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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rob Freeman" <lists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2008 21:46:53 +0800
Message-id: <7616afbc0809200646j3f6a6c60o1eac291b6bcf055a@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Chris,    (01)

Re. "pitfalls": see earlier posts by me rejecting pointless arguments
over the meaning of words.    (02)

Choose your own meaning for "pitfall" or "sense" if you wish. I see no
reason to argue about them.    (03)

More narrowly note my comments were in response to Rich's reference to:    (04)

http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~soames/forthcoming_papers/Truth_and_Meaning.pdf    (05)

The quote from Geoff Sampson supports a different approach to the
interpretation of language. I give it because others may be unfamiliar
with it.    (06)

-Rob    (07)

On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 10:14 PM, Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Sep 17, 2008, at 2:36 AM, Rob Freeman wrote:
>> Chris Menzel and Pat Hayes: If you see no problem with formal logic
>> as a model for "meaning", then you will have difficultly
>> understanding a solution for those problems.
> Hang on there.  Neither of us even mentioned the idea of using formal
> logic as a model for meaning.  Rather, we were responded to your
> sweeping remark about the "pitfalls of formal logic", full stop
> (which, frankly, doesn't even make sense -- it's like talking about
> the pitfalls of, say, algebra).  Of course, as I explicitly noted,
> pitfalls may indeed await those who attempt to use formal logic to
> solve problems it wasn't meant, or isn't able, to solve. Understanding
> the nature of meaning might be one of those -- although the work of,
> notably, Davidson and Dummett, suggests that this is by no means
> obvious.  (My own self, I think it is pretty obvious that many aspects
> of linguistic meaning can be very fruitfully explored through the
> tools for formal logic, especially model theory, but I think it is
> also pretty clear that meaning generally, esp viewed as a social and
> evolutionary phenomenon, outstrips what we can understand with formal
> methods alone.)
>> However, Chris, in the spirit of providing more information, let me
>> mention that whether or not it is true as you say that "few
>> contemporary philosophers believe there are serious problems with
>> analyticity", the same is less true of linguistics,
>> in your words that "Most contemporary philosophers of language and
>> logic do not share Quine's general skepticism about these notions."
>> To give one recent example:
>> http://www.grsampson.net/AGwg.html
> Well, of course, I did say "few", not "no", and I did say
> "philosophers", not "linguists", so I'm not sure what your sample of 1
> linguist is supposed to show.  But, judging from the linguists I know
> working in the area of the semantics of natural language, I would
> suspect the number of meaning skeptics even among linguists is fairly
> low -- though, not being a linguist, I must admit this is sheer
> speculation.
> -chris    (08)

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