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Re: [ontolog-forum] standard ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 23:15:14 -0500
Message-id: <499250D2.5020206@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Chris,    (01)

I agree that Quine admitted sets into his ontology.    (02)

CM> If, however, you mean someone who  rejects the existence
 > of all abstract entities across the board, then Quine was
 > no nominalist, as he argued that quantification over
 > mathematical objects (specifically, sets) is indispensable
 > to science.    (03)

But Alonzo Church, who allowed much richer abstract objects
into his ontology, delivered a wonderful talk at Harvard with
the explicit intention of annoying Quine and Nelson Goodman:    (04)

    The ontological status of women and abstract entities    (05)

Following is the opening paragraph.    (06)

_____________________________________________________________    (07)

Goodman says somewhere that he finds abstract entities difficult to 
understand.  And from a psychological viewpoint it is certainly his 
dislike and distrust of abstract entities which leads him to propose an 
ontology from which they are omitted.  Now a misogynist is a man who 
finds women difficult to understand, and who in fact considers them 
objectionable incongruities in an otherwise matter-of-fact and 
hard-headed world.  Suppose then that in analogy with nominalism the 
misogynist is led by his dislike and distrust of women to omit them from 
his ontology.  Women are not real, he tells himself, and derives great 
comfort from the thought -- there are no such things.  This doctrine let 
us call ontological misogyny.    (08)

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