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Re: [ontolog-forum] Looking forward at the past

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 03 Oct 2008 13:27:12 -0400
Message-id: <48E655F0.8050004@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ronald,    (01)

The example of the Aymara language illustrates the Sapir-Whorf
claims about the very different ways that people with different
languages and cultures interpret the world.  That example of the
different ways of viewing the "arrow of time" is a result of more
ingrained differences in the underlying world views.  It's not just
a difference in a single metaphor about time, but in entire systems
of ontology or semiotics or Weltanschauung.    (02)

RKS> ... these metaphors deflect our attention from the challenge
 > of the fundamental question: how do we use pictures, language and
 > other signs to construct the past, the future and distant things
 > so that we can use them in the only world available to us, the
 > here-and-now.    (03)

I agree that those issues are very important.  Unfortunately, we
have no direct methods of determining those semiotic processes
other than to look at the external signs, mostly language signs.
Brain scans are useful, but they are still far less detailed than
verbal reports.  In fact, most brain scans are interpreted by
correlating them with verbal reports and behavior.    (04)

RKS> Surely, any ontology (in either sense) cannot fully meet the
 > needs of information systems engineering until it takes account
 > of the people in whose present minds past and future necessarily
 > reside, and how they arrive at their beliefs and place any trust
 > in them.    (05)

I would agree.  But how can we "take account of the people" and
"how they arrive at their beliefs"?    (06)

John    (07)

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