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Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 20:01:20 EST
Message-id: <48efecd0.11a81.0@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Rob and Chris,    (01)

RF>> How many [relations] are needed for English?    (02)

CM> Good heavens, the question doesn't even make sense.    (03)

The main sense I would make of it is "How many different kinds
of relations might be expressed in English?"    (04)

My interpretation of that question would be:  What is the set
of all possible relations that might be mentioned or defined in
any version of any formal logic or any programming language or
any similar formalism.    (05)

Since any of those relations could also be mentioned or defined
in English sentences, the number for English would be the
cardinal number for the totality of all those for any formal
language.    (06)

The number of relations that are possible would be uncountably
infinite, but the number that could actually be defined or
specified in a finite statement (in any natural or artificial
language) would be merely countably infinite.    (07)

That is still very large.    (08)

John    (09)

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