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Re: [ontolog-forum] Reality and semantics. [Was: Thing and Class]

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 01:29:32 -0400
Message-id: <48DC733C.10501@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat,    (01)

As I said, we have no disagreement about Tarski's semantics for
FOL (or extensions of it to other versions of logic) when applied
to mathematical sets, such as the integers.  The title of Tarski's
famous paper was "The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages."    (02)

PH> Are you claiming that logical positivism represents an
 > alternative theory of truth, one that you believe is more
 > appropriate than Tarski's theory for ontology engineering?    (03)

No.  I am claiming that Carnap, Popper, et al. were addressing
the question of how scientific methodology can observe objects
and events in the world and relate them to mathematical models,
among which are the Tarski-style sets and relations.  Without
such a methodology, a Tarski-style model has no relationship
whatever to anything that exists in the world.    (04)

Nobody has ever made a serious case for the real world as
a model.  The most one can claim is that a Tarski-style model
might be a useful approximation to the world for some purpose.
To claim that the tuples of a Tarski-style model consist of
actual objects in the world is somewhere between a colorful
metaphor and pure fantasy.  If you can find any serious
publication that says otherwise, please send quotations.    (05)

PH> There is a well-defined technical area called 'semantics'...    (06)

For abstract sets, yes.  But for things and events in the real
world, Tarski's models must be supplemented with a methodology
for mapping those abstract sets to the world.  Otherwise, it is
nothing but a semantics of imaginary castles in the air.    (07)

John    (08)

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