On Monday, February 23, 2009 4:06 PM, John wrote:
"Therefore, I would recommend the following characterization
of what it means for any entity (real or imaginary) to be
considered physical: (01)
Governed by laws or constraints that involve space, time,
matter, or energy. (02)
This includes all the fictitious or imaginary things in any
story (even the most outlandish science fiction). It also
includes plans for the future, vague fears about possible
disasters, and the Gedanken experiments by physicists." (03)
Just to undeline this passage as a very important point.
Indeed, the laws of physics, as the principle of the conservation of
mass-energy, do determine all physical entities, their existence, nature,
and identity, like as Newton's laws specify mechanical objects, thie nature
and behavior. In other words, all physical systems, their states, changes,
and processes , are subject to the limitations imposed by the laws of
nature, the real relationships governing all the things in the material
Commonly, things in the world are wrongly arranged into two disjoint groups
of necessary things (abstracta, intangible, universals, laws, rules; res
cogitans) and contingent things (concreta, tangible, particulars,
individuals, instances; res extensa).
Interestingly, the human beings are then determined by the natural laws of
human society, structure and order. Man needs the world to prove its
particular existence, physical and social. (04)
In the standard foundation ontology, the particular things should be defined
by the necessary things.
----- Original Message -----
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 4:06 PM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles (05)
> Dear Matthew,
> I agree with your distinction about the difference between physical
> entities and abstract entities (AKA intangibles).
> MW> I would not think much of any upper ontology that did not
> > support what you describe here as intangibles. The usual term
> > for what you describe as intangibles is modality, which is
> > how what is possible or could happen is treated. Possible Worlds
> > (see "On the Plurality of Worlds" David Lewis) is one approach,
> > and a natural fit with 4D, but not the only one.
> But many people don't feel comfortable with David Lewis's claim
> that possible worlds are "really real". I'd like to point out
> that a very clear statement of the distinction can be made
> without using the term 'possible world' or even 'modality'.
> As I said in earlier notes, any model theory stated in terms
> of possible worlds can be restated in terms of laws and facts.
> For brief summaries the semantic approach defined by the
> logician Michael Dunn, see the first 3 sections of either
> of the following two papers:
> Therefore, I would recommend the following characterization
> of what it means for any entity (real or imaginary) to be
> considered physical:
> Governed by laws or constraints that involve space, time,
> matter, or energy.
> This includes all the fictitious or imaginary things in any
> story (even the most outlandish science fiction). It also
> includes plans for the future, vague fears about possible
> disasters, and the Gedanken experiments by physicists.
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