ontolog-forum
[Top] [All Lists]

## Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology

 To: "[ontolog-forum] " Christopher Menzel Thu, 9 Oct 2008 14:17:00 -0500
 On Oct 9, 2008, at 6:59 AM, Rob Freeman wrote: > Pat, > ... > You say for the case of "cardinality in logical interpretations", at > least, the question has been looked into, and the answer was that > "the number of possible relations over a universe is a much larger > cardinality than the universe ..., but this doesn't matter because > the logic isn't obliged to consider all of these relations, only > enough to provide denotations for all the relation-naming terms in > the language." > > That argument strikes me as completely circular.    (01) Nonetheless, it is not.    (02) > Who says how many relations are "enough to provide denotations for > all the relation-naming terms in the language"?    (03) How many are enough is clearly and precisely determined by the language in question together with its semantics. At a minimum, in a classical semantics, a denotation must be assigned to every relation- naming term in the language. Depending on the language/semantics in question, this could require as little as just one relation -- absent any further constraints, every relation-naming term could denote that one relation. More typically, however, the language+semantics together require more than this. Notably, in the language L2 of second-order logic with abstraction terms, for every formula A(x1,...,xn) of the language there is a relation-denoting expression [\lambda x1...xn A(x1,...,xn)] whose extension comprises exactly those n-tuples that satisfy A(x1,...,xn). Given the presence of the usual array of boolean operators in the language -- notably, negation, conjunction, and disjunction -- this means that the class of relations (viewed extensionally) has at least to be closed under complementation and finite unions and intersections. In standard second-order semantics this constraint is satisfied by the fact that the class of (n-place) relations is required to be the entire power set of the class of n-tuples of elements of the domain. So in every classical interpretation I of L2, the number of n-place relations, for a given n, is exactly 2^(m*n), where m is the number of individuals in the domain of I. If, however, we interpret a second-order language by the so-called "general semantics" of Henkin, this constraint can be satisfied by the minimal closure under the above operations, relative to some initial assignment to the primitive predicates of the language. And for a countable domain, that is still countable.    (04) More generally, then, the answer to your question "who [better: what] sez how many relations are enough to provide denotations for all the relation-naming terms in the language?" is: "The language and its semantics." And how many relations are needed, for a given language +semantics, can be determined quite precisely.    (05) > The number of relations we need is exactly the question at issue.    (06) Vide above.    (07) > This is again the question when I ask "whether you can ignore sets and > work only with categories."    (08) That looks like a very different question indeed.    (09) > The distinction at the end you "completely fail to follow" is yet > another a restatement of this question whether all these possible > sets "matter"/"are distinct in meaningful ways".    (010) I fail to follow as well if, as it seems, this is supposed to be a Deep Question. For surely, say, the set of men and the set of women are meaningfully distinct, no? And surely the union and intersection of those sets are meaningfully distinct, aren't they?    (011) Chris Menzel    (012) _________________________________________________________________ Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/ Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/ Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/ Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (013) 
 Current Thread Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, (continued) Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Rob Freeman Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, John F. Sowa Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Rob Freeman Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Pat Hayes Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, John F. Sowa Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Rob Freeman Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Pat Hayes Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Rob Freeman Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Pat Hayes Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Rob Freeman Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Christopher Menzel <= Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Rob Freeman Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Patrick Cassidy Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Christopher Menzel Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Pat Hayes Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, John F. Sowa [ontolog-forum] Scientific American article on "natural" word order, Rich Cooper Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Rob Freeman Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, John F. Sowa Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Pat Hayes Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology, Rob Freeman