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Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Matthew West <dr.matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2009 09:00:21 -0000
Message-id: <49a65a44.1701d00a.675d.4781@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Dear Pat,



Ontologies differ in the way they approach what you think  of as intangibles. Some of them have specific things that would claim to be intangible, others do not.


For 4D ontologies like IDEAS and ISO 15926, everything is either a spatio-temporal extent (possible or actual) and sets (including relations).


Thats rather too sweeping. One can have a 4d ontology without being so Calvinist about everything having a physical extension.


[MW] I did not say you  couldn’t, I just said that is the position IDEAS and ISO 15926 take.

[MW] <snip>


[MW] Thinking is an activity that goes on in a spatio-temporal location, and a thought is presumably the result of this, and is a state of, perhaps part of, someone’s brain.

Even if this is true, (which is highly debatable) thoughts also have content. They can be about things. How do you account for this?

[MW] This is about representation/semiotics, the content is represented  in the brain  somehow, and represents what it is about.


[MW] Beliefs would usually be about rules that are followed.

Beliefs are usually about rules?? You have GOT to be kidding. 


[MW] Maybe we are thinking about different cases. I believe that if I jump out of a plane I will fall towards the ground at increasing speed. It seems to me this is about the laws of physics I believe hold about unsupported objects close to the Earth. But I guess there could be other examples like believing a particular state of affairs is the case. This would be a relationship between some possible state of affairs in some possible world and the believer.


So the rules would be around some classes, and the belief part is about how someone views those rules.


Let me add to Paola's list:





symbols (for example, the semaphore sign for the letter "E", or the British naval 'blue peter' flag design, which means that the ship is embarking.)


[MW] This is mostly about representation/semiotics again. We talked about this recently, do I need to repeat myself? Numbers are the only thing here that I think are difficult. ISO 15926 treats them as classes (as in the set of sets with 4 members) but I am not convinced that is the best approach, so I would probably allow numbers to be abstract as well as sets another time.




Matthew West                           

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