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Re: [ontolog-forum] Reality and semantics.

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Len Yabloko" <lenya@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 23:49:58 +0000
Message-id: <W81305980911171221781798@webmail46>
>On Sep 18, 2008, at 3:21 PM, Ed Barkmeyer wrote:
>> Chris Menzel wrote:
>>> On Thu, 18 Sep 2008, Ed Barkmeyer wrote:
>>>> ...
>>>> As to the rest of John's posting, I refuse to be drawn into a
>>>> discussion of the power of either mathematics or logic.  I am an
>>>> engineer.
>>> And you won't discuss it because, as an engineer, and hence as one
>>> familiar with bridges, moon shots, computers, the web, and the like  
>>> that
>>> wouldn't exist but for the power of mathematics and logic, it isn't
>>> worth discussing something so obvious?  Right on.
>> Indeed.  That power is well documented and in evidence.  But whether
>> mathematics can correctly capture "reality", as distinct from how much
>> of the derived and quantified property called load it will take to
>> collapse the bridge, is not my concern.
>In brief: omit the scare quotes.  By 'reality' I mean something very  
>mundane. All I mean is that when an engineer does some calculations  
>and then says "the cables aren't strong enough to support the deck",  
>that she really is talking about the cables and the deck. That is what  
>"reality" means in this example: the real, actual stuff that the  
>engineer is concerned with, the stuff that will collapse into the  
>river if mistakes are made. She is not talking about a model of the  
>cables and the deck, or about representations of the cables and the  
>deck. Who would care if a model or a representation fell into the river?
>Pat    (01)

My answer to that last question is: those who leave by that model and 
representation do care. Perhaps all they care about is the model, because all 
they know about reality is the representation. I don't think anybody cares 
about how the river will look without the bridge.     (02)

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