" as in
somehow avoiding it?  If so, there's no more hope of resolving
incompleteness than there is of squaring the circle.  But perhaps you
mean "resolves" or "incompleteness" in some other sense.    (06)

> issues by equating "intelligence" with prediction. Marcus Hutter
> equates it with compression.
> http://www.idsia.ch/~juergen/newai/newai.html
> http://prize.hutter1.net/
> Or course Schmidhuber and Hutter talk principally about "intelligence"
> not "meaning", but what is interesting is that by basing
> "intelligence" in prediction/compression, they manage to avoid the
> pitfalls of formal logic.    (07)

Of what pitfalls are you speaking?  I'm afraid that I don't know of a
single one.  There are, of course, pitfalls faced by those who, say,
expect formal logic to solve problems it wasn't meant, or isn't able, to
solve.  But to say those are pitfalls of *formal logic* is a bit like
saying that one's inability to develop a successful strategy for jumping
to the moon is a pitfall of Newton's laws.    (08)

Chris Menzel    (09)

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